Do You Like Your Toddler?

In observing families for my dissertation, I visited two families who on first glance were similar. Both had two-and-a half-year-old boys, and both moms did many of the actions I had observed that set parents up for success: each mother successfully flowed together and apart with her son throughout the day, letting him come in and out of her tasks, which she made inviting and … [Read more...]

Demanding and Whiny 4-year-old

Dear Miss Faith, My son makes demands almost every time he talks. If I ask him to talk nice or say it nicely, he shouts out please. Then I say, please ask the whole thing in a nice voice. This gets him really upset and he proceeds to scream and cry.  I don’t give him what he wants until he says it nice but usually it’s when he’s so distraught and crying.  Ugh. Not a good … [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...]

Responding to Ridiculous Demands

Dear Miss Faith, I have a 5yo, 3yo and 1yo.  My challenge is with my 5yo, who sometimes wakes up whiney and just can’t seem to stop, often for 2 hrs or more.  When this happens, nothing is right. For example, this morning he didn’t want me using the muffin tin (said it was his), didn’t like the bowl he was given, wanted cereal after he’d chosen eggs, etc. etc.  Each problem … [Read more...]

Repeating Questions Over and Over

Dear Miss Faith, My 2 year old repeats herself over and over and over again, to the point that i get soooooo frustrated. I mean i answer her in as many creative ways as i can think of. She kept saying i want a glass of milk, and i said yes when we get home. Then she kept asking– so I kept finding new ways to help her to feel heard, like “you really want a glass a milk eh?” … [Read more...]

Neediness

Dear Miss Faith, My daughter just turned three and mostly things are fine, but her neediness is draining on me. It feels a bit like there's a hole in her bucket, and I can't fill it up somehow. I'm not sure why there is so much whininess, such a fanatical emphasis on perfection, such passionate insistence on being carried around the kitchen or down the stairs, such a … [Read more...]

Sensory Integration

Dear Miss Faith, My 3 year old son seems to be developing issues which I think are linked to sensory integration. He has become a little obsessed about his hands, feet and face. He doesn't want them ever to get dirty, but he doesn't want to wash them, either. He'll even hold them closed, and then they get clammy and he cries about them being dirty. Sometimes he'll play in … [Read more...]

When they Can’t Have what they Want

Dear Miss Faith, I'm a nanny of two boys, and I'd love your advice on situations like this: The other morning, Joey came down for breakfast and he saw that his dad had put the little brother's food on a plate that Joey thinks is "his," and the sight of that triggered a total meltdown. His parents were home (as they often are when I am there) and they assured him that the little … [Read more...]

Raise a Balanced Child

One of the things that we can do to help our children find their place in in the world is to help them to become well-balanced. A wonderful way to think of this is in terms of virtues. Do they talk too much and dominate the conversation? Being eloquent is a virtue, but it needs to be balanced out by the virtue of empathy, so they can learn to ask questions of others, and listen … [Read more...]

Meltdowns and Tantrums

This is the second part of my response to the mom who wrote this letter: Hi Miss Faith, I love love your blog and reading it often as I have a newly 3 year old and a 9 month old at home. I have a questing regarding whiny and near constant meltdowns with my 3 year old. We found the 2’s to be very easy, not terrible at all but have found the 3’s to be very challenging … [Read more...]

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