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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.

Making the Grade

By Julie Shaffer   Quite a few years ago I worked as a program manager for a "Home and Community Habilitation" program for adults with developmental disabilities. One day I discovered that one of the employees I was in charge of was billing for times he had not actually been with the client and I had to fire him. The owner of the company joined me during the meeting with the employee and supported me as I confronted him and let him go. Afterward, as I cried a little bit, I told the owner that this job of being a program manager was just not for me and I wanted to... read more

Being a Kid: Living with Rett Syndrome

My daughter, Lucy, is almost three years old, and has Rett Syndrome. It is a debilitating condition that has robbed her of speech, the ability to walk, control her hands, and talk. This makes it difficult to figure out how to let her explore the world as every other child does. When I was a little girl, I spent most of my time outside, playing with my cousins. We did all of the things little kids do: rode bikes, caught tadpoles, made forts, pretended we were getting married with bouquets of ferns, played in the mud and in brush piles, rode four-wheelers, swam...you get... read more


By Colleen Lowe Smith   I’d made the mistake of practically bragging to a friend how Cassidy had never been sick before and that she’s “such a healthy kid.”  Naturally, two days later she was feverish after napping twice the time that she usually naps.  The day after that, still peaking temperatures at 103, I took her to the doctor just in case.  Not much they could do, viral, rest and fluids blah blah blah, come back if she wasn’t better in a few days. Which she wasn’t.   Saturday her breathing was visibly short, and she was still feverish when the tylenol... read more

Stop Growing so Fast!

By Colleen Lowe Smith   Things are changing.   Cassidy is not yet two and a half yet and I knew this time would come.  It started the other afternoon when I woke her up from her nap.  I didn’t want her to stay up late, and it had already been two hours.   It could have been a growth spurt, needing that extra sleep, who knows.  I should have let her stay in bed.  Instead she roused in protest, wailing, and was inconsolable for the next 45 minutes.  She ran away from me, hiding under chairs and tables, delirious and crying, “Go away, Mommy!”     Go Away... read more

Our Best Laid Plans: Living with Rett Syndrome

  Before I was even pregnant, years before really, I began to develop some beliefs about what parenting was going to be like. I felt strongly (and still do) about the value and importance of toys without lights and whistles and ones that don't do all of the playing for a child. I felt passionately certain that I would have the most amazing breast feeding experiences of anyone, ever. I believed that cloth diapers would rock my world and that my precious little son or daughter would never watch television and instead we would frolic happily through the yard;... read more

On Being a Perfect Mother

Thinking, feeling our way through motherhood.   By V.K. Harber   Hey, remember when you were growing up and you swore up and down that when you had children of your own you would never ever in a million years do that thing that your mother did? Yeah, me too. Yet, here I am, mother of my very own living breathing challenging toddler and I have, on more than one occasion, heard the very same words that used to issue forth from my mother’s mouth, pouring out over my own lips.   Sometimes, whatever comes out is the right thing for the circumstances. (Thanks,... read more

How A Coach Helps

A coach helps by holding a vision of success when you, for whatever reason, cannot. A coach sees the powers inside you and guides their unfolding. In singing, soccer, life in general -- and in parenting.   A coach helps by seeing the desired result, knowing the steps for getting you there, and patiently reminding you of those steps. A coach helps as you take those steps, which may feel awkward or unnatural at first. A coach patiently encourages you along what can feel like an interminably long road, sometimes to what feels like an unreachable mountaintop, even... read more

10 Tips to Tame a Tantrum

                      “Tantrums” are normal reactions from kids that almost every parent deals with at some point.  They can be frustrating and scary for us, particularly if we do not have the tools to guide our children through them in a healthy way.  Understanding where they come from can be endlessly helpful.  Tantrums are urgent, overwhelming panic responses in a child’s brain.   The valuable and insightful book The Science of Parenting: How today’s brain research can help you raise happy, emotionally balanced children by Margot Sunderland states, “A... read more

Playful Parenting, Simplicity Parenting or Full-tilt Ferber?

By Brian Leaf     One day last winter, my family went out to the Lone Wolf café in Amherst, Massachusetts for breakfast. Noah, age six, loves the waffles, and I love the Lox ‘n Latkes Benedict. After breakfast we were to drive to the Amherst Indoor Farmer’s Market to shop and meet some friends. We finished breakfast, walked to the car, and got in, but Benji would not sit in his car seat. Benji is two.             To drive like this, with Benji not strapped in, is, of course, illegal and unsafe. So Gwen and I couldn’t give in on this one. We had to get him... read more

Attachment Parenting: The Art of Letting Go Slowly

Last week, I talked about the approach of attachment parenting, as defined by Dr. William Sears, and the beginnings of this bond in the hours immediately after birth.  Let me just reiterate Dr. Sears’ definition here: Above all, attachment parenting means opening your mind and heart to the individual needs of your baby and letting your knowledge of your child be your guide to making on the spot decisions about what works best for both of you.  In a nutshell, AP is learning to read the cues of your baby and responding appropriately to those cues. (The... read more

Mothering › Toddler Articles