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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How to Shift Your Parenting Paradigm in Order to Achieve Balance in Your Life

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My son is nine. He plays baseball and hockey. He also takes guitar lessons. Now he wants to play soccer next season. He also is in plays. His father is usually out of town. I want my child to be able to do everything he wants to do, but I am so stressed from running him from place to place, cleaning and packing his hockey equipment, etc., and I am trying to figure out how I can do all of these things (and pay for them) so that he doesn’t have to go without these activities. Please help. – Janine, Columbus, Ohio

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How to Deal with Your Kid’s First Day of School Meltdown

Dear Kid Whisperer,
My youngest child will be entering kindergarten in August. He has two older sisters. Both times that I dropped his sisters off for kindergarten, they threw huge tantrums. It was really embarrassing and I want to avoid this situation with my youngest. He, too had a screaming, crying fit last year when I dropped him off for the first day of pre-kindergarten. I know it’s coming. How do I avoid it?
Selena, Los Angeles, CA

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