Coping with toddlers

Although I’ve always said I wanted a big family, there have been moments lately where I have had second thoughts… Having babies is one thing, but dealing with toddlers is a whole other challenge. A friend recently told me, “I would have 10 kids if I didn’t think that toddler-hood would nearly kill me 10 times over!!” And I have to agree… My 2.5-year-old is really driving me crazy!

My friend, Shawn, in New York sent me this NY Times article, “Coping With the Caveman in the Crib”. It’s about Dr. Harvey Karp, the author of “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, who has now focused his attention on older children.

In his new book, “The Happiest Toddler on the Block,” Dr. Karp tries to teach parents the skills for communicating with cranky toddlers. He argues that we should try to get down to their level and communicate in your child’s language.

When your child says “I want cookie. I want a cookie. I want it now,” you’re supposed to say to them, “You want. You want it. You want it now.” So after I read this article last week, I thought I would give it a go.

Now here’s my problem. One, I don’t have enough patience to stop and calmly talk to him in this simple language. And two, I felt like such an idiot trying to talk to him like that– I was sure he was thinking in his head, “what in the hell has happened to my mom? She’s acting so bizarre!”

But I’m still trying to see if it works. After all, I’ll take any advice I can get these days…



Comments (8)

February 13, 2008

i tried that for about a minute too. it just made me feel like a complete moron. now it’s back to lots of time-outs. but, i try and equal it out with lots of praises during those good times! oh, the joy. it really is such a fun age. so demanding at the same time! good luck.

February 14, 2008

Hi Courtney! Just try to remember that EVERYTHING is a phase and it WILL pass. You may even look back fondly at some of his antics! 🙂 I love your blog and wish you all were around when my girls were younger!
Erika Meyer Grayson

February 14, 2008

My husband was addicted to the ‘Happiest Baby on the Block’ and made sure all of our friends got a copy. I would be interested to know what you think of the sequel as we are starting to get to the toddler stage too!

February 14, 2008

It’s failed on our 2 year-old but I have a sneaking suspicion that my wife has been trying this technique on me! 🙂

February 15, 2008

[…] I decided this was the perfect moment to try Courtney’s (well, Dr. Harvey Karp’s) coping with toddlers method, so I looked her in the eyes and said, “you said NO! You said NO! You said NO! You said you […]

February 18, 2008

oooh, I must suggest watching the DVD over trudging through that book. Good luck!

February 19, 2008

I would recommend “love and logic: the early years, birth to 6 years old.” Although I must say, the baby stage is hard for me. I would take my 2.5 year old over his little 1 year old brother. Each phase is easy and hard and each day I try to enjoy all of it: the good, the bad and the ugly…and believe me, it does get ugly, ha ha! Cheers!

March 18, 2008

[…] But when our daughter arrived, screaming her head off for what seemed like an eternity, we were willing to try anything to soothe her. A friend of ours gave us the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD by Harvey Karp. (Courtney wrote a review about his follow-up book, the Happiest Toddler on the Block). […]

Leave a Comment