1-2-3 Magic: Parenting Tips

How Do I Get My Child to Go to Bed (and Stay There!)?

Do you have a kiddo who is challenging at bedtime? Does he try to get timeouts at bedtime just to stay up later? Does she get out of bed and come downstairs for a glass of water, or another hug? Do they stay in their room, but yell for you or bang on the wall?

Why is it that kids don’t want to stay in bed? It turns out there are actually two main reasons that kids don’t want to stay in bed.

Watch this quick video from Dr. Phelan to learn what those two reasons are, and how you can cut them off at the pass, keep them in bed, and help them fall asleep faster.

February 17, 2020

3 Things You Can Do to Head Off Most Tantrums

There's bad news and good news. The bad news is that you cannot wish tantrums away and, yes, your kids are probably going to embarrass you in public on any number of occasions. That's, unfortunately, part of parenting.

The good news is this: If you learn how to think about tantrums correctly and realistically, and if you learn how to handle these outbursts calmly and decisively, you can train most kids to outgrow this obnoxious phase of their existence. Some children may take a few days, some a few months, and others may still blow up from time to time, but at a rate that is way less than the tantrum frequency they started at.

February 12, 2020

Examining Sibling Rivalry from 3 Perspectives

Sibling rivalry has the nasty ability to present moms and dads with highly emotional dilemmas that are both frequent as well as extremely unpleasant. What happened? Who started it? This is so stupid!! Why can't these two get along!? What do I do now? Does this go on in other families—or am I just a lousy parent?

Let's examine sibling rivalry from three perspectives: First, from the perspective of parental expectations, next, from the standpoint of reality, and finally, from the angle of "Ok, now what am I supposed to do!?"

June 21, 2019

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

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...

May 15, 2019

OMG! It’s a Toddler!

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.

March 25, 2019
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