Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Questioner: Elizabeth

Subject: Preschoolers

Question: Hi Kay,

I have two boys both under 4 years.They attend Daycare but they almost always throw tantrums whenever we drop them off and sometimes at home.They are healthy and strong but they still want to be carried in or out.It's so embarrassing and I've really ran out of options.What can I do?

Dear Elizabeth,

Well first of all you state that this is embarrassing. Let that go or they will have you for the rest of their childhood. You cannot parent from a perspective of letting their behavior be a reflection on you as a parent or they do not ever learn to deal with the consequences of their own behavior.

Next, children throw tantrums because it pays off. They get what they want. Put them down and let them throw the tantrum. Leave plenty of time for them to do so. Then ignore them. Do not pick them up. If you do so just once you have to start all over again. No eye contact, not talking to them, no interaction until they stop what they are doing. Tell them you will talk to them when they use their inside voice or their words and then refuse to do so until they do.

Stop doing what is obviously not working for you now.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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