7 weird toddler behaviors (that are actually normal)Toddlers can be demanding and unrelenting. And if you have one, you know they’re also kind of strange.
Doorknob licking and barking like a dog are commonplace. But these freaky behaviors do pass. “The vast majority of strange toddler behaviors are short-lived phases,” says Heather Wittenberg, PsyD, psychologist and author of "Let’s Get This Potty Started! The BabyShrink’s Guide to Potty Training Your Toddler"
Rhythmic, repetitive motion helps calm an overstimulated nervous system, Wittenberg explains. And while you’d think that means just rocking or riding in a car, head banging qualifies.
More from MSN Living: How to handle moody toddlers
“What looks disturbing to us can be very soothing to a child,” she says. Unless your kid is hurting himself or would rather bang his head than socialize, eat or play, just ignore it. “When your child gets a reaction out of you for something he’s done, he realizes there’s a big red button he can push when he needs attention,” Wittenberg explains. Suggest a replacement activity (“Try rubbing your bunny’s ears when you get tired”) to redirect the behavior.
More from The Bump: Biggest parenting surprises
Hands in the pants
And you thought you wouldn’t have to worry about this until puberty! But self-fondling is another habit that isn’t considered a problem unless your child chooses to do it over, say, playing with the kid next door or eating ice cream. Wittenberg says not to say no to it but to give guidelines: “You can do this alone in your room, but you can’t do it in the store or at school.” And give him interesting things to do to keep him from being bored.
Video: How to say no to your toddler
We know a mom whose daughter picks fuzzies off the couch and eats them -- like a delicious snack! Wittenberg explains that kids use their mouths as tools for exploring the world. “They may be experimenting, or there may be some oral needs or a nutritional deficiency going on.” At the end of the day, it comes down to severity and frequency. So once-in-a-while weird cravings can be brushed off, but if your child is obsessed with eating, say, dirt or cat litter, it’s time to talk to the pediatrician.
More from The Bump: How to raise a happy baby
parenting, education, activities and more
Learning these 10 things is a good base with which to begin the tough preteen and teen years. Helping our children maneuver life is our jobs as parents, even if we haven't quite figured it all out ourselves yet.
We've all seen her... But should we judge her?
Unique, or downright strange?
In a few short weeks you'll be dropping your child off at college, where they'll spend the next four years learning, laughing, and probably partying. Of course, in true teen fashion, your child has already started shopping for their dorm room essentials. Don't panic just yet!
When tots burst through the door after a busy day at school, the first order of business is securing a snack.
The only thing more important than what you pack your child for lunch is what you pack it in.
Frustrated mom invents Ignore No More app
Do you have the right mix of moms surrounding you?
It's hard to keep young kids entertained while being confined indoors, but fear not, for we have some fun ideas to keep the entire family from climbing the walls during rainy days.
Back in our day, ending up with the same exact backpack as your BFF was a legitimate back-to-school concern. Nowadays? There are so many options, it's dizzying!
It is a parent’s eternal dilemma: What do I make the kids for lunch today? And tomorrow? And next week? We fall into ruts, succumb to the tried-and-true, give in to our children’s demands for junk food. No more! These school lunch ideas—for everything from sandwiches to snacks to hot meals—will freshen up your daily routine, so much so you may be tempted to make them for yourself.
Whether your kids have recently gone back to school or are preparing to go shortly, it's never too late to start thinking about how we can make this year successful and low-stress, both for our kids and ourselves. With that, here are 6 things parents might want to stop doing this year in order to make it the best one yet...for all of you!