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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.

"Parents aren't the cause of ADHD, but they are part of the solution." (Kenny Handleman, M.D.)

You cannot reason with someone who is being unreasonable.

Many clinicians find it easier to tell parents their child has a brain-based disorder than suggest parenting changes. Jennifer Harris (psychiatrist)

If there is no relationship - nothing else matters !

The mistake that Sharon and I both made is we never set any boundaries.  (Ozzy Osbourne)

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

Simple rules adhered to when children are young can prevent more serious problems later.

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

Criticism is not a motivator.

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Tactics for Tantrums (part 1)

My next several posts will offer ideas about handling toddler’s tantrums. They are based on the premise that some tantrum throwing will and should occur and that our job as parents is to make it as painless as possible for all participants.

1. The Ignore Tactic

To use the ignore tactic the parent totally ignores the child’s dramatic performance. Look busy. Bustle around the house, sweeping, dusting or stacking magazines. Do not, however, try to read a book. It’s best to remain a moving target. For the child, getting up and following the parent around takes a lot of steam out of the tantrum itself. The method is listed first because it is usually  the least effective although from a theoretical perspective, it is the best. Its success depends on the parent’s ability to outlast the child, and we all learn at some time or another who averages the most staying power.

2. The “I Feel” Technique

Try to describe the child’s feelings for him. “Wow! You’re really angry, aren’t you? I can tell you’re angry by the way you’re acting (understatement). But I understand how you feel. Maybe you can tell me how you feel so angry.” Avoid asking “why”, because this is either unanswerable or opens a whole new can of worms; at any rate, it usually causes additional frustration for the child. This technique can help encourage the child to express feelings and will hopefully begin to foster his ability to use verbal expression in place of violent emotion. It also lets him know you understand and care. (Beware; this method requires calmness on the part of the parent. If you’re not feeling patient enough to handle this, do not use it. Otherwise, you might end up like the mother who stood over her child screaming, “I understand how you feel! I understand! You’re angry! Now shut up!”)

(next post – more tactics)

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

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

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A program for children with reading problems

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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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“We are foster parents who took in a 13 year old girl (going on 18!) and she ran us through the wringer. Rick helped us learn how to set limits that made the difference.”

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