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    “It’s about communicating with our kids,

    talking to them and listening to

    their answers.”



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        Respect YOUR Children

         A Practical Guide To Effective Parenting


Featured Shows

blogtalkradio-logo Listen to Jay at BlogTalkRadio live. Access past radio episodes and follow for future episodes! Explore Jay's shows which discuss various issues within the family relationship and assist people to become a generation of change, and not repeat the negative patterns from their past.

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Who is the Family Answer Man?

Jay Fitter is a licensed family therapist with 20 years experience and answers your questions on all relationships issues.

Why He Does it…

My father had a 3rd grade education, and my mother 5th grade. My childhood was spent in poverty, moving in and out of apartments and motels. Much of our food came from church donations and we had used clothing.

My father was verbally and physically abusive and died when I was sixteen. I had already been working to help support the family, but after he passed , I had to work full time. My parents were told by school administrators when I was in elementary school that I was going to be a drop out. I attended in excess of twenty schools, often not even remembering what state I was in. There was virtually no adult guidance through my childhood and teen tears, as a result I made a lot of poor choices.

When I became an adult, I decided that I didn’t want to pass this kind of life on to my children.

I have seen the positive changes that have occurred in parents, kids, and even hard core gang members in juvenile hall. I know that we can’t change the past, but we don’t have to repeat it either.

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4 Questions to Ask about Your Child's Tantrums
By Jay Scott Fitter LFMT

Almost every parent can relate to their child having tantrums during their childhood. It could be your two-year-old acting out because he sees a toy in the store that he wants, or your teenager acting out because she lost her cell phone privileges. There's no shortage of reasons for tantrums, and many parents feel helpless in dealing with them effectively.

A common scenario might be your child wants some junk food right before dinner. You tell him no and he begins to get agitated. Soon he's jumping up and down, yelling and even hitting you or doing other destructive things to get what he wants. You become so frustrated that you just decide to give him the candy so he will stop driving you crazy and allow you to finish making the family dinner.

Unfortunately, this is the kind of response on parents' part that encourages tantrums to never end because your child is being rewarded for the negative behavior.

Here are four questions to ask yourself that will put an end to this negative cycle.

1. Is the behavior present around other adults?

Many times when I'm speaking to parents about their child's tantrums, I ask them if these issues occur at school or at friends' houses. In most cases, the response is that there are no problems at school, and the teacher thinks their child is wonderful. This is often the same reaction from their friends' parents. This tells you that your child is capable of behaving appropriately if they so choose, and not the result of a more significant problem that they have no control over.

2. Why is my child having tantrums around me?

It may be time for parents to acknowledge that you are part of the problem. The fact that the tantrums primarily occur at home suggests that you are rewarding his behavior in some way. Your child realizes there is something to gain from this behavior around you, but not in other environments. You have either fed into or created a situation where the tantrum is worth the effort and pays dividends.

3. How should I change my behavior and responses?

We have to realize that taking the easy way out by giving into the tantrums is just reinforcing that behavior and allowing those types of behaviors to become more pronounced and frequent. Parents need to resist this temptation, as difficult as this may be, and allow the tantrum to play out--to let the child have his or her tantrum without any response from you. Initially, the behavior will escalate and get even worse; there will be greater to temptation on your part to give in. This is the child's attempt to get you back on track and give them what they want. If you can be consistent and stay strong, eventually the tantrums will cease. After all, no one is going to go through all of this effort with no beneficial return. This is why the behaviors don't occur at school--because your child knows they won't pay off.

4. What will be the end result, and how long will it take?

Your child will eventually come to the realization that acting out is not going to accomplish the goals that it previously did, and consequently the tantrums will cease. Understand that if you have been rewarding his behavior for a long time, things are not going to change overnight. Your child may test you many times. It is important that you are consistent in not rewarding the negative behavior every single time it occurs. Otherwise, you will become like a slot machine that pays out every once in a while. This will encourage him to continue the tantrums because he knows there's always a chance his behavior might pay off this time, even though it didn't last time.

I understand that helping a child or teenager transition away from tantrums is challenging. But ultimately the results will help your child to grow and move away from manipulative behavior, and learn other ways to get his or her needs met. This process will also bring a more peaceful and harmonious environment to your home life.

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1 week ago  ·  

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Contact Mr. Jay Fitter on Facebook, Twitter, or through email.  To schedule an appointment, please contact Jay’s office phone number – (951) 272-8304

Jay’s office is located in Southern California.

jay [at] familyanswerman.com

(951) 272-8304