How to stand up to your kids—and why they will thank you for it!

Your child doesn’t want to turn into a brat. He is looking to you to teach him a better way.

to stand up to your kids—and why they will thank you for it!

Elaine Rose Glickman is the author of the upcoming book, “Your Kid's a Brat and It's All Your Fault: Nip the Attitudein the Bud—from Toddler to Tween." Her insights on parenting are hilarious, feisty, and downright wise.

So, what's the most important part of raising our precious little angels while becoming the confident, respected mothers we strive to be? Helping our children to ditch the bratty behavior in favor of thoughtfulness and resourcefulness, of course! (And laughing at ourselves along the way doesn't hurt either, mama!)

Oh my gosh, your tot is totally growing up!

Not long ago, he was just a little lump—an adorable lump, but a lump nonetheless—and now, look at him! He's chattering, eating, walking, exploring—and evincing subtle but genuine hints of the person he will one day become.


And what kind of person is that?

Will your child blossom into an adult who is likable, resourceful, caring, and happy? Or will he grow to be someone whom others try to avoid, who can't quite figure out what's going on, who's self-absorbed and impolite, who feels vaguely dissatisfied with what life has to offer?

To a rather astonishing degree, it's up to you, mama.

Aside from the basics—offering your child reasonably healthy food, clothes, shelter, and security—the single best thing you can do to promote your toddler's future happiness, success, and well-being is this:

Don't let your child turn into “that kid"—the one that others steer clear of. Help your child become the chivalrous, thoughtful, and gentle individual you know to be your sweet little child.

Why is this so important? Because even the most precious child will dabble in bratty behaviors.

And it's your job to teach him a better way.

Stay with me, because some of these behaviors are often dismissed as “just a phase." And this is, in part, true.

Biting, whining, refusing to share, demanding rather than asking, hitting, and a plethora of other mischievous deeds are certainly common, and even normal, ways for very young kids to behave.

And it's not as if your kid is pulling this stuff just for fun—unless you really think he is doing it with the sole intention of driving you insane… which is totally unlikely… and I'm sorry I even mentioned it. He's definitely not, okay? ?

Rather, when your child engages in these behaviors, he's trying to express his feelings to you. “I'm mad," “I'm frustrated," “I'm tired," or “I'm scared." These feelings are genuine—and important. Your child needs and deserves to express them. To have them heard.

But this is not the whole story.

Your child may be mad, frustrated,tired, or scared—but that doesn't give him permission to bite, whine, refuse to
share, demand, or hit. And when you forget this important fact, you do your
child a disservice.

When your tot bites another child, and you immediately enfold him in your arms and ask sweetly about his mad feelings—rather than teach him that it's okay to be angry but it's never okay to bite—you hurt your child's chances for learning to socialize effectively and humanely.

When you tell your child to stop whining about a cookie, he continues to whine, and you give him a cookie—rather than turn your attention away until the whining ends—you reward bad behavior rather than extinguish it.

When your child refuses to give another child a turn with a toy and you enthusiastically tell him how nice it is to share and then proceed to beg, “Please, can't Sophie have a turn? Well, maybe in a few more minutes, okay?"—rather than simply take the toy away, you miss an opportunity to teach your child how to make others happy with a small benevolent act.

When your child grabs a juice box from your hands without asking and you hand over the juice, rather than insist he say please and thank you, you give up a chance to teach your tot manners and social norms.

When your child hits you and you let him do it because you respect his right to express his anger more than you respect your responsibility to teach him that physical violence is not okay, you teach your child that aggression is an acceptable means of expressing feelings—when there are sooo many better alternatives.

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And here is the final part of the story—and the most important:

Your child doesn't want to turn into“that kid." Your child feels overwhelmed and confused by his emotions, and is
yearning for a healthy way to express and deal with them. Your child is looking
to you to teach him a better way.

When you stop your child from biting, whining, hitting, refusing to share, demanding, and grabbing, you give him a wonderful gift.

You teach him that he is safe and loved. You teach him boundaries and limits. You teach him to handle difficulty. You teach him to express his feelings appropriately, to become thoughtful and resourceful, and to grow into the best person he can be.

Don't hand your demanding child another cookie—that's not what he really wants. Your child wants you to step up. Your child wants you to stop coddling and cowering.

Your child wants you to show your love by being the boss.

The best part? A little bit of “tough love" now will make your life as a busy mama so much easier down the road. It won't belong before you realize that you have raised a kind, thoughtful, and well-spoken tot who is a true joy to spend time with.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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