Being Firm without Being Mean

I've talked before about how it benefits children when we have clear expectations and firm boundaries, and how it is reassuring to children to know that we are in charge. I've talked about how having regular schedules and doing things the same way each time can help cut down on discipline issues and allow children to develop expertise. But even when we do all of these things, … [Read more...]

Acting Out

Dear Miss Faith, My three year old is having such a hard time lately, acting antagonistic towards his baby brothers, and no amount of helping him or punishing him is seeming to work. I've tried everything I can think of and I'm at a loss...It seems like he has lots of opportunities to get his big energy out...what do I do when nothing seems to work? … [Read more...]

Picky Eater and Play at Mealtimes

  Dear Miss Faith, In the past month we drastically changed our family's diet, and my 3 year old is slow to warm up to the new food. I see some progress but he has a new trick that is getting old very fast. We sit together as a family at the table for mealtimes, there is a lot of playing, singing, talking, clowning around, and very little eating going on. Half an hour … [Read more...]

Toddler/Infant Sibling Interactions

Dear Miss Faith, My daughter is two and my son is almost one month old. My daughter is madly in love with her baby brother and wants to hold and carry him. I help her hold him while sitting down, but am having a tough time redirecting when she tries to pick him up or take him out of my arms and pulls on him. I find myself saying no while playing tug o war with my infant- not … [Read more...]

Pre-Verbal Hitting

Hey Miss Faith, I was wondering if you could write more on hitting. Our pre-verbal 15-month-old is going through a rough phase this past month. He hits me and my husband in the face, throws things at us and the dog, pulls the cats by their tails and bops the goats on the nose. He's just being too rough with everyone. We've tried reminding him and showing him how to use "gentle … [Read more...]

Toddlers Grabbing

Dear Miss Faith, My son is 22 months and he always wants to pound on the computer keyboard or grab the mouse. My husband yells at him a lot for this, and the whole thing is driving me crazy, but I don’t know what to do. Any ideas you have would be welcome. Hi there, It’s not surprising that your little guy wants to bang on the keyboard and grab the mouse, that’s what he … [Read more...]

“Stop,” “Don’t,” and “No”

How and Why to Stop Saying “Stop,” “Don’t,” and “No.” Stop saying “Stop.” Why I avoid saying ‘stop’: Young children can’t stop. They don’t understand it yet; the only time they stop is when they’re sleeping. So I try to avoid saying “stop,” as that only tends to lead to frustration, both on my part and the children’s. So what to do when children are doing something that … [Read more...]

The Value of Saying "No"

One thing that dramatically affects how much we enjoy the company of a child is how they react when they ask for something and are told “no.” Being able to handle disappointment gracefully is a very advanced skill, and one that doesn't necessarily come easily or naturally. Nevertheless, having that skill is something that will really serve these little people as they go through … [Read more...]

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