Acting Up

ALESHA - posted on 01/26/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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my daughter is 4 years old and she has been throwing tantrums and giving attitued and trying to talk back to myself and my mother as well as she tries to take off by opening the door or when we are in the store, she yells in the store when she doesn't get her way and by everyone staring at me like im the crazy person i give her what she want's so she can stop crying..What should i do??

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Rebekah - posted on 01/26/2013

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If she's making a big scene in the store, I would remove her from the store. She can either take a time out in the car, and return to the store if she can calm down and abide by the rules explained to her, or I would take her home if she is unable to do that. She needs a clear message that that behavior will not get her what she wants. Giving her a treat in the store just to quiet her will only reinforce the bad behavior and teach her that it works! She will keep doing it. So don't give in. Don't worry about looks people give you. You may be misinterpreting their reactions... more than likely you may be afraid that people will be judging your parenting skills if she's causing a ruckus, but any other parent has been in your shoes and understands kids having a meltdown and how hard that is in public! Don't choose your response based on people's reactions...choose it based on what's best for your daughter and squelching the bad behavior.

Prior going to the store the next time, I would also outline my expectations (keep it short and sweet) for store behavior. If you are grocery shopping, it might also help to shift the power struggle by giving her some tasks while she's there (go through your shopping list and have her look for certain food items on the shelf for you and put them in the shopping basket. Some stores even have kid-sized carts, which she might enjoy. Most 4 year olds love to be helpers.

Be sure the times you are going are ideal for her...make sure it isn't before a mealtime, where she's getting hungry and cranky, and avoid the time of day (mid afternoon?) that used to be her naptime (if she's no longer napping)....kids' bodies still seem to crave that downtime, and taking her shopping--which may be stimulating for her--might be asking a lot of her at that time of day. Just a thought.

If she is tantruming at home, do your best to ignore the behavior (unless there is a safety issue, in which case just make sure she is safe) and continue about your business. Be business-like with her and explain in brief statements that you'll be happy to talk to her once she calms down.

Back-talking should receive a consistent consequence so that she knows that it won't be tolerated. Having her lose a favorite toy or tv program she likes might be enough to get her attention and cooperation.

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ALESHA - posted on 02/19/2013

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Thank you, it's starting to help a lot although when she don't get her way she talks like a baby or cries, my mother and I know she fakea it so we ignore it but were having trouble with the time out when we put her for time out sometimes she stays and sometimes she don't. And when she gets out of her time out she thinks its funny and she keeps doing the same thing as if she wants to go back on time out

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