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Parenting Tips Blog

Kids' Testing and Manipulation: Who's in Charge at Your House?

May 15, 2019 1595 Views No comments

You often hear the phrase, “Believe it or not, kids really want limits.” This isn’t quite the case. It is true that in the long run, youngsters are more comfortable in a house where parents have clear, reasonable rules and enforce them consistently and fairly. The kids are more comfortable whether or not they realize the connection. At any one moment, however, children want what they want, and they are angry and disappointed if they don’t get it. This often leads to testing and manipulation.

Testing and Manipulation (T&M) are the efforts of children to get what they want. They don’t want to go to bed, they want candy right before dinner, they don’t want to get up and go to school, they want to hit their sister. In order to get their way and foil their parents' wishes, children automatically tend to test and manipulate from time to time. They can do this in six ways...

OMG! It’s a Toddler!

March 25, 2019 2190 Views No comments

Toddlers are the embodiment of that old adage about parenting being a high-cost, high-reward activity. They are unbelievably cute and they are unbelievably exhausting. That welcoming smile on the face of your one-year-old when he sees you coming in the door from work is worth a million dollars. On the other hand, the anger and anguish on the face of your fifteen-month-old tantruming in the grocery store is like a slow-motion day in hell. If any activity was ever designed to make you feel like an emotional yo-yo, it’s being the parent of a toddler.

​ Ask Dr. Phelan: Timeout Tantrums

February 28, 2019 1226 Views No comments


We have a question today from Emily, and it’s got a little trick to it. Emily is an occupational therapist.

Q: A two-year-old boy won’t stay in his timeout chair.

She says, “I’m trying to help one of my families implement this program with a toddler that is 26 months old. The mother has stated that she has used a timeout chair; however, the boy will not stay seated, so she feels like she has to hold him on the spot to keep him there.

Ask Dr. Phelan: 1-2-3 Magic Vs. Positive Discipline

February 28, 2019 662 Views No comments

Today we have an interesting question from Amy.

Q: What are some differences between 1-2-3 Magic and Jane Nelson's positive discipline program?

First of all, there are a number of similarities between the two programs. Both focus on mutual respect. They focus on things like charting, being positive with the children, having family meetings, and doing active or sympathetic listening.

Ask Dr. Phelan: Early Riser

February 28, 2019 420 Views No comments

This question is from Amel, and it has to do with her three-year-old.

Q: What do you do with a child who frequently wakes up in the middle of the night or early morning?

Amel writes, “My three-year-old wakes up too early: between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., even on weekends. He goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. He sleeps through the night in his crib. He shares a room with his one-and-a-half-year-old brother. He wakes up and comes straight to our bed. We let him sleep with us maybe because he will actually sleep most of the time, but he tosses and turns. We have a routine that we are following each night where he puts on his PJs, turns the lights off in all the house, and then goes to bed. We hug, kiss, and say good night.”


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