It seems like she's throwing tantrums all the time. If feels like he's crying over the silliest things. Is this normal? And what can I do about it?
Yes, it's completely normal and when you understand the science of emotional regulation, brain development and early learning you very quickly realize that this is a necessary and often inevitable part of toddlerhood and early childhood.
This bonus module will give you an understanding of:
Over the last three years I've received and thoughtfully answered hundreds of questions from participants in my year long program, Evolve, about early parenting. I've compiled a list of the Top Ten that are specific to Toddlerhood that will help you navigate specific scenarios during this extraordinary and sometimes challenging phase of life.
Here are some of the topics addressed in the bonus On Toddlerhood Q+A download you'll receive for enrolling in the course:
Leading edge brain research and studies in the areas of infant and child development suggest that we have largely misunderstood how to effectively parent little people in ways that maximize their development. As a result of this misunderstanding parents were led to believe they had to "overpower" their child to get cooperation. We now know doing that comes at a significant cost.
By understanding how the brain works and why a child exhibits unsavory behavior, you'll learn why the "old" paradigm of parenting was a model that sacrificed connection in order to get cooperation, or vice versa.
I'm going to show you a much more evolved way (the "new" paradigm) that will align with your values and maximize cooperation while experiencing a rich connection at the same time. You can have both!
Kicking, biting, screaming, hitting, spitting, slapping, running away, being defiant, yelling "NO!" and incessantly crying…it happens. The good news is, parenting via the "new paradigm" will dramatically reduce those episodes.
AND, sometimes these episodes are simply unavoidable. So how do you turn unsavory behavior around fast while staying true to your values and not reverting back to simply "overpowering" your child?
You'll find the answers inside On Toddlerhood! I'm going to equip you with simple and effective tools you can use in sticky moments to get your child feeling good again so you can get back to joyful family life flowing with ease.
Toddlerhood can be rich with wonderful experiences AND it's hard work! You deserve A LOT of credit for being an evolved parent.
You also deserve: a good night's sleep; regular quiet time to decompress; a massage; healthy meals; stimulating, adult conversation; pursuing a hobby or career; social outings; intimacy with your partner, and much more!
In other words, just because you're the parent of a little person who really needs you right now doesn't mean you have to step away from things that are important to you. In fact, your well-being is the most important piece of the "new" parenting paradigm and the key to gaining the cooperation and connection you desire.
On Toddlerhood will show you how to become a masterful self-care-giver so you can be the best parent you can be.
You're only a parent to a toddler for a few years, and yet who you are and what you do during this fertile developmental phase will sow relationship seeds for the rest of your child's life.
Being a highly evolved and super-intentional parent now creates a deeply loving and connected relationship with your growing person that endures through childhood, the teen years and into adulthood.
On Toddlerhood will inspire you to see that sowing the seeds of empathy, love and connection now will yield a ripe relationship forever.
Working with Carrie has been life-changing and life-affirming! When we first met Carrie, we were feeling defeated by the overwhelming emotions of our toddler. We've since learned so much about what's going on in the brains of little humans and even more importantly, in our brains and bodies as we try to deal with unsavory situations. That's been a game changer.
Staying in tune with how we are feeling, and how we are taking care of ourselves has given us clarity, and a brand new way to relate to the world, not just our children.
Now we are a family with three children under four, and thanks to Carrie we're taking better care of ourselves now than we ever have, are more aware of and thankful for the abundance and joy in our lives, and feel more connected.
I reached out to Carrie Contey when my first child was around 3.5. She became demanding and unpleasant. She would hit and kick. She was defiant and pushed boundaries and limits more than ever before and more than we thought she ever would. We literally did not know what to do. We didn't want to spank. We didn't find time outs effective. We had no tools, no language, no clue.
