No More “How Was School Today?”

It’s amazing how early in life kids want their parents to mind their own business. Many parents of older children and teens lament how difficult it is to get their kids to talk about their lives and answer basic questions like, “How was your day?” But I have seen children as young as 3 in the habit of answering “Fine” and implicitly shutting down further discussion.

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How to Stall a Child’s Emotional Development in 3 Easy Steps

Everyone wants their children to develop emotionally so that they are prepared to endure and overcome life’s inevitable trials, but sometimes parents’ actions hinder the fulfillment of that very wish. We explored one of the likely sources of this contradiction in a recent post on the repetition compulsion. Today we’ll look at three common steps that parents unwittingly take to squash their little kids’ emotional intelligence.

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Finally, a Post for the Nerds

This one is for the parents who want to dive a little deeper and read about the research that shapes The Good Enough approach. Without further adieu, let me introduce one of my favorite researchers in the field of early childhood, Beatrice Beebe. Probably her biggest contribution has been her work in attachment and video microanalysis.

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How to Repair Relationships and Turn Poop into Gold

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to attend a training with Arietta Slade. For those of you who have never heard of her, Slade is an all-star of early childhood mental health. At one point when she was taking questions, someone in the audience asked her for one piece of advice she would give to parents of young children. Her answer: “Repair.”

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Sometimes You Need to Be Aggressive with Your Kids

Aggression gets a bad wrap. Among civilized adults, it’s one of those words that readily elicits discomfort or even condemnation, something you’re not supposed to feel, much less express, save for a few areas (e.g., competition, self-defense, war, etc.). This apparent truism seems even truer when we talk about aggression directed towards children.

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Runaway Toddler: When Children Bolt

Glynn Washington, host of Snap Judgment, tells a compelling story about a time when his young son took off during a Chinese New Year celebration. Washington feared the worst and nearly soiled himself searching frantically. Luckily, he found his little absconder before a change of underwear was necessary.

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The Wait of the World: Helping Children Flex Their Emotional Muscles

Waiting is rubbish, especially when you’re a kid. Very few young children respond well when adults answer their demands with, “Not now. Just be patient.” Infants and toddlers are notorious for being shitty waiters, but by the time they enter the preschool and kindergarten years, many show more consistent frustration tolerance and commensurate waiting power.

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