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Posted: Fri, 09/26/2014 - 13:12
Newborns (1-2 months)
Newborns sleep a total of 10.5 to 18 hours a day periods of 1-3 hours spent awake. The sleep period may last a few minutes to several hours.
Infants (3-11 months)
Infants typically sleep 9-12 hours during the night and take 30 minute to two-hour naps, one to four times a day.
Toddlers (1-3 years)
Toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. When they reach about 18 months of age their naptimes will decrease to once a day lasting 1-3 hours. 
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
Preschoolers typically sleep 11-13 hours each night and most do not nap after five years of age. 
School-aged Children (5-12 years)
Children aged 5-12 need 10-11 hours of sleep.

Toddler Crack!

Posted: Fri, 09/26/2014 - 11:06

My daughter Karolina is obsessed with these videos! Who is this woman??

YouTube’s Biggest Star Is An Unknown Toy-Reviewing Toddler Whisperer

Is it possible an unknown, one-woman toy-reviewing YouTuber called “Disney Collector” is making more money than most CEOs?posted on July 18, 2014, at 10:57 a.m.

Chris Ritter/BuzzFeed

To 3-year-olds, she is an obsession. To their parents, a mystifying annoyance. To YouTube marketers, an elusive moneymaker no one’s been able to tap for profit.

To the rest of us, DisneyCollectorBR is a faceless YouTube channel giant that is consistently among the site’s top most viewed per month. In April, the channel was the third-most viewed worldwide, coming in right behind Katy Perry. During the week of July 4, the DisneyCollectorBR channel received more views in the United States — 55 million — than any other channel on YouTube, according to data from OpenSlate.

Despite the channel’s massive, sweeping, and somewhat perplexing popularity, no one — neither the toddlers who watch with near-religious fervor and their parents, nor executives deeply embedded in the YouTube ecosystem and its economics — seem to have much of a clue who’s behind it. In an earlier, more anonymous internet era, popularity and anonymity were more commonly paired. But today, where marketers have wrangled nearly every viral hit and YouTube stars’ faces are on billboards in Times Square, staying anonymous amid billions of views is not only unusual, but damn near impossible to pull off.

All DisneyCollectorBR videos start the same way: A difficult-to-place, but seemingly non-American woman’s voice says, “Hey guys, Disney Collector here. Today I’m going to show you…” The woman, who shows only her brightly manicured hands, proceeds to introduce and open a children’s toy, many of them from recent Disney movies. She then demonstrates the toy’s features — what you might less clinically call “playing.” She regularly calls a toy’s features “adorable,” and tends to end her sentences with a singing inflection. In many videos, she also seems to make a deliberate effort to crinkle the toy’s packaging, to ear-pleasing effect. As far as plot goes, that’s about it.

DisneyCollectorBR’s most watched video, an unwrapping of “egg surprises” branded by Angry Birds, SpongeBob, and Cars, recently hit 90 million views. Five other videos have received over 40 million views, and another 15 have over 20 million. The channel’s hundreds of videos have been watched over 2.4 billion times — that’s more than “Gangnam Style” by Psy.

The videos fit broadly into a popular YouTube category known as “unboxing,” where a video shows off the features of a product, most often a piece of technology like the new Xbox. For teenagers and adults with purchasing power, unboxing videos can be a kind of virtual tour of a product in which you’re interested. Or, since they’re typically made by amateurs, a kind of authentic check and balance on flashy advertising. For kids and toys, it’s a little different.

A number of parents of toddlers, the channel’s target audience, tell a similar story of their children finding the channel: their kids, fans of the Disney Carsmovie franchise asked to watch some related videos on YouTube. From there, they happened upon a DisneyCollectorBR video. When they finished, another one loaded. In the days and weeks following, the kids, entranced for whatever reason by the toy demos, asked for more. The consistent story of organic discovery makes sense, because unless you closely follow YouTube metrics, how else would you find out about DisneyCollectorBR? Despite the channel’s immense viewership — the numbers don’t lie — there is almost no information about its creator.

Multiple messages sent through the YouTube page, through Facebook, and through a website’s contact form went unanswered.

For curious parents, the channel has become a fascinating subject — with both their kids’ passion for its videos and its creator’s identity something of a mystery. “I heard this crazy voice, and I’m like, What the hell is this,” said Jonna Rubin of Framingham, Mass., whose 2-year-old and 5-year-old watch the channel, “with equal fervor.”

