How to Know if Your Strategies are Working

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I follow you online and I went to your conference last summer, and it has changed my life. I have been able to be calm and much more strict with my seven-year-old. I am skeptical about something, though. Whenever I tell my son to feel free to be with the family as long as he can be pleasant, and then he isn’t pleasant and has to go to his room, and I tell him he can come back when he can be pleasant (just like you taught me), he will sometimes have a screaming, hysterical fit in his room. It happens less than it used to, but what am I doing wrong when he does this? -Karen, Centerville

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How to Have a Calm Response

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I just gave birth six months ago and I have a three-year-old. Since the new baby came, my three-year-old has become very aggressive and reacts with anger towards me and others. I have already been given the advice to make time for just spending time with my three-year old. That has been somewhat effective. I am dealing with a bit of post-partum depression and sometimes have a hard time not reacting with anger myself. How do I teach my three-year old to not react with aggression, especially since I am having trouble with it myself? -Alexandra, Cincinnati, Ohio

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How to Survive the End of the School Year

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I teach fourth grade. I have three weeks of school left. I am going to lose my mind. I would estimate that I spend at least half of my time with kids correcting them, lecturing them, or telling them what to do. I’m not getting much teaching done. My students are going to end the year behind where they are supposed to be since I can’t really teach effectively. That ship has sailed. I just need to know something simple that I can do so that I CAN SURVIVE THE NEXT THREE WEEKS! -Jenna, Los Angeles, California

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How to Deal With Students Who Don’t Seem to Care About Their Grades

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am struggling with high school students who don’t care about their grades. I have never had so many students who get “F”s on their tests and then laugh about it. They flat-out tell me that they don’t care. I tell my students about how they won’t get into college if they don’t learn the material, and how they won’t be able to get a job without a college degree, etc. What do I do if my students refuse to do any studying at home because they don’t care? -Eunice, Middletown, New Jersey

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How to Teach Your Kid That Work Has Value

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My oldest child is ten. He recently had a friend over for dinner. The friend remarked that he was surprised that my son didn’t have to clear the table after dinner. This friend started talking about the chores that he had to do and was beside himself when he learned that my child didn’t do any chores. I have always felt that being an adult is hard, and that you are only young once, and that parents should give kids their youth to be kind of care-free, but now I’m wavering. -Carrie, Des Moines, Iowa

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How to Train Your Kid to Be Safe

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have an adopted 9-year-old daughter who recently was trying to iron her hair in the basement when she was supposed to be doing her homework in her room. Somehow, the iron fell and burned the carpet, almost starting a house fire. She knows that she is not allowed to use the iron. She has been unsafe with things in the past. She has some trauma in her background, so I don’t want to scare her by talking a lot about house fires. I have told her how serious this is, though. I don’t want to have to hide the iron, the matches, etc. from a girl who will turn ten in May. What do I do? -Mary Anne, Lexington, Kentucky

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How to Respond When Your Child Wants to Quit

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My son is 8 and we are having a really hard time with him and basketball. He said that he wanted to play basketball, but now he complains about going, he barely participates once he is there, and he displays a bad attitude towards his coach and teammates. Even in games, he plays half-heartedly. Getting him to go to basketball and then getting him to participate is sucking the life out of me. He says he wants to quit. What should I do? -Hailey, Dayton, Ohio

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