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Toddler Tantrums

How can early childhood professionals support the families they work with in handling these public moments of parenting “disaster” with grace and an eye to strengthening the parent-child relationship?

by Rebecca Parlakian, Senior Director of Programs, ZERO TO THREE & Kathy Kinsner, Senior Manager, Parenting Resources, ZERO TO THREE

We’ve all seen the flood of articles, memes, and videos online that paint a judgmental picture of parents trying their best with crying babies, ornery toddlers, and prickly preschoolers. According to Tuning In, ZERO TO THREE’s National Parent Survey, 90% of moms and 85% of dads feel judged when it comes to their parenting skills. In other words, just 2 out of 20 moms and 3 out of 20 dads aren’t bothered by the disapproving frowns or raised eyebrows of their partners, other parents, and complete strangers in the supermarket—a very small number, for sure. The Tuning In data show that all this judgment is shaping the experience of modern-day parenting. So the question is: How can early childhood professionals support the families they work with in handling these public moments of parenting “disaster” with grace and an eye to strengthening the parent-child relationship?

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