Take a deep breath and try to relax. Stay consistent...the rules are always the same and your reactions are always the same (I know...hard!) Try to make the punishment fit the crime as often as possible and allow for natural consequences as well. If my daughter gives her goldfish to the dogs, then she doesn't have any more goldfish...no more from mommy. If my daughter throws her dinner all over the floor, then she has to help clean it up and no more dinner and no dessert (fruit, yogurt). If she kicks her brother to get my attention, then I tell her "No Kicking...it hurts your brother" and I leave the room with him....i.e. it does not achieve the desired result. Remember, kids, like people, do what works. Ex: If screaming gets your attention (positive or negative), then he'll continue screaming. I turn to my daughter and say "Screaming is never the way to get what you want" and then ignore her until she asks nicely.
at 5:21 PM on Feb. 10, 2010