Elizabeth Olsen, a Portland, Ore., mother of two, said her 6-year-old daughter, who is learning to read, has taught herself to use the iPad’s microphone so that she can use Siri to search Disney Collector videos on her own, a solution to spelling struggles. From there, she said she navigates to more videos through YouTube’s sidebars, and though she sometimes ends up watching another channel’s videos, she usually finds her way back to Disney Collector. “Unattended she could probably watch for two hours,” Olsen said.

For adults, it can be hard to understand why kids are so enamored. “I equate it with me looking at the toy catalog from J.C. Penney as a kid,” Olsen said. “It’s like an infomercial.”

And if children of the ’80s and ’90s think back to the VHS tapes they watched until they melted in the VCR, it doesn’t feel that far off — kids do love to watch things over and over again.

Dane Golden, who works in the YouTube channel ecosystem as the VP of marketing at Octoly, a startup that connects brands with independent video creators on YouTube, said he’s followed Disney Collector with fascination since discovering the channel through the blog TubeFilter, a kind of Billboard for YouTube. He said he was “bewildered” when he first came across the channel and recognized its massive popularity. He didn’t understand the audience, he said, until a number of parents he knew all reacted with an, “Oh, my kid watches that all the time.”

Golden did what he called some “due diligence” on the channel and who might behind it — and was surprised to find almost no information online. For kids, he thinks, anonymity might be part of the appeal.

“What I believe to be true is that kids are loving this because the woman never shows her face,” Golden said. “You never see anything but her well-manicured hands. She has a very comforting voice. It’s just like playing with other kids playing toys. I think she disappears in the mind of the children.”

What struck Golden most was not just the host’s anonymity, but the lack of affiliation with what are called multichannel networks, known in the industry as MCNs. Almost all large YouTube channels are now part of MCNs — like the music-focused Vevo; Fullscreen, which works with NBC and FOX; or Maker Studios, which sold to Disney this year for $500 million. The dozens of MCNs function like studios for independent YouTubers, providing services like audience growth, monetization strategies, a content management system and statistics dashboard, legal services, partner management, and so on, in exchange for a portion of advertising revenue. By most counts, DisneyCollectorBR appears to be the largest unaffiliated channel on YouTube.

That’s not to say MCNs aren’t interested in the genre. Maker Studios, whose list of partner channels includes those by Robert De Niro and Snoop Dogg, works with channels like EvanTubeHD, a highly popular channel consisting mostly of a charming 8-year-old reviewing toys (he does show his face), and is aware of the toy unboxing phenomenon.

“These videos tap into some primal human traits and emotions — curiosity, the thrill of suspense and surprise, and the joy of receiving a gift,” said Michael Ross, Maker’s general manager of family programming. “Almost everyone has watched a kid squirming in delight as a gift is unwrapped — the slower the better (as long as they can stand it).” Disney-owned Maker said they have not worked with DisneyCollectorBR or BluCollection.

“I believe she’s an enigma,” said David B. Williams, an entrepreneur who spent several years at Disney after they bought his online video startup and has spent 18 years in the industry. “I think a lot of the MCNs whose job it is to pursue channels like hers, have pursued her and have not gotten far.”

Williams, who is now the chief content and technology strategist at Endemol Beyond, a new digital division of the television production company behind shows like Big Brother, became familiar with Disney Collector not just through the YouTube marketing world, but also because he happens to have twins who are 3½ years old. In his observation, it is “toddler crack.”

“I call it first-person toy porn,” he said. “I think it works because it’s Christmas morning every minute.”

Williams said he suspects the channel is bringing in seven figures a year in advertisements — even without an MCN, channels can easily enable YouTube’s monetization settings to have banner ads and pre-roll ads placed on their videos.SocialBlade, which analyzes YouTube data, pegs the number at between $1.6 million and $13 million, considering the number of views and subscribers.

Is it possible an unknown, one-woman toy-reviewing YouTuber is making as much money as the average S&P 500 CEO?

In this case, Disney Collector may actually have little reason to affiliate with an MCN. The largest MCNs frequently sign channels on the promise of growing them faster, in exchange for a percentage of ad revenue. But if you’re already huge, and you don’t want to be on a billboard, why would you want to give up some of your earnings?

That said, there are some quirks to operating independently. Since you must be 13 to have a YouTube account, the core toddler audience is likely watching using a parent’s account, which might explain why the pre-roll ads are frequently for Target or AT&T. If YouTube thinks 35-year-olds are those watching the channel, those are the ads it’ll serve up.

