NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- A child psychologist says an adult dealing with a misbehaved toddler should avoid confronting the situation head on.
A cell phone video captured a three year old boy having a toddler moment at day care.
The voice of day care teacher says, "I'm going to call your mother on the telephone."
If threats are made, child psychologist Dr. David Abrams says go through with it.
"You shouldn't make empty threats with children of any age at all," Abrams said. "If you follow through and do it the first time and the second time, there's no reason to even do it a third time. They know you are going to do it."
Abrams, the Clinical Director at the Clifford Beers Guidance Clinic in New Haven watched the video.
Taunting a child he says is not the way to go.
"Adults already have power over children so there's no real reason to get into a power struggle with a small child," Abrams said.
Abrams says it leads to conflict and makes a child feel bad. Instead, redirect the behavior.
"Every afternoon some kid is melting down in the lobby, somebody always has to get involved then its like aah come on, come with me, let's go look at this, look at that, what about this, that's interesting, did you see the birds, oh let's go sit down again and it's gone," Abrams said.
Time out and positive reinforcement works best.
"Give them time to think about what's going to happen next and give them the opportunity to do it and get a reward for that behavior," Abrams said.
Redirect and reward the behavior you want.
Abrams says that more boys tend to engage in power struggles than girls, adding that girls generally seek a relationship, while boys seek power.
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