all entries with the category


Why is this 4 1/2 yo suddenly acting out?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz August 13, 2012 06:00 AM

We have a 4.5 year old boy. Lately his behavior has changed from rational and good to defiant and difficult. He spits and sticks out his tongue and will not listen. During the year he is in a very organized and nurturing preschool setting. This summer, his camp experience was less than stellar with difficult kids in the class and counselors who seemed to have a difficult time managing. The behavior is recent, during the summer. Can you recommend some books for dealing with this kind of behavior or offer suggestions? We have tried taking away privileges but we don't feel we are making much headway. Thanks!

From: Leora, Jamestown, NY


Mom needs help curbing tantrums

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz February 28, 2012 06:00 AM

Can you say that a child is just having tantrums when at several times of the day he throws a fit? My son, 3 years of age [will] shout right away and cry every time we tell him that movie time is over or if we do not allow him to do what he wants. He would then start throwing things, shout loud and when I tell him to pick up what he threw he would not follow me. He seems to be so hard-headed lately and I feel that I am having a hard time controlling his acts and disciplining him. I try to talk him out, make him understand but it seems that he does not understand and keeps on shouting. I also tried distracting him but it does not seem to work that much. It happens several times daily and it is so frustrating. i hope you could give me an advice on this. thanks.

From: Young Mom, Philippines


Is she really spoiled? What can you do about it?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz February 2, 2012 06:00 AM

Dear Barbara,

Good Day!

My question is how to deal with a 2 year old daughter who, in her early age, is already a brat? Spoiled by my mother in law and some other member of the family? Give me some advice in good parenting.

From: Gel C, Phillipines


5-year-old's "tantrums" don't sound typical

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz November 2, 2011 06:00 AM

I have a 5yr old son who just started Kindergarten. He throws tantrums in the class which consist of hiding under the tables, kicking and crying and even hitting his head on the table and even sometimes he hits himself. He rarely does this at home. I have tried everything and I don't know what to. He is the only one in the class that acts this way. The principal is trying to come up with something because academically he is the top of his class...What should I do..?

From: Chell, Bakersfield, CA


Tantrums at bed time.

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz October 21, 2011 06:00 AM

We have a 3 1/2 year old. He has been sleeping on our floor at night for months and months. Normally it was fine and he went to sleep ok. Lately he has literally had meltdowns going to bed. He constantly asks me to talk to him and when I say it's time to go to sleep he gets into a full blown tantrum, crying, following me around, screaming. There is no consoling him. We let him cry for a bit but then try to cajole him back into "bed" and try to calm him. He ultimately goes to sleep but he doesn't often sleep well. I don't know what the onset of this is from as his routines are the same. We recently redid his room with a twin bed and he was potty trained but this happened before that took place. We are all exhausted and sad, not knowing how to help him. How should we respond when he goes into full blown tantrum mode and won't lay down and go to sleep? Thanks

From: Lily, Newton MA


High-energy child resists discipline

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz October 6, 2011 06:00 AM

What's the best way to discipline a child who doesn't listen? My daughter is almost 6 and will not stay in 1 spot to do a time-out. She will not stay in her room when sent there (unless I lock the door from the outside). If I ask her to stop a certain behavior, she will often boldly keep doing it to see my reaction! She can be a great kid at times and other times she refuses to stop bad behavior. Another thing is that her father will take a favorite toy away if she is not being good. He will put it high up so she cannot get it (on top of kitchen cabinets). But this doesn't faze her. She will attempt to stack kitchen chairs on top of each other and climb up to reach whatever item was taken away. Not sure the best way to deal with this!I was thinking of a sticker chart with small rewards for good behavior, but that doesn't really fix the bad behavior. I still don't know what to do when she refuses to do as she is told.

From: Christine, Burlington, MA


Kicking, biting, throwing chairs....

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz September 26, 2011 06:00 AM

My 5yrd granddaughter lives with us and recently her behavior has got really bad at school kicking, throwing chairs, biting, hitting the teacher. please help!

From: Betty, Clay City


Dealing with extreme bedtime behavior (vomiting)

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz September 1, 2011 06:00 AM

At bedtime, our 2 yro tries uses delay tactices to postpone going to sleep (requesting, water, juice, socks, book, song, etc). When we've hit our limit of 3 books and she's finished her milk, we put her in but she gets so upset with crying that she makes herself vomit! This is even more distressing because she does not eat well and has been having trouble putting on weight. So to see her lose her whole dinner and evening milk is very worrisome. We are resolving to not give her extra attention because of the vomiting, to just clean it up and put her back to bed, but how long do you think we should stick to this tactic if doesn't immediately work?

From: ElmoDuck, Newton, MA


Toddler doesn't want daddy

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz August 29, 2011 06:00 AM

I have a twenty-six month old little girl who is ordinarily very happy and content. She is with my mom during the day and is our first child. Recently, whenever I am around, she will have NOTHING to do with her dad. He tries so hard to interact with her but she wont even let him get her something to drink- everything is "no dadda" followed usually by a hit. She is this way whenever I am around with others (other grandmother and my mom who is her primary caretaker during the day.) However, she is most physical with her father. Is this typical behavior of a child who just wants to spend as much time as possible with her mom? We both work full-time so needless to say, when we are home at night and on the weekends, I would like the interaction to be less stressful for all involved.

From: MaevesMom, Hyde Park, MA


About a 2-year-old's rages

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz August 8, 2011 06:00 AM

I have a two year old son who is full of energy. He is very mischievous, but his behaviors haven't been anything more than making messes or getting a laugh. In the last week he has started to become violent. He threw an object in his sister’s face and his cousin’s face in the last few days. When he does this, I put him in time out for a while and then make him apologize. I talk to him about no hitting and no throwing. He speaks, but communication is still limited. He repeats a lot of what I say. I believe he knows full well not to hit, but is very compulsive at this age. What is the best approach for nipping this in the bud?

From: Poohbear, NH


About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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