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Dear Miss Behavior

Take part in our interactive Q and A resource center. Ask the tough questions, Miss Behavior has all the answers you need to create a more peaceful home environment with joy in child rearing.

  • Dear Miss Behavior, My child tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants and will do it for 30-40 minutes before I finally have to give in. What can I do to stop these?
    Hi, Part of that answer is in your question. Each time you allow your child to tantrum for that long and then intervene or “give in” you are letting them know that the next time if they tend to them a little bit longer you may give in and that is just enough for some kids to continue to tantrum. The best strategy for dealing with tantrums is stopping it before it starts. So, if you know something that will be a trigger for your child, attempt to ease them into it. If it's not wanting to clean up, not wanting to stop an activity, being told “no”, etc. Knowing what might happen could help prevent it from ever starting. Of course, your child needs to be told they cannot do something, but if they can be told it in a positive fashion and save the “no” for emergencies. * Rather than saying “no, you can't have that.” Try, “Let's put that up and get something else.” It will direct them to another thought and can be a nice distraction. *an emergency may include an act of aggression like biting or hitting a child running toward the street. A child climbing somewhere high enough to fall off and be injured.
  • Dear Miss Behavor, How can I get my son who is 4 years old to be more patient? If he doesn't get something he wants right away he screams and throws a fit. Tired Dallas mom
    Well, depending where you are and who he might be disturbing*, for the MOST part let him scream! The wrong thing is to jump and run allowing him to "train you" to jump. Children learn patience from the adults around them, and th4ey learn that by having it modeled for them. Your son needs to know he doesn't get what he wants if he is screaming. You can, in a low voice, say, When you are quiet I will give it to you" or something like that. He will learn that you don't get what you want immediately and you certainly don't get it screaming. Hang in there it may take a few times of screaming. *Look for strategies for tantrums in public places.
  • Dear Miss Behavior, How can I be sure I am not raising a bully?
    HI, That is a great question. And so important for our current times. Just the fact that you are asking is good assurance that you are trying to be an awesome parent. There are a few things that are essential to raising a kind, empathetic child, and typically, those children do not bully others. Having your own zero tolerance policy at home is extremely important. Rules like: We never make fun of anyone. We empathize with people's hurts, and we try to check in with those individuals who might be feeling isolated and show kindness to someone who may not always feel like they are a part of the group or maybe never! When people feel included and feel like they matter you are changing the life of that child or individual. Remind your child that making someone else feel bad to make yourself feel good is never appropriate and that can come back to them in other ways. Our children learn to be kind and helpful and look for the good in others. They can teach others to do the same!
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