How to Acknowledge a Child Who Needs A Lot of Attention

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My daughter is 7, requires a lot of attention, and is a wonderful little performer. She really is talented and very funny. She performs little sketches and dances and songs that her father and I really enjoy. The problem is that she is very prolific and probably performs for us for at least 45 minutes per day. We hate to tell her that we can’t watch every performance, and she has a really high need for attention that we need to fulfill, but we just don’t have the time to sit through these long performances. What do we do? –Carrington, Key Largo, Florida

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How to Respond to a Child’s Threats

 

Dear Kid Whisperer,

What do I do when my 4-year-old threatens to do something? Yesterday, we were painting and she took a small jar of oil paint, tipped it so that it was about to spill all over the floor, looked at me, and smiled. I told her that she better not spill the paint, and that she would be in a lot of trouble if she spilled the paint. I counted to three. As I started to say “three”, she poured it all over the floor. She does this kind of thing all the time. I’ve tried calmly telling her how that hurts my feelings. I’ve tried yelling, and I’ve tried spanking. Nothing works. What’s left? — Brianna, Miamisburg, Ohio

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How to Instill Grit in Your Kid

Dear Kid Whisperer,

 My 8-year-old son wants to audition for a local theatre production. I am worried about this since he reacts with an uncontrollable temper tantrum when his ice cream falls off his cone and I know he could not handle the rejection of not getting a part in this play. I don’t want him to not audition, but I don’t want him to get rejected in a way that he is obviously not ready for. What should I do? –Ashley, Centerville, Ohio

How to Be a Parent and Not a Personal Assistant

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My 6-year-old pretends to be helpless and it’s driving me crazy. He wasn’t like this six months ago. I don’t know what happened. He won’t put his own clothes on his body. He won’t serve himself at dinner. Last night, he didn’t just refuse to serve himself, he refused to feed himself. He literally wanted me to feed him. I did, because I didn’t know what else to do, but I obviously don’t want to be spoon feeding a first-grader, so I am asking you what to do now. Bonnie, Cleveland, Ohio

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How to Calmly and Firmly Say “NO”

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My 10-year-old takes a lot of my time and energy in so many ways. The most annoying and embarrassing way is that he won’t take “no” for an answer. He asks for explanations about why he has to do things, why he can’t do things, why he can’t have things, etc. Lately I have found myself avoiding saying “no” to him so I don’t have to deal his responses to not getting what he wants. I know that this is a bad thing to do, but I don’t know what else to do. — Steven, Sydney, Australia

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How to Train Your Kid to Appreciate What He Has, and Work for What He Wants

Dear Kid Whisperer,

Most of my 11 year old son’s friends have more money than we do. I don’t want him to feel badly about this, so I make sure that he has everything that he wants, which is pretty much everything that his friends have. Lately, it’s been hard to “keep up with the Joneses.” With Christmas coming up, I am getting stressed out. I feel like I am failing him as a parent. I can’t afford this anymore. What do I do? –Maggie, Oak Park, Illinois

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How to Get Your Kid to Leave with You Immediately, Every Time

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am having a problem with my four year old. In the last few months, he has started to refuse to leave the daycare when I come to pick him up. He never did this before. I am concerned that this behavior might be due to some problems that his father and I have been having. I’m not sure. No matter what I say, I can’t convince him to leave with me unless I bribe him, which I don’t want to do. How do I get him to leave with me without refusal and without a temper tantrum? –Morgan, Grosse Point, Michigan

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How to Teach Your Kid to be Nice

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My kid’s consequence for not treating his brother lovingly is that he is not allowed to play outside with his friends the next day. In my frustration, I fear I may have given too harsh of a consequence. I am thinking of taking the consequence back, but I don’t want to teach that you can get out of consequences. I’d love your thoughts. -Kelsey, Athens, Ohio

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How to Get Your Kid to Clean Up After Herself without Anger or Warnings

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My daughter is four. She does a lot of sensory play activities. She used to be OK at cleaning up after herself, but she’s been really messy lately. I keep reminding and warning her to clean up, which is not helping. I don’t want to take these fun and educational materials away from her, but I want her pick up after herself. Do you have any ideas? -Dorothy, Boise, Idaho

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