Archives for 2018

My Oat Bar Recipe for Play Garden

I know that parents are always on the lookout for healthy snacks that kids love.  I serve these Oat Bars at my outdoor parent-child Play Garden classes, and parents always ask for the recipe.  Well, here it is!  They are super simple, with healthy ingredients, and the children love them. Healthy Oat Bars Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, mix: 2 cups of unsweetened … [Read more...]

My Kid Talks So Loudly

Dear Miss Faith, My son is almost three and he's very verbal, be he talks SO LOUDLY, all the time.  I am very sensitive to noise and sometimes I feel like I can hardly stand to be around him.  Telling him to talk more quietly doesn't seem to have any effect. Dear Mama, I get migraines and am sensitive to noise then, too.  You have my sympathy!  I have some ideas for you.  It … [Read more...]

What Reviewers Are Saying

I was pleased to be approached by Gail Cornwall (gailcornwall.com) for a review copy of Joyful Toddlers & Preschoolers: Create A Life that You and Your Child Both Love.  Gail is a freelancer for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Salon, The New York Times, among others.  She also writes parenting articles for Scary Mommy, Parenting Magazine, and more. After a nail-biting … [Read more...]

How to Get Your Kids to Do Chores (Without Resenting It)

About a week ago, a friend pointed me to a piece on National Public Radio Called How to Get Your Kids to Do Chores (Without Resenting It).  I clicked on it, and to my absolute delight, a host of friendly researchers were being quoted!  These are researchers whose work I discuss at length in my own book in Chapter 8: Your Confident, Helpful Child.  The trick to cultivating older … [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...]

My Toddler Runs Away!

Der Miss Faith, My son will be 2 next month and occasionally runs away from me.  I have a 6 month old also, so I’m usually holding the baby and I am so afraid this will become a habit.  When I call after him he does not stop or he’ll stop, grin, then run away again.  I know he doesn’t understand that it isn’t a game and I’m afraid chasing him reinforces the fun-factor for him … [Read more...]

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...]

Pinterest for Play Yards

When I first started transforming my flat, boring, soggy yard into my Play Garden, my goals were for it to be fun and engaging for children, interesting and comfortable for adults, and beautiful for everyone. I wanted it to feel natural, and be a haven for bees and butterflies. I also wanted to grow fruits, vegetables, and other edibles. So when I got started brainstorming for … [Read more...]

The Benefits of Risky Play

A few days ago I heard an interview on NPR asking the question, "Is It Time to Bring Risk Back Into Our Kids' Playgrounds?"  (didn't hear it?  You can read about it here.)  Spoiler alert: the answer is YES!  They talked about how exposure to controlled risk through play is an important part of learning and establishing a person's risk tolerance in other areas of life even into … [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...]

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