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...]

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...]

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...]

Afternoon Schedule for Preschoolers

Dear Miss Faith, My 4yo twins have recently started preschool and they come home very tired each day.  Do you have some suggestions for a peaceful afternoon routine that would help us reconnect and give them some down time?  I have a 7-month-old as well so I can’t be with them every moment.  I’m trying to avoid TV and electronics. Dear Mama, School is generally so exciting … [Read more...]

Mean Preschool Girls

Dear Miss Faith, My daughter is now 3 1/2 and is having a hard time with simply being kind to those who love her the most. Her cousin/best buddy (who she sees on a daily basis) told her he loved her yesterday and she turned her head and walked away! She has started telling others that they can’t play with her, and she’s even mean to my parents and sister, who love her very … [Read more...]

4-Year-Old Overstimulated on Play-Dates

Dear Miss Faith, I enjoyed your post on children getting overstimulated, but wonder if you could talk a bit about older children. My oldest daughter is 4.5 and while she doesn't get aggressive with other kids, she seems to get overstimulated even with just one other child on play dates, or sometimes even just with me, with big physical activity. I've tried removing her for a … [Read more...]

Getting Dressed in the Morning

Dear Miss Faith, I wonder if you could give some ideas for me to help my 4yo daughter get dressed in the morning. She is taking it very slow, and nothing I say or do can seem to speed it up. My 2yo and I have to wait for her before we all go downstairs for breakfast, and I find I feel angry and powerless. Another thing is that she has developed a sensitivity to her … [Read more...]

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