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How do I teach my 1 year old to behave?

Name: Ruba
Question: Dear Jen and Barb my name is ruba and it’s the first time to be mother to my daughter called Anoud i want to help her how to learn how to be fine in her behaviour. She is 1 year old.

Hi Ruba,
I agree with what Jen said and would just add that a child being “well behaved” has to be age appropriate. Your daughter may be very well behaved for a one year old, but since she is your first and only child you have nothing to compare her behavior to. Your expectations might be too high (I know mine were for my twins daughters.) A lot of times they just don’t have the skills or their brain has not developed in the capacity necessary to carry out some of that “good behavior.” One of my favorite experts on this is Betsy Brown Braun
Also, Tina Bryson, PHD, wrote about how the brain works and tantrums

I have no doubt your daughter is going to be very well behaved because you are so aware of it. You’re a good mommy Ruba!


Hi Ruba,
I applaud you for wanting your child to be well behaved, but be aware that a one year old is only one year old! I did some research for you and found a great link with Dr. Sears (the baby expert!) about ways to encourage a toddler to have good behavior. I hope this helps, but just remember all the advice in the world can’t change the moods of a one year old some days! Been there!
Here is the link:


My daughter comes home with a bad attitude

Name: Jayme Quick
Question: Dear Jen and Barb. I discovered your site through an ad. I love it!~ So here is MY question. I have a 6 year old daughter. We are a blended family and she sees her paternal grandmother quite often. Sometimes twice a month because her father doesn’t ask for her (he lives with his mother). Every time she comes home she has a HORRIBLE attitude. Doesn’t listen, backtalks at every chance she gets, is generally just a not LISTENING child or a THINKING child Like I have taught her. Takes me WEEKS sometimes longer to get her back to the way we have taught her and by that time GMA is asking for her again. How do we fix this so that it doesn’t happen EVERY time?? Please help!

Jayme, Thank you for reaching out to us. The first step would be talking to her Grandmother about the situation. It takes a village and her Grandmother is part of that village. It can be confusing for children to have a blended family and they may act out as they don’t have the ability to understand their emotions. I would start by talking to her Grandmother about the rules that she has at her house vs. the rules at yours and see if you can be a united front. I hope this helps. Please let us know how it goes and if you are still having problems, please write back. Best, Jen

Questions about my 2 year old

Name: Jenni Van Ausdall
Question: My son is 2 and is sleeping with my husband and I, how do we break him of this? What’s the best way to start potty training him? He also still has his binky. We just had a baby 2 months ago so I didn’t take it away and now his little brother has a binky as well, so it’s not hard for him to go take his brother’s if I won’t let him have one. What do I do?

Jenni, Let’s start by remembering that your son is only 2 years old. Even though you now have another baby, you still have a baby. I would take one thing at a time. I would start with the sleeping. A reward chart can help with this. Give him a gold star for every night he sleeps the whole night in his room. When he gets to a certain number of stars, have something for him that he is excited about (i.e. a trip to the ice cream store, a toy he has been wanting). Praise him for being such a big boy and remember to give him lots and lots of love. He is still a baby and now he is a “big” brother. Good luck and keep in touch. Jen

A magic potion for my old body?

Name: Rachael Wist
Questions: Hello, i am 21years old, and im the mother a a beautiful 5 month old boy, and im having trouble losing the baby weight. the stretch marks im ok with, i kinda see them as a badge of honor but is there some kind of magic potion i can take to get my old body back?

Hi Rachael, I only wish there was a magic potion! First thing, is your “old body” isn’t coming back. That is okay!!! You can, however, lose the weight! Cut the carbs and exercise. Cut out white flower, potatoes, white rice and refined sugar. Put your baby in a stoller and walk at least 30 minutes a day. That weight will come off…I know it will. Also, watch the portions. No magic here, but with the focus and work, you will look and feel great. Good luck! Jen

Screaming baby when we go out

Name: heidi Sanghrajka
Question: Hi, I just caught the last minute of you guys on Rachael Ray and was hoping you could help. My awesome baby boy is 16 months and is giving me a hard time when we go out. Specifically he refuses to sit in his stroller and will scream. Whether we are in the mall which would be impossible from the moment we place him in it (we’ve tried giving toys, food only lasts so long and I don’t want to fall into bad habits). Therefore, taking walks, unless he is walking, is out of the addition to shopping. Sitting in shopping carts lasts longer but not much. So now I need to food shop on several goes to shorten the shopping period before he starts wining and screaming. I get anxious taking him out to restaurants because he only lasts so long in a high chair there. We’ve tried books and toys and those get thrown out quickly. Finger foods are the winners but once he is done he wants out which results in my husband and I eating seperately whilst the other one goes for a walk..any advice?

