Toddler’s Tantrums, Creative Children, Smarter than Adults

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Janet Lansbury offers many insights into how to take care of your babies and children. She    is a follower of Magda Gerber and her RIE philosophy.

Here are some of my favorite posts from Janet, that recently came across my feed. I hope you enjoy them and realize that as a parent and grandparent you have an awesome responsibility and a wonderful one as you involve yourself in caring for your babies.

“Take the mobile off the bed, take care of their needs, and leave them alone.” This odd sentence was my introduction to Magda Gerberand the child care philosophy that would become my passion. I had given birth a few months before reading this quotation, the only one by Gerber, in an article in L.A. Parent magazine about raising a creative child.

via Magda Gerber and the Creative Child | Janet Lansbury.

Babies and children are always fascinating and sometimes frustrating to me. As a former maternal child nurse, I feel privileged to have been one of the first people to have held some newborns. I always felt that the birth of another little being was a blessing and a miracle. I think I always knew that something special had just happened when a baby was delivered.

GENERATIONS of psychologists and philosophers have believed that babies and young children were basically defective adults — irrational, egocentric and unable to think logically. The philosopher John Locke saw a baby’s mind as a blank slate, and the psychologist William James thought they lived in a “blooming, buzzing confusion.” Even today, a cursory look at babies and young children leads many to conclude that there is not much going on.

New studies, however, demonstrate that babies and very young children know, observe, explore, imagine and learn more than we would ever have thought possible. In some ways, they are smarter than adults.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Your Baby Is Smarter Than You Think –


Temper tantrums can be very perplexing to parents. This anecdote might help explain how RIE understands the mechanisms of toddler tantrums.

Young children are self-healing geniuses, have you noticed? Sometimes their tantrums are an expression of immediate discomforts like fatigue or hunger. Other times, however, they have a backlog of internalized feelings and will seem to deliberately and (seemingly) unreasonably push our limits so that we will hold steady and resist, which then opens up the escape valve they need to release these emotions. But this process can only work for them when we are able to set and hold limits and bravely accept their feelings.

via The Healing Power of a Toddler’s Tantrum | Janet Lansbury.

Table Manners, Tantrums, Strong Willed Kids – Summer Weekend Reads

A Day at the Beach...Martha's Vineyard

A Day at the Beach…Martha’s Vineyard

Table manners are one of my pet peeves….but so hard to teach when life is so hectic and sit down family meals are not “regular” happenings each day as they were “back in the day”.

How do you teach table manners to your kids and grandkids?


Your kids may have learned table manners for restaurant eating, but if your kids are anything like mine, those table manners aren’t nearly as good at home. Circle of Moms member Rhionna H. points out two important things to remember about kids and table manners: they need to learn them while they’re young and they will learn by your example.


Tantrums…there is so much written about them and so little parents and grandparents can do when it comes to  the when and where of “melt downs”.

How do you handle tantrums?

Basic reasons for toddlers tantrums:

1. Can’t express what they want/need

2. Trying to assert their independence

3. Want to be in control

4. Too many limits

5. Basic needs not being met- tired, hungry, thirsty, etc.

6. Overstimulated

7. Bored

Strong will is in reality a good thing but a “strong willed” child certainly can pose a challenge to parents and grandparents as well as teachers.

Do you have a strong willed child or grandchild?


It is so frustrating when you have a strong-willed child who just will not cooperate. And it is even more upsetting when you read  parenting books and the “experts” suggest contradictory strategies!

Tantrums, Infant Sleep, Baby Gifts-Weekend Reading

child playing on the beach

Tantrums…meltdowns…I don’t know anyone who hasn’t witnessed this behavior. Many of us can even remember losing control as a child.

For me, one of my most memorable meltdowns was when I was staying at my grandparents house with my dad (my parents were divorced)…my dad left for work and I was screaming for him not to go and leave me. I was about 5 years old.

While still out of control, my aunt appeared and yelled “shut up” at me. I had never heard those words and I had no memory of ever being yelled at…it was scary.

I remember feeling very alone, abandoned…no one came to comfort me. From that moment on, I never liked my aunt. This dislike carried through adulthood. She abandoned me when I needed a loving person most.

If we can recall our own meltdowns, perhaps we can more easily empathize with our children’s frustrating moments.

Hugs, understanding and help to put words together to describe emotions are ways we can help little ones navigate these “scary” moments.


