Make what you say easy to understand. Tell your child what you want them TO DO, rather than what not to do. This means to get rid of all your "no", "stop", "quit", and "don't" statements and focus on making statements that give directions for positive or appropriate behavior.  For example, tell your child to "walk please" instead of "stop running".


Giving directions and making statements that tell your child what you want them to do: 1) provides clear and specific expectations about what it is he should be doing, 2) allows more opportunities for him to engage in behaviors you want to see more of, and 3) gives you the chance to provide specific praise for following your directions or positive behaviors. 

Brain Science for Your Baby

Research has found that yelling and spanking leads to more, behavior problems, not fewer. Anxiety and depression are also more common in children who were spanked or yelled at. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly opposes striking a child for any reason.  


Parents usually don't like spanking, but if you lose your temper and spank, pediatric experts recommend that you explain calmly why you spanked and how you felt. You can also tell your child you're sorry for losing your temper. This can help your child understand and accept the spanking, and it shows your child how to right a wrong. Parents don't like yelling at or hitting their kids - but sometimes parenting a toddler is frustrating! That's why having something positive to do will decrease your frustration - and your child's stress. And remember - stress hormones aren't good for anybody's body or brain - not your's and not your child's.

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby


Tell your child what TO DO rather than what not to do!


Make a list of challenging behaviors you often notice or are frequently redirecting (e.g., hitting, running, whining, yelling).


Write the "positive opposites" for each of the challenging behaviors on your list. These are the positive behaviors you want your child to do instead of the negative one you just listed. Some examples include: Running → Walking; Yelling → Quiet Voice or Inside Voice; Hitting → Gentle Touch or Keeping Hands to Yourself.   


Use these "positive opposites" to help you make statements and give directions about what you want your child to do, leading to less nagging for challenging behaviors.


Lastly, give your child specific praise when you see these positive behaviors and when they follow your directions!

A baby Buffer Prescription for You  


Make YOUR signs....find quotes, bible verses, song lyrics, pictures, or other inspirations that make you feel good about yourself and your parenting or that empower you to be the best you. 


Surround yourself with these signs by posting in your home, work, car, books, mirrors, refrigerators, and anywhere else you can see it! 











What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


By now, your toddler is starting to use and understand more language. Many children are able to use single words and some are able to put two or more words together.

Your child can also understand more of what you are saying and can follow simple 1-step directions ("sit down", "get your shoes"). This means that your child is paying attention to what you say, how you say it, and when you say it.

Gene's Research Tip

It's important to understand your baby's emotions. Emotions and stress go together! When we feel fearful or anxious our bodies make a chemical called Cortisol, or the stress hormone.  Cortisol works quickly to give us extra energy and make us more alert. If Cortisol is activated a lot it wears the body down and can cause us to get over weight, not sleep well and get diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease and even contribute to arthritis and diabetes. Read More

Baby Buffer Blog
Written by, Kathy Ellerbeck, MD, FAAP

When one of my friends told me "she slept like a baby" I asked what was wrong with her! When my babies were babies - they didn't sleep much! We have funny family stories now - but back then getting our two girls to sleep was exhausting!


When babies are eight or nine months old, they often have separation anxiety. And going to bed meant SEPARATION to my Samantha. In the beginning we would stay with her until she fell asleep. This would take well over an hour. And she would wake up with the smallest noise. I remember my husband sitting by Sam's crib until she fell asleep...and then rolling out of the room so that the floorboards wouldn't creak and wake her up! Read More

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