Recent Posts

Play & Activities

A Note from Faith: Rather than giving children 70% of your attention all the time, try alternating periods of “direct attention” (100% of your focus) with being “physically-busy-but-emotionally-available” (20-30% of your focus). This will allow your child to dive deeply into their own independent play, coming to check in with you. When check-ins turn to…

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Harmonious Home Life

A Note from Faith: We all long to enjoy our time with our children, and can feel deep guilt when we find ourselves counting down the time till our child will be asleep. I’m a parent too; I know this! The posts in this category will help you support your child in learning to be…

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Discipline & Connecting

A Note from Faith: The research on parenting outcomes is really clear: children do best when the adults in their lives have high levels of warmth, PAIRED WITH high expectations. However, it’s really hard to maintain high warmth when we’re setting boundaries! Read some of the posts below to give you ideas on how to…

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Welcome to my website

I’m so glad you found Joyful Toddlers!; please look around. I believe that children—just like the rest of us—long to live a life in which they feel connected, feel competent, and are able to contribute to something greater than themselves.

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A Playful Way to Teach Kids to Control their Anger

A friend recently sent me a link to THIS STORY by NPR about a researcher in the 1970s who noticed that the Inuit community where she was staying had very strong cultural expectations about people controlling their negative emotions (especially anger and disappointment). Although they never raised their voices to reprimand their children, all of…

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Holiday Book Sale

Many of my readers don’t know that my mom is none other than Rahima Baldwin Dancy, author of the classic early childhood book You Are Your Child’s First Teacher.  Up till now I’ve kept it mostly on the down-low, but now I’m letting the cat out of the bag!  So…if you’ve read her book, then…

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Holiday Craft Projects with Kids

Children thrive when we slow down and do things with a “sense of spaciousness”: the attitude that we have enough attention for our task AND the child(ren), and that we have all the time in the world for whatever is happening right now.  During the holiday season it can be especially hard to slow down. …

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How To Avoid the Terrible Twos

Everywhere you look, the message about toddlers is that they are “terrible,” that their favorite word is NO, and that they’re using all of their energy to become independence from us.  However, this cultural paradigm has gotten it all wrong!  Toddlers and parents are not going from connection to independence.  Rather, they are transitioning from…

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Bath-Time Hair Washing

Dear Miss Faith, My 2yo son screams bloody murder every time I wash his hair.  I’m ever so slow and careful, but nothing seems to help.  He particularly hates it when water falls into his ears, which is almost impossible to avoid 100%.  It’s gotten to the point where he starts crying as soon as…

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Verbal Apraxia and Motor Planning

Something I haven’t talked about much here on the Joyful Toddlers blog is the fact that my daughter (who is four and a half now, as I’m writing this) was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), also called Verbal Apraxia.  When it was a big deal it felt too scary to talk about in…

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My Oat Bar Recipe for Play Garden

I know that parents are always on the lookout for healthy snacks that kids love.  I serve these Oat Bars at my outdoor parent-child Play Garden classes, and parents always ask for the recipe.  Well, here it is!  They are super simple, with healthy ingredients, and the children love them. Healthy Oat Bars Preheat oven…

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My Kid Talks So Loudly

Dear Miss Faith, My son is almost three and he’s very verbal, be he talks SO LOUDLY, all the time.  I am very sensitive to noise and sometimes I feel like I can hardly stand to be around him.  Telling him to talk more quietly doesn’t seem to have any effect. Dear Mama, I get…

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What Reviewers Are Saying

I was pleased to be approached by Gail Cornwall (gailcornwall.com) for a review copy of Joyful Toddlers & Preschoolers: Create A Life that You and Your Child Both Love.  Gail is a freelancer for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Salon, The New York Times, among others.  She also writes parenting articles for Scary Mommy, Parenting Magazine,…

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