Every parent has that day every once in awhile. Their child is in the mood to test their patience and mommy’s nerves are running a little thin.

“But I don’t want to wear the jacket,” protests your tiny human.

“It’s 65 degrees out so you will wear a jacket,” is your reply.

“But I don’t want to!”

“You’re going to wear this jacket.”

“Why?”

“Because if you don’t you’ll get sick and sad. I’ll have to take off time and we can’t do any of the fun things.”

“I don’t care! No jacket! No jacket! No jacket!”

These interactions, while unwanted, are crucial to a child’s development. This is not the time to bargain out a jacket for a long sleeve or a beanie. A half hour of empathizing and pacifying your child won’t do her nor you any good in the long run.

Rather than pay tantrums any mind, ignore them. There is no reason to go back and forth with a child over bathtime, bedtime or playtime on your phone. The best move any parent can make is to disregard the unacceptable behavior.

Ignoring bad behavior emphasizes that causing a scene isn’t beneficial behavior.

Raising a child is hard. As if parenting didn’t force enough self-critiques, there are always the looks from elders and strangers when you can’t get your child to cut out their incessant crying and screaming. Judgmental eyes are a clear cause of suddenly questioning personal child-rearing skills. The quicker you can find the off switch on your child, the better.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and sometimes you can’t wait for a child to stop losing their mind, especially when you’re moments from losing your own marbles. Parents may lecture, yell, punish, compromise or even give in. Think about each time you’ve promised your little angel they could leave the dinner table if they took one bite of their vegetables. What about offering to help clean their room only so they can stop crying about doing it themselves? Those common parenting methods won’t put an end to the damaging behavior.

A parent’s response to unbecoming behavior is what begins to shape a child’s social skills. Even when you’re scolding your child, you’re giving him too much attention. Believe it or not, children are masterminds. They will go wild just to get a rise out of you. They know exactly how to get what they want out of you. The only way to shut the behavior down is by thinking ahead.

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