I have a couple of issues as a father who is in need for advice. First of all, let me introduce myself. I am 26 yrs old, married to an amazing wife, with two kids, and a dog. We stay in a 2 bedroom apartment. Now let's get to the issue.(the kids) They are both boys; one is 2 years old and the other one is 1. They are sweet at times, but are very frustrating to me when it comes down to keeping the apartment clean. They trash this apartment like it's a trash bin. I constantly cleans up to the point that I feels like a janitor. I puts all my pride into cleaning up because I love breathing cleanness of a house. Me and my wife tries to keep it clean, but them two as a team is a nightmare. We even made the 2nd bedroom out of a play pin for them by putting toys in there and a TV with cartoon on it, but instead, they drag the toys into the living room.  That's not all, they love to stay up late to where me and my wife doesn't have any alone or quality time together. The attention between me and her are blocked by those two rascals. And they wakes up so late like around 11am-12:30 pm at the most.( My 2 year old son's bed is next to our bed and our 1 year old sleeps in the bed with us. The 2 bedroom is across the other side of the apartment, but my wife does not like them that far from our bedroom due to safety reasons of fearing that someone would sneak in and take our kids. Also, it's hard to teach my 2 year old to brush his teeth...all he wants to do is suck the tooth pasted off and bite down onto the tooth brush. Another issue is getting my 2 year old off pacifies. When we takes his away, he cries like some one is dying or he looses his, he steals his little brother's. Even when he goes without a pacifier, the moment he sees that we gave his brother a paci, he cries for his, especially at bed time. Another issue is that all my 2 year old wants to eat is junk food (chips, candy, cake,etc.) I really need your advice. I am dad who wants to change a few things around the house professionally. Thanks in advice.

Hello Cornell,

Having one toddler is difficult enough, but having two and...well, you know exactly what it's like! I agree with you that some things have to change. For you and for your relationship with your wife.
Where to start? I would suggest that you start with some basic rules. But not for your boys -- for you. To start with, the first for you as a dad should be that there are will be no more than three or four toys available to them. You probably have many more than that, right? Well, they have to go. Do you have a storage space in the basement? Then put them in a box and lock them up there. This is important if you want things to be less chaotic. They should not have access to a lot of toys. You can rotate them, but if there are many toys available to them, then they will drag them all out and you will end up having to straighten things up.
The second rule is that there will be no junk food in the house. That may be a hardship on you, but if you want to teach them to eat healthy, then only healthy food should be in the house. If they need a snack, then you can offer fresh fruits or vegetables -- no cookies, chips, or candy.          
The last rule for you is that you will establish routines. You don't currently have any and you need more routines and more structure in the family. That means that meals, snacks, play, and bedtime are all on a schedule. Since this has not been set up so far, you will need a few weeks to get routines set up. But you must start immediately. That means that you have definite times for everything. Especially for meals and bedtime. One and two year olds should be going to bed by 7:00 pm. They should sleep until 7:00 am (give or take an hour). No more sleeping past 9:00 am -- or staying up past 8:00 pm. To help establish this, give them warnings starting at 6:00 pm. By 6:30 pm start getting them ready for bed, with washing or baths, brushing teeth, and getting in pajamas. There is no TV for them after 6:00 pm. Once they are in bed (by 7:00 pm), start reading. Read for 15 - 20 minutes and then it's go-to-sleep time.
This is going to be rough on you for the first few weeks until they get used to the new routines.
But this is a start.
Any questions? Feel free to get back to me with questions and problems. And, there will be problems putting these routines in place!
But I will give you all the support I can.
Best wishes,
James Windell  


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James Windell


I can answer questions related to normal child development, disturbed behavior and how to provide appropriate guidance and discipline.


I've been a clinical psychologist in a juvenile court, worked in school settings, been a child psychotherapist in a private psychiatric clinic and consulted with schools, courts, hospitals and daycare centers.

American Psychological Association
Michigan Psychological Association

I have been a columnist with the Oakland Press (Oakland County, MI) for 21 years writing a weekly column called Coping With Kids, which is also published weekly in the Staten Island Advance. I have been a mental health columnist with the Detroit Free Press and a columnist for Working Mother Magazine. In addition, I have published articles in professional journals. I have published 16 books, among them are "8 Weeks to a Well-Behaved Child" (IDG Books), "Discipline: A Sourcebook of 50 Failsafe Techniques for Parents" (IDG Books); "Children Who Say No When You Want Them to Say Yes" (IDG Books), "What You Need to Know About Ritalin" (Bantam Books) "6 Steps to an Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers" (John Wiley & Sons), "The Fatherstyle Advantage" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) and "Defusing High Conflict Divorce" (Impact Publishers). My latest parenting book (2012) is "The Everything Child Psychology and Development Book." Articles about my work with parents has appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Sun Times, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. My website at includes more information about me, my books and includes many columns I've written.

B.A. in Psychology from Wayne State University
M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University

Awards and Honors
Best Educational Program by Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association (National award for the development of a parent training program for parents of delinquent teenagers. Beth Clark Service Award from the Michigan Psychological Association.

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