"Children learn whatever you teach them, whether you've intended for them to learn it or not. "

2 yo Tantrums


Hi again,

I am the mother of 3 children whom I love very much. A delightful 6 year old girl, a wonderfully compliant and sensitive 4 year old boy and a 2 year and 9 month old girl who is what James Dobson calls "the strong willed child" (she is also a very bright child.) Oh my word is she difficult. For the past month she seems to really be coming into her own and she fights me on just about everything. I'm trying to figure out how to handle her and exactly what to do cause I haven't had to deal with anything similar to the likes of her strength of will with my other 2 children.

So I think I have 2 questions (at least for now... I'm sure she will give me plenty of opportunities to return for advice.)

1. She throws tantrums at home where she loudly whines and at times throws herself on the floor. I've been telling her that she may whine and scream all she wants but that her bedroom is the place for that. Each time she whines, I put her in her bedroom, close the door and tell her I will check on her in 3 minutes to see if she has gotten all her whining out. I've been doing this about 2 weeks and have seen only mild if any improvement. Is there anything else that might be useful that you can think of? I have this gut feeling that she and I are currently locked in this battle of wills. I am determined to win but kind of uncertain how to...

2. She also throws these fits in public almost every time we leave the house. I walk my oldest to school 3 blocks away and I actually had to carry my youngest screaming and kicking and fighting (and naked because she took off her dress and I couldn't get it back on her) the entire way. And yesterday at Awana (kid's program at our church), she came totally and completely unglued because she wanted me to use the bathroom with the door open. I told her she could either come in or stay out but that I would be closing the door. She defiantly stood in the doorway, so I placed her outside the door and locked it. She did her usual mess and it took me at least 10 minutes to force her into her car seat later. I don't know what to do with her in public. Sometimes when I can, I just ignore her and sometimes I remove her but I really don't know what to do with public tantrums. (Leaving isn't always an option because my other 2 kids are involved in activities or have to get to school, etc.)

I'll take suggestions or if you can point me in the direction of good resources.

Thanks again!


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