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...]

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...]

Son Says, “I Don’t Love You, Mommy”

Dear Miss Faith, My son is 2.75 years old and recently shocked me by looking me in the eye and saying, "I no love you mama." Shocked. I said, "you don't love me? you don't like that I am changing your diaper right now, do you." He said, "I just no love you mama. I no love you." I was stuck. He normally tells me he loves me 20 times a day and is effusive. I feel hurt, of … [Read more...]

19 Month-Old Hurting Others

Dear Miss Faith, I was wondering what your philosophy is on when a child is "bad," like when they hit or do something that directly disobeys what you have told them to do. I know you use the phrase "it looks like you need some help" and then help him to follow through, but what about when they hurt someone else? My son is only 19 months so I know it's a bit different, but he … [Read more...]

Scratching and Pinching Older Sister

Dear Miss Faith, Lately my 2-yr-old daughter has really escalated her scratching and pinching of her big sister (age 5). My 5-yr-old recently broke her leg, so I have to carry her quite a bit and that is likely making the younger one jealous. Also, she is definitely struggling to use her words. But to my horror my older daughter's face looks like a cat attacked her! It’s … [Read more...]

Trying out “mean”

Dear Miss Faith, Recently my almost four year old son has become incredibly loud, demanding, and seems to be playing the part of the “mean” kid. He thinks it is funny to hit people, to spit on them, and to be rather bothersome in general, to both children and adults. I know that this is probably a normal phase in which a youngster “tries on different hats”, but I just … [Read more...]

Translating for Children

Dear Miss Faith, I have recently started caring for a few children (in addition to my son) in my home, and I'm having a hard time with one little boy who is 3yo. He growls and yells at other children, blames other children for doing things to him when they weren’t within 10 feet of him, often collapses when asked to do something he doesn’t want to do, pinches – though this … [Read more...]

hitting smaller children

Hi Miss Faith, First, congratulations. I hope you and your partner had a great honeymoon. I didn't change my last name until I was 3 years into marriage (I didn't think I ever was going to change it, but had a change of heart). In any case, we're having challenges with my 2 1/2 year old being physically aggressive with her peers. Sometimes it's 'out of nowhere' … [Read more...]

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