Toddlers (age 15-36 months)
So your precious infant has somehow grown into a walking (or at least toddling), talking (or at least trying to string three words together) human being, who enchants you with his big heart and drives you crazy with his mule-headedness. Toddlers can be a handful, but if you can see things from his perspective, and support him as he takes his first steps into autonomy, toddlerhood can be terrific!
In This Section
Toddlerhood actually starts at around 14 months when babies begin toddling around, and ends at 36 months, when they become preschoolers. It's a long stage that often seems longer, famous for being challenging to parents.So how do you maximize your fun with this terrific little person, and minimize the aggravation? Here you'll find your Toddler's developmental tasks, Your Priorities, and a simple Parents' Gameplan, all set up to make your life easier when you've got only three minutes to read while he unrolls the toilet paper and wraps it around the chair.
Toddlers don't seem to have an off switch. Often, when they're tired, they just reverberate faster, like an over-wound toy, until they crash.
Tantrums are normal for kids this age, even legendary. Toddlers feel so passionately about everything, and they simply don't have the capacity to control themselves yet.
From food fights to potty training to those blessed naps, here's how to take daily life with your toddler from defiant to delightful!
So she’s giving up the crib? Or moving out of the family bed? You’ve been to the store and picked out the cutest toddler bed? All of you are totally excited? Except instead of rolling over and falling asleep, now she comes out every two minutes to find you? All evening long? And the next day she’s a basket case because she’s so exhausted?
Want to help your toddler develop healthy eating habits? Offer him only healthy food. There's no reason he needs sweets or junk food at all. But even more important than what he puts in his mouth is his basic relationship with food. You want him to be in charge of his own eating, so how much he eats is not a loaded issue.
Your toddler is no longer an easily distracted baby. Right on schedule, he's growing up. It's exactly what he's supposed to be doing -- but it means challenges for you! Here's how to manage your little maelstrom, so you can enjoy the terrific twos.
The simple truth about toilet training is that if the child is ready, it happens very easily. If not, a power struggle often ensues -- and we all know that no one wins a parent-child power struggle. Fights with your child about his or her body are fights you will never win.
Foster your toddler's self esteem, competence, social intelligence, and more.
How much screen time should your Toddler or Preschooler have? Are you ready? In my opinion, no daily time on an ongoing basis.
Dreading leaving your toddler with the babysitter or at daycare and want to prepare him? Here's your 12-Step Program.
Most human beings function best with structure. True, many of us love to break rules, and sometimes that is the basis of creativity. But that works when WE decide what rules to break. If we feel besieged on all sides by the unexpected or if our basic needs for security aren’t met, we contract with anxiety, making creativity impossible.
More on Toddlers
MOST little ones go through stages of hating diaper changes. Sometimes, simply slowing down and connecting changes everything. Sometimes, giving the child control is the key to avoiding a power struggle. Often, not interrupting their play solves the problem by meeting their needs as well as yours. And sometimes you will probably find yourself resorting to distraction. So here's a list of ideas to try, most of which will work sometimes, or for awhile.
You’ve probably put a lot of thought and effort into helping your child adjust to school for the first time. And maybe you’ve been looking forward to your new freedom. But if you’re like most moms, you’ve found yourself wiping away a tear or two as well. So for a little help managing your own separation anxiety, here’s my 12 Step Program for Moms!
Any parent of a toddler knows it isn't always easy to teach them social skills. The first step is helping them learn to manage their emotions, which is the foundation of interpersonal relationships. So how do you teach your sweet but neanderthal toddler social skills? Ten tips....
Discipline that works. Your kids will be so well-behaved and cooperative that gentle guidance will suffice. And you don't even have to be the bad guy! Here's how.
Should you spank your toddler? Not if you want a cooperative, responsible, considerate child who grows up with self-discipline. Here's why.
Setting limits is one of the most important skills of parenting. If we do it right, our kids will internalize the ability to set limits for themselves, which is otherwise known as self-discipline. Here's how.
Timeouts are great to give yourself a little space so you can calm down. But using them on your kid? They don't work with most kids, and they don't work with any kid for long -- at least not without damaging your relationship.
Your toddler needs some control over his world. He doesn't necessarily understand your agenda -- why should he? He wants what he wants. But that doesn't mean you have to give up what you need. Don't give in. Give Choices! Here's how.
"This is the best webpage I’ve found so far on what to do when you, the parent, are angry. Most say something like, 'Deal positively with your anger!' which makes me say, “Like HOW?” This page makes it pretty clear how." -- Milkbreath & Me
Two year olds like to throw things. They throw when they're happy and they throw when they're upset. They also hit their parents and their siblings. Our job? To help them get through this normal developmental phase by teaching them the difference between what they may and may not do - over and over again - until they learn what they need to learn. How? By accepting their feelings even as we stop and redirect their unacceptable behavior. For example:
"Hold it! Blocks are not for throwing - even when you're angry. Here, you can throw the pillow or the balloon."
"Ouch, that hurt! I can't let you hit me. But you can tell me what you feel. You can say, 'I don't want you to be with the baby now. I want you to be with me!' "
"No shoving! Tell your sister what you want with words, not shoves. Tell her, 'My doll. I'm not ready to share.' "
"The carpet is not for cutting. Let's see, what can you cut? How about this paper? Or this cardboard? Which one? You decide."
-- Elaine Mazlish & Adele Faber
Great Books about Parenting Your Toddler:
"Dr.Laura's daily emails are the perfect way to start the day with love and compassion"
LETTERS & ANSWERS ABOUT
Have a question about parenting your preschooler? Questions from readers, with wise and practical solutions from Dr. Laura Markham to the worst problems your preschooler can dish out!