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I have a 20 month old daughter who is starting to throw fits when ever she doesn't get her way. She really knows what she wants, so for example, if she doesn't want her diaper changed she will twist and turn and make life very difficult. I have tried explaining that I don't like her behavior, I have tried ignoring it and I have even given in a few times. What is the best way to handle this situation?


Paul F. Davis Replied: Stay calm and respond on a case by case basis as you come to increasingly know your daughter and what parenting strategies prove effective with her. Let patience have its perfect work in her and you.
Posted On 2007-12-12 10:57:48
Norman Hoffman, Ph.D. Replied: You have to know what this child wants the most. For example, most children are very unhappy when they are deprived of their parent's attention, even for a minute. If that has a great effect on your child, you may use that as the stimulus to remove the target behavior of "throwing a fit." Stop trying to explain to her the virtues of behaving well. Stop ignoring her behavior. Take charge and give her an opportunity to either choose to behave or lose your attention for a few minutes. You may have her go to another room which prohibits her from seeing or hearing you. After two minutes go to her and ask if she is ready to comply. If not, have her remain for another two minutes. Repeat this method until the behavior changes. Most young children enjoy play and the attention of loved ones. When either is removed, they become the the catalyst for change of "bad" behaviors
Posted On 2007-12-12 07:42:34
Sharon Buchalter Replied: It sounds like your child has a real stubborn streak, which many children of that age have. Some of the fits she is throwing may have to do with her seeking independence. One of the best ways to deal with that is to recruit your daughter's help. So, for instance, if it's changing her diaper that she is resisting, ask her for your help so she can feel a sense of being in charge and independent. Ask her to hand you the diaper and the cream. This will make her feel like she is helpful and in charge. If you notice that most of these fits happen around diaper change time, it could be sign that your daughter is ready to begin potty training. If she resists having her diaper changed, then tell her that that's fine, but that she will need to go on the potty instead. Don't rush it- see how ready your daughter is first. At your daughter's age, it's all about the giving and taking of control. By giving her some choices- for example, which cream to use or which diaper pattern she wants, you're giving her some control back, which could help with the issue you're encountering. You may even find that you will have her potty trained at an early age.
Posted On 2007-12-11 21:33:16
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