It’s Okay to Hit and other Rules + From Chaos to Calm + Preschool Entertainment Boom

[amazon asin=1585429368&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Heather Shumaker, author of It’s OK NOT to Share…
Topic: Renegade rules for raising competent and compassionate kids.
Issues: Completely counter-intuitive but scientifically sound suggestions such as, let kids hit and kick; let her hog that toy all day; bombs, guns, and bad guys allowed; love your kids lies, be buddies with dead birds, and more.

[amazon asin=1402777647&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Beth Grosshans, author of Beyond Time Out.
Topic: Moving from chaos to calm.
Issues: Why our emphasis on talking and self-esteem is responsible for parental ineffectiveness and children’s unruliness; looking at the imbalance of power in families (where kids have too much and the parents not enough); the parenting styles that most commonly lead to that imbalance of power.

[amazon asin=1416546847&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 3: Dade Hayes, author of Anytime Playdate.
Topic: Inside the preschool entertainment boom.
Issues: The inner workings of the $21 billion business of entertaining babies and toddlers; How the success of Dora the Explorer prompted the development of other multi-lingual shows; the positive effects of media moderate media exposure (as long as it’s supplemented by good parenting).

Making the Terrible Twos a Little Less Terrible

Dear Mr. Dad: I love spending quality time with my two-year-old, but occasionally he throws a tantrum that seems to come right out of the blue. It embarrasses me in public and frustrates me at home. How should I respond to his unreasonable anger?

A: Welcome to the wonderful world of toddlers (sometimes known as the “terrible twos”), a place where emotions run hot, and logic and reason are in short supply. The good news is that occasional tantrums are fairly normal at this age. The not-so-good news is that self-control is a skill that’s learned gradually, over a pretty long time, so you’ll need all the patience you can muster.
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Hit Me, Baby

Dear Mr. Dad: On weekends my buddy comes over with his 1-year old son. My boy just turned two and has started acting aggressively towards the baby, even hitting him. How can I help them get along?

A: Hopefully your friend isn’t taking your son’s inhospitality personally, because it has nothing to do with him or his baby. As unpleasant as it can be for the people around them, aggressive behavior is very common for toddlers. It’s a normal developmental stage. He’s learning about cause and effect (Hmm. If I poke that little kid, he cries. What would happen if I pulled his hair?) That, however, doesn’t make the aggressive behavior okay. And you need to do whatever you can to stop it.
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Biting the hand—and everything else

Dear Mr. Dad: My toddler (17 months old) has been biting his three-year-old sister at home for the past week or so. Now I’ve learned from his daycare provider that he’s biting other children there as well. She’s not happy about that, of course, and I’m worried they’ll kick him out. I’ve tried lecturing him and giving him timeouts, but nothing works. What can I do to help him stop this behavior?

A: First of all, it’s important to understand that biting is a pretty normal behavior for a toddler. Children often bite when they’re tired, teething, jealous, or just plain frustrated. And sometimes they’re conducting little science experiments, wondering what would happen if they bit something—or someone—new. It’s an odd (to us anyway) but pretty effective way of exploring and testing out the world around them.
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