Ask The Experts!

When to Begin Potty Training

QUESTION: My son is turning 2 next month. Should we start potty training then? Do you have any tips to make the process easier?

ANSWER: Toilet learning can be a stressful time for parents and children. The adults in the situation are often very ready to make the move from diapers to underwear. Children can feel stressed they will disappoint the adults they love or they’re being asked to do something they aren’t quite ready for physically, emotionally or intellectually. But, with planning and realistic expectations, this transition can be one that doesn’t dissolve into a war of wills.

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How to Convert a Picky Eater

QUESTION: My three-year-old is a very picky eater. I have a hard time getting him to eat any green vegetable at all. How can I introduce him to healthy foods when I can’t persuade him to even taste them?

ANSWER: Taking in nutrition is something every living creature must do. So why does this simple act of survival get so complex when there are children involved? Picky eaters can turn peaceful mealtimes into intense battles of will.

Converting a picky eater does not happen overnight. The goal is that they come to see the value in trying and eating a variety of foods, not that they eat a huge helping of each food tonight.

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How to Take Children Shopping

QUESTION: I have a hard time taking my 8-year-old daughter shopping. Any ideas on how to keep the outbursts to a minimum?

ANSWER: Most shopping trips with children are full of adventure – some adventures take you to the end of the rainbow while others find you fighting dragons. The best way to manage shopping with children is to avoid it all together. Make arrangements so that you have time to go to the store alone. But, of course this isn’t always possible. The following tips can make those errands a little easier.

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How to Make Bedtime Peaceful

As the sun goes down, a war of wills breaks out in children’s bedrooms across the country. Children, anxious to not miss anything going on around them, resist getting and staying in bed. Parents, knowing that they will pay the price in the morning if their kids are overtired, use every trick in the book to ensure a good night’s sleep. But with some consistency and preplanning, bedtimes can be filled with gentle snores of slumber as opposed to the screams and tears of battle.

1.Establish a routine: Children do better when they know what to expect. When any transition is chaotic or different every time, children can be stressed and this can come out in the form of tantrums or resistance.

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Why Children Bite

QUESTION: Why do children bite?

ANSWER: There are many reasons why a toddler may bite. Young children rely on non-verbal communication to express wishes and feelings. Often they bite because they simply cannot communicate what they want, need or how they feel. It could be because they’re tired, hungry or feeling ill. Or because they’re bored, or can’t have something they want. Sometimes children bite out of curiosity, to express affection, or they’re experimenting to see what will happen. Sometimes the explanation is as simple as the child is teething and it feels good to bite down on something.

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How to Teach Children to Share 

We all get it – that sinking feeling in our stomach when we realize there is only one more scoop of ice cream in the carton and there are three people who want some. We are going to have to share it.

Sharing is not something that comes naturally to people. It is not something we always like to do. But, as we grow, we realize it is the kind thing to do. And if we share with other people, they are more likely to share with us. Children have not yet gained that insight. Just like children need support in learning to walk, talk, and read, they need our support in learning to share.

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