Category: Entitlement-Free Child

Broccoli or Goldfish? Empathy in Toddlers

In high chairs everywhere, parents can see the depth and breadth of baby empathy – a profound ability to know that other people like different things and the insight to  … Read more

Tantrums and Fairy Dust: find the magic in big emotions

Magic in tantrums? Are you kidding? Any reasonable person would choose to avoid tantrums, prevent tantrums, stop tantrums as quickly as possible. Emotional meltdowns, whether they are colossal storms or  … Read more

Family Time Toy Shopping Faves for 2022

More toys? More things to buy? Not really necessary but supporting children’s play and learning is always worthwhile! Toys on any of the Family Time lists are merely ideas to  … Read more

Friendships in early childhood: do’s and don’ts for parents

Children’s friendships are unique. They flourish in the moment yet they change unpredictably. Young children’s social and emotional lives are intricately woven together. If a child is happy, friendships are  … Read more

You are smarter than your child…Really!

In order to be the best teacher and guide that your child needs, you must be able to handle anything your child throws at you — metaphorically, that is. You  … Read more

Parents: braver, stronger, smarter than you think!

Brave, strong and smart. Heart, body and mind. What do you want for your children in the new year? Everything! What do you want for yourself? To be enough! Each  … Read more

Social-Emotional Skill Building: teaching young children to say what they need

What do young children “need” when they are bored, sleepy, sad or hungry? How about when they are angry, confused or excited? Kids do know what they need. Babies are  … Read more

Setting limits: first act with love

Setting limits is one of the hardest things parents have to do. And it doesn’t come naturally to most. It’s a learned skill that is acquired only after months, sometimes  … Read more

5 Tips on how to teach optimism and resilience

Early childhood is prime time for encouraging optimism and resilience in children. Some researchers have even suggested that optimism, as an “explanatory style” in experiencing the world, may be established  … Read more

Beware of quick fixes: real learning takes time

Parenting is filled with quick fixes that take care of the moment but don’t solve the problem; these are times when you’re buying yourself time. You never intended to live  … Read more

Parenting Improv – it’s ok to suck on those nothing-goes-as-planned days

No one wakes up in the morning saying “today I’m going to suck”! Yet, every day we are inches away from an epic fail – saying exactly the wrong thing,  … Read more

See Me Hear Me Love Me: the cornerstone of all development

Every action, every thought, every feeling is your child creating a self-portrait of who they are and what they need to grow. It’s up to us to see, hear and  … Read more

Xtreme Emotions and the Power of Love

Those “terrible two’s” got their name from the emotional Xtremes of being two. Of course it all starts at 18 months when your child first says “no” and “mine”. And,  … Read more

Teaching Independence: Baby Steps and Giant Leaps

Toddlers and preschoolers are eager to grow and learn. Yet, they often experience clingy periods of neediness just before mastering new developmental challenges like walking, separation, and potty training. They  … Read more

Trust Us: how and why parents can trust teachers for back-to-school

Back-to-school is often stressful for children, especially young children. Young children aren’t very good at feeling competent and masterful in new situations. Uh-oh….a new classroom! Where do I sit –  … Read more

Teach by example even if you are less than perfect

Children may or may not do as you say but they are very likely to do as you do. You are more than your child’s first teacher. You are your  … Read more

Co-parenting guidelines: what to do when parents disagree

We’ve all heard “it takes a village to raise a child”. Surely, it takes a village full of hands and more time than any one person has in a day  … Read more

Fear and reason in toddler imagination

Parents are protectors. They create safe, secure lives for little children to learn and grow. They tell stories about the world so that children may learn about danger and take  … Read more

How to build attention and focus skills to kids in a multi-tasking world

Kids, just like the busy grown-ups around them, live in a world of sensory overload. They are busier than ever, spending increasing amounts of time out of the home. Many  … Read more

Children’s Books that Soothe and Seethe: Supporting Emotional Development

By Karen Deerwester, Ed.S. Toddlers and preschoolers are walking around with a great big new emotional life that doesn’t quite fit yet. When your child feels intense new emotions, you  … Read more

Family Mealtime: The Recipe for Healthy Kids

Believe it or not, you can improve your child’s health and fitness, test scores, and social/emotional competence with one simple daily event. Numerous studies all tell us that the family  … Read more

To share or not to share: learning social skills

Sharing is a very challenging concept for young children. Obviously, sharing is a social skill. Sharing, however, also requires complex emotional and cognitive skills that are not fully developed in  … Read more

