Topic: Toddlers

The Expectation Gap: When Do Toddlers Have Control Over their Behaviors?

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 can be exasperating […]

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The Essential Question to Ask Before You Discipline a Toddler

Susan was enjoying a weekend breakfast with her family when her three-year-old son, “Marcus”, suddenly hit his big sister. When Susan reached out to pick him up, Marcus abruptly threw his head back, knocking Susan in the mouth so hard that she bled. Susan was stunned, at once furious and confused. Why did her son […]

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Toddlers’ Mental Health: The Drawbacks of a Diagnosis

Recently a pediatrician phoned me with a concern about a three-year-old patient I see in my psychology practice. During a routine visit, the doctor said, “Karson” had bitten him.  In fact, the young child had a history of behavior problems. “Do you think there’s a diagnosis?” the doctor asked me. I told her I wasn’t a fan […]

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Toddler Tantrums: Help from Neuroscience

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 […]

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When Your Child’s Tantrums Make you Tantrum

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.

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Picky Eating: A Precursor of Trouble Down the Line?

A three-year-old eats only chicken nuggets and french fries. A four-year-old limits her diet to light-brown crackers and bagels. These children are considered “selective eaters” to pediatricians. Moms and dads know them as “picky eaters.” A study released this week in the journal Pediatrics found that moderate and severe cases of selective eating in toddlers […]

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