Clingy Toddlers are Not Spoiled Here is How to Handle This Very Normal Childhood Phase

Clingy Toddlers are Not Spoiled Here is How to Handle This Very Normal Childhood Phase

Parenting, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Once upon a time, my daughter went through a very clingy toddler phase, and I mean really, very,  up please, hold me please, come with me please, I can't go there alone, up ! up!, carry me, sleep next to me, hold me more, kind of clingy. While she did play independently very well as a toddler, she definitely had clingy moments where she needed loads of extra loving attention. In playgroups, parents and I discuss clingy toddlers so often. Most toddlers have clingy phases. Some toddlers have very clingy phases. A toddler that is clingy is going through a very normal phase of childhood. Clingy Behavior in Toddlers is Normal When a child is clingy, it may be at times overwhelming or tiring, but based on what we know about child…
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One Sure Way To Encourage Cooperation in Early Childhood

One Sure Way To Encourage Cooperation in Early Childhood

Family Communication, Parenting, Positive Discipline, Toddlers 12- 36 months
One very challenging task in the early years of parenting is finding ways to encourage cooperation and listening. Toddlers and pre-schoolers are notorious for saying "NO!" "I can't" and "I don't want to!" especially in moments when we would like to hear "yes mama!" and "OK" In the name of getting things done, it is so tempting to engage in demanding and nagging:  "Come on..." And even pleading "Will you please, just put your second shoe on sweet darling!" Of course there is the bribing and prize routes that often just leads to time outs and consequences....but toddlers and preschoolers don't really mean to be making trouble. Young children are curious by nature and even defiant by design! But this is a good thing, as it helps them grow into resilient, capable beings! Growing…
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Helping Your Toddler Manage Anger and Aggression

Helping Your Toddler Manage Anger and Aggression

Alternatives to Punishment, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
On a sunny, beautiful morning, Mariah was on the floor, in a pile of tears. Her little hands stretched wide reaching desperately for Jenny. More accurately, reaching for the apple and egg in Jenny’s hands. Because for Mariah, in that moment, only those two play food items were the right ones. All other toys in our beautifully stocked play area we're just not what Mariah wanted. Mariah was so upset by this situation, she had resorted to crying and flailing her legs. Jenny was not phased by the tears. Soon Mariah stood up, walked over to Jenny and tried to kick her. Mariah and Jenny are three and four years old. Playgroup isn’t always easy for them. Mariah in particular tends to get angry quickly when things don’t go exactly…
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Ten Parenting Practices That Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Ten Parenting Practices That Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Parenting Solutions, Positive Discipline, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months, Tweens 10-12 years
After jumping down from a  tree at the park my son stood up, did a little victory dance and then ran off to play on an obstacle course. It’s a pretty tricky course that requires balance, agility and coordination. It looked like it would take him a while to have it mastered. Sure enough my son struggled for a while. I saw him fall and get stuck many times but eventually he completed the course.Then he came running to tell me about his adventures. He was excited, recalling many details, like a rope that caught his shoe and a scary moment when he struggled to clip the safety.  But one thing he said stood out to me the most. “I almost fell down like a hundred times mom, and then I finally figured…
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How to Be a Confident Parent

How to Be a Confident Parent

Family Communication, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months, Tweens 10-12 years
Your son is on the floor, arms and legs flailing. Crying and screaming at the top of his lungs. He’s been like this for 10 minutes already. If you could read his mind in this moment, he might be thinking, “Mom! Please help me! I’m feeling so disappointed. I want to stop crying, but I don’t know how. Help!” Your daughter gets in the car after school. You can tell something’s not quite right, but she says  she doesn’t want to talk. If you could read her mind in this moment, she might be thinking: “I want to tell you, but I’m not sure you can handle it. Remember last time, you started crying? I need to protect you.” Your kids need you. But not just any “you.” They need…
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What you Don’t Want to Say to Stop Unwanted Behaviors

What you Don’t Want to Say to Stop Unwanted Behaviors

Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
How often do you use the word ‘don’t’ to stop unwanted behaviour in your children? Does it actually work? Most parents say it does not. When I first became aware of the little impact this word has, it threw me. I had no idea how often I was using it, and how often it left me feeling more frustrated and annoyed. The awareness of this word can have a huge impact on the words you choose to guide and teach (discipline) your child. It is fascinating to notice your go-to words in parenting. It was out of my need to actively avoid this word and my own struggles to come up with solutions that inspired me to share with you some alternatives to saying Don't all the time. Don't. It's…
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Why Threats and Bribes Don’t Lead to Cooperation and What to Try Instead

Why Threats and Bribes Don’t Lead to Cooperation and What to Try Instead

Help By Age & Stage, Parenting Solutions, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Getting children to cooperate can be tricky at times. Especially when you have more than one child and busy schedules. It's not unusual to turn to quick fixes like threats and bribes to get children moving. But...threats and bribes aren't helpful parenting tools. Because they lead to power struggles, arguments and discouraged children. But they work!.... Have you ever caught yourself thinking that? Have you seen first hand a little bribe getting children to cooperate? Threats and bribes often seem like a great,  quick fix. Especially in a tough situation where you need kids to listen up and cooperate. But threats and bribes fall right into that too good to be true and quick fixes tend to fail category.  Bribes and threats steal opportunities for learning and connection.  Pam leo,…
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Positive Parenting Guidelines for Handling Sibling Rivalry

Positive Parenting Guidelines for Handling Sibling Rivalry

Family Communication, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting Solutions, Toddlers 12- 36 months, Tweens 10-12 years
“You are being mean!” said my son. His face filled with disappointment. “I’m never sharing my truck with you ever again.” He added, walking away with a deep sigh. I had been listening to my son and daughter. It was a small conflict, yet big feelings were involved.   They were struggling to play together. And, in this moment, they were not able to find any understanding or empathy for each other. Why do siblings fight? There are many reasons siblings may argue or fight. Here are some of the more common reasons: Children may feel love insecure (not because you don't love them)  Even when we strive to be loving and fair, children may struggle with sharing love. While we know our love to be boundless, young children are just…
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A Positive Parent’s Guide to Introducing a New Baby to Your Toddler

A Positive Parent’s Guide to Introducing a New Baby to Your Toddler

Babies 0-12 months, Toddlers 12- 36 months
It’s something you’ve been looking forward to with a lot of excitement. And yes, an equal amount of anxiety. Introducing your new baby to your toddler. You know from experience that the first few months of having a baby are the hardest. And yet,  you are committed to not neglect your older child in the process and do your best to help him fall in love with the little one. But, you have concerns... How to balance the demands on your time to ensure that you can fill your older child’s bucket with attention while attending to the needs of the newborn? How to ensure that your own weariness does not seep into the tentative relationship that is budding between your little angels? What can you do to tip the…
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Using Empathy to Connect with Your Kids

Using Empathy to Connect with Your Kids

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Positive parenting educators and mental health therapists talk a lot about empathy. When when parents want to know how to respond when their kids are angry or anxious, I suggest responding with empathy first. I tell parents to think of empathy as “finding the feeling” in what their child is saying or experiencing. If your child is upset, you could say, “You’re so mad that Sophie took the marker without asking!” When you respond with empathy, you help your child put their feelings into words and make them feel that you understand. Many parents are good at responding with empathy when their child is a little sad or a little upset. Empathy gets a bit trickier when your child is in the thick of a giant meltdown! Parents often start…
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