"Don't ask a child a question if you don't mean for the child to have a choice in the matter. "

Free to Disagree, Not Disobey


My 4.5 year-old-son has whining meltdown 3-5 times a day, usually when he 1) is told he can't have something, 2) it's time to stop doing something, or 3) there is some representation of "unfairness" compared to his younger brother. He tearfully screams, "I never EVER get to... (fill in the blank)!!!," which is really annoying and gets my blood boiling. I'm not sure why this has sprung up in the last six months, because I'm pretty authoritative and direct with my kids and I don't give in to bad behavior. This one has me stumped, perhaps because I see him as "sensitive" child and attempts to be brusque regarding this misbehavior only infuriate him more. Later in the day he usually apologizes to me on his own for "flipping his lid" and seems very repentant. Should I use Strikes or Tickets with this age child? Should the Target Misbehavior be "Whining/Complaining"? Should I include the "Never Ever" phrase? Thank you for your help!

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