Hi Heidi, I know how frustrating it is to try and do errands with a small child! Remember, that he is only 16 months old! Two thoughts…first, you need to get someone to watch him while you do your errands. You may not have “help”, but you probably have another mom friend who you can swap time with. The other is run him ragged before going on any outings. Take him to a park and let him run and run and run. He may be more inclined to sit still if he is tired. Good luck! Jen

How can I get my children to show they love and care for each other?

Name: Jessica Barnett
Question: Hello
My children are 9 and 11. Girl and Boy respectively. They fight all the time. Spout hateful words at each other constantly. I have tried things like making them hold hands and of course lectured them. Any ideas on how to get my children to show each other they love and care for each other.

Hi Jessica, They need major consequences. There needs to be a zero tolerance for hateful words. Take away whatever it is they hold near and dear to them (i.e. time on the computer, toys, play dates, etc.). They need to know that if they treat each other that way, they will have consequences. Stay strong and do not waiver. Good luck! Jen

My youngest wont behave

Name: Kate J
Question: I’ve got 4 kiddos, 4,6,9 & 11. My two in the middle are really fairly well behaved and sweet. The 4 yr old is hot & cold in behavior but my 11 yr old son is stubborn and very defiant. He won’t help unless I’ve gotten to the point of yelling at him (after asking nicely four or five times, more sometimes) and I don’t spank Him but really want to! I explain to him the importance of his role in the family and how his helping really matters and how he is the leader and the other kids are ‘watching’ his actions but he is only concerned with himself and what he gets or gets to do. I am so stressed out with this one kid that it affects all the other ones and my mood when Daddy comes home. I want to give up! Advice from anyone that can really help would be most appreciated.

Hi Kate, Your 11 year old clearly wants your attention and he is getting it. It may be in a negative way, but that is the role he has carved out to get attention. First of all, he needs serious consequences. Try a chart of consequences. For example, if he talks back, he loses his computer or video game privileges for 2 days. He also needs a chore chart. For example, he is expected to make his bed, empty the trash (or whatever you feel is appropriate). If he doesn’t, there are consequences. Praise him for good behavior and spend time alone with him doing things that he likes. Show him that you not only love him, but like him. Let him get used to attention in a positive way. Good luck and keep in touch! Best, Jen

Help with my 3 year old

Name: Bhavika Patel


Hi Jen&Barb,

My son is 3 and half but does not want to go to preschool.also, he is not interested on potty training. Please help

Hi Bhavika, All kids develop differently. As far as the potty training, be consistent and reward him for any time that he uses the potty. If you need him to go to preschool (because you need to work or whatever the reason is), then it is not a choice. Talk to the teacher and see how he is after you leave. She will probably have the best advice as she will be the one with him. Good luck and let us know how it goes. Best, Jen

Potty training help

Full Name: izzie Green

Questions: Hi Jen and Barb, my daughter is 3yrs old, and i have tried to get her potty trained, but she is just not interested, is there anything else i can try to encourage
this process?

Let your child go without a diaper around the house for 2 days. There will
be a few accidents but at the end of the two days you should be good to go!
Let me know how it goes.

Hi Izzie,

You may want to try incentives like a chart with gold stars for every time she uses the potty and once she receives a certain number of stars, she gets something (a toy or stuffed animal she wants). Try and be patient with her too. Not all kids are potty trained by 3, so don’t worry. I know it can be frustrating, but hang in there!

My son only eats a few things

Name: Ashleigh Bowen
Question: Hi Jen, Hi Barb.. Well to start off I like your website. I just looked at for the first time and I feel I’ll be look at it every time I get a chance. I’m a young mother of a 4 year old son and his name is Adam. The hardest part of the day is when he eats. He only eats about 5 different things, and no hamburgers, no pasta, no fried chicken, no mashed potatoes. None of the good stuff! His variety of food is chicken nuggets, frozen pizza (and he takes almost everything off of it), ramen noodles, pizza bread ( bread sticks) and cheese crisps. Other than that he won’t eat anything else. I can’t get him to try anything new. It’s getting to where he looks unhealthy. He’s getting black circles around his eyes and is very pale. The only thing that kinda helps is vitamins. So my question is what can I do to get him to try other foods or how can I get him to look healthy. It’s starting to scare me for when he gets older.

Thanks so much for watching the show. Did you see our episode called “Is your kid a picky eater?” The expert has great advice that Jen and I actually tried out with great success. First, if he is looking unhealthy you may want to take him to the doctor just to make sure. The expert says that you have to introduce food to kids multiple times before they will try it, so don’t give up. My girls are eight and just started eating tomatoes. If he likes Ramen Noodles, try some Japanese steamed rice
with a little soy sauce. My girls love that. You can also try to put some chicken on a wood skewer and grill it. My kids think the skewers are very fun and so do the other kids who come to our house. You may want to buy a bunch of bottled salad dressing put them in tiny bowls and play a tasting game with him. If he likes them then you can do salad or just lettuce and use it as dips for veggies. The main thing is to make sure that the food taste really good. Let me know how it goes. I have a “last resort” plan if that doesn’t work!

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