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June 19, 2009

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Wow, I needed that. I have recetnly started worrying about the amount my daughter has been crying lately. At 30 months, so 2.5 years old, she spends a lot of the morning and a good part of the early afternoon ( after she wakes up from her nap)crying and tantrum throwing. If it is what I consider 'reasonable' crying, that is, there is a reason I can see for it, I make an effort to comfort her. If it is 'unreasonable', for example I'm carrying a bunch of groceries up the stairs and she wants me to carry her up the stairs and then starts wailing becasue I don't, well I just leave her to it until she calms down, or until I have had too much. I've actully gotten to the stage that I'm apologising to the neighbours for all the noise at our place. Anyway, I feel reassured that all this crying is not going to have any long-term effect. Well, not on her at least!

@paola: "Well, not on her at least!" CRACKED me up. Because it's so true... And also? 2.5 years old SUCKS. At that age BOTH my boys would wail 45 min after their naps (made me question whether it was even worth putting them down for it, given the horror and distress that followed), both needed to be picked up ALL. THE. TIME. At the same time. And both cried if his brother even glanced at him the wrong way, nevermind took a toy away. So, yeah, ALL THE TIME. It got to the point that if someone had not clearly hurt themselves, I'd just walk out of the room because half the time my attempts to console would actually escalate the cries. But I have to say: Three had been like a freaking dream. SO, so much better. SO much less crying and SO much more sweetness, real communication, CUTENESS, playfulness, and just plain old flexibility. So much less throws them over the top these days. I'm enjoying it before my head starts exploding again when they hit 3.5...

G R E A T Post. Finally, someone who actually interprets research how it is supposed to be interpreted. I can't say how many times I've wanted to yell at someone for the pathetic conclusions they've made from research that is often faulty in the first place. I’m pretty sure either their last class on research and statistics was in junior high or they’re not too bright. I know I’m being harsh, but this seriously bugs me…can you tell? Anyway, thanks so much for your insightful post. I'll be linking this to my sleep blog.

I second that...GREAT post! Quite refreshing.

Oh thank you, thank you! A million times thank you. I had been wondering what kind of therapy she would need first, having tried CIO sleep-training from the day she was brought home (TOTALLY misunderstood the concept). Now, 2 years later, she sleeps like a dream and her brother (6 months) has been coddled (or, just kept quiet to maintain sister's dreamlike sleep)and I feel all manner of guilt for being so inconsistant and plainly mean when I think about what I was expecting from my first newborn.

I have been writing lots with my mummy friends about trusting our instincts and I think this underlines it - probably the authors of all those great books actually have no idea what my family needs. But *I* do and now I can find out who knows how to help me achieve what my family needs.

Oh Yay! You just saved me many prolonged moments of grief and therapy I think...

Wonderful post! I appreciate you taking the time to put this all down in words. I will be linking this on my blog, also!

Excellent. So well written. x

Hello, you linked to a couple of articles on the negative impact of marital conflict on young children - unfortunately they are only previews and from what I see you have to be a member to get the full article. Do you know of any way us lay(wo)men could get hold of these? Thanks

@Ashramama: It's a problem, I know. I'm trying to link to the original scientific sources instead of web articles that summarize the findings, because so many of those articles are taking the data and putting their own spin on it, at least to some degree. I guess one way is if you're interested in the full text and don't have access to the online journals, email me and I'll send the PDF files to you directly (I have them all downloaded as part of my own research program).

great post, thanks for addressing this issue.

I have chosen not to use any CIO methods as a personal choice, but I respect everyone's right to choose what works best for them. Recently I have been reading a book on playful parenting by Larry Cohen and ran across this information on his site, www.playfulparenting.com -- "when parents of school-age children say their kids have sleep problems, I have found that they were almost all "successfully Ferberized" as babies". Not a study, but an interesting statement. Have you heard anything similar?

Great post! Really helpful to see that there as many solutions as there are different types of children. And lots of opportunities to make changes. Makes it all so less dire.

In the vein of how many ways can I screw up my kid... it occurred to me the other day that the theoretical kid who's parents don't screw him or her up would be screwed up because they weren't screwed up!

This is so helpful! I like reading the various sleep research and science behind sleep because it helps me figure out what makes sense to me. And it's hard when I am told by my family that I am unreasonable and I am screwing up the child (overcoddling vs neglecting) by the sleep methods I chose. So it's nice some detailed information on exactly what the research says - it's nice to know that there are no real differences between them in terms of effects.

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  • I'm a developmental psychologist and mom to two awesome 3-year-old boys. My area of expertise is social and emotional development and most of my research is on interventions that help make families and friendships healthier for children. More about me...

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