Posts Tagged ‘ toddlers ’

How Toddlers Thrive: A Bookload of Advice

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Last night, I attended the book launch party for Dr. Tovah P. Klein’s latest work How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success to be released on shelves February 18. Dr. Klein is the director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development (aka the Toddler Center) in New York City and a mother of three who has been studying, observing, and analyzing toddlers for over twenty years. Tovah (as I know her) also happens to have been my college advisor at Barnard and my professor when I enrolled in the Toddler Center seminar as a senior undergrad interested in child development.

How Toddlers Thrive is the culmination of Tovah’s research and experiences, divulging to the masses the coveted Toddler Center philosophy to raise successful, well-adjusted kids—a philosophy that actress and Toddler Center mom alumnus Sarah Jessica Parker treasures.

All three of Parker’s children graduated the Toddler Center program, which operates like a preschool on campus. As a student in the seminar, I spent one morning a week as a student-teacher in the 2-year-old class and one afternoon a week under Tovah’s tutelage about the toddler brain. By the end of a year, I have to say that I felt ahead of the curve (seeing as my child-bearing years were far off). In her forward to the book, Parker describes how working with Tovah and the Toddler Center allowed her to transition from an overwhelmed parent to a confident one, equipping her with “the tools to parent each of them that works in ways for them [the kids].”

Parker and I chatted about how eye-opening the Toddler Center was for her as a parent and myself as a student. “This idea that you praise effort, and when your child comes home with art from school you don’t say to them ‘What is that?’ but instead say ‘Oh, I see you used the color orange. Why did you choose that color?’” Parker said is empowering. She explained that in an exchange like this the parent lets go of adult interpretations and relieves the pressure that a toddler may feel to answer a question they weren’t prepared for. According to Tovah’s work, asking a question like “What is that?” to a child that didn’t intend it to be anything may cause him to be confused or concerned that he didn’t do it “right.” But asking questions about what he did do (use the color orange) allows him to feel pride.

How Toddlers Thrive illustrates numerous teachable moments like this one, from understanding the toddler mind in Part I to working through the day to day of toddlerhood in Part II. Reading it brought back memories of sitting in class: Tovah’s voice truly shines through as a comforting but firm guide to your child’s formative years.

Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Day Care Center
Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Day Care Center
Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Day Care Center

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Pictured: Me with Dr. Tovah P. Klein, author-professor-mom, and Sherry Huang, Features Editor at

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Last-Minute Halloween Bargains

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Halloween is just one of those holidays that creeps up on you. While it’s fun to plan costumes and treats with the kids, it’s easy to put off buying these items until you need them most. If you’ve yet to figure out a Halloween game plan, we’ve scouted some awesome finds to make your day a little less frightening.

Alex and Alexa’s Halloween shop offers cool updates on traditional ghoulish wear and décor. Use this fun, $24 pumpkin storage head from Lego to hold Halloween treats now, and those stray Lego pieces down the road.  It also comes in a cute skeleton face. Don’t forget to check out the clothes, too, featuring offbeat prints, like a Stella McCartney Glow in the Dark tee, on sale for $34.50.


Online costume retailers have scores for under-the-wire shoppers. Costume Express’s Pumpkin Busters start around $10. That’s where we found this undeniably adorable lady bug outfit for $20 for Baby. Buy Costumes also has Grave Busters lasting until this Friday; our favorite is this $17 red dragon get-up for toddlers. With attached wings and a one-piece body suit, it’s easy to put on and entertaining. Both sites feature clearance up to 60 percent off as well.


For more bargains, check out Walmart’s Halloween store, where children’s costumes start at $6.97 and candy packs at $2. Beyond the savings, you’ll find guides for easy crafts and recipes, such as carving the perfect pumpkin.

Just remember, if you want your loot by the 31st, you’ll need to order online sooner rather than later. With seven days left until the big day, procrastination is not your friend at the moment.