So, who the hell is Disney Collector? Best guess: a 43-year-old Brazilian woman who lives near DisneyWorld in Florida, whose husband produces a similar and also popular channel called BluCollection. True Disney diehards who’d like to be left alone while raking in a fortune, so it would seem.

The small crop of fascinated bloggers, parents, and YouTube marketers seem to agree on a few leads. First, that the “BR” in DisneyCollectorBR stands for Brazil, which is supported by some videos she does in Portuguese. Second, that BluCollection, which also reviews toys — with a slight bent to those marketed to boys, though both channels are gender neutral — is produced under the same roof. The two channels list each other as vaguely affiliated on fanpages, and as related channels on YouTube, to support that assertion. The channel also uses a similarly faceless format for its videos. DisneyCollectorBR, with its nail art and enthusiasm, seems to get a little more attention, but BluCollection, with a total of 1.7 billion views, is also almost perplexingly massive. If they are in fact a couple, they’re the Beyoncé and Jay Z of YouTube. If no one had any idea who Beyoncé and Jay Z were.

Another lead came from the comments section of a personal blog post written by Julia Arnold, a parent of two curious about Disney Collector’s identity. Arnold said she frequently watches the videos with her 4-year-old son, who has taken to imitating Disney Collector with Easter eggs.

In the comments section of the post, which was titled “Who ARE BluCollection and DisneyCollectorBR?,” a commenter with no affiliated email address who said he was a friend of the couple identified the pair by name, saying they lived in Florida near DisneyWorld, and kept private, having at some point gotten rid of any social media accounts. Searches of public records revealed people by those names do exist, but past and present listed phone numbers were disconnected or went unanswered.

In a way, DisneyCollectorBR has achieved the modern internet ideal: She is adored (and presumably, rich) for doing what she seems to love, and widely watched but uncorrupted by the annoyances of fame. If only she’d let us know how she does it.


Discipline Without Screaming

Posted: Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:32


tea pot steaming

Brian Maranan Pineda

My boys, who are 3 and 5, always seem to want the things that they know they can't have: cookies for breakfast, a movie at bedtime, flip-flops on a snowy day. When they get the inevitable "no" for an answer it often sends them into a tailspin -- whining, writhing on the floor, and kicking the air. Nothing gets to me more than these spontaneous freak-outs. Don't they understand that if they stay up late watching Shrekthey'll be cranky the next day? Before I know it, I'm yelling again.

How do things go from movie request to scream-fest in seconds? The kids hit one of my triggers, and like many parents, I react by shouting. (If you've never screamed at your children, know that statistically you're one of the few. According to a study in The Journal of Marriage and Family, 89 percent of parents report doing it.) Still, it doesn't feel good. In fact, most shouting sessions result in a scream hangover. Afterward, adults may feel guilty, wishing they could have dealt with the situation in a better way.

It turns out that it's no fun for kids either, according to psychotherapist Alyson Schafer, author of Ain't Misbehavin': Tactics for Tantrums, Meltdowns, Bedtime Blues and Other Perfectly Normal Kid Behaviors. If yelling is your main form of discipline, it can diminish your child's sense of security and self-esteem, she explains. "If you just yell on occasion, you won't damage your kids," assures psychotherapist Jim Hutt, Ph.D., creator of; still, it's not a good strategy for getting good behavior. Yelling is scary, so it activates a child's emotional "fight or flight" response while shutting down his logical thinking. "If I yell at a kid, he's going to stop processing information, and if I want him to learn why his behavior is inappropriate, I need him to be able to understand what I'm saying," Dr. Hutt explains. When parents raise their voice, all it teaches kids is to do the same when they're upset. "If we hit, they hit; if we yell, they learn to yell. If we are calm, they learn how to be calm," Dr. Hutt says.

Of course, given the right triggers, even the most Zen parents lose it sometimes. When you do, it's important to apologize to your kid and admit that you should have handled things differently. "Parents can't preach that it's okay to make mistakes, then neglect to admit their own mistakes and, worse yet, fail to apologize," Dr. Hutt says. It can also help to identify the situations that most frequently get you shouting -- that way you can plan ahead about how to react, so you're more in control of your emotions in the moment. We went to the experts to get better solutions for some of the most common scream-inducers.


The Power Struggle

Your daughter wants a cookie for breakfast, and she won't take no for an answer. She's probably thinking, "If I cry and scream, maybe Mom will give in." As her demand escalates into a full-blown battle of wills, you lose control and end up yelling at her.

