July 02, 2015

Q: I have a 3-year old daughter that has severe temper tantrums and I don't know how to control them. She is teaching my 9-month old bad habits. I'm getting frustrated with it. How can I control them?

A: First of all, it is very common for children your daughter's age to throw temper tantrums.  They are still learning how to regulate their feelings and self-soothe (especially when they don't get what they want!).  The best way to address these behaviors is to have a structured system for rewards and consequences that you use predictably and consistently on a daily basis.  Although there are a number of great books on the subject, the one that I recommend most is 1,2,3 Magic, by Thomas Phelan.  It presents a straightforward and effective system for both disciplining and rewarding your child, and at 3-years-old, she's at a great age to start.

Answered by Jeff Palitz, MFT


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