Up for some old-fashioned in-store shopping? Old Navy announced an exclusive deal; For today only, and only in stores, all baby costumes are $5, and all other Halloween items are 50 percent off. Now, that’s a good reason to get your feet moving.

Finally, if you’re looking more for craft ideas than costumes, don’t forget our awesome 100 Days of Holidays section on our Web site. We’ll take you through Halloween and on to Thanksgiving and Christmas!

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Obama Early Education Plan To Be Detailed In Georgia Speech
President Barack Obama is traveling to Georgia today to press a plan he announced in his State of the Union address to dramatically expand preschool. The plan would include smaller class sizes, better-paid teachers, and exams for 4-year-olds. (via Huffington Post)

Girl Who Lost 90% of Skin After Allergic Reaction to Children’s Motrin Wins $63M Verdict
Samantha Reckis, who was only 7 when she took Children’s Motrin for a fever and subsequently went blind and suffering a horrifying allergic reaction, has won $63 million in compensation from Johnson & Johnson. (via NY Daily News)

Older Fathers Can Be Better Dads the 2nd Time Around
At 60, Arthur Schwartz sees many of his college friends talking about retirement and grandchildren, but he is energetically immersed in the busy lives of his two young daughters, aged 9 and 7. (via Yahoo News)

Do Good Grades Spread Like Measles?
Students surrounded by friends who earn better grades than they do tend to see their own grades rise over the next year, according to a new study. (via Live Science)

Study: Praise Children For What They Do, Not Who They Are
Toddlers develop a greater preparedness for future challenges when their parents celebrate their efforts instead of their innate qualities. (via The Atlantic)

More U.S. Women Using the “Morning-After” Pill: Report
More U.S. women are taking the “morning-after” pill, but generally just once, according to the government’s first report on how the emergency contraception drug has been used since regulators eased access to it in 2006. (via Reuters)

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Celebrate Your Toddler’s Birthday on the Air With Laurie Berkner

Friday, August 10th, 2012

This week, Sirius XM Radio launched a new radio program to celebrate kids’ birthdays nationwide. Laurie Berkner, the former preschool teacher and award-winning children’s singer and songwriter, will host the eponymous show Laurie Berkner’s Every Day Birthday Party.

The show will appear on Sirius XM Kids Place Live, a 24/7 interactive talk show featuring music, talk shows, and on-air games for kids.

Each month, Berkner will select a group of toddlers and preschoolers (ages 1 to 5) to feature on the show. Each lucky toddler will receive a personal birthday salutation and hear a special “kindie rock” musical performance by Berkner herself.

Laurie Berkner’s Every Day Birthday Party airs Monday through Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET, 1:30 p.m. ET and 2:30 p.m. ET on Sirius XM Kids Place Live channel 78.

Parents can submit requests to The deadline for September shout-outs is August 20, 2012 5 p.m. ET. (The SIRIUS XM website also recommends including a 30-minute window of time you listen to the show during the day.)

Visit and for more information.

Image: Little girl celebrating her second birthday, via Shutterstock

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Curtail Your Toddler’s Tantrums

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

It’s dinnertime: The phone is ringing, your testy toddler is throwing her peas on the floor, your eldest is refusing to eat, and the dog is barking at nothing (again). And you? You lose your cool and have, regrettably, a mini mommy-tantrum.

If you’ve ever had a toddler, this scenario probably sounds familiar. Even the most patient of parents can find themselves at wit’s end when dealing with a tricky two-year old. However, frequent outbursts of agitation may be negatively impacting your child’s social development—and prolonging those temper tantrums. A study from Oregon State University and various contributing institutions found that parents who over-react and anger easily have toddlers who experience more meltdowns than normal for their age. The way you handle everyday annoyances in your child’s first few years of life is directly linked to your toddler’s behavioral development, researchers say.

Of course, you’re only human, and sometimes stress just gets the best of you. But instead of taking your anger out on the dog, take a time out and try our sanity-saving mommy midterm. By the time you’re done with this de-stress test, you’ll have forgotten all about the picture your toddler just drew on the wall.

