Help! Our Child Keeps Interrupting and Demanding Attention


In this episode: Janet responds to an e-mail from a parent who says her 4-year-old has lately become very demanding for attention. “She won’t let us talk with friends, family, or over the phone. It has to be about her all the time.” She is also being defiant, especially in public, and ends up crying … Continued

Responding to Your Sweet Toddler’s Sudden Aggression


In this episode: A parent writes that she and her 2-year-old son recently moved in with relatives to escape domestic violence. She describes her son as “a very sweet, empathetic boy,” and says that he has formed good relationships with his relatives. Lately, however, his behavior towards them has changed. “He will punch, hit, and … Continued

Destructive Behavior – Why It Happens and What We Can Do


In this episode: A parent writes that her 5-year-old scratched up her husband’s car with a rock, and the damage will cost thousands of dollars to repair. She and her husband are furious, of course, but they haven’t spoken to their son about the incident yet, and she’s wondering the best way to approach it. … Continued

No Remorse for Aggressive Behavior


In this episode: Janet responds to an email from a parent whose 6-year-old boy has been hitting and pinching his younger sister and others, and she’s alarmed because he shows no remorse for his behavior. She says that she has tried to get her boy to talk about his feelings, but “he just shuts down … Continued

Exhausted by a Child’s Whining and Crankiness


In this episode: Janet responds to a question from a parent on her Facebook page whose 3-year-old is exhibiting what she describes as excessive emotional outbursts. “I’m trying to reassure myself that this is normal,” she writes. “It’s like we have to constantly walk on eggshells… I’d love some reassurance and guidance.”  Hi, this … Continued

Recognizing the Cause of Disruptive, Aggressive Behavior


In this episode: A parent writes that her 3-year-old has been having difficulties in play school — hitting other kids, screaming, and not listening to the teacher. The behavior often continues at home, and this mom admits she “can’t manage to stay calm every time, so sometimes I yell too.” Her primary concern is that … Continued

Helping Siblings Engage Safely and Positively


In this episode: A mother writes that her toddler son “can’t keep his hands off” his 10-month old sister. She describes his demeanor as a mixture of excitement and affection, but she also senses an undertone of aggression. She wants them both to feel her support when they’re together in one space, but she finds … Continued

Children Hurting Themselves When They’re Upset


In this episode: Janet answers a question from a parent whose toddler resorts to hurting himself when he’s angry or frustrated, and she’s wondering if there are some “better options” to teach him when he’s expressing his emotions.  Transcript of “Children Hurting Themselves When They’re Upset” Hi, this is Janet Lansbury. Welcome to Unruffled. Today, … Continued

When Your Child Seems Stuck Seeking Negative Attention

“In the past few weeks, our three-year-old has become increasingly aggressive towards his one-year-old brother and us. He constantly wants our attention, and when he doesn’t get it, he does something aggressive or too rough. He receives a lot of one-on-one attention from both his father and me daily. When this happens we calmly tell … Continued

The Hardest Thing to Remember When Your Child is Upset

I was running late for my parent-infant and toddler classes, and the only available parking spot required me to move a resident’s trash bins a few inches. As I locked my car and started down the block, an elderly man suddenly appeared and confronted me. “Why did you move those?!” he growled, pointing toward the … Continued

Age 4 Seems Like Another Planet


In this episode: Janet responds to an email from a parent who describes herself as exhausted by her formerly good-natured toddler who has suddenly become defiant, argumentative and combative since turning 4. She says, ”I feel like a switch has flipped… and am clueless for how to deal with this new person.”  Transcript of … Continued