Why parents lose it When kids undermine our authority (doing things they know we disapprove of or ignoring what we say) it leaves us feeling helpless. When you find yourself screaming, it's probably not even about the cookie anymore; it's an attempt to take back control. "The power struggle is a contest about who has the upper hand in the moment," Schafer says. "We want to impress upon our kids that we are the one in charge."

The no-scream solution To keep a power struggle from escalating, make a conscious effort to get out of fight mode. Rather than focusing on winning or losing this particular battle with your kid, try to work together to find a better solution. First, state your position simply ("We don't have cookies for breakfast"). Then offer some choices ("Would you like to have yogurt or cereal?"). This will make her feel like she has some control over the situation, Schafer says. If that doesn't work, you might try defusing the tension with humor. Doing a silly dance out of the blue may be just the trick for putting your child into a happier mind-set, one in which she's willing and able to find some middle ground.

Dealing with Defiant Behavior
Dealing with Defiant Behavior
It Worked For Me: Genius Discipline Tricks
It Worked For Me: Genius Discipline Tricks

How to Discipline Your Kids
How to Discipline Your Kids

Running Late

The hardest part of the day for many moms is getting the kids out of the house. You ask them to get dressed and put their shoes on; they ignore you. You finally find your keys and are ready to go; they run off and hide. It's all fun and games -- until you unleash the scream beast.

Why parents lose it It's extremely frustrating when you're in a rush to get out the door and no one is taking your concerns about staying on schedule seriously. You can't help but feel insignificant, out of control, and burdened all at the same time -- you're obviously going to have to drop what you're doing and force your kids' shirts over their little heads yourself.

It's easy to forget that young children have no concept of the consequences of running late. But repeating yourself over and over isn't the solution. "It teaches them that they're too stupid to get it or that they don't have to respond the first time," Dr. Hutt says.

The no-scream solution Rather than nagging your kids until you're at the point of shouting, just tell them it's time to get ready once -- and then don't give any more reminders, Dr. Hutt suggests. Say, "We're leaving in ten minutes. I hope you'll be dressed and ready." If they aren't, pick them up and put them in the car firmly yet gently -- in whatever they're wearing. If your kids have to go to school in their pajamas, they'll know you mean business next time.


Sibling Squabbles

Your daughter borders on genius when it comes to pushing her brother's buttons. In the car on the way to the park, she leans over and touches his beloved blankie with one graceful finger, setting off a full-on battle. Your temper goes from zero to 60 in three seconds or less.

Why parents lose it No matter who "started it," it's almost impossible to play referee when both kids are screaming and kicking -- and the situation becomes flat-out dangerous if their fighting is distracting you while you're driving.

The no-scream solution When things are already heated between your kids, having a strongly negative reaction is like adding fuel to a fire; it will only escalate the situation. Especially on the road, where you can't really shift your attention and get involved, your initial instinct might be to yell -- but try to be responsive rather than reactive, Schafer recommends. After pulling over, matter-of-factly let your kids know it's unsafe for you to drive while they're fighting, saying something like, "I understand you're upset, but I can't go anywhere until you calm down. When you've worked it out together, I can drive again." Then sit quietly, read a book, or IM with friends until they've chilled out. By staying collected, you make it clear that you're not going to take sides, and you set an example for how your children should behave with each other. The immediate lesson you're trying to impart is this: Calm cars move; fighting cars stop. But the bigger message goes beyond driving. When parents respond to children in ways that make them feel heard and understood are going to learn to treat others that way as well.

Originally published in the May 2012 issue of Parents magazine.

Kids and Dogs: It's Not Breed, It's Behavior

Posted: Thu, 08/07/2014 - 20:30

When I was bitten by a dog at 8 years old, my prize was 23 stitches in my face and neck. As I will explain, the dog breed does not matter, but the dog in question was not a pit bull. Six years later, my family brought a puppy into our home. Growing up, if you had asked my brothers and me who our favorite sibling was, we would have unanimously answered Abby, our family dog. Sharing your childhood with a dog can be a magical experience, and one that I hope my future kids will experience. But when it goes wrong, it can also be a heartbreaking one.

I was thrilled to see HuffPost Green's #pitbullweek tackling myths that plague pit bull-type dogs. These myths directly harm families with pit bulls, making it unfairly difficult for responsible dog-owners to find housing or insurance. It also directly harms families that don't have pit bulls. When we attribute characteristics to pit bulls generally associated with aggressiveness, we unintentionally create the perception that other types of dogs are completely safe. And the truth is, any dog can bite. Community and personal safety depends on treating every dog as an individual. The safety of children raised with dogs depends on recognizing stress signs in dogs, teaching children appropriate ways to bond with a dog, and actively supervising interactions between children and dogs.

