Let me exaggerate a bit to describe the problem

Our daughter has more or less been able to get what she wanted, but during all the years we lost control over her patience of getting things. So whenever she wants something and we refuse it, she becomes really angry and revolting.


The reality is that this is not as extreme as described. But still she does lack lots of patience. These days (we assume) this presents itself at school as well. Whenever there's something she doesn't grasp immediately, she becomes angry and revolting. Same thing with studying at home. If we try to help her with studying and she doesn't grasp it, she starts tearing off sheets of paper, she scratches on it etc. In other words, she becomes angry. And so do we.


  1. Do you thing that her studying impatience has anything to do with her getting many things in the past?
  2. How to gradually teach a child to be patient? And even more patient?
  3. What kind of punishment should a child be given when her behaviour is completely out of control (we tend to put her out for 9 minutes - her age - and she seems to be content with it and normally cools down to some obvious degree, but on the long run this doesn't prevent anything, because she obviously doesn't see this as too punishing - she's probably better off doing nothing for 9 minutes than doing something she doesn't like anyway)

Thanks for your help.

asked 24 Nov '10, 07:43

Robert%201's gravatar image

Robert 1
accept rate: 0%

edited 26 Nov '10, 10:41

Disclaimer I haven't yet gone through this.

As far as I'm aware yes. Getting things in the past leads directly to this behaviour.

The most important thing is to be consistent, both you and your partner must always act in the same way when confronted with the situation.

The other thing is that you can never let her get what she wants when she throws a tantrum. In other words you have to stick to what you originally said.

Don't make too much of a fuss of her when she throws these tantrums.

In these ways your teaching her that there is no benefit to her throwing these tantrums. She may also be doing this for attention.

Lastly its important that you don't get angry with her when she is angry. Your negative emotions will feed hers. Especially if she's looking for attention.

Its very important though that she gets the attention she needs when she's well behaved.

To summarise

  1. Be consistant.
  2. Don't reward negative behaviour. (Note if she's looking for attention you getting angry is a reward.
  3. Reward positive behaviour.
  4. Give her pleanty of attention.

Have Patience these behaviours once learn't take a long time to unlearn. The older the child gets the longer and more effort you have to put into correcting behaviour.

Also consider

Try to find out if there is some other external cause when she's still young. If there are other reasons she may need some help, its possible she's angry over a real or precieved loss.

This last one I've seen with my stepson.


answered 28 Nov '10, 14:18

ad's gravatar image

accept rate: 100%

edited 29 Nov '10, 16:23

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

@ad thank you for your response. Please take a look at our back-it-up principal for future responses http://moms4mom.com/back-it-up . As I find this a well written answer I found a reference for operant conditioning for you and have added to your response.

(29 Nov '10, 14:50) Tammy ♦♦

@Tammy sorry. Do you want me to delete it?

(29 Nov '10, 19:21) ad

No not at all, it's a good answer, just keep in mind to let people know where you got the information (experience, someone told you, something you read) in the future.

(29 Nov '10, 20:55) Tammy ♦♦

+1 I like your answer very much, and can relate to it entirely. It is very similar to the approach my husband and I use with our 6 year old and I agree with what you say regarding "Consistency"

(30 Nov '10, 06:24) Emi

...its possible she's angry over a real or percieved loss. Well I'm not her biological father. So she somehow did loose her father that she usually sees during some of the weekends. She doesn't really have any obligations there AFAIK. Which is usually a problem when she returns home, because we'd like her to do her everyday stuff like making her bed, wearing slippers, tidying up after herself, doing school stuff like reading, maths etc (that she normally hates)... And we're in the circle yet again..

(30 Nov '10, 11:53) Robert 1

I don't have a 9 year old, but let me answer what I can from my own experience with myself as a kid (i.e. question 1). I also "got what I wanted".

  1. I don't know the psychology of that and I guess for some children yes, but for me personally, no. So if your daughter was like me, the behavior would have a different source. However, what I also experience is "anger", when I don't grasp something I want to and of course I am anxious to save up enough money to buy tech toy X that I want so badly. I don't/did tear off sheets of paper, but as my mother tells me, we once had to write a column of As in print as homework. I didn't like the way they looked compared to the example sheet and so I did them over and over and over again until the paper was nearly through from trying to erase the pencil. I'd say part of it is ambition and it is very frustrating not to be able to do something you want to do. I can't help you with how to channel this into something other than tearing sheets though, sorry.

However, another thing is: different children react differently to the same circumstances. I am "good with money", while someone else in the family that had the same environment (money and getting things -wise) not so much.


answered 24 Nov '10, 17:12

Alexander's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

Although I don't disagree with the concepts and ideas expressed in Ad's response, from your description it sounds like motivation is likely not the issue. From what you describe your daughter either has perfectionistic tendency (as Alexander suggests) or she is really struggling with some aspects of school and/or learning.

In his books, psychologist Dr. Ross Greene discusses how for many children reinforcement schedules, punishment, and increased motivation will not work because the child may be missing some the skills necessary to behave or respond differently.

He suggests asking the child directly what is going on (we adults often assume we know the answer with asking the child) and working on a strategy together to help solve the problem. He demonstrates that most children don't want to behave badly, would prefer to be "good", and are more invested in changing their behaviour when they feel they are included in the solution. He also suggests that by discussing and working on the problem collaboratively you are also teaching skills that may be lacking, such as how to deal with frustration.


answered 29 Nov '10, 15:01

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 29 Nov '10, 20:57


This solving the problem together is a nice idea, but if I may say kids are always the easy way out. At least she doesn't want to get or think about the root cause of this. She just wants to get away from it. More talking (boy we've done a lot of it) usually ends in her revolt. It is correct that we do think we know the answer up ahead. Right. We've been there you know... :) But maybe we should try some different paths of getting her mind to the the root cause...

(30 Nov '10, 11:57) Robert 1

@Robert, I understand the resistance it's a new concept and a different approach and something I've just recently been studying myself. However, there is a lot of research and field work to back up Dr. Greene's approach. I would recommend at least checking out the parent website (linked under collaboratively).

(30 Nov '10, 15:05) Tammy ♦♦
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 24 Nov '10, 07:43

Seen: 7,351 times

Last updated: 04 Mar '12, 12:17