…Well, maybe.


Image: crying little kid photo via Shutterstock

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Mothers Like Chubby Toddlers, Study Suggests
Mothers of overweight toddlers often mistakenly think their children are normal weight, and mothers of underweight toddlers often wish they were plumper, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

Maurice Sendak, Author of Splendid Nightmares, Dies at 83
Mr. Sendak, known in particular for “Where the Wild Things Are,” was widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century.

Why Up to 90% of Asian Schoolchildren Are Nearsighted
Researchers say the culprit is academic ambition: spending too much time studying indoors and not enough hours in bright sunlight is ruining kids’ eyesight.

Olympics-London Games Venues Opened to ‘Babes in Arms’
Babies will be allowed into London Olympic venues without a ticket if they are firmly fastened to an adult, organizers said on Tuesday in a climb-down after complaints from angry mothers.

1 in 8 Teens Misuses Prescription Painkillers
One in eight older teens has used powerful painkillers when they weren’t prescribed — and many of them start misusing the medications earlier than was previously assumed, according to new research.

Asian Women Command Premium Prices for Egg Donation in U.S.
Asian women can get about $10,000 to $20,000 for their eggs, while women of other ethnic groups typically get about $6,000.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Combined Vaccine Not Tied to Seizures in Older Kids
Although the combined vaccine against measles, mumps and chickenpox comes with a small risk of fever-related seizures in toddlers, a new study suggests that’s not true in older children.

State Media: Argentine ‘Miracle’ Baby in ‘Very Serious’ Condition
A premature baby who survived hours in a morgue refrigerator in Argentina was in “very serious” condition after doctors detected an infection, state media reported.

Arizona Governor Signs Law Banning Most Late-Term Abortions
Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law on Thursday a controversial bill that bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, giving Republicans a win in ongoing national efforts to impose greater restrictions on abortion.

Even Toddlers Succumb to Peer Pressure, Study Says
Toddlers are more likely to pick up a behavior if they see most other toddlers doing it, a new study shows.

School Bus Driver Who Passed Out Behind Wheel Dies
The Washington state school bus driver who passed out, prompting a 13-year-old student to get behind the wheel, has died, NBC affiliate KING5 reported Thursday, citing his family.

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Cleaning Tips for a Germ-Free Playroom

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Spring cleaning may still be months away, but it doesn’t hurt to keep your kid’s playroom clean during the winter season when bacteria and germs are more likely to spread.

Melissa Homer, Chief Cleaning Officer at MaidPro and busy mom on-the-go, specializes in helping other busy moms like you maintain a clean home in no time at little cost.  Below, she shares four strategies for organizing and cleaning a playroom.

Disinfect the ToysA toy must be completely disinfected for it to be clean. Soak the toys for 5 minutes in a solution of 3/4 cup bleach mixed in a gallon of water. Rinse and let dry.  For large toys, use a disinfecting multipurpose spray cleaner and wipe them dry with a clean rag. One of Melissa’s favorite mommy time savers is making a large batch of bleach water in the bathtub to disinfect a large number of toys at once.

Give Each Toy a Home - Keeping things clean with kids is already hard enough in a cluttered, disorganized room.  To keep things under control, use tubs, baskets, and shelves to place and store toys in a neat and compartmentalized way.

Keep Toys in Rotation - If you have too many toys to keep in one place, try rotating toys regularly (every few weeks or months).  Keep a majority of  toys stored away (e.g. basement, garage, storage closet, etc.), but leave out an interesting and varied  mix to keep your little one entertained.

Enlist the Help of Professional Cleaners -  Cleaning tasks should be divided and shared between both parents.  If there isn’t time, make room in your budget for a professional cleaner to take care of deep scrub cleaning once a month.  This way, you can spend less time maintaining the house the rest of the time so you can spend more time with the family.

More about germ-free living on

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