Are you worried about your child’s behavior? What can you do when you’ve tried everything? Inside you’ll find some tips to boost your parenting skills with difficult children.

Discipline Quote:

“Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.” Julie Andrews.

Parenting Problem from a Worried Mother:

Dear Jean,

My son is three years old and has a terrible temper. He simply does not listen to any thing I tell him to do and blatantly ignores anything I ask him to do. If I tell him not to do something he ignores me as well. I have tried everything from gentle persuasion, to bribing him, sending him to his room, taking his favorite toys from him, etc. but nothing seems to help.
Please help me because he is disrupting my household and the rest of my children are suffering as well. We can't go anywhere because he screams and throw tantrums if he does not get his way. Is this just a phase he is going through and when will it end?
I am afraid that when he goes to school he will be labeled with behavioral problems.
He is the middle child. My oldest is a girl. She is eight years old and in grade 3. My youngest is also a boy. He is 20 months old.


I congratulate you, Carmen, on raising 3 children with different temperaments. I know your hands are full.

Parents, Carmen has tried everything. Should she give up?

If you’re the parent of a child who throws temper tantrums, please don’t think of him as a behavior problem. Do think of his behavior as a challenge for you to solve. Why? You are the parent.

Parenting Tips ~ Children Misbehave for These 4 Reasons:

Power ~ they want to get their way
Revenge ~ they want to get back at you for something
Attention ~ they want to be noticed
Helplessness ~ they want you to do things for them they can do themselves

As a parent, you’re task is to figure out why your child is misbehaving. This will guide you in the actions you take.

2 Important Parenting Questions for Teaching Child Discipline:

What positive benefit is my child gaining by his negative behavior?

Think about it. Talk it over with your spouse, a friend you trust, or a child counselor.

Then ask yourself:

How can he get his positive benefit without behaving badly?

The answers to these two questions should give you some ideas on the action to take. Perhaps you’ll use time out, take away a privilege, ignore him, or do something else. Whatever you choose to do, be consistent.

Example of a Child Discipline Problem:

Let’s say you tell your child, “Put your toys away. We’re going to eat dinner soon.” He yells, “No, I don’t want dinner.” He starts screaming and throwing his toys instead of putting them away. What does he want? Is it power, revenge, attention, helplessness or a combination?

If his tantrums are frequent, you’re the best person to answer what he really wants. This is your challenge. No one knows and understands him better than you. This is also your opportunity to teach the kind of discipline that sets him free from his negative behavior.

Thank you for your letter, Carmen. Most homes have or have had a temper tantrum child. Your letter helps add a helpful perspective.

Discipline Summary:

When you ask yourself the two questions above, don’t forget to take action with kindness and firmness. Again you are the parent. Parenting is not easy. I wish wasn’t true. It takes eighteen years to teach your child the kind of discipline that sets him free to fly.You’ll be building character along the way too.

Author's Bio: 

Jean Tracy, MSS, publishes a Free Parenting Newsletter. Subscribe at and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids.

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