In my practice as a behavior consultant, I have too often heard parents say, with anguish in their voices, that the dog bit and, "He just didn't give any warning." Unfortunately, it does not relieve any pain to explain that the dog gave a warning, but it went unnoticed. Dogs do give us many signs that they are uncomfortable. If subtle body language is not recognized, the dog will eventually feel like he has no choice but to intensify his communication. What started as a polite request for space can escalate into a bite. In the HuffPost Green video of children and pit bulls, I saw signs of lovely relationships between the dogs and the children, but I also saw many concerning interactions that should have warranted immediate parental intervention.

So, what are the subtle signs that your dog is stressed about an interaction?

The dog is turning his head away
The dog is licking his lips (but there is no food present)
The dog's posture is stiff
The dog is raising a paw
The dog's eyes are wide and the whites may be visible
The dog is trying to walk away or avoid the child
What are good guidelines for teaching children to interact with dogs?

The dog should solicit attention from the child - the child should never pursue the dog for an interaction
The dog is not a toy, not a horse to be ridden, and not a mountain to be climbed
One hand for petting the dog is enough, two hands are too much -- and please, no hugging
Pet for 3 seconds, and then pause and see if the dog actively asks for more petting, or decides to walk away
Children should pet the shoulder of the dog, not the head, which most dogs don't like (If you're an adult, try reaching out to pet your dog on the top of his head -- does he duck? Most dogs do -- they just do not care for pats to the head.)
Dogs deserve their own space while they're eating, napping, or chewing on a toy
The best way to keep kids and dogs happy and safe is through active and engaged adult supervision. Parents can give children proactive guidance on how and when to interact with their dog. They are also available for a swift intervention if the dog begins to look uncomfortable. If a work email or dinner on the stove is begging for attention, separate the child and dog.

Armed with your new knowledge, what to do if you notice that there are a lot of stressy, uncomfortable interactions between your kids and your dog? You are keeping everyone safe, but it does not seem that they are all as happy as they could be. Fortunately, there are training and behavior exercises that help kids and dogs repair and rebuild relationships. The exact approach will vary based on the history of interaction, behavior of the dog, and age of the child, so seeking professional help will ensure the ideal approach and make sure everything goes on without a hitch.

Here's to celebrating brothers and sisters -- canine and human -- and giving everyone the love and respect they deserve!

