Best age: Birth to about 15 months
How to: Replace a forbidden toy or activity with a more appropriate one.
Why it works: Babies have short attention spans, so they won't remember what they were distracted from.
Why it may not: If your baby is hungry or tired, he won't stop fussing, no matter what.
Best age: 12 months and up
How to: Help a child do something more appropriate with a forbidden object. If your son is shoveling rocks into his mouth, show him how to drop them into a bucket instead.
Why it works: It shows a kid what to do, rather than what not to do.
Why it may not: If your child is very stubborn, you may simply have to remove either him or the rocks.
Best age: Toddler and up
How to: Tell your child that he needs a few minutes to calm down, and follow up by talking about the behavior.
Why it works: It stops the problem and gives everyone time to regroup.
Why it may not: Some experts feel that a time-out is more of a punishment than a learning experience.
Kathryn Perrotti Leavitt is a freelance writer in Boulder, Colorado.
Originally published American Baby magazine.