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How can I manage my child's bad temper?

Q: My child is four years old and very stubborn. She is quite rough and ends up hurting someone. Yesterday we were playing and out of the blue she bit my nipple and when I pushed her away saying that it is sore she bit me harder. I had to hit her to get her off me. My nipple was bleeding, she cried and apologised. I know she felt bad. I asked her firmly why she did that but she had no reply. To make her listen to us, we have to spank her but I have told myself that I will never spank her again. Even if I try being firm with her, it does not help. My own mother had a bad temper and I have adopted it from her. I really don't want my child to adopt it from me. Please help me.

A:Some traits are inherited, but many of them can be supported or discouraged. Make sure your child’s diet is nutritious. Avoid cola drinks and ready made fried foods, etc. The child’s TV watching should be minimised and if possible supervised. There is so much aggression and obscenity on the small screen, that it cannot be good for children to watch it. Select the children’s programmes that are fit for her. Try and get her to see reason. Talk to her when both of you are in a good mood and tell her how important it is for her to be gentle and kind. When she does something wrong, withdraw a privilege, like ice cream or pizza. Maybe spanking should be a threat, but not really done. Train yourself to be patient and to anticipate her change of mood. Surround her with picture books, children’s rhymes on CD or stories. Also ensure that she gets enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can make children bad-tempered.

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