'Bad' Habits

Whether you want to help your toddler stop thumb-sucking, or you want to curb his whining, breaking toddler habits takes some TLC.

17-Month-Old Butts His Head

This behavior is probably normal. Seventeen months is that difficult age when toddlers are learning to control themselves and the world around them. read more

Almost Seven and Still Sucks Her Finger

The best solution to this problem is a pediatric dentist/orthodontist. read more

Bathroom Talk

An increased interest in bathroom behavior and talk is normal for children at certain stages of development, but don't let it get out of hand. read more

Biting Other Children

Toddlers and preschoolers bite for any number of reasons, including getting attention, being overexcited, and showing signs of affection. read more

Bowel Control Problems in Six-Year-Old

Learn the best way to handle bowel control problems in school-age children. read more

Breaking the Pacifier Habit

Breaking the Pacifier Habit Most pacifiers are now designed with orthodontia in mind. They will not do any damage to the alignment of your child's teeth. So why make a point of asking your preschooler to stop using a pacifier? In time, your child will probably give it up on her own to avoid being labeled a "baby" by other children or by insensitive adults. However, if you can't wait to wean your preschooler from her beloved pacifier: read more

Breaking the Thumb Sucking Habit

Breaking the Thumb Sucking Habit Childproofing Bad-tasting solutions that you can apply to your preschooler's thumb have a serious drawback. If your child rubs his eyes, the solution may sting or irritate them. read more

Don't Overuse the Word "No"

Don't Overuse the Word "No" Q-tip Be positive. Parents often forget that a toddler's social behavior is motivated not only by a desire to avoid displeasing others (especially parents), but also by a genuine desire to please. All too often, parents offer behavioral guidelines only in negative terms. read more

Eight-Year-Old Sucks Thumb

Some thumb sucking is common with a third or more of preschool children, and an even smaller percentage of early elementary-aged children. read more

Favorite Words of a Four-Year-Old

Favorite Words of a Four-Year-Old Your four-year-old actually needs to talk a lot. Though she's become much more fluent in her use of language, your preschooler is still practicing with different sounds and words. During this year, she'll probably love words that exaggerate: enormous, tremendous, and emergency, for example. read more

Five-Year-Old Still Sucking Thumb

Find out whether thumb sucking is harmful to a child's teeth. read more

Identifying Bad Habits in Preschoolers

Identifying Bad Habits in Preschoolers This article focuses on bad habits rather than bad behavior, because behavior that troubles you becomes a problem only when it becomes habitual. All preschoolers behave in ways that parents wish they wouldn't, at least on occasion. Your child will be no different. But no matter how strongly you disapprove of certain aspects of your child's behavior, it should be cause for real concern only if it becomes persistent. read more

My Toddler Is Biting

Biting is a normal behavior in toddlers, and there's little need for serious intervention. read more

Pacifiers and Thumb-Sucking

Pacifiers and Thumb-Sucking Dads often think that a baby doesn't need a pacifier, but using a pacifier or sucking on her thumb or fingers isn't necessarily a bad habit for a baby. Many younger infants actually enjoy the security they get from this type of non-nutritive sucking, and it can be something that is healthy and normal and encouraged. It also can provide a calming or soothing effect for many infants. read more

Potty Mouth

Age four is a bit early to be introduced to this degree of bathroom humor and body curiosity, but it's not of serious concern in and of itself. read more

Tackling Tantrums, Biting, Hair Pulling, and More

Tackling Tantrums, Biting, Hair Pulling, and More Perhaps the biggest trouble that little ones cause their parents is when they throw temper tantrums, and engage in hitting, biting, hair pulling, and other violent acts. It's a Good Idea! Kids are basically reasonable, and once you understand them, you can usually reason with them. It's a Good Idea! Sometimes you have to operate on “toddler time.” If you slow your pace, your child will become more serene. read more

Ten-Year-Old Sucks Thumb

Find out what our expert has to say about a ten-year-old who is still sucking her thumb. read more

Three-Year-Old Is Lying

An expert reassures a mother that it is normal for three-year-olds to lie. read more

Three-Year-Old Sucking Thumb

Is it possible to teach a three-year-old that sucking her thumb is a bad habit? read more

Toddlers Saying "No"

Toddlers Saying "No" It's a Good Idea! Think about how hard it would be to live in a house set up for giants-chairs, tables, and sinks too tall, drawers too heavy, stairs too steep. Making your house more child-friendly will enable your little one to become more independent, more resourceful, and less frustrated. read more

Weaning Off Pacifier

Learn the best method for weaning a child from the pacifier. read more

When a Child Is a Dawdler

Dawdling at any age is not normal behavior. It is learned behavior. read more

Youngster Kicks and Bites Classmates

A teacher asks how she can teach a 4-1/2-year-old boy that it's not right to kick or bite people in her classroom. read more