Yes, thankfully. And it’s not only normal, but reasonable. As five experts on child psychology recently explained to me, toddlers’ irrational behaviors are a totally understandable reflection of their inner turmoil and frustrations. In sum, their world is turning upside down and they don’t yet have the skills to handle it. Tantrums don’t mean your kid is a spoiled brat or needs therapy; tantrums mean he is normal.


Do you crave sleep or do you remember craving sleep when your baby was a newborn? Did you turn to a baby sleep “expert”, who wasn’t really an expert?

How do parents find help ?  What books or websites did you find helpful when you have questions about parenting?



Enter the ‘baby sleep expert’. An entirely unregulated occupation that requires no qualifications, no experience and no code of ethics. In any other field we would run a mile, but we’re tired – oh so very tired – so tired we can’t think with our usual logic and reason, they dangle the golden carrot of ‘sleeping through the night’ in such a way that we repress any doubts we do have and naively believe their claims and trust their respectability and thus blindly trust their instructions.


What a wonderful simple little gift for new parents in Finland. Interesting how it affected the infant mortality rate in Finland.


Expectant parents often get plenty of presents from friends and family members, but in Finland even the government sends a gift.

The Finnish government regularly distributes maternity grants to help expectant parents care for a fussy newborn. Parents can pick between the maternity package, a colorful box that is filled with baby-related goodies such as reusable diapers  and colorful onesies, or a cash grant of 140 euros.

The  maternity package wasn’t designed just to be a fun gift, it started as a way to help promote healthy habits for new parents. The grants started in 1937, when the Finnish government passed the Maternity Grants Act to help counteract a high infant mortality rate. Before the act was passed the infant mortality rate was extremely high with 65 deaths  for every 1,000 births, according to the BBC.

Today it is 3.38 for every 1,000 births, according to the CIA World Factbook.

Do you know how to stop your child’s tantrum?


If you understand your child’s brain it just may help you deal with your child’s tantrums.

Dr. Siegel is a renowned physician, who has done much research on the brain. In this video he shares what is going on in a child’s brain when he is having a tantrum. By understanding the brain and tantrums it just might help a parent or grandparent deal with their own reaction to a temper tantrum.

How you react to the child who is having a tantrum may actually lengthen or shorten the duration of the “meltdown”

Now what parent would not want to shorten a tantrum?

Watch this video to learn how!

via How to stop tantrums by understanding the brain |

“Week in Review” from ParentingintheLoop

Tantrum discussions are trending…but then when aren’t they trending online somewhere in the parenting/grandparenting sphere?

Here are my picks this week.

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend…we are trying to capture some last rays of the summer, leaving our footprints in the sand and making memories to last us through the coming Fall and Winter.

The study, led by  Lauren Wakschlag, Ph.D., also debunked the common belief that temper tantrums are rampant among young children. Although temper tantrums among preschoolers are common, they are not particularly frequent, the research shows. Less than 10 percent of young children have a daily tantrum. That pattern is similar for girls and boys, poor and non-poor children, and Hispanic, white, and African-American children.The study found key differences between “typical” tantrums and “atypical” tantrums.

Very interesting information regarding typical and atypical tantrums, if you have a question about your preschooler’s meltdowns you might want to check out this new information from Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

This post from Core Parenting, discusses how to deal with a tantrum with emotional competence. Agree or disagree it just might help get you through the next toddler/preschooler meltdown.

So the next time your child has big emotion, change the way you think and see and respond in the moment. Change your thoughts from “Oh no, not again!” to “Yes! Another opportunity to practice emotional competence!” Take a deep breath and be amazed at the hard work your child is doing. Learning about emotions is difficult, engaging work. Be there, by their side.

Temper Tantrums…new info…

Simply put, I could not wait to share this post from NPR ….temper tantrums are so exhausting for the child, parents, grandparents and anyone else around.

This is great information with some scientific background.

Another recommendation of mine for dealing with “meltdowns” is found in “The Happiest Toddler on the Block” by Dr. Harvey Karp.

Good Luck…hope it helps.

Temper Tantrums (video)

The trick in getting a tantrum to end as soon as possible, Potegal said, was to get the child past the peaks of anger. Once the child was past being angry, what was left was sadness, and sad children reach out for comfort. The quickest way past the anger, the scientists said, was to do nothing. Of course, that isnt easy for parents or caregivers to do.

via Whats Behind A Temper Tantrum? Scientists Deconstruct The Screams : Shots – Health Blog : NPR.