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 Handle a Student Who Runs Out of the Classroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

What would be a logical consequence for a 5th-grade student running out of the classroom and hiding in the building? This keeps happening, and my administration wants to put this girl on home instruction because they feel that it is too big of a disruption to have her remain in school. This girl has a really hard home life and I know that sending her home during school hours will be terrible for her. Help! – Kelley, Cincinnati, Ohio

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