Terrible Twos

John's Most Recent Articles

It All Begins With the Terrible Twos

Posted on 4/3/2024

In one of my alter-egos, I’m a songwriter. I began writing songs during my seven-year tenure as the lead singer in a rock ‘n’ roll band while in college and graduate school and I’ve been writing...

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The Dark Triad Must Not Stand!

Posted on 3/27/2024

In 2002, two psychologists formulated the concept of the “Dark Triad,” referring to three toxic personality types: narcissistic, Machiavellian, and psychopathic. As usual, psychologists make...

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Don't Turn Little Issues Into Big Problems

Posted on 4/11/2023

Q: My almost-3-year-old, when I begin to do something, will yell, “I WILL DO IT!” When it’s something he can do, fine, but if it’s not, then I just say, “No, Mommy will do it” and that’s the end...

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Toddler Q&A

Posted on 2/14/2023

Q: When we reprimand our 34-month-old daughter for something, anything, she begins to wail like we’re beating her. Whether we firmly redirect or simply say, "No,” she begins to wail like...

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What To Do About Head-Banging Toddler?

Posted on 8/12/2021

Q: Our 19-month-old is a very active little boy who flips out when things do not go his way. When he has a tantrum, we walk away or simply ignore him. Nonetheless, he will scream and flail about...

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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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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

"Special Tantrum Place" for Tantrums

Posted on 2/28/2024

My son (21 months) is in full blown “terrible twos.” He does lots of throwing fits. When they happen he gets a swat on the bottom and has to sit in his bed until he will be sweet and say he’s...

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How to space kids?

Posted on 12/27/2023

From previous questions you know that our two kids are very active and often very naughty. God is helping us and we’re trying to follow your advice. Some weeks are rough. Others are better but we...

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Toddlers Acting Up After Moving Across Town

Posted on 12/12/2023

Recently we moved to an apartment across town from where we were. My kids (2.5 & 1.5) are really struggling to adjust to the new place. They are used to seeing their grandparents every day and...

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How much to expect from toddlers

Posted on 12/5/2023

How do I know where to draw the line between what to expect for proper behavior and what is too advanced for the kids (girl 2.5 and boy 1.5) to learn? My husband and I have high standards of what...

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Toddlers struggle with rules.

Posted on 11/30/2023

How do I teach my little people (2.5 and 1.5) to have respect? Often the baby will scream and yell for what he wants and doesn’t use much English yet. My daughter talks clearly but often demands...

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"Fit Places" for a two year old

Posted on 11/26/2023

At what age can I start using tickets? I tried for a while with my 2.5 year old but she just chewed/folded/tore them up and thought they were toys. So far time out and pictures taped to the fridge...

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Cutting the apron strings 3yo

Posted on 11/5/2023

Our daughter is an only child, and I am a stay at home wife. She turned three in June and we are starting to have some difficulties separating her from our interactions as husband and wife during...

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When will sharing 'click'

Posted on 9/12/2023

When I hear my two little people (2 and 15 months) arguing, fussing, yelling, etc. at each other in the play room, should I go investigate and discipline whoever is in the wrong (if one sibling...

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Testing 1 2 3

Posted on 8/17/2023

My children (2 and 1) are very used to having their grandparents around all the time since we currently live together while we try to find a house. My parents are away for about 10 days and the...

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2-Year-Old Would Rather Play Than Eat

Posted on 8/9/2023

We need help with meal time, breakfast seems to be the worst. We have two girls ages 4.5 and 2. Every day I make breakfast and the girls sit down to eat. Breakfast usually starts well, and I’m...

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