How To Avoid the Terrible Twos

Everywhere you look, the message about toddlers is that they are “terrible,” that their favorite word is NO, and that they’re using all of their energy to become independence from us.  However, this cultural paradigm has gotten it all wrong!  Toddlers and parents are not going from connection to independence.  Rather, they are transitioning from one-sided relationships (where … [Read more...]

Bath-Time Hair Washing

Dear Miss Faith, My 2yo son screams bloody murder every time I wash his hair.  I'm ever so slow and careful, but nothing seems to help.  He particularly hates it when water falls into his ears, which is almost impossible to avoid 100%.  It's gotten to the point where he starts crying as soon as I mention that it's time for a bath.    Any suggestions you have would be most … [Read more...]

Why Explaining and Convincing Don’t Work with Young Kids

When we ask a child to do something, and they say no (or ignore us), the option of explaining why we're asking them to do it, and inviting discussion, is so attractive.  It's what most parenting books suggest, after all.  And research shows that explaining and discussing ARE useful tools for helping to get buy-in from children: when they're adolescents. In early childhood, … [Read more...]

Do You Let Your Toddler Help?

A large body of research shows that people are healthier, happier and feel more fulfilled when they are able to contribute to the well-being of others: helping others reduces chances of dropping out of high school, contributes to job satisfaction, can be effective treatment for depression, reduces symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and increases longevity, among other … [Read more...]

Pouring In the Love

When your personal life is out of balance, it strains your body's immune system.  If you don't pay attention and make a change, you are likely to get sick.  When your relationship with your child gets out of balance, then the relationship's immune system gets strained.  Our bodies let us know when we're at risk for getting sick through excessive tiredness, aches and pains, or a … [Read more...]

Quick Tip: Throwing Sand

If your child is a little too exuberant in the sandbox, what to do?  Saying "Don't throw sand" seems to have little effect, as does the ubiquitous "Be careful!"  Instead, look at what's going on and try one of these things: Is your child a young toddler and just flinging sand around for the joy of it? Try saying, "You can put your sand into a bucket!"  If that has little … [Read more...]

Potty Train Your 3 Year Old Without Power Struggles

Is your three-year-old insisting on diapers?  Take the struggle out of potty training with this proven technique. Dear Miss Faith, Our son just turned three and we are having major issues with the potty.  He was almost potty trained at 18 months but we didn't "pull the trigger" because a new baby was on the way.  Now it is a struggle to get him to even sit on the potty.   I'm … [Read more...]

Correcting Hitting Behavior

Dear Miss Faith, My son is three and he still struggles with hitting and rough touching.  Mostly not being aggressive, it's like he doesn't realize that he's hurting people.  When we correct him, he often sticks his tongue out and makes a spitting sound, or runs and hides.  Sometimes he will stop but other times he just can't seem to stop.  Should I end the visit or leave the … [Read more...]

Dropping Naps

Dear Miss Faith, Recently, It's been a struggle to get my 2.5yo to nap during her usual time. She sometimes won't nap... but she does go to bed a lot earlier if she doesn't nap.  I guess my biggest question is -  Is it right for a 2.5 year old not to nap anymore.  Seems awfully early to me! Dear Mama, Your instincts are right-on. It is a fact that American children are … [Read more...]

Silly Defiance

Dear Miss Faith, My 3.5yo son used to be very helpful,  but lately when I ask him to do things, he deliberately "misunderstands."  For example, if I ask him to bring me my purse, he'll look around and bring something else.  If I try to correct him, he just laughs and brings me something else again.  What's going on? Dear Mama, My experience is that when kids do something … [Read more...]

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