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Mothering › Toddler Articles


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

39 toddler article submissions by the Mothering community.

Ten Tips for Surviving Two Under Two

By Megan Leary   My 14 month old daughter was eating lunch when I slipped away to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test. The next time she saw me I was literally jumping up and down with a huge smile and screaming. She started to smile and scream with me throwing her spoon and its contents in the air. I wonder if I knew then what I know now how much quieter that moment may have been!   I planned for my son, just not his timing into the world. I knew that having two children under the age of two would be difficult, but I was wholly unprepared for just how difficult.... read more

Is Your Child Ready to Read? A Checklist

We live in a culture deeply devoted to getting its citizens to read at the earliest possible ages. Whether it's flashcards, alphabet-focused toys, iPad reading apps or "teachable moments about letters" sprinkled throughout daily life with toddlers and preschoolers, we seem hellbent on hatching early readers.   And parents feel little choice in the matter: sadly, a 5- or 6-year-old kindergarten student in public or conventional private school who isn't quite fluent with letters is already behind the 8-ball!   Child psychologist David Elkind has devoted his... read more

Moebius Noodles: Adventurous Math for the Playground Crowd

  Have you ever heard of a mirror book? It's a simple thing made of two inexpensive mirrors connected at one edge by duct tape. It's also a powerful instrument for playful learning.      ~A child's scribble reveals hidden symmetries. ~A slice of pizza looks like an entire pizza. ~A toy creates simple animations. ~Simple objects form mosaic patterns. ~Images appear and disappear like magic. ~A line drawn across the opening forms polygons that add sides as the mirror book is slowly closed.   Discovery-based play is how young children learn. Mathematical... read more

Does Siri Thwart Social Intelligence?

During my infrequent strolls through Costco, a persistent thought comes to me (besides yum, those pizza samples are good) -- If I were an evil genius wanting to erode the nutritional wellbeing of a civilization, this would be a good first step: Induce mass consumer hypnosis via the big-box store. (Will return to this point in a bit.)   During my infrequent strolls down streets with actual pedestrians, a persistent question comes to me: How will it effect this generation's social intelligence, that the world of relating has so radically morphed from person-to-person to... read more

A Letter to My Nursing Toddler

By Megan Leary       My dear toddler,   You were tired. It had been a long morning in the car and then visiting with strangers. You rubbed your eye with one hand and said, “Nurse?”   At home I would have scooped you in my arms and cuddled you close while you nursed yourself to sleep. Then I would lay you in bed and give you a kiss. But this time I reacted differently. You saw me look sideways at the room of strangers who have never been a part of your life and meant nothing to you. You saw me shift awkwardly in my seat. You saw me blush. You were confused. I... read more

All of Our Free Time

Two days after Christmas this year, my daughter, Lucy, went through a surgery to have a feeding tube placed in her belly. Lucy has a condition called Rett Syndrome (for more info visit www.rettsyndrome.org). Early on in her life it stole her ability to talk and use her hands. It has prevented her from learning to walk, and now it has robbed her of her ability to eat efficiently enough to continue to grow and thrive. She lost over five pounds in this past year and the doctors agreed that it was time for the feeding tube. Many girls with Rett Syndrome have feeding... read more

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

3 Rules for Bedtime Reading

New research reveals that fewer and fewer parents share bedtime reading with their children. More than one-third of parents in one study don't do any bedtime reading with their kids. Whether it's due to time-crunch, life stress or (as reported by almost half the study's parents) that their children prefer television, toys or computer games, dropping bedtime reading creates a loss with potential lifelong repercussions. My rules simplify things to help nurture and protect your bedtime reading routine.   I'll keep this brief, because frankly, I think one of the culprits... 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

Mothering › Toddler Articles