Note: All information on this site is for educational purposes only. Happy You, Happy Family does not provide medical advice. If you suspect medical problems or need professional advice, please consult a physician.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Madiha Khan says:

    Kelly…you are my role model these days. You are so clear with words and it amazes me. I can relate to all your writings completely. I am a mother of 3( 6, 4 and 2 years old kids)
    I work full time in a school and have done a year long programme on Early Childhood Education so I basically understand the brain development and child rearing practices but its of course a lot different to put theory into practice. I love receiving your emails and look forward to learning something positive.
    You are undoubtedly doing a favour to such mothers by writing your heart out with valid research and scientific reasoning.
    It makes me feel that I am not alone.
    Lots of love and wishes your way.

  2. Just what I needed right now. Thank you for pulling this altogether in one place. I was just thinking I hadn’t read anything of yours recently, and hoping to hear news. Hearty congratulations on the safe arrival of Finn. Now you get to update your profile to “mother of 4”. That’s quite something!

  3. Thanks Kelly. Great help :) so good to be reminded of such things and the privilege and power we have when we parent.

  4. Best post EVER. Thank you for sharing this and summarizing this for us moms who haven’t put in the hours to really understand what we are doing and what are the best ways in which to do it! Truly a blessing.

  5. Wow this is super helpful. Great insight and suggestions. I’m truly grateful!

  6. Thank you so much for this post!! Exactly what I needed to read to put my mind into a different perspective and understand my toddler’s behaviors.

  7. This is a phenomenal breakdown of some key “toddlerisms”. To have this kind of knowledge and understanding is so beneficial to both parent and child.

  8. Marlyn Feliciano says:

    I can’t express how thankful I am for your blog. It has been a source of hope when I feel hopeless and about to pull out my hair from frustration when dealing with my two toddlers. Thank you for sharing this information. It’s invaluable. God bless you and your family.

  9. Dear Kelly, this post has been so enlightening! I don’t have kids yet, but I’m all about positive parenting, so I’m taking in as much as I can before kids come.
    I loved the book suggestions (already added them to my Amazon cart).
    I wanted to ask you permission for translating this article into Spanish, in order to share it with my two best friends who are struggling right now in their relationship with their toddlers. I promise you it will be for personal use only, and that I’ll be faithful to your words when translating. Also, I will send them a link to your blog (eventhough they don’t speak English, unfortunately).
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. I loved this so much! I pinned it for later, AND sent it to my husband. Our little one is entering a new phase, and I’m trying to take some time to research and reflect. It was so much easier to read about child raising before I had one! I was prepared for the infant phase… but here comes toddlerhood! Thanks for this!


  11. Relievedmommy says:

    This is truly a well-written and informative article. I was completely engrossed reading this because it was so much me. I will catch myself thinking that I’m saying “No” a lot and how I can use a different approach to make my point.
    Thank you very much! I can use this always

  12. Fantastic. This is great, I knew the reasons behind some of their behaviour but was unsure how to respond to it. This has really helped I think we all need a little reminder of how to react sometimes!

  13. I wish i could have read this with child number one… now with a six year old, a three year old and a nine month old I’m going crazy… this helps understand the toddler brain so much….I’ll be able to keep those visuals in mind and work on refocusing with all of them! Thank you!

  14. Thank you so much…these articles really help to cheer up my day…after tantrum days with my toddler…i can’t help myself..confused as well since it is my 1st kid your words and descriptions …:)

  15. Lauren N Steyer says:

    This is great! Thank you for making this easy to read and understand.

  16. What an AWESOME post. Thank you for sharing your insight so clearly and thoroughly, so we could connect & see & understand through many examples and situations. So helpful!! I was so gratified to see that my gut instinct to connect & validate – to make them feel understood – was right on, and an essential first step of the whole process!! I’m so glad! I appreciated better understanding the process beyond that point tremendously as well.

  17. This list is amazing! I am a mother of four recovering from grief and perfectionism. This is a beautiful compilation of tips for toddler parents and I’m looking forward to sharing this and reading more. Thank you!

  18. This is one of the best posts that I’ve ever read and is exactly what I needed today. My little girl has been starting to go through the tantrum phase and there are some days I feel like I’m such a bad mom because of it. But this is a great reminder to step back and put myself into her shoes so I can understand what she’s feeling at the time. Thank you for writing this! I’ll definitely be reading more of your posts!

  19. I love these tips! I think it’s insanely hard in the moment to take a step back from the gut instinct to yell sometimes but the more we understand about their minds the better. They’re just little after all..

  20. I love this in-depth article! And you’re right on with the translations for what toddlers want and are trying to say. Thanks for articulating these points so clearly. Your Bingo Card concept is clever and right on! It’s so important for parents to step back and look at things creatively. Here’s to addressing frustrating situations with games!

  21. This blog is amazing! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this one.

  22. Sarah Brewer says:

    LOVE this! Thank you so much! Just 2 hours ago I was dealing with my 2 yr old having a meltdown because I would not let her have a sucker. She had to eat her untouched dinner first. My first mistake was forgetting she had not eaten her dinner and saying half of a “yes” to that adorable little face…and then saying “no, you have to eat your noodles first”. Poor child. I felt bad and tried to help her with her noodles to get that sucker, but all she would do is scream. I put her in her crib, which is the safest place for both of us when she screams bloody murder for at least 5 minutes each time.

