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March, 2011

Connect to primary emotions . . .

To “feel felt,” children need parents to tune in to their primary emotions. In any given situation, these are the emotions children feel first, such as happy, sad, mad, or scared. When parents connect with a child’s primary emotional experience, a special kind of joining together is possible. The joining that takes place in these …Continue reading

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Shifting gears . . .

When children and parents spend time apart during the day, adjustments are necessary when reconnection takes place. This reentry into each others’ lives can create some missteps because everyone is full of feelings remaining from their time apart. Everyone also has slightly different expectations about what will happen when they gather together again. Parents may …Continue reading

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Discipline and inner controls . . .

When parents use constructive and effective forms of discipline, they are teaching their children how to use inner controls. The effective techniques for doing this depend upon a child’s developmental level. Toddlers, for example, need help as they learn to moderate, contain, and find alternative ways of handling a wide range of emotions. Much of …Continue reading

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Manageable versus excessive amounts of anxiety . . .

Experiencing manageable amounts of anxiety can help a child build coping resources. Excessive amounts of anxiety are another story. When toddlers are routinely exposed to excessive amounts of anxiety, they cannot learn from the stressful situations or tune in to their feelings. When feelings of anxiety overpower a toddler, experimentation, play, and humor are no …Continue reading

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Bedtime rituals . . .

For a toddler, the reasons to resist bedtime and sleep can be many. Some toddlers feel they are losing control when they let sleep take over. Others have a hard time giving up the fun they have when they are awake and with the rest of the family. Some toddlers feel anxious about being alone …Continue reading

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