Emotional Health

4-Year-Old Seems Fixated on Dark, Scary Scenarios – Parents Article

In this episode: A parent is perplexed that her 4-year-old continually engages her in made up stories where the protagonist is in physical danger, sick, “does a bad thing,” is mean, or had to call the police. While this mom believes her child’s interests are generally innocent, they’ve continued relentlessly for 6 months and she’s becoming exasperated. “Is this normal exploration?” she wonders. “How do we handle it?” Transcript of “4-Year-Old Seems Fixated on Dark, Scary Scenarios” Hi, this is…

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Drowning in Chaos (4 Parenting Lifelines) – Parents Article

In this episode: A parent writes that she’s overwhelmed since the arrival of her third child. While she used to manage a reasonable schedule that allowed for chores, self-care, and one-on-one time with her kids, now the older ones whine and scream and demand her attention. Any semblance of order in her day “has completely gone out the window.” She says her household is in chaos, her kids are miserable, and that she’s simply burnt out. “I don’t enjoy being…

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Dear Parent: You Are Not Failing – Parents Article

In this episode: A mom is at her wit’s end and describes a series of challenging family separations and transitions, including the birth of a sibling. Now one of her twins yells and screams from morning until night. The other twin is defiant and “is always telling me ‘no’ and doing things he knows he’s not supposed to be doing.” This mom says their behavior is so extreme she spends most of the day in tears and then ends up…

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Seriously Bugged by Bugs: Working with Your Child to Overcome Fears – Parents Article

In this episode: A parent writes that her 3-year-old has developed a phobic response to bugs and is withdrawing from activities she’s always loved because of the fear. This mom and her husband have tried several strategies to help their daughter including acknowledging her fear, but to no avail. They’re out of ideas and assume they’re doing something wrong. “I want to show her we love and respect her emotions but also help her work through it.” Transcript of “Seriously…

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Connecting with Your Kids When They’re Upset (Works with Siblings Too) – Parents Article

In this episode: Janet responds to a parent with a toddler and four-year-old who struggles to connect with her kids individually, and neither reacts well when the other is getting mom’s attention. For instance, she says when she tries to give her older son some lap time, “my 18-month-old clearly gets jealous and starts squealing, attempting to climb on me, hitting his brother.” She’s wondering if it’s possible to really connect with either child when both are upset. Transcript of…

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Parent Feels Abused By Her Children’s Verbal Outbursts – Parents Article

In this episode: Janet responds to a parent who says her kids scream at her, shout orders, complain about their lives, and call her a “rubbish mum.” While she acknowledges her former partner’s emotionally abusive behavior is probably a factor in their behavior, and she believes her kids should express their emotions fully, but she’s clearly fed up. “How much abuse and screaming am I supposed to put up with before I stop acknowledging, stop empathizing, and say enough is…

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Stop Being a Captive to Your Children’s Emotions – Parents Article

In this episode: A mother of two (3 and 5 years old) writes that she became a parent “with every intention of validating my children’s emotions and teaching them emotional expression.” Now she feels that perhaps her good intentions have backfired, and that her children’s whining and crying aren’t always genuine but may instead be an act. She says, “It’s as if they play the dramatic role for me, but they can just as quickly shift out of it.” She’s…

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Concerned About a Child’s Anxiety – Parents Article

In this episode: Janet responds to a question from a parent who’s saddened that her 4-year-old is showing signs of general anxiety. “I’m seeing a pattern of scouting for danger instead of just letting loose and having fun,” she says. She also recognizes this tendency in herself. This mom is wondering if her daughter’s disposition is inherited or learned by modeling, and if there’s anything she could be doing differently.  Transcript of “Concerned About a Child’s Anxiety” Hi. This…

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