    Now I feel like I have a better strategy to work with…I hope it helps!

  23. I found this article informative & reinforces insights from other readings.
    Most of the ages referenced were 2 – 5. I find at 5 years old, a child’s understanding & reasoning improves, but there are still occasional outbursts. I believe impulse control is still being learned.

  24. I loved this post and it came at just the right time as we are really getting into the terrible-two’s. I came across it through Pinterest with the image of the little girl having a meltdown and the title “when your toddler acts defiant” and I had to look twice because I was sure it was a picture of my own kid and you were reading my mind. LOL! I’m so happy I checked it out because the Grand Canyon reference is something I keep thinking about, when I feel like I am about to lose my mind, and I’ve also yelled it out to my husband a few times when I hear him getting frustrated so he can take a breath and remember about it too. Thanks for all the time you put in to gathering information for this post.

  25. This is so great. And I honestly know adults who these tips would work with too haha. My daughter just turned one and is starting to defy what we tell her to do and currently distraction works pretty well but I know that won’t last forever, so this info is so helpful ahead of time.

  26. Iisha Jones says:

    I am a deticated Child Abuse Advocate! This is awesome advice!!!! Wished that more parents could learn to understand ‘toddler communication and behavior’. There would be less fustration and ultimately lead to less abuse cases!

  27. This is a great post! This is exactly what I needed to read. Having a toddler is really hard with all the new challenges they face, but as parents we must help them. These really help us understand that toddlers don’t understand everything we do, and we have to understand that they don’t. Teaching them is what we must do.

  28. Francine Allen says:

    I am a beginning Toddler Teacher at a child care center. How can I teach toddlers to line up (eg. to go out to or in from the playground) especially if I’m the sole teacher (when we are at the state-mandated ratio of children to teachers)?

  29. I love this information! I knew most of it but being reminded, and in such a great understanding way was perfect. Thank you

  30. Hi Kelly,
    My friend forward me this article because the photo used on the cover looks like my daughter (curly hair, turquoise shirt). Do you know the name of the photographer?

  31. Melissa Smith says:

    This article was JUST what I needed — thank you!

  32. Nomi Jecker says:

    I just had the HARDEST day w/ my toddler and I’m so happy I found this.


  33. Kathy Chapman says:

    The amazing part is this will work with my 8 year old as well as my 3 year old. Can’t wait to get started. Thank you.

  34. Very good article, Kelly. I’m working on being a whisperer to my 3-year-old grandson and needed those reminders! ;-)

  35. Diane Rath says:

    Save the read and just discipline your kids. You cannot reason with an unreasonable child, so don’t try. Don’t count to 3, or whatever number you want to use. Say it once and mean it. Boundaries and consequences. Be a parent, not a friend. Most of all, teach your kids respect.

  36. Hello Kelly,
    I saw you mentioned in the article that “It’s a proven scientific fact that a toddler will engage you in approximately 57 billion power struggles every day. At least half of those power struggles will set off epic toddler tantrums.” Where do you get this data from? Would appreciate it if you could direct me to the original source.

    Thank you,

  37. This is all well and good, in theory, but The HOW is what’s not really making sense. HOW do you implement these tips with a non-verbal toddler? HOW do I teach without words? HOW do you quiet down all that psychological talking and bring a toddler back down from a tantrum?

  38. LAURA DAVIS says:

    I have a 3 year old that refuses to potty train She will sit for a while and will get up and will wet her pants within a short period. So defiant

  39. I love everything you are saying, but how do you when it gets to the point if your toddler is just throwing a tantrum to get their way?

  40. Briawna Hartmann says:

    Thank you so much! This was so helpful. Which is the books you quoted did you find to be the most helpful?? I’d like to do some more reading on this! Thank you!

    1. Thank you very much Kelly Holmes ! My wife Susie urged me to read your wonderful helpful list of 7 suggestions. Thanks for caring for our children and parents. Sincerely Sherman C.

  41. Sarah Anderson says:

    Hi!!!!! I just want to say I LOVE LOVE LOVE ALL YOUR ARTICLES!!!!! They have really helped me through ALOT of life situations! But my question is… daughter is 10 and has been being VERY DEFIANT! She has her good days but it seems lately there have been more bad then good. I don’t know what to do. PLEASE HELP ME!!!! LOL….Any and ALL Help/tips/suggestions or WHATEVER would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!! TY IN ADVANCE!!!!!!!

  42. Lisa M. Zohoury says:

    These ideas are so helpful! I am sharing with my nieces to try with their little ones. I wish I had known while raising my son (now 40) but I will hopefully be able to practice these tips with my “some-day” grandkids. A lot of this relates to responding to the elderly, in a manner. My husband is 95 and, at times, seems to have reverted to a child in his behavior. It’s like having a toddler again, but much harder, since he deserves respect. It’s really hard… Thanks for your tips! Lisa

  43. Thank you for your blog. We are starting over in our 50s…our children are grown. Our grandson is 18 months old and living with us. Haha, having to re-learn how the toddler brain works and how to parent (grandparent) a toddler. :-) Thank you!! Your blog is a God-Send!