Week of Help – Part 4, Tara C with behavior struggles


Welcome back!

If you missed the first few days – start here. We are sharing some FAQs and advice on many topics.

Day 1 – Courtney on blogging/writing/balance

Day 2 – Ashley/Kylie on adoption

Day 3 – Izzy on home tips and organizing your day


Day 4 – we have a little bit of an issue.

I totally forgot to copy Tara C on my email. My fault. She didn’t know she was “on” today.

Please start with her first two blog posts (Part 1 and Part 2) and she really provides incredible insight on children’s behavior and some solutions to the challenges we face at home. I have friends that have tried her suggestions and they work! They work in our home for sure.

Here are a few questions I have for her and she will come back the next few days and answer these:

  • What struggles do you hear about most often?
  • What is the most simple tip we can all start tomorrow?
  • What encouragement do you have for moms that have a super strong willed child?
  • Encourage moms that feel they have completely lost control and their might not be hope. Where to start.

Now, your turn!

Where are you struggling with your little one with behavior?

Put your question below in the comments and she will answer them over the next few days.


Thank you!

Sorry for the miscommunication. I could say it’s Christmas frenzy – but I’m normally frazzled. 🙂


Connect with Tara at Home First Behavior – she has a free parenting class offer on her site!

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  1. I definitely need some advice for a strong willed child. I have a 16 month old boy, so I know part of what I’m dealing with is a phase of his learning, but he does the same things over and over that he knows he shouldn’t do. He will do something, get corrected, look at me and do it again…or wait until I turn around and do just what he got in trouble for. I just get so frustrated some days and I feel like all I did that day was yell at him and give him spankings. I’m told it’s just a phase, but I don’t want to live out this phase in frustration, I want to enjoy my time with him! I’m constantly praying for God to give me wisdom! I sure need it.

  2. Ohh I want help with a strong-willed child! My 7 year old daughter has always been independent, inquisitive and strong-minded. I want to find the balance between hearing her input and helping her understand she shouldn’t question everything I say. She has become passive aggressive and sarcastic with her responses/obedience. I have seen great improvement compared to her pre-school days (have faith parents of young ones), but the independent behaviors are just taking a different form. Help us work as a team!!!

  3. I second the request for help with a very strong-willed toddler. I have an 18 month old girl who does the same thing the toddler momma before me said. She will do something, get corrected and continue to do exactly what she knows she isn’t allowed to do and has affirmed she understands is not allowed. It seems like the more I respond the worse she is. Some days I feel like all I do is correct, discipline and redirect with no positive response at all. Even if it is a phase I don’t want to live frustrated and I want to have a peaceful and enjoyable relationship with my child.

  4. Hello everyone and Merry Christmas! I am going to answer the questions, one at a time in separate comments. I want to remind you that I can’t sufficiently in a short response cover all the variables and components of behavioral solutions, but I can get you going in the right direction and give you food for change. When I was a young mother it was the pointed wisdom of other mother’s and professionals that made an impact in my parenting strength. I hope to be able to do that in at least a small way for you.

    What struggles do you hear about most often?

    I think that most often parents are dismayed by temper tantrums. A temper tantrum is defined as any use of emotional force in response to frustration, not getting ones way, or as a refusal to comply with a direction. Any time a child melts down in tears, and screams and cries is uncomfortable for adults who are hard wired to respond to the emotional outburst and to make it stop. The scary thing is that these out bursts can continue well into adulthood (think road rage) because they were taught by environmental reactivity that tantrums CAN alter the universe. The problem is that any thing we do in response to a tantrum: matching the tantrum with equal or greater emotion, punishing the tantrum by scolding or spanking, altering our scolding with a periodic time out, lecturing then ignoring, or giving in, serves to increase the frequency and intensity of the tantrum! Hence, parental dismay.

  5. A simple tip that you can start right away:

    Descriptive commenting. The best affirmation for children is to simply state in a positive sounding voice what they are actually doing or have done. Look at your child right now and a say what they are doing with out using exclamatory’s. You can say, “You are playing with your legos! You have been concentrating a long time!” At first they might look at you for more. You can just smile at them. You could say “You are creative!” This works all the time. You don’t need to use exclamatory vocabulary. Exclamatory words can sound disingenuous or make you feel the need to ramp up your words for really great things. Exclamatory words also depend on our mood. So, if we aren’t feeling particularly great and we use words like “great” or “good” or “awesome”, we sound fake. Just say what you SEE. You can do it with sad and mad too. “You look sad.” Or, “You sound mad.“ When responding to creative child art you can say: You used red on the sky. That is creative.” No need to say a valuation word.

    Start a running commentary and you rack up your positive interaction opportunities. You don’t have to wait till they do something “good”. Just notice your children being. Increasing the ratio of positive interactions will go a long way to changing the frustrating environment you and your children find yourselves in when you are directing, redirecting and correcting all the time. Throw away the broken recored and start descriptive commenting!

  6. Hi Tara. I have a very energetic, independent 15 month old son. When is gets mad (often in response to being disciplined or told “no”) he runs around the house looking for something to destroy (throwing things, knocking things over, pulling stuff off the couch or out of cabinets, etc.) He also tries to hit faces or scratch. Ive tried holding him until he calms down, but that just makes the tantrum worse. My older son never had this issue so I’m at a loss. :/

  7. I have a second question. How do you teach a child to stop interrupting? My 3.5 year old is very bad about this. It is impossible to have even a short conversation without him saying ,”Mommy…mommy…mommy…mommy…” It drives me batty!

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