The first time I saw Carrie Contey, I must have seemed like Niagara Falls mama. No one ever showed me what to do with kids. We never talked about stages and phases. And I felt like a failure as a mama. Carrie broke it down for us. Understanding the brain development as the first step was crucial. Getting out of my brain and into hers helped me find compassion and understanding - for the biology of it instead of getting upset at the actions.
The language and the tools were next. Being able to speak about the feelings and name them was so helpful... for all of us. But one of the most helpful tools that I still use with her (now she is almost 8) and with my youngest (almost 3) is humor and play. Being silly during difficult meltdowns lightens things up, brings the connection back, and it enables us to communicate again - while still feeling the feelings.
The biggest impact Carrie has had on our family came via her videos. When we watched the three videos about the brain and what's happening when our kiddos are in different stages of meltdown, it completely changed my perspective.
Though I'm still not a big fan of the "reptile" behavior, at least now I can handle it more effectively. Additionally, Carrie's calm demeanor and straightforward explanations help to put me at ease when I'm parenting. I can hear her words in my head, especially when it's time to "zip it."
Since I stumbled upon Carrie and her work, I have gained some unexpected insight into myself and my family dynamic. If there isn't a Carrie Contey fan club yet, there should be!
We were struggling with our 3 year old especially around bedtime. It was turning into a nightly power struggle and I was feeling powerless and frustrated. Through our work with Carrie we learned to slow things down. We also learned that putting more time in on the front end, with more playfulness and connection, the whole process went way easier for everyone.
Now things are smoother. I've learned how important it is to bring more attention to self-care and keeping myself more regulated, so I can be in a better place to help care for them. It's made a world of difference for us all.
I'm so glad we discovered Carrie just as our daughter turned two. She is now well into three and it has been like having a sherpa making sure that we tread with care on this path of parenting and don't fall off and tumble below.
We are grateful Carrie was there to hold our hands and give us the certainty that we know how we want to bring our daughter up and that this is the right way for us. I know that when she is older I will look back and feel so glad we took this path. Even now I feel this in the richness of the relationship we have, that pulls us through even the tough days.
The tough days do still come, but they feel different with a map, a guide, a plan and an understanding of the terrain.
Our three year old was having "my shoes are too tight!" tantrums, among other things. We learned that our own self care is absolutely essential and possible even when it seems there is no room for self care in our life.
It has worked magically and has allowed us to stay grounded or ground very quickly, stay connected, feeling compassion even when our daughter's behavior wasn't all that pretty at first sight. It has resolved the actual "problem" and more importantly has made our relationship with her so much stronger, playful and easy. We can see how this can pave the road to a very satisfying, joyful relationship long term.
If at ANY point during this course you feel the value received was not in line with your investment, simply send me a quick email and I will cheerfully refund 100% of your investment! Simple and easy. No risk.
I started learning from Carrie when my son was deep into toddlerhood. She just has a way of seeing things a fresh way and she made brilliant suggestions that changed the tone and pace of how we went through our days.
Carrie is funny and smart and she'll tell you the real deal straight out. She was my secret weapon and I can't imagine getting through that time without her.
We were struggling with connecting and getting our kids to do what we needed them to do. We would become so frustrated and yelled more than we ever wanted to.
We began to understand that if we stepped away from the situation, took some deep breaths, and considered ways to approach a situation creatively and with empathy, the results would be positive. Now things are fun! And I feel like we are modeling better strategies for coping with frustration.
Our 4-year old son had just learned about guns and was testing it out on me by shooting at me with his finger. Being a wonderful, normal (read: paranoid) mom I thought it was just awful and it was a sign of things to come. Much to my dismay, I was concerned he was showing early signs of aggression.
We bring the issue to Carrie and she calmly says, "Play Dead. But play dead real well… with all the drama." You can imagine that this idea had NEVER occurred to me!
So we go home, he does it, I pull out my old acting skills from high school, play dead and everyone in the family is in hysterics! And would you know it, he only shot at me a few more times since then. I suppose the moral of this story and Carrie's awesome advice: LIGHTEN UP and HAVE FUN!