Nighttime waking, potty accidents, whining and other regression can accompany new stress or anxiety. The many changes children are experiencing right now can feel like a lot. Regression communicates their stress to you. Here is what you can do to help them
Do you have a “threenager”?
Read what I have to say in The Washington Post about “threenagers”. If you haven’t heard this term, it’s a 3-year-old spouting an attitude like a spoiled teenager. You can read it here.
Why Outdoor Play is Critical for Your Toddler
Summertime is in full swing and that affords more time for being outside. That is great news if you have a young child. Depending on where you live and what you enjoy, there are many ways for young children to be active outdoors, and they absolutely thrive outside the house. Toddlers are naturally curious and active explorers, moving and touching and running and jumping. It is how they learn. Balance and coordination are growing rapidly in these early years and outdoor movement, on a variety of surfaces and slopes, at different heights, and varying motions all contribute to this development.
Earlier this summer I wrote about my concerns regarding children spending so much time in organized activities. As a follow up, this newsletter is about free play outside. Many parents contacted me to express relief at not being the only one with a child who protested camp or afternoon activities, or refused to go to gym class, or sat on the sidelines of activities. Others reported feeling comforted that their decision to keep summer and afterschool time uncommitted was fine, even if it went against the trends in their community. [Read more…]
Why Organized Sports May Block Your Toddler’s Development
Spring is finally upon us and we are stepping outside and spending more time outdoors with our children. But then just as soon as the weather turns warm, we’re confronted with a common dilemma for many families: Should I sign my little one up for sports programs and lessons? Most recently the parent of a 4-year old asked,
“My son is very social and loves to be outside. He runs around a lot so I try to find ways to get him out of the house, especially on the weekends. We signed him up for soccer on Saturdays. His best little buddy goes so I figured he’d enjoy it. But all he does is watch. He refuses to participate. I ask him later if he likes soccer and he says he does. Sometimes he does not want to go, though. Do I take him out of it? I worry he will learn it is okay to quit things. Or is he just too young (even though the other children enjoy it)?” [Read more…]
That bratty monster you fear is only trying to find his place in the world
I’ve heard a wide range of parenting concerns, worries and questions over the years. Common themes arise again and again, in different forms but with similar challenges. This month, I’ll address something parents of toddlers are all familiar with: erratic behavior—you know, when your child suddenly starts acting like a monster that you cannot control.
I recently received this email from a frustrated and worried couple: “Our 4 year old son is a happy, talkative, sweet little boy. But, in the past two months he has become a surly, easily upset kid. He gets mad, screams, yells and makes outrageous demands including that one of us do everything for him in no time. He has changed… and we are missing the child he used to be and are not sure if we should be worried. Is something wrong? And how do we help him?” [Read more…]