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...]

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...]

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...]

What To Do When Your Kid Says NO!

When I ask the question, “Why do toddlers and preschooler say no to us?” in talks and workshops, the answers I get tend to run along these lines: • They’re differentiating themselves from us. • They’re testing boundaries. • They’re expressing their individuality. As sensible as these answers sound, I’d like to suggest an alternative perspective that has the ability to … [Read more...]

Sensitive, Perfectionist 5 Year Old

Dear Miss Faith, My daughter has a hard time dealing with frustration, and has a real perfectionist streak that has me worried.  For example, when she works with the art supplies I leave out in the living room, she often becomes very frustrated, crumpling her work and throwing it in the trash.  I try to make her feel better, but usually my advice has the opposite effect.  She … [Read more...]

Why Turning Requests Into a Game Is Not “Tricking” Your Child

When I ask the question, “Why do toddlers and preschooler say no to us?” in talks and workshops, the answers I get tend to run along these lines: They’re differentiating themselves from us. They’re testing boundaries. They’re expressing their individuality. As sensible as these answers sound, I’d like to suggest an alternative perspective (or mindset) that can … [Read more...]

Healthy Parent-Toddler Relationships

            With babies, the route to a secure bond between parent and baby is relatively clear: it’s the baby’s job to let his or her needs be known, and it’s the adult’s job to respond as quickly, lovingly, and effectively as possible. But what happens when those sweet babies become demanding toddlers? How does the nature of the parent-child bond shift, and how does it stay … [Read more...]

Dinnertime for Working Parents

Dear Miss Faith, My husband and I both work full time.  My husband picks our 2.5yo daughter up from daycare, and I'm cooking when they get home.  I've noticed that she really needs some time to snuggle on the couch right when she gets home, so I switch off with my husband.  This is all fine.  The problem comes when it's time to go to the table, she doesn't want to--she just … [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...]

Peaceful Car Trips

Dear Miss Faith, My 3.5 year old son gets upset when we're driving and I turn or even change lanes, but he has decided that he doesn't want me to.  I've tried being light-hearted and turning it into a game, and I've tried "I'm the driver and I'm in charge," but nothing seems to be breaking the pattern.  What can I do? Dear Mama, This definitely sounds like a who's-in-charge … [Read more...]

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