When Your Child Keeps Ignoring Boundaries and Breaking Rules, Try This


Three different families write to Janet about their children’s challenging behaviors. In one case, a 2.5-year-old has resumed an old behavior of hitting and scratching, “but this time around it feels like he’s doing it with more purpose.” Another parent says that when their 5-year-old exhibits rude behavior and is called on it, he gets … Continued

How Our Boundaries Free Children to Play, Create, and Explore


Janet discusses children’s crucial need for boundaries and how our authentic responses can free kids up to create and explore. She shares a success story from a parent who says that her son began constantly demanding she draw pictures for him after she “made a rookie mistake” by drawing for him one time. From that … Continued

How Self-Care and Boundaries Work Together


A stressed parent’s email prompted Janet to offer a phone consultation to address some of the common issues facing many parents who are now working at home. This mom says in her email that she has tried (and failed) to provide structure to the day to include uninterrupted one-on-one time with each child, periods where … Continued

Our Children Crave Boundaries – Permissiveness is Unkind

There are parents like me who would rather avoid setting boundaries. We fear that conflict or disagreements with our kids will amount to a net loss for us. You’ll stop liking me. You’ll leave. You’ll be too sad, angry, broken spirited. We’ll feel ashamed, doubtful, blame ourselves. It can feel safer to swallow up our … Continued

Mom Suffering for Lack of Clear Boundaries


In this episode: Janet responds to an email from a parent who admits she struggles to establish personal boundaries. She says she has “hit rock bottom” regarding her relationship with her 2-year-old. She tries to set limits and then acknowledge his feelings when he reacts, but he screams and cries, and she can’t get her work … Continued

Kids Saying No To Boundaries (Screaming)


In this episode: Janet offers advice to a mother of two is severely frazzled by her children’s incessant demands and refusal to accept her limits. “I have been feeling beat up by the yelling and that they won’t stop arguing the boundaries!”  Transcript of “Kids Saying No to Boundaries (Screaming)” by Torin Thompson Hi, this … Continued

Parents Struggling With Boundaries – 3 Common Reasons

One of the most disappointing things I hear from parents I consult with is that they aren’t enjoying parenting, especially when it comes to setting limits, which has become a source of confusion and often guilt. What’s most concerning to them is that they sense their children aren’t happy either. It’s usually because they’re both … Continued

A Toddler’s Need for Boundaries – No Walk in the Park

When an infant approaches the end of his first year, parents begin to struggle with boundaries. Soft-hearted parents allow a child to climb all over them in my parent/infant class. The child is searching for limits and boundaries for his behavior. But moms and dads are often afraid to say, “I don’t want you to … Continued

Dealing with Judgmental Comments about Our Parenting


A parent is concerned about the negative, judgmental comments her parents and in-laws make about her children’s behavior and their parenting. She writes that she and her husband try to implement Janet’s advice (with a mix of Montessori). While she says she isn’t personally offended by their old school opinions, she does worry about “the … Continued

Damage Control When We Feel Like We’re Failing


A parent describes the past year as “brutal” and lists a series of traumatic life events. “I am not okay,” she admits, saying she doesn’t have the energy to remain unruffled when dealing with her kids and feels that she is failing them. While this mom is taking all the right steps to restore herself … Continued

When a Child’s Emotions Seem Fake and Manipulative


A parent feels drained by her 5-year-old’s extreme emotional reactions to even the most minor disappointments. While she and her husband encourage both their children to express all their feelings, their son has recently begun “to jump to a level 100 in tears the instant he gets frustrated or isn’t given what he wants.” His … Continued

Water Safety, Bodily Autonomy, and Emotional Health


A parent is concerned and torn about her 18-month-old daughter’s swim lessons, because the toddler cries the entire time. This mom says: “I struggle with giving her bodily autonomy and respect while forcing her to take swim classes for her safety.” She is hoping Janet can help her reconcile her conflicted feelings. Transcript of “Water … Continued