Bratty Behavior Explained

Posted: Fri, 07/25/2014 - 12:30
From Parents Magazine
Like most preschoolers, my son could be a handful when he was 3 years old. But even when he was naughty, he was so adorable that I couldn't bring myself to discipline him properly. He'd act up, then he'd flash a mischievous grin that made me laugh and forgive him. My husband and I let him get away with much more than we should have. And many times, we gave in to Eric's demands because we were too tired to deal with the whining or crying that set in when we did say no. The result: Eric turned into a discipline nightmare.
So how did I put an end to the madness? By changing my discipline habits. For starters, I realized that I had to set rules, then stand firm no matter what. And if he didn't follow them, I had to enforce consequences. "If a child can make you change your mind just once, your 'rules' become something he can ignore," says developmental psychiatrist Denis Donovan, M.D., author of What Did I Just Say!?! Could you use a little backbone in the discipline department too? Try these strategies for dealing more effectively with common behavior problems.
Why kids do it: Hitting is a normal phase in toddler development, and it usually begins at about 2 years old. But this does not mean you should ignore your child's aggressive acts. You need to teach toddlers that hitting is wrong and help them learn to control their impulses.
Are you handling it wrong? You need to discipline hitting immediately. "When you say to a child, 'If you hit him again, we're leaving,' you're giving him permission to do it one more time before he gets in trouble," says Edward R. Christophersen, Ph.D., coauthor of Parenting That Works: Building Skills That Last a Lifetime. In your child's mind, saying this is the same as giving him the go-ahead—and that's not the message you want to send.
How to stop the bad behavior for good: Never let your child get away with hitting. When he whacks another toddler—or you—immediately pull him away and say, "No hitting. Hitting hurts." Stating your rule and then explaining it will help him understand why he should follow it. Then remove him from the situation. If you're at the playground, leave immediately. If you're at home, put your preschooler in a two-minute time-out. And be sure that hitting doesn't pay off. If he hit a playmate while grabbing for a toy, be sure to take away the toy. He'll begin to realize that using words and gestures is more effective.
Why kids do it: Because it works! Whining grates on parents' nerves, so they tend to give in rather easily, says Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., creator of the DVD 1-2-3 Magic: Managing Difficult Behavior in Children 2-12.
Are you handling it wrong? Admit it—kids sometimes need to whine to get our attention. When your child asks for something in a normal tone of voice, you may ignore her or just say no because you're too busy or too tired to deal with whatever she wants at the moment. That irritating voice is supereffective—it gets you to turn around and focus on what she's saying.
How to stop the bad behavior for good: Simply tell your child, "I don't listen to whiny voices. If you ask me in a nice voice, I'll help you get what you want." Then keep the promise. Really listen when your daughter asks for something. Don't say no automatically—think about whether there's a valid reason to refuse her request. If there is, explain why so that your child knows you mean it. While she may not be happy, she'll stop whining.
Throwing Tantrums
Why kids do it: Toddlers don't talk much, so the more angry, scared, or frustrated they get, the more they turn to tears, shrieks, and other meltdown maneuvers. But preschoolers, too, may resort to behavior like this when they don't get what they want. Tantrums tend to occur when a child is hungry or tired.
Are you handling it wrong? Too often, parents just become exasperated. "You may yell, grab your child's arm, or even spank him," says Dr. Christophersen. "Instead, remain as unemotional and matter-of-fact as possible. If you shout when he has a tantrum, you're teaching him to do the same thing when he's angry." If you feel yourself start to lose control, take a deep breath and calm down.
How to stop the bad behavior for good: Be empathetic when your child says he doesn't want to do something or becomes upset when you've said no to him. Say, "I know you want a cookie. I know you're feeling upset. But we're having dinner soon and we don't eat cookies before dinner. You can have one for dessert." Talking to your child in this way will acknowledge his feelings, giving him back a sense of control. Also, plan ahead: Carry snacks when you go out, and run errands and schedule visits at a time when your child is well rested.
Resisting Bedtime
Why kids do it: It's pretty simple: Children don't go to bed when you ask them to because they'd rather keep playing or stay up with you. "Two-, 3-,and 4-year-olds want to assert their independence," says Parents adviser Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., author of Sleeping Through the Night. "They don't want to be told to go to bed."
Are you handling it wrong? "Bedtime battles tend to happen when parents don't set consistent limits," says Dr. Mindell. Don't let kids stay up late and fall asleep on the couch, and don't let them get away with stalling techniques such as getting out of bed because they're thirsty or asking for a good-night kiss again. Once kids know you won't give in, bedtime goes a lot more smoothly.
How to stop the bad behavior for good: Set up a bedtime routine, and enforce it. "State the rules clearly—'Bedtime is 7 p.m. We put on our pj's and read two books.' And follow through every night," says Dr. Mindell. "Include every one of your child's nighttime needs in your routine—a last trip to the potty, a good-night hug." Then just put up with the fussing—it's temporary. To help your toddler feel as if she has some control over the situation, let her choose which of two pairs of pj's she'd like to wear or which story she wants to read. Finally, make sure your child is going to bed early enough. "Once kids get overtired, they get cranky because they're all wound up and can't fall asleep," adds Dr. Mindell.
Acting Defiant
Why kids do it: Around ages 2 or 3, your formerly easygoing angel may morph into a stubborn, sassy handful who refuses to listen or follow your requests. His favorite word? "No!" What's going on? "At about this age, children start to learn that they do have some control over their environment, and they're trying to become more independent," says Parents adviser Sal Severe, Ph.D., author of How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will, Too!
Are you handling it wrong? The absolute worst way to handle your child's defiance is to argue or plead with him. "Parents sometimes make the mistake of treating kids like little adults," says Dr. Phelan. "If your child isn't listening, you may bombard him with more and more reasons for why he should cooperate. But that's not discipline; that's begging."
How to stop the bad behavior for good: Refuse to argue; instead, be consistent and clear about what kind of behavior is expected. "Acknowledge that there are times he might not want to do something—like put away his toys—and that his feelings are understandable, but tell him he still has to do it," says Dr. Severe. Just say, "Let's get started. I know you can do a good job." Then take him by the hand, and help him pick up his toys.
Copyright© 2005. Reprinted with permission from the August 2005 issue of Parents magazine.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.