Q: Our first child, a boy, just turned 2. 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 problem isn't our son; it's my sister-in-law, who has three kids, the youngest of which is 4. She insists that my husband and I say "no" to our son way ...Read more
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, 18 to 36 months of age – with the idea that there is a point at which one surmounts the most difficult or stressful point of a challenge. Concerning the ...Read more
Q: My husband and I are not on the same page when it comes to our just-turned 4-year-old son. He thinks our son's behavior is a phase that he will outgrow. To me, his defiance and tantrums are alarming and need to be dealt with now to prevent them from getting worse. Most recently, he has started hitting and kicking us when he doesn't get his ...Read more
A mother in California seeks her pastor's opinion on allowing her 15-year-old son to have a smart phone. The boy claims that if he can't use social media, he will have no friends. Mom is skeptical concerning the claim and afraid of other Internet experiences the youngster might be drawn to if he has a smart phone.
The pastor tells Mom that her ...Read more
Q: My 13-year-old son's grades and overall respect for me and other adults – teachers, in particular – began going downhill last year (eighth grade), even before the shutdown. He began school this year with the same attitude, if not worse. In response, I have taken away most of his privileges, including his phone and video game. When we ...Read more
A grandmother in Arkansas says her adult children have great difficulty telling their children what to do. They turn instructions – more accurately, what they think are instructions – into questions and then wonder why their kids don't seem to appreciate their timidity.
Grandma's email made me think of a habit I have noticed among people a ...Read more
As just about everyone who has lived with a child for more than two years knows, the most potentially dangerous thing one can say to a toddler is "no." That single syllable strikes deep into the core of the reptilian portion of the toddler brain, arousing a reaction that dwarfs Godzilla's most destructive rampage.
"Should I simply ignore my 2-...Read more
Q: We have a 5-year-old who obsesses about dying. This has been going on for six months, ever since a child in the neighborhood died of a congenital genetic condition. Our son knew the boy and has been fearful of dying ever since. This is causing him lots of anxiety during the day and he is unable to go to sleep at night unless one of us is with...Read more
Q: Our 9-year-old has just learned he is not going back to school on schedule in the fall. Instead, he will be doing distance learning by computer and home instruction. We had to do this for the last six weeks of the last school term and he did not like it at all. Up until now, he has loved school and been a great student. To homeschool him, I ...Read more
Q: Our 10-month-old son has recently discovered the joys of throwing finger food on the floor at mealtimes. He doesn't seem to care if I feed it to him myself, one piece at a time, but isn't it important that he start feeding himself?
A: Not to worry. The emergence of "throwing food on the floor behavior" at this age, especially if a dog is ...Read more