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GreatMom
GreatMom asks:
Q:

My son is 3 and he is having serious panic attacks.

When something does not go his way he loses it. He screams, hits and does all I do not want him to do. We have done time out but this behavior comes and goes. I need some suggestions on what can we do different to teach him how to control himself when he is frustrated and want to destroy the world.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 20, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

You sound like you are frustrated with your son's behavior, and it is good that you are reaching out for help.  There are several things that you may want to think about when he has a temper tantrum.  The first and most critical thing is what happens after his inappropriate behavior?  does he get his way?  If so, you are reinforcing the behavior that you want him to stop!  It will be very important that you not give in or let him get what he wants when he acts this way.   You have to be firm and not give in to his tantrums or they will continue.

One other thing for you to look at is to see what is going on in your home when your child is not listening.  At 3 years old, your child thrives on attention from others.  If he misbehaves more frequently when you are busy doing other things, then he may just be trying to get your attention. Make it a point to sit down and play with your child, or provide activities for them to do that are nearby.  Give lots of hugs, praise and positive attention for good behavior.

Often times kids react to things they don’t like with angry outbursts because they don’t really know the appropriate way to handle things. Teach him what you want him to do if you give an instruction or tell him “no,” –like saying OK and doing what you ask.  You can even turn it into a game and have him practice.
Take Keep a calm voice tone and rather than just telling him not to do something, explain why he shouldn’t.  “You could get hurt,” or “that might break,” are quick reasons that you can use.  

Again it is great that you are looking at ways to help your son and setting the groundwork for more positive behaviors as he grows!
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
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