Thursday, October 30, 2008


From TODAY, Voices
Thursday October 30, 2008

By Dr James Dobson

Everyone who has raised a toddler has probably been confronted at some point by a full-blown temper tantrum. Usually, a firm hand will discourage such violent behaviour, but sometimes not.

I knew one family that had a three-year-old boy who was still throwing the most terrible fits when he didn’t get his way. He would fall on the floor, kick, scream and cry. His parents had done everything they knew to stop him, with no success.

One night, as they were each reading a newspaper, the child demanded that they do something. They didn’t move quickly enough, so he went into his violent contortion. Out of exasperation, since they didn’t know what else to do, they didn’t do anything. They just went on reading.

The child, shocked by their unresponsiveness, got up and went over to his mother. He shook her arm and fell on the floor screaming again. Still, neither parent reacted. He then approached his father and hit the newspaper before going into another tirade. By this point, both mum and dad were secretly watching to see what would happen, but they remained passive. This child felt so foolish throwing temper tantrums with no audience, that he never threw another one.

The next time your toddler goes a little crazy, try doing nothing. It worked in at least one case with which I am quite familiar.
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