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Thread: Hard Headed Child Throws Tantrums

  1. #1

    Hard Headed Child Throws Tantrums


    I have a nephew, 3 yrs. of age. When my sister scolds at him, he too gets angry and throw tantrums. For example, there are times he keeps on opening the refrigerator, my sister keeps on telling him to close it, he's not listening. My sister closed the refrigerator then my nephew too got angry, made a very disturbing noise and threw tantrums. What can we do to discipline a kid like this?

    Warm Regards,

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Hi Cheska,

    Many children throw tantrums when they don't know and respect their boundaries.

    I would encourage your sister (and anyone else that is training your nephew) to give him direction one time, and if he doesn't do what he is told the first time, and with a good attitude, then immediately take action.

    The situation with the refrigerator door might look like this...

    1. Your nephew opens the refrigerator door.
    2. His mother tells him nicely, "Joseph, please close the refrigerator door now." (Notice how you use the child's name so he knows you are addressing him, you give very specific direction (close the refrigerator door) and you tell him when to do it (now).
    3. Nephew chooses to ignore mum's direction.
    4. Mum takes action.

    At this point, mum should stop whatever she is doing, and go over to her child. She should help the child close the door (or help him do whatever it is she asked him to do). If he closes the door with her help, she should thank him, as this is part of the training process. If he throws a tantrum (which should be expected the first time that she tries this), then mum should firmly say to him, "I will not let you do that. That's not okay." Sometimes a child just wants to know that someone else is in control, as this feels good to them. But if he continues with the tantrum, then it may be necessary to remove him to another room, and hold him so that he cannot hurt himself or the person holding him. Mum should then tell him that when he stops throwing a tantrum (or screaming or kicking or struggling) that she will let him go. When he finally gives in (mum should not give in first), then he should be told to sit on a chair until mum says he can get up. With a 3 year old, this would be for 3 minutes (a 2 year old can sit in time out for 2 minutes).

    Once the child has settled down, she can give him a hug and tell him very kindly that Mama loves him but that she won't allow him to act that way. Then she could role play, by going back into the kitchen and practicing with him. She would tell him that they are going to practice the proper response - the way she wants him to respond in the future. She would tell him that he is going to go and open the refrigerator door, and then she's going to tell him to close it, and when she tells him to close it, he should close it immediately and with a smile on his face. Again, this needs to be done when the child is calm - and it may be done at a completely different time. But the point of practicing is to train him to give the proper response anytime mum gives him direction or calls him.

    For mum, the most important part of training is going to be consistency. It's not good to ask a child to do things more than once. So many parents will tell a child, over and over again, to do something, until the parent becomes so frustrated that they get angry with the child, and at that point, the child will respond in anger to an angry parent.

    If you tell the child and then move to correct the behavior immediately, the parent will not become frustrated or angry, and training will become a happy occasion in the home for both mum and child.

    Hope this gives you some ideas on how to work with a child who throws tantrums. The goal is to have the child's heart and to keep the child's heart through high school. The time it takes to consistently train during the formative years will pay off in big rewards later.

    Warm Regards,


  3. #3
    Hi Kate,

    Thanks for this, I understand it now. The proper way of saying words can motivate a child to do actions necessarily. I will tell my sister the other things I learned from you and I hope he consider it in disciplining her child as I do. Again, Thanks Kate for your smart responses.

    Warm Regards,

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