Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Yesterday I had the chance to chat with one of our advisors, Harvey Karp, M.D., author of The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block (one of my all-time favorite parenting books). I told him how Lila’s doing with potty training and he asked, “And you’re not going overboard with the praise, right?” Umm… why, yes, I believe I am. He explained why that can backfire: If you make a huge deal out of it every time your child goes to the bathroom, she starts thinking along these lines: “Wow, this is really important to them. I can’t handle the pressure. I’m not even going to try anymore.” Or your child might realize that she’s got the upper hand in this situation, and embark on a power play by not going on the potty.
Instead, Dr. Karp recommends a technique he calls “gossiping,” where you tell others how great your child is doing. (Do it in a whisper right in front of your child, to give her the impression that you don’t realize she’s listening to the “conversation.”) I actually did this the other night, when I told her favorite duck how Lila let me know at the birthday party that she was ready to use the potty. She then handed me her sheep, Pillow Pet, and turtle so that I could tell them the story, too. So from now on I’ll do more gossiping and dial down the unbridled enthusiasm after each trip to the potty.
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Monday, July 26th, 2010
We’re looking for families to participate in an upcoming story about toddlers and discipline. We’re pretty psyched about this article because we’re collaborating with pediatrician and Parents advisor Harvey Karp, M.D. You may know Dr. Karp as the author of the mega-popular Happiest Baby on the Block. He’s also written The Happiest Toddler on the Block, and it’s stuffed with very practical, doable tips on dealing with your wild little one. I desperately need those tips, because I have a very headstrong 23-month-old little girl. (That’s her in the photo.) She’s quite different from her older sister, so my usual bag of discipline tricks have been wildly ineffective. A few months back, in preparation for a visit to our offices by Dr. Karp, I captured a few minutes of Lila doing her thing on video. I showed Dr. Karp the footage, and he was able to instantly prescribe all kinds of new tactics for my husband and me to try (which, I’m happy to say, actually work). He also gave me insight into my daughter’s mindset, and even offered some kind words of praise about her personality.
That’s what we’re aiming for with our article. We’ll need a few families across the country to submit a quick video of their child in action, so that Dr. Karp can offer personalized advice on how to get him or her to stop whining/throwing/tantruming/you name it. Your details will be printed in the magazine, but trust us—we’re not out to make any parent or child look bad. The goal is to help the many, many other families who are dealing with the same issues. If you’re interested in finding out more, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
Your child’s name and birthdate
Your biggest discipline issue
If you’re not up for going public, keep an eye out for the story in an upcoming issue. I guarantee Dr. Karp’s advice will help you!
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