"Don't ask a child a question if you don't mean for the child to have a choice in the matter. "

Terrible Twos

John's Most Recent Articles

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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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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Recent Questions

Stop!

Posted 4 weeks ago

My two year old daughter has recently been running away from me when we are in parking lots or near the street. I gave her a firm spanking, but she keeps doing it. What should I do?

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She's Got an Arm!

Posted on 4/13/2021

My 2 year old daughter is throwing anything and everything she can find when she feels upset or does not get her way ... any advice? We have tried ignoring it but she just grabs more things to...

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Time for a Potty Training Reset

Posted on 4/13/2021

We are currently attempting to potty train our 21-month-old boy. It has been almost one month of training and we are having almost zero success with getting him to sit on the potty to pee or poop....

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Two year old screams while Mom is on the phone.

Posted on 3/9/2021

How do I get my two year old to not scream or ask questions while I’m on the phone?

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When Getting Dressed Becomes Game of Chase

Posted on 2/16/2021

Hi, my daughter, will turn 3 in 2 months recently started defying us when it comes to changing her clothes. Whenever she is told it’s time to do it, she thinks its some sort of game, runs away or...

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2-Year-Old's Aggressive Behavior Is Unacceptable

Posted on 2/15/2021

Hello! I have two kids. Boy: Almost 3 (in May) Girl: 1 and 2 months old Boy is hitting girl, knocks her over and laughs when he does it. How can I approach this adequately?

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No more bottles!

Posted on 1/27/2021

Hello, My 2.5 yr old boy still uses a bottle to self soothe at night. This habit was created from living in a one bedroom apartment and trying to keep him quiet through the night when he was...

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Alpha Speech is Needed - 3 Year Old Never Satisfied

Posted on 1/6/2021

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 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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