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The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. (Peggy O'Mara)

A tantruming toddler is a little ball of writhing muscle and incredible strength. It's like trying to carry a greased pig past a slop bucket.

If you are headed in the wrong direction as a parent - you are allowed to make a U-turn.

Relationships matter:  change comes through forming trusting relationships. People, not programs change people.

"Unexpressed feeling never die. They are buried alive and come back later in ugly ways." (Stephen Covey)

Some hope their children will be like sponges soaking up the truth and wisdom imparted by their parents. However appealing this philosophy might be, it seldom seems to catch on with their children.

Criticism is not a motivator.

It's more effective to reward your child for being "good" (appropriate) than to punish him for being "bad" (inappropriate).

If you (parents) tend to overreact to your child's misbehaviour - your child learns that he can't trust you. Mom, Dad, stay regulated!

It is what we say and do when we're angry that creates the very model our children will follow when dealing with their own frustrations.

Learn more.

Handling a “Manipulative” Tantrum

  • don’t give in unless your original demand/denial is unreasonable
  • if it is unreasonable, be prepared to change your mind
  • you must send a message that tantrums don’t work
  • if you give in, you are reinforcing tantrums
  • your attitude should be “firm”
  • do not be too sympathetic – avoid saying “I’m sorry you’re upset and crying, perhaps you can have a lollipop later” but rather “You cannot have a lollipop, that’s all there is to it”

Appropriate Behavioural Strategies

  1. prevention
  2. redirection / distraction
  3. extinction
  4. time out
  5. withdrawal of privilege
  6. reinforce appropriate responses
  7. physical guidance

It is best to deal with manipulative tantrums with a consistent approach. Be firm, don’t give in, stay single minded, ignore “red herrings”, don’t get drawn into negotiations.

“Track” with the child during “teachable” moments.

“Reinforce” appropriate responses.

Next post – handling a “temperamental” tantrum

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Workshops

+ Behaviour Management

This full day or 2 evening workshop will introduce you […]

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+ Lick Your Kids

  “Lick Your Kids” (figuratively not literally) (2 hours) First […]

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+ A Parent’s Guide to the Teenage Brain

  A teenager’s brain is not just an adult brain […]

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+ Reading Rescue

A program for children with reading problems

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+ Taming a Toddler

Many parents wonder what hit them when their sweet little baby turns into an unreasonable toddler – ideas for dealing with mealtime, bedtime, temper tanturms, toilet training, noncompliance, etc.

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2720 Rath Street, Putnam, Ontario
NOL 2BO

Phone: (519) 485-4678
Fax: (519) 485-0281

Email: info@rickharper.ca

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Parents' Comments

“We were so naive. We thought our son’s poor behaviour was just a phase he was passing through. Thankfully you led us ‘out of the wilderness'”

(N.S. – London)