Positive parenting: advice from Care and Feeding. – Slate

A mom scolds a grinning child.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Care and Feeding is Slate’s parenting advice column. Have a question for Care and Feeding? Submit it here or post it in the Slate Parenting Facebook group.

Dear Care and Feeding,

I have a 4-year-old—let’s call her Alice—and an 8-month-old at home right now. I am a firm believer in the principle of “your child isn’t giving you a hard time—they are having a hard time.” I follow Daniel Siegel’s Whole-Brain Child advice in managing behavioral issues, big feelings, etc., and I have always and consistently done the “validate, listen, reflect” process with Alice. Understandably, when the baby was born, Alice had some difficulty, but she adapted well overall. Still, she’s a sensitive kid, and small things can send her into a meltdown (which I know is pretty typical 4-year-old behavior). The other day, after a long night with my teething baby, I was getting both kids