Entitlement-Free Family: parenting in public

Parenting in public is hard. Time stops as you imagine a thousand eyes staring at you. Embarrassment is burning a hole in your brain, and you cannot think. You imagine  … Read more

Outer Spaces for Kids

By Karen Deerwester, Ed.S. Imagine so much “curb appeal” to your backyard that children flock from every corner of the neighborhood to play, to learn, and to relax. Ok, maybe  … Read more

Back-to-School: 5 ways preschools give children exactly what they need

Preschool is a magical place made just for kids – child sized furniture (and bathrooms), interest centers with a child’s favorite kind of play, predictable routines that flow with the  … Read more

Never Too Young for Philanthropy

By Karen Deerwester, Ed.S. Compassion and empathy are powerful feelings at any age. As adults, we have the ability to make a difference in the world by helping others. Imagine  … Read more

Back to school: the power of a backpack

Backpacks are a tell-tale sign that back-to-school is here. But like teddy bears and bedtime books, backpacks are not ordinary objects. A backpack gives your child magical power – the  … Read more

Back to school: preschool hello’s, good bye’s, and mommy comes back

Oh, the anguish of leaving a crying, confused, uncertain child in the hands of “stranger”, even when that “stranger” is a loving teacher reassuring you that “everything will be ok”.  … Read more

Transitions and New Beginnings

Endings and beginnings. Change – new ages-and-stages, new learning, new skills, new frustrations, new dreams, new challenges. Anticipation, celebration and uncertainty mark the transition from old to new. Each new  … Read more

2017 Toy Shopping Favs for Toddlers

Toy shopping is fun! It allows us to reconnect with play and silliness and hopefully to connect with what is unique and original in the children who will receive our  … Read more

Avoid the Holiday Gimme’s

The visual effect of a mountain of presents is dramatic, filled with all the excitement of surprises and wishes fulfilled. Your heart glows when you hear your child “oooh” and  … Read more

Are You Stuffed with Too Much Stuff?

By Karen Deerwester, Ed.S. ‘Tis the season for stuff! You buy stuff, build stuff, wrap stuff, ship stuff, return stuff, and buy more stuff. And then we say we love  … Read more

Thanksgiving Dinner: a comedy of manners

Thursday – 4:27pm: Guests are arriving in three minutes. No, not guests, relatives – Mother (who still thinks Thanksgiving should be prepared “her way”), Father (who never really understood why  … Read more

Child prefers caregiver

Question: My daughter is 11 months old. I went back to work 2 months ago. For the past few weeks she has been reaching for the babysitter when I drop  … Read more

Creating a playroom

Question: I have a room I use both as guestroom (which has a daybed with trundle), and a playroom. The room is not large. What ideas do you have that  … Read more

Potty training regression

Question: My girl is 3 1/2 and she has been toilet trained for about 1 1/2 years about eight weeks ago she has started pooing her pants again. She doesn’t  … Read more

Learning to read

Question: At what age should a child be beginning to read? My daughter will be five in April and she is beginning to read, with assistance. Also, by what age  … Read more

Resisting potty training

Question: My wife and I have a home daycare one of our children has potty trained themselves into there diapers. We will put him on the potty during the times  … Read more


Question: I have a 7 yr old daughter who has recently started doing the “sleep over” thing. At least.. trying. All of her friends seem to have no problem whatsoever  … Read more

Aggressive behavior

Question: I need HELP. I have a two-year-old who seems very aggressive. She beats on her 8-year-old sister with whatever toy she may have in her hand at the time.  … Read more

Getting teased at school

Question: My daughter is being tease at school about her glasses and they call her a nerd. She’s been so upset by it that she cries when I ask her  … Read more

Cried at preschool

Question: My son is almost three and he started pre-school a few weeks ago. He does well saying goodbye, but as soon as he steps into the classroom and I’m  … Read more

Preschool behavior

Question: My son is 4 1/2 years old and he is being disruptive at pre-school. He plays up in quiet time and sometimes hits other children or jumps on them.  … Read more

Explaining the facts of life

Question: Please advise on any resource books for explaining the facts of life for a 10 year old and one for a five year old. K.H. Answer: There are many  … Read more


Question: I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter who bites. She seem to bite her self and other childern. It doesn’t seem to be just one child it’s all.I  … Read more

Not talking

Question: My 3 and a half year old does not speak at preschool, unless directly spoken to and often then only whispers or shrugs, nods, etc. Her teacher has expressed  … Read more

