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New ideas and inspirations to help you keep perspective during the early, hectic years.

78 toddler article submissions by the Mothering community.

Why They Will Always Be Our Babies

          There is this short story by Sandra Cisneros called, “Eleven.”  In brief, it is about a little girl who gets almost bullied in school by her teacher and classmates about leaving a sweater on the ground that was not hers.  It goes into the emotional responses of the young girl and asks questions about bulling and perception and power.  But it also happens on her eleventh birthday, hence the title.   I used to teach this story to my college kids, but I actually hadn’t thought about it in a few years.  And then the first line came into my mind about a week... read more

Time Out from Time Out

So there you are one afternoon, at the end of your rope with an out-of-control three-year-old. You know you won’t spank him, and you have become mindful of avoiding shame-based measures, so what’s left? Is “Time Out” the answer?   At the risk of adding stress to already stressed-out parents, my answer is no. Time-outs were conceived as a more humane alternative to spanking, but the problem is, they land a blow to the brain and psyche rather than to the bottom.   Right at the moment when the child is overwhelmed by a flood of emotions he cannot manage, and he most... read more

Have a Drink!

It will make everything better, I promise.    No, I'm not suggesting you have a swig of Mother's Little Liquid Helper**, I'm inviting you to have a refreshing glass of water. This may be the shortest blog post I've ever written, because this is pretty straightforward and uncomplicated: drink more water and get your kids hooked on water! If you already do this, you don't need to read further. For the other 99% of you, please fill 'er up and read on. Frankly, I'm a tad annoyed that the First Lady is getting all the press (and some backlash--read on) for something I've... read more

Are You Germophobic? Having Kids Will Cure You of That.

By Brian Leaf     Let me begin by saying that my sister, Julie, is a bit of a germophobe. No more than I was, but she’s not a parent, so she hasn’t spent countless hours squatting in public restroom stalls begging her toddler not to lick the wall. Having small children breaks you of any germ fears. There is no other choice.   This past weekend Julie drove with my boys and I to New Jersey to visit our mom. We stopped for lunch and before we got back in the car, Julie took the boys to the bathroom for one last pee before hitting the road.   About to wash his... read more

Are You Breastfeeding an Older Child?

  Not everyone knows this about me: I'm still nursing my boy. He turned three over the summer. I'm not embarrassed by this fact. In fact, I take a page from my son's book and don't really see it as a big deal. It's just something that we both still enjoy. We snuggle. It calms him when he's upset. (What mother doesn't want that?) It still provides him with health benefits such as added immunity.   I'm not always super giving with this information, however. I don't bring it up often. When it does come up, though, I am very matter-of-fact. I don't make excuses or... read more

Four Ways Running Has Made Me A Better Mother

                     Today I am very pleased to host a guest post by Sophie Walker, author of Grace, Under Pressure: A Girl with Asperger’s and Her Marathon Mom. This is a great read and I highly recommend it. So without further ado, here is Sophie Walker on "Four Ways Running Has Made Me A Better Mother."   -------   When my daughter was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 8, we were both in trouble. No one seemed to understand how to help and I felt overwhelmed by the task of finding the support Grace needed. I felt as though I was failing her.   I... read more

The Anatomy of Potty Training

                     By Colleen Lowe Smith   At two years nine months, Cassidy is officially potty trained.  We never made a big deal about it, and going to a toddler Montessori class helped a lot since the other children were either trained or training, in a unisex bathroom.  A couple of the boys were even proficient enough to pee standing, and there was a little stint where Cassidy wanted to straddle the potty standing herself. It took a little explaining why that wasn’t possible.  She figured it out.    Skip a few months and she’s out of her pull-ups (except for... read more

The Genius of Youth

By V.K. Harber                           “Genius is nothing but youth recaptured.”
 Baudelaire. Le Peintre de La Vie Moderne. 1863.   My little guy is a genius. Sure, he knows his ABC’s and he can count to 20. He knows his colors and shapes and animals and their corresponding sounds. But it is not his ability to retain and spout this information when called upon to do so that makes him smart.    He’s genius because his approach to life is completely spontaneous. When he feels lonely, he seeks connection. When he’s in pain, emotional or... read more

Tough Decisions

By Colleen Lowe Smith   My mother has a friend who is psychic.  She called me recently to tell me she had a “reading” and that there was a message for me: there is a little boy wanting to come to me.  “Aw Mom, stop it!”  What I didn’t tell her, as the goosebumps rose, is that I’ve had several dreams of giving birth to a baby boy over the past months.   And I’m so sorry little boy, but I don’t want to be your mom.   ACK! How it kills me to say that! A year ago?  Yes, yes, there could have been room for that, yes, I’d always longed for more than one, a girl,... read more

Can you hear me now?

By Colleen Lowe Smith   My daughter has exceptional communication skills.  When she was younger, we would make faces: “make a happy face!” “make a sad face!”  “make a mad face!”  Now she can make faces that express things like “Why are you putting away my plate of food that’s been sitting out for two hours?”  or “I didn’t mean to squeeze the cat that hard” or “I have to pee! I have to pee!”  And verbally?  Forget about it.  She’s been speaking since before two, and now, before three, she will tell epic tales and recall everything that happened “yesterday” (which is... read more

Mothering › Toddler Articles