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Apr 3 2014

Tovah Klein Talks Toddlers: Lower Your Expectations and Respect Their Individuality

By at 3:25 pm


tovah-klein

Let’s be honest: parenting a toddler can make even the sanest person among us feel homicidal at times. I should know–I’ve got twins.

Tovah Klein, author of “How Toddlers Thrive,” is an associate professor of psychology at Barnard and director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development. She kindly took a moment from a busy book tour to talk me off the ledge  talk to me about her new book and why we just need to shift our perspective.

In “How Toddlers Thrive,” you write about our current “overzealous child-rearing culture” and how the media often confuses parents. I am a confused parent. How will your book help me?

There’s a reason for confusing toddler behavior (defined here as ages 2-5): there’s rapid change going on in the brain in these early years–700 synapses per second are being connected! That’s why toddlers are exhausting to be around. They are trying to figure out who they are and what they need is for us to help guide them in a way that gives them a secure emotional base. Its important to take a step back and try and see the world from a toddler perspective. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 12 2011

Stop Touching My Kid

By at 10:32 am

How germs look to moms.

It starts with a pregnant belly. Something about the protrusion leads people to think it’s OK to pat total strangers. And it doesn’t stop once the kid is externally perched. I’ve experienced several uninvited hand-to-baby contact incidents in the 20 months my daughter has been around. I find the situations fall into two categories: Just Trying to Help and Just Trying to Help Spread Germs.

Take, for instance, these two scenarios.

Scenario 1: Ellie and I are in line to board a plane at Fort Lauderdale International Airport. An older gentleman is behind us and smiling at Ellie. All of a sudden, he takes his thumb, sticks it into his mouth, closes his lips and pulls his thumb out with a pop. I could see the saliva droplets flying through the air. As if to make sure he definitely coated her in his spit, he took the same hand and pinched. Her. Cheeks. I was so horrified that I don’t think I was able to speak, but I did wipe her face off as best I could given the circumstances. Read the rest of this entry →

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