Tantrums

How do I stop my four-year-old daughter from having a major temper tantrum when she doesn't get her own way? I have tried everything I can think of, including calmly discussing things, time outs, and, unfortunately, yelling back!

Question:

There is no quick way to stop your four-year-old from having tantrums. That's part of a four-year-old's job. They test you as much as they can, in the hopes that you won't give in, and will continue to set proper limits. It's hard, but you still have to do it!

You have tried many good methods - you might try them in a different order. If your daughter gets very upset, do your best not to react. Your attitude should be "Oh well, there she goes again..." If your daughter sees that she's not getting a rise out of you, then she will quiet down -- and the tantrums should get shorter as time goes on.

The time to talk to your daughter is after the tantrum is over, when the two of you are getting along just fine. Discuss the event which upset her and then you can explain the rule and the consequences which will occur if she breaks it.

This is also a good time to listen to your daughter, and to inquire about her feelings if she is initially hesitant to describe them. Sometimes, four-year-olds have a good point! Remember to try not to get too upset. The less importance you attach to your daughter's tantrums, the fewer you should see.

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