November 7th, 2021
Many parents try to empower their children by teaching them techniques to calm themselves when they’re upset: breathing slowing, doing calming yoga poses, thinking positive thoughts. Recently, I did an informal survey, asking parents whether their kids ever have trouble using these kinds of coping skills. The overwhelming response: yes! Not only do children fail […]
February 3rd, 2019
In a prior post, I suggested that we should appreciate meltdowns for what they are: a child’s subconscious (unintentional) way of signaling that he needs something from the adults around him—or from his environment. When a child experiences a meltdown or tantrum or acts aggressively, he is communicating that he has exceeded his ability control his […]
January 21st, 2019
Anger, meltdowns, and tantrums get a bad rap. As parents, we worry that these behaviors indicate that our child is choosing to misbehave or that we’re somehow failing as parents. The judgmental stares and glances we get from onlookers only increases those insecure thoughts. We read books about what to do and try to tame […]
April 12th, 2018
*Updated June 2021 Toddlers are wildly and wonderfully unpredictable. One minute, your little girl might be happily conversing with you, and the next, she’s out of control, rolling on the floor in agony because she can’t have that cupcake she just spotted on a TV commercial. For parents, this seemingly unpredictable lack of emotional control […]
February 20th, 2017
Charlie’s parents felt like they were walking on eggshells. A simple family party often set off the three year-old. The unfamiliar setting, the commotion, and relatives trying to hug and kiss the boy could easily send him into a kicking and screaming fit. Usually quiet, Charlie routinely burst into tantrums for reasons neither his parents nor […]
January 25th, 2016
Challenging behaviors are not always intentional misbehavior. We have to understand the meaning behind them in order to best support each child.
November 23rd, 2015
What a tantruming child needs is an adult who can first help them find calmness in the body, and then later offer teaching moments. Toddlers—all human beings, really—cannot take in new information when they are in an active tantrum state.
April 8th, 2015
“Alicia” was an active, talkative four-year-old, but even the smallest change in her morning routine could throw her into fits of whining, crying, and hitting. If her mother tried to put her in a top other than one of two soft, light-blue t-shirts she preferred, Alicia screamed and sobbed wildly. Just being in crowded restaurants […]