handing whining

Big Boy Battles: Loving Discipline for Your Preschooler

February 24, 2013

Who me? I’m never not a good listener, good napper, good eater, and good older brother! Don’t listen to the complaints of my parents. Yes, SuperBoy is a total sweetheart, a great older brother, and a complete love. But he’s also human, meaning that from time to time we have outbursts of a two year, seven month old little boy. Whew, he is normal. I’ve got a whole section on toddler behavior chronicling our journey with him, figuring out how to help him help himself to cope with emotions, hormones, and the unpleasantness of not getting his way. Now that he’s a little beyond basic toddler behavior, we’ve had to approach discipline differently. There’s actually some verbal negotiations, some concessions on both sides, and a really strong sense of action —> consequence built into his brain. Because we tried to be firm and consistent with things that were and were not allowed (i.e., can’t respond to us with a “no!”; can’t throw food or other things that aren’t balls; angry fits will be treated calmly and with the threat of isolation if continued; and other general guiding principles), his outbursts of long long LOOOOOOONG tantrums have been mitigated to a degree. Here are our preschooler behavioral guidelines (to keep me sane, and him sane, and SweetPea alive): 1) Politeness. He is expected to respond “yes, please” or “no, thank you” when offered something. He always has to try one bite of a new food. He cannot shout NO at us. He…

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