- Constantly Throws Tantrums
You can expect preschool-aged children to have frequent temper tantrums -- some just can't be avoided and need to run their course -- but when fits erupt any time you set limits, it's a problem.
How to handle: First, don't have a tantrum yourself! Be empathetic and let your son know that you recognize he's angry, but that his behavior is not acceptable. Help him find the right words to express his feelings and don't be afraid to take away a privilege or give a "time out" if you feel the situation calls for it.
- Hits, Grabs, Acts Bossy and Everything Else that Embarrasses You
"It's mine!" Why does it seem like kids know how to use that phrase before their own names` Toddlers and young kids have primitive impulses, like grabbing toys and hitting to express their feelings. They all do it, but when your daughter is the biggest offender in the playgroup, you worry she'll get labeled a brat.
How to handle: Hold your child accountable for her behavior in an age-appropriate manner. If she freaks out whenever a playmate wants to try her remote control train, have her help you put it away before friends arrive. When a tiff breaks out over the blue pail at the sandbox, talk about sharing and ask kids to take turns. Remember not to yell and that it's okay if your kid gets upset -- she'll forget about it in two minutes.
- Whines from the Moment He Wakes Up
The sound of your child whining is the most irritating noise in the world. Waiting in line at the bank or being dragged shoe shopping is boring for kids and you can't blame them for getting whinny. But most often that squeaky, drawn-out bleat means your child is trying to turn your "No" into a "Yes." And if "No" is truly how you feel, you need to stand your ground no matter how much you want your child to just be quiet already.
How to handle: Children learn really quickly how far they have to go to manipulate Mom and Dad. Inform your child: "I don't like when you speak like this and I can't understand you." Tell her you won't respond until she uses her regular voice. Remember, an unhappy child is not an unloved child. In the short term it's not pleasant (for you mostly), but kids need to learn they can't always get what they want.
- Acts Defiant and Always Negotiates
A kid can say "No!" -- and they will in the most snotty tone -- but that doesn't mean you have to obey or accept that answer. The bratty child has a real intolerance to not getting her way. She doesn't follow your rules and ignores when you say "No "or "Stop." This usually leads parents to come up with a pay off. When your daughter is accepting more bribes than a corrupt politician, you're cultivating a top-notch manipulator.
How to handle: Stop sweetening the deal and you'll cut down on the defiance. Instead, offer your kids rewards when they've exhibited good behavior. The best prize` Sharing special time with you.