elevating child care

Behavior

When Children Prefer One Parent

Our three year old daughter has started showing a strong preference for Mommy, especially at bedtime.  We are trying to be positive and respectful of her wishes, but I am expecting another child in May, and we need to set boundaries about my availability to her.  Thus far, setting boundaries often leads to tears, shouting, and temper tantrums that include hitting Daddy.  It does go better when we talk it out with...

The Most Important Thing to Know About Your Child’s Aggression

Children act aggressively to express a variety of feelings that all come under one heading: Discomfort. Understanding this truth is crucial for parents committed to respectful care, because our perceptions of our children’s behavior will always dictate our responses. When we treat an uncomfortable child in need of our help and safety like a bad kid needing scolding, a lesson, or punishment, we create distance,...

Why is My Child Behaving This Way? (A Checklist)

I’m blessed to work with mindful parents, most of whom have ‘sensitive’ and ‘respectful’ down.  They’ve made a concerted effort to develop a quality connection with their children, and their behavior usually reflects that. So they’re understandably thrown when resistant or defiant behavior occasionally crops up anyway. The good news: getting back on track is simple, because all that’s usually needed...

Surviving Sibling Struggles

A parent recently posed this question in a Facebook discussion group: Why do older siblings sometimes hurt younger ones? Take toys from them? I don’t really understand… I commented: The question for me: why wouldn’t they? The younger child ripped the older one’s life apart. It is natural for the older child to want to control, dominate, and take out frustration on this person that rocked their...

4 Toddler Testing Behaviors (And How to Cope)

In “Don’t Leave a Testing Toddler Hanging,” I shared four typical testing scenarios. I then offered some general guidelines for recognizing and responding to limit-pushing behavior. One of the parents commenting on that post asked if I could specifically address each of the example scenarios I’d presented at the beginning. She explained, “Seeing how techniques are applied really helps me learn how to model...

Don’t Leave A Testing Toddler Hanging

Your 10-month-old spends the majority of your playgroup session climbing and squirming on your lap, using you to pull up to standing as you sit on the floor. Your 18-month-old can’t seem to make up his mind. First he wants to go outside. Two minutes later he wants to come back in. A minute later he wants to go out again. Your 2-year-old isn’t ready to get into her car seat, regardless of your schedule. Her...

My Preschooler is Hitting Me

Hi Janet, My 3.5 year old has suddenly starting hitting, throwing things, and biting my husband and me.  Most of what I read seems to apply to toddlers and those with lack of language, but since my son is older and has very advanced language, neither of these apply. During the 2’s he was an amazingly well behaved kid, just being his easy-going, good-natured self.  But as he approached 3.5 he started with...

Share… Wait Your Turn… Don’t Touch… Playdate Rules That Limit Learning (And What To Try Instead)

Ryan and Luis both want to ride a tricycle in the play area at their child care center. Each child begins to pull on the tricycle’s seat, saying, “Mine, mine.” A moment later they both start to cry. Their carer, observing this, moves closer to the children. She bends down on one knee and says, “You both want the tricycle.” The children continue to struggle. Luis falls against the tricycle and makes it move...

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