Taming the Preschool Beast

Nothing unleashes a preschooler’s inner beast quite like extracting him from a fun environment without advanced warning. When my daughter was 4 years old she had an epic outburst at a children’s museum in Chicago because I failed to give her proper notification of our departure.  In doing so, I robbed her of the gradual transition I knew she needed in order to calmly exit the building. The fit she threw nearly got us thrown out of the museum. Looking back, my preschooler’s tantrum, which included tossing her shoes down a slide, was simply her way of staying true to … Continue reading

Curbing Bad Behavior: Biting

Once bitten, twice shy. Or in my daughter’s case, indefinitely shy. And in my case, infinitely outraged. Last year, my child was on the receiving end of a serious bite.  Not by a spider, a dog, nor a snake, but by a boy diagnosed with a developmental disorder. My daughter’s bloody injury required emergency medical treatment.  Fortunately, her tetanus shot was up-to-date, so she wasn’t forced to endure a booster. Despite the passage of time, the details of that traumatic day are still seared in my memory.  As I learned from the attending physician, human bites can be far more dangerous than … Continue reading

Learning The Hard Lessons

The lives of toddlers and young children are full of learning experiences. Sometimes, the learning is fun and positive, other times the lessons learned are of a more serious yet no less important nature. Today while we were at the park, Dylan, my three year old, learned a few things about playing fair and how to be a good friend. Since it was a holiday, there were quite a few kids at the playground. Most of them were older, but there was one boy who looked to be about Dylan’s age. As I closely supervised Blake, Dylan went to play with … Continue reading

The Link Between Toddler Milestones and Unusual Behavior

Did you know that when your toddler is learning to walk and talk, there could be regressions in other areas of his behavior? Mastering new skills is hard work, and it can push a toddler’s system into overload. If your previously mild mannered tot is suddenly throwing tantrums or your little one’s formerly very regular nap time is becoming difficult to predict, there may be a developmental growth spurt happening. While it is exciting that your toddler is acquiring new skills at a very fast pace, the accompanying changes in his or her behavior can be unsettling. Simply knowing that there is … Continue reading

The Ups and Downs of Toddler Development

If you think that life with your toddler seems to be full of ups and downs, you are right. Children actually pass through cycles of equilibrium and disequilibrium, changing from one to the other about every six months. I wish that I had learned about this a lot sooner, because understanding the cycle of equilibrium and disequilibrium has given me a new perspective on toddler behavior that just might help me to have a little more patience with my boys. When a child is in disequilibrium, he is actively growing, changing, and learning new skills. Intense behavioral changes are also … Continue reading

Toddlers and Temperament : Part 2

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about how the difference between introverted and extroverted personalities can impact family life. Today, I will go into a little more detail about how parents can meet the temperamental needs of their children without ignoring their own temperamental needs. As I mentioned yesterday, I am an introvert. However, as a stay – at – home mom to a three year old and a ten month old, I am almost never alone. Ever. Because I need time to myself in order to feel my best, it is no wonder that I often feel exhausted and … Continue reading

Toddlers and Temperament : Part 1

Do you sometimes feel a bit out of sync with your toddler? If you do, do not worry. It is perfectly normal for that to happen. One possible reason that you may feel that way is that each of you has your own unique temperament, and people with different temperaments have different needs. One way to think about temperament is to think about introverts and extroverts. I had to sit down and think about that this evening, because I had a pretty rough day. At the end of the day, I found myself wondering whether there was anything that I could … Continue reading

If You Listen and Observe, Toddlers Tell You What They Need

Today, I had some rather interesting conversations with Dylan after we went grocery shopping. It is normally one of his favorite things to do, as he loves going out and seeing people. Today, we went to a store that we had never been to before. It was a co-operative market where I was hoping to get some specialty items that I need for some Paleo recipes that I want to try. I had high hopes for our experience at the store after seeing (and parking in) a special parking spot with a sign that read “reserved for shoppers with young … Continue reading

Handling Quirky Toddler Behaviors

One wonderful thing about toddlers is that as they grow, you can begin to see glimpses of their personality emerging. As language develops, toddlers learn to vary their tone of voice and become more expressive in general. Their budding personalities can have you rolling on the floor laughing one moment and completely annoyed the next. Toddlers can sometimes develop behavioral quirks as well, things like nose picking, hair twirling, nail biting, and putting their hands down their pants. Depending upon the behavior and the parent, quirky toddler behaviors can inspire a reaction that ranges from wondering whether and when the … Continue reading

The Importance of Staying Connected

Today was one of those days where I would have been wise to heed my own advice. How many of us, when we have time and space to do so, think of wonderful ways to approach parenting and then as soon as the kids wake up the next morning and we are launched into action promptly forget them? It happens to me more often than I would like to admit, and it happened today. Last night, I was really thinking about ways to focus on maintaining a strong connection with my boys throughout the hustle and bustle of the holidays. … Continue reading