My Child Won’t Stop Hitting


In this episode: A parent says she feels helpless because her 2-year-old has been hitting other kids. She says her son loves people and enjoys playing with others, but parents are now keeping their kids away from him. She has tried several approaches, but nothing has worked, so she’s looking to Janet for some fresh … Continued

Aggressive Toddler Behavior (Hitting, Biting, Spitting)


In this episode: Janet responds to a father whose 2.5-year-old is acting out at home and at school by biting, hitting, and sometimes spitting when she doesn’t get her way. The toddler’s dad says he’s tried a respectful approach to curb her behavior, but it seems to be getting worse. Transcript of “Aggressive Toddler Behavior … Continued

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 … Continued

Biting, Hitting, Kicking And Other Challenging Toddler Behavior

We’re big. They’re tiny. They’re just learning our rules and expectations for appropriate behavior. They have a developmental need to express their will, and they have very little (if any) impulse control. With these complicated, powerful dynamics in play, why would we take our toddler’s hitting, biting, resistance or refusal to cooperate personally? We get … Continued

Parental Burnout and a Reasonable Approach to Screens (with Dr. Meghan Owenz)

Janet’s guest is Dr. Meghan Owenz, a psychologist, professor, parent, and author. Meghan’s new book Spoiled Right: Delaying Screens and Giving Children What They Really Need offers the latest research on the effects of screens on young children along with a plethora of practical alternatives. Both Janet and Meghan acknowledge that during the last many … Continued

Navigating the Playground with a Child Who Seems Too Physical, Shy, Huggy, or Bossy


Janet offers her advice for navigating typical playground behaviors in preschool-aged children, such as physical aggression, bossiness and shyness. Whether our child is exhibiting these behaviors or is on the receiving end of another child’s dysregulation, Janet shares how helping children to feel understood, protected, and supported encourages the most positive learning process.  Transcript … Continued

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

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

Our Expectations Can Make Us Feel Like Failures


Janet consults with a parent who says she feels utterly exasperated by her two young boys’ difficult behaviors. While she has a clear image of the kind of gentle, empathetic parent she wants to be, she says she loses her patience more often than not, and at the end of the day feels like a … Continued

Reparenting Ourselves to Break Intergenerational Cycles (with Leslie Priscilla Arreola-Hillebrand)


Leslie Priscilla Arreola-Hillebrand, founder of Latinx Parenting, joins Janet to discuss how the challenges parents face as products of our upbringing can make respectful, non-punitive parenting more difficult to achieve. Leslie shares how her experiences as an early childhood professional started her on a journey of self-reflection and healing, which then inspired her to create … Continued