Mine! Mine! Me first! What's a parent to do when a child just won't play fair? Jo Frost, author of Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children, says that all children are capable of playtime sharing—mom and dad just have to lay down the law.
Step One: Let's Play the Sharing Game! Introduce an activity that requires taking turns. For example, if playing "store," explain that everyone will get a chance to be the cashier, shopper, bagger, etc.
Step Two: Teach Your Child to Play Nicely. Don't allow an aggressive child to control who gets what toy, or bully her way into playing whatever role she wants. Giving in to a child's demands in order to preserve the peace will only teach that bad behavior is tolerable. No matter how difficult, Jo says, consistency is absolutely necessary. "Be decisive and follow through."
Step Three: Stay Calm If this is the first time you've tried this technique with an aggressive child, a tantrum is probably fast approaching. Stay calm and remember that you are in control—not the child. Deal immediately with unacceptable behavior such as kicking and shouting with a firm warning: "This behavior is no good." If the tantrum continues, it's time to discipline Supernanny-style.
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013