Can I help my daughter deal with her boys?

My daughter has two boys, ages 6 and 4, who are sweet but quarrelsome, especially the 4-year-old. He has a strong personality and throws terrible tantrums in public and at home when he does not get what he wants. His mom seems to have tried everything, but nothing works. Please advise.

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In truth, kids develop resilience by repeatedly living through the frustrating experience of not getting what they want. But it's not easy to endure a child's displeasure, especially with children who have strong or explosive personalities.

Parents who tremble at the prospect of their youngster becoming upset end up resorting to reasoning -- or giving in -- to escape the temper tantrum drama. As your daughter has discovered, "trying everything" to stop a child's meltdowns sometimes just makes them worse. Here's my advice:

• First, find out if your daughter wants your input! As sweet as it is that you want to help, make sure that you don't come across as meddling or judgmental, and that she is genuinely open to your advice.

• Focus on avoiding tantrums by recognizing when your grandson is tired, hungry or over-stimulated. Meltdowns often happen as a result of children being pushed beyond their physical or emotional limit. Recognize when your grandson has reached the end of his rope and don't take him on one more errand, or make him stay at the table until everyone has finished their meal, if he's on the verge of falling apart.

• During a tantrum, stay nearby, but do not try to explain why he can't have what he wants. The biggest mistake most parents make during temper tantrums is that they try to reason with a child who is temporarily "out of his mind." I don't mean that literally, or course, but when a child is emotionally wound up, he is incapable of processing logic and rational thought.

• Use what I call "Act I Parenting," which diffuses the "storm" of a child's upset by allowing him to feel heard and understood. "You're so mad! You really wanted those cookies!" Give words to his feelings, without following up with Act II explanations, like, "... but you can't eat the cookies because they'll spoil your dinner." Simply acknowledge his upset, without explaining why he can't have what he wants.

Disappointment is a fact of life; no parent can ensure that their child is never unhappy. Support your daughter in using these ideas, and offer her your empathy and understanding -- rather than blame and shame -- as she deals with her challenging son, and things should calm down.

Watch my video for even more tips on how to handle meltdowns.

AdviceMama, Susan Stiffelman, is a licensed and practicing psychotherapist and marriage and family therapist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in developmental psychology and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology. Her book, <a href="" rel="nofollow" cl="" class="comlink"> Parenting Without Power Struggles</a> , is available on <a href="" rel="nofollow" cl=";tag=a0382e-20&amp;linkCode= as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1600374840" class="comlink">Amazon</a> . <a href="" rel="nofollow" cl="" class="comlink">Sign up</a> to get Susan's free parenting newsletter.

A child that is that young and throws tantrums and gets away with it (esp. in public)shows that the parents are content with just trying to get along. Tough love is doing what is necessary to gain the respect of a child. If she will tell the child ONCE that if he does not stop,he will get a spanking and count 1 to 3 ,if he does not stop spank his butt, I believe that with my four children I spanked them once apiece, Then when I started to count ,they quit what they were doing,because they knew that it did not matter to me where we were that when I said stop that I meant what I said and would do what I said that I would do.

I do  believe in the adage   "Spare the rod and spoil the child". I know also in this day and time that spanking a child is frowned upon. But as a parent if you do not teach respect there will be none.  I DO NOT believe in beating a child. There is a tremendous difference between beating and spanking . I would probably get in trouble if I came upon a person beating or slapping a child . Fact is that I was almost arrested once for slapping a man that slapped a child in front of me in a restaurant

2 words: Super Nanny.

What exactly is "everything" I had 5 children in 7 yrs. 4 of them were boys. We had no back talk or temper tantrums. Either would result in immediate and certain punishment, every time. What ever worked best for that child.

    Comfort toy or blanket removed from their possession,  Time out, no TV tonight, no video game, friends sent home, leaving the store immediately, even if the shopping isn't done, the other kids get snack of cookies and milk, you get crackers and water. The other kids go on the planned outing, you go home.  If you are far from home, the other kids go on rides, you don't.

     Do not try to reason with small children. They are not reasonable people. They think they rule the world. The punishment is not what is important. What is important is that the child know with CERTAINTY that some things are not done.  The child will have IMMEDIATE UNPLEASANT consequences EVERY TIME the rules are violated. Do not give warnings or back off. Do not threaten what you cannot or will not carry out. Say what you  mean, mean what you say.  Sass or screaming and crying will change nothing, except there will be an additional consequence added. A temper tantrum will result in being put in their room. Throwing things in the room will result in the item being removed.

  A child has no right to anything. The child has privileges, which are always revocable by the parent or caregiver. KEEP IN MIND YOU ARE THE PARENT. Do not give decision making to a child who does not have the mental capacity to make a sound, best for the child decision.

One friend of mine baby sat grandchildren while Mom worked. A favorite plaything was a large appliance box. It was a house, a cave, a garage. When the child was naughty, She could not be made to sit  on a chair for a time out  she kept getting up. So the box was upended, and became a jail. She knew when the box got turned up, she was in jail for an allotted time out. She quickly learned to obey Grandma's rules.

Another friend tells of heading out to dinner. The kids were acting up in the back seat. Requests for civilized behaviour  went unheaded. So instead of going to the resturant planned, they went to Mc Donald's. Mom and Dad ordered the kids favorite things, took them home, served the kids leftovers, and ate the Mc Donalds themselves. After all, Mom and Dad weren't the ones misbehaving. It wasn't what they planned, it wasn't what they wanted, but it was an important lesson to the kids & they didn't forget it.

I've rambled on, with antedotes. I want you to understand there are many ways to control your children. The more you can think like the child, the more devious you can be, and the less likely you are to be tempted to hit. Begin and end with meaning what you say, and sticking to it, every time.



I agree completely with you Blues. There are way to many spoiled horrible children out there these days. I don't think there's anything wrong with a wallop on the bottom. My daughter got them and she is a very successful writer and a great Mom and step mom and uses the wallop method as well. My parents spanked me and somehow I survived to be a successful adult and s good Mom. I n 

I agree with you. Some children are naughty. But give them the best suggestion to avoid it.

I would probably get in trouble if I came upon a person beating or slapping a child . Fact is that I was almost arrested once for slapping a man that slapped a child in front of me in a restaurant.

I would probably get in trouble if I came upon a person beating or slapping a child . Fact is that I was almost arrested once for slapping a man that slapped a child in front of me in a restaurant.

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Please help my daughters and I.

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