"A child without rules is like a fish out of water. "

Toddler (18MOS-3 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

On Picky Eaters

Posted on 11/4/2020

It’s funny, sort of, the things some parents want to believe. An example concerns children who’ve developed full-blown “eating disorders” by age three. “My child was exhibiting food...

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The More You Say “No," the Less Effective It Becomes

Posted on 10/13/2020

Q: Our first child, a boy, just turned two. Per your advice, he is toilet trained and eating whatever I serve. Before he was born, we determined that we were not going to raise a picky eater. Our...

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Trump the Hump of Toddlerhood

Posted on 10/6/2020

Q: In your column of last week, you referred to the “hump of toddlerhood.” Can you please explain further? A: In using the word “hump,” I’m equating chronological toddlerhood – roughly,...

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No Perfectly Reliable Form of Discipline With a Toddler

Posted on 9/2/2020

As just about everyone who has lived with a child for more than two years knows, the most potentially dangerous thing one can say to a toddler is “no.” That single syllable strikes deep into the...

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10-Month-Old Tosses Food for Mealtime Fun

Posted on 8/4/2020

Q: Our 10-month-old son has recently discovered the joys of throwing finger food on the floor at mealtimes. He doesn’t seem to care if I feed it to him myself, one piece at a time, but isn't it...

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How to Prevent the Terrible Twos From Becoming the Terrifying Threes

Posted on 7/21/2020

One of my books, “Making the ‘Terrible’ Twos Terrific!”, has recently become a best-seller in China, of all places. Seriously! What sorts of problems are Chinese parents having with their...

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Here's a Real Head Banger Issue

Posted on 7/14/2020

Q: When my two-year-old gets angry, he sometimes gets down and bangs his head on the floor. This happens two or three times a week, generally speaking. He’s not bruised himself, yet, but I don’t...

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Some Benchmarks on Toilet Training

Posted on 6/9/2020

“There’s no one-size-fits-all model of childrearing for all the world’s parents,” opines Alma Gottlieb, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. Gottlieb was quoted in an...

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What to Do About an Aggressive 3-Year-Old

Posted on 4/21/2020

Q: My three-year-old son tends to react physically when he's mad at a preschool classmate instead of talking it out and letting the teachers intervene. We have encouraged him to use words when...

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When It Comes to Phases, Don't Make Mountains out of Molehills

Posted on 2/25/2020

Q: Our daughter, our first and only, is just short of three-and-one-half. She has recently started coming into our room in the middle of the night and making a request of one sort or another. She...

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Recent Questions

Take Charge of the Picky Eater Problem

Posted 3 days ago

My 18 month old daughter has eaten anything given to her up until now. She only wants dry beige foods like pasta, cereal, plain biscuits, yogurts etc. Everything else is thrown on the floor. She...

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Intense anger and giving up

Posted 2 weeks ago

My 3 year old had open heart surgery last May - and we've been amazed at how quickly his development has skyrocketed since. I have previously just chalked this up to developmental delays resulting...

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Alpha Speech is Needed - 3 Year Old Never Satisfied

Posted 3 weeks ago

Hello, We have 3yo twins, boy and girl. So let’s say there are good days and bad days: good days means he is in good mood, smiling, playing, and behaving - this is 20-30% of the time. The bad...

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21 month old steals sister's toys

Posted on 12/28/2020

Lately our 21 month old seems to make it his mission to steal toys away from his 3.5 year old sister. While I realize that he doesn’t really understand sharing, it feels like all I do all day is...

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Two Year Old is a Whole Different Animal!

Posted on 12/11/2020

Good morning. My husband and I have six children, ranging 3 months to 9 years. Our first son Ryan Samuel is 2 years old as of October 4. He is a whole different animal compared to the girls. We...

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Nap Time and Potty Training

Posted on 11/22/2020

When potty training, you say in your book to put diapers on them at nighttime at first, while trying diaperless a couple of nights a week. So, what do I do at nap time? My twin boys are 29 months...

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Two-Year-Old Shows His Ugly Side

Posted on 11/20/2020

My 24 month old is usually pretty good. I previously used time outs to train him out of hitting and food throwing. However, he will get into this “drunk” state, where he is simultaneously...

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20 Month Son Only Wants Mama

Posted on 11/18/2020

Recently my son (20 months old) is reluctant to do anything without me. He cries the whole time if my husband takes him to a park. And earlier today he refused to go outside in our front yard with...

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'Naked & $75' is a Process Not a Magic Formula

Posted on 11/18/2020

We're a week into toilet training our 20 month old twins, and I simply don't feel like we're making much progress. We're committed to staying the course and will do just that, but with having only...

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Toilet training day 3

Posted on 11/14/2020

We toilet trained our oldest at 28 months in two weeks using N75. Now years later, we are on day 3 of N75 with our boy/girl twins who are 20 months old, and I'm already projecting this is going to...

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