""No" is one of the most character-building words in the English language. Say it often, and mean it. "

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

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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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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