Evaluating Novel and Relevant Information for Children's Health and Emotional Development
The Joy of Toddlers
I recently had a conversation with a mom of a two and a half year old who asked for advice about discipline and getting her son to cooperate at naptime. As I asked questions about the specifics of the nap routine and other details of her situation she made a comment that stuck with me. She said, “We’ve had a great few days, I’ve been in a really good space but today he started testing me again.”
What resonated with me was that she said that it had been a couple of good days because she had been in a good space. It seems that we often pin the label of a “good behavior” or “bad behavior” on our children when it may have much more to do with the glasses through which we are viewing their behavior. The deeper we dug down to the source of her son’s good days the more my friend admitted that it had more to do with her than with him.
Why “Don’t” Won’t Work
How often do you hear a parent telling their child “don’t touch” or “don’t do that”?
Does it work? Sometimes, but most times they keep on doing it. Why is that?
When you say “don’t”, followed by a command, the brain hears the command and thinks of the action you stated. They are looking for the action you want them to engage in. They can’t “do” a “don’t” . The command is everything after the “don’t”. So when you say, “Don’t jump on the bed”, the command they hear is, “Jump on the bed.”
For example, if I say to you, “Don’t think of a white elephant” the first thing you probably thought of was a white elephant. If I say, “Don’t look over there” you look and say, “Where?”.
There is a universal law that says what you focus on expands in your life.
When you say, “Don’t touch”, what are you focusing on, what you want or what you don’t want?
So, what do you want your child to do when you say, “Don’t touch”? My guess is you want them to keep their hands off of whatever it is they are touching.
Focus on the actions you want and use words that help to accomplish that action.
In my experience, with my kids, it is much easier to simply let them know what it is I want them to do. If I want them to not jump on the bed I say, “The bed is for sleeping upon. The trampoline or the floor is for jumping. Please stay off the bed.”
Managing Your Toddler: TANTRUMS!
Dr. Laura Markham
Tantrums are normal for toddlers, even legendary. Toddlers feel so passionately about everything, and they simply don't have enough frontal cortex capacity yet to control themselves when they're upset.
That said, you'll be glad to know that many tantrums are avoidable. Since tantrums are an expression of powerlessness, toddlers who feel some control over their lives have many fewer tantrums. And since toddlers who are tired and hungry don't have the inner resources to handle frustration, managing your toddler's life so he isn't asked to cope when he's hungry or tired will reduce tantrums. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
Positive Parenting Your Growing Toddler
Dr. Laura Markham
Your baby is growing up! You can see that raising her is getting more complicated now, as every day she learns more about the world and how to cope in it. Not to mention, she has a mind of her own! Here's how to encourage in her the qualities that will help her to flourish as she grows.
The Toxic Effects of Shaming Children
The Cost of Shame
Shame doesn’t diminish behavior; it diminishes the self. This may, in turn, affect behavior, but at what cost? According to Good Children – At What Price? The Secret Cost of Shame by Robin Grille and Beth McGregor, numerous studies link shame with the desire to punish others.
Shamed individuals are more likely to be aggressive and exhibit self-destructive behavior. Shame causes people to withdraw from relationships, to become isolated, and they compensate for deep feelings of shame with attitudes of superiority, bullying, self-deprecation, or obsessive perfectionism. When shame has been severe, it can contribute to mental illness.