"Parents cannot effectively communicate their love to a child unless they are also a source of effective authority. "

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

Alpha Speech is Needed - 3 Year Old Never Satisfied

Posted 2 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 3 weeks ago

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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Toddler seems angered by the potty

Posted on 11/2/2020

Hi! We’ve been potty training for going on four months now. Daughter is 23 months. She has days where she goes accident free and then others where it’s 100% accident. The past few weeks she seems...

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Patriotic Preoccupation: A Toddler's Flag Fixation

Posted on 10/28/2020

Our 28 month old is OBSESSED with American flags. This has lasted over a year. The flag has become a large issue many times throughout the day as his obsession spans isn’t only with the flag...

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Sassy 2 year old

Posted on 10/25/2020

28 month year-old son uses nasty tone and says “don’t say that to me!“ Or “don’t talk to me like that!“ ‘No!!’. I know this is part of being a toddler but if I engage back and let him know it is...

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The 2 Year Old's Battle to Dress Himself

Posted on 10/25/2020

My 2-year-old son wants to put on hat and gloves himself. I know this is a good normal part of development, but if the hat isn’t just right, it leads to a giant meltdown. I want to let him try...

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A Fine Whine?

Posted on 9/20/2020

Looking for help for whining for our 28mo. We have tried saying "that's whining. We can't hear whining. Use your happy voice." and even the raising eyebrows suggestion, for the last 7 or so...

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Curing the Bedtime Blues

Posted on 9/7/2020

Our almost 2.5-year-old daughter started to refuse to go to sleep. She doesn’t take naps at home anymore (only at daycare) and was fully sleep trained before age one. It all started with her...

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Welcome to the Terrible Twos!

Posted on 8/30/2020

When I get ready in the morning I let my 21 month old play with cotton balls and bandaids and other non harmful bathroom supplies. When I was done I told him to pick up the the cotton balls (he...

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