Positive discipline

Question: What are some positive approaches to discipline of a 5-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. Is spanking ever an option? What is the best type of approaches when a  … Read more


Question: I’m a recent widow and have recently changed jobs and my son three-year-old son and I moved. My son has turned into a monster. He has never misbehaved…but all  … Read more

Teaching quiet behavior

Question: We have a four-year old daughter who is what I have heard termed “a highly-spirited child.” It seems everywhere she goes, even just room to room in our house,  … Read more

Uninvolved Student

Question: My 12 year old middle schooler has gone from a excellent student to a uninvolved student. Her teachers have stonewalled me about communicating, insisting it is totally up to  … Read more

Overactive toddlers

Question: My son is 33 months old, but he is totally out of control. One day last week he awakened at 5 am and went to bed at 11:30pm, no  … Read more

What Age Should a Teen Date?

Question: I have an almost 13 year old daughter. She is in the 7th grade and is the youngest. Anyway many of her friends go with their friend to the  … Read more

Child has problems sleeping alone

Question: My daughter has recently started getting up at night and will only go back to sleep if a parent sleeps with her or if she is allowed to sleep  … Read more

Child prefers mom

Question: My son only wants mommy. When Daddy tries to put him to bed, he tells him he wants Mommy. When we go somewhere where he doesn’t know everyone he  … Read more

Behavior at school

Question: I have a 12 year old son. When my son is at home he is an angel. But, when he goes to school he becomes a monster. I went  … Read more

School uniforms

Question: Do you agree that school uniforms are good for all students in all schools? – Deven Answer: I can agree that student uniforms are a good thing but it  … Read more

Ready for daycare

Question: My child, just under 2, stays with me during the day while I work from home…would she be better off to go to a day care part time for  … Read more

Tantrum in restaurant

Question: I took my 4-year-old, and my 1-year-old to a birthday party at McDonald’s. As soon as they started the party my 4-year-old threw a huge tantrum! He didn’t want  … Read more

Step-children acting out

Question: I’m a step-mother of two children one girl (10) and one boy (8). I’ve been the step-mother for two years. Their real mother has abandoned them, they have not  … Read more

Mom working fulltime

Question: Is there a certain age where it is better for a mom to go back to work? I have a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old and I am trying to  … Read more

Lies about school

Question: I have a 12 year old stepson. He lives with his father and me. His mother has every other weekend visitation other than that she is not involved. His  … Read more


Question: My 4-year-old son is a whiner. Ever since he was about two he begs and moans until he gets exactly what he wants. What can I do to make  … Read more

Child hits mother

Question: I have a daughter, who will be four years old next month. She is very bright with amazing memory and artistic talent and tends to expect everybody to understand  … Read more

Teething and sleep

Question: My 11-month-old used to go to bed no problem and sleep through the night. The last month, teething has disrupted his sleeping and it is now taking 2 hours  … Read more

4-year-old lying

Question: I have a 4 1/2 year old little girl who is starting to become defiant, untruthful, sneaky, and has done some hitting to myself and her father lately. We  … Read more

Hungry at night

Question: Our 10-month old still does not sleep through the night. He goes down for bed at around 8:30 pm and wake up starving at 1 am. He will drink  … Read more

Stopping Grumpy behavior

Question: My 9 year old son is 80 percent of the time grumpy. He is happy when he is doing the things he likes to do, but if I ask  … Read more

Falling asleep on her own

Question: My 11-month-old daughter has been waking up at various times in the night for the past month. She has not been able to put herself back to sleep, without  … Read more

An unhappy child

Question: I have a six year old daughter, nothing makes her happy. If she is excited about something, it last for just a second and before we can do what  … Read more

Needs mom after bedtime

Question: I am the father of a wonderful 2 1/2-year-old girl. My wife and I are having a difficult time with her sleep patterns. She used to go to sleep  … Read more

Sleeping alone

Question: Dear Karen, I blame myself for this problem. My daughter is almost 12 years old and will not sleep in her own bed. She has never slept in her  … Read more

The Art of Giving

By Karen Deerwester, Ed.S. Children everywhere will be doing a lot of receiving this holiday season. Whether it’s Santa delivering gifts under a Christmas tree or eight presents next to  … Read more

Toy Buying for Real Kids

By Karen Deerwester, Ed.S. You’ve seen this year’s toy-buying lists in all the popular parenting magazines, age-by-age suggestions of must-have toys. Unfortunately these can lead to a houseful of forgettable  … Read more