Magazine article Working Mother

Ask Dr. Howard

Magazine article Working Mother

Ask Dr. Howard

Article excerpt

When my 5-year-old is frustrated with a task, she throws a tantrum and gives up. How can I get her to stick with it?

Five can be a tough age for children as they face changes like having new siblings or the challenges of kindergarten. When a child goes off to school, parents may push her toward greater responsibility and performance. Frustration and tantrums may result. To help your child cope:

Try to figure out the cause. Significant academic work has been pushed down into kindergarten and even preschool, and some young children may not be able to master it at the expected pace. The result; feelings of stress. Other stressors such as family tensions or a move can also cause irritability, as can insufficient sleep (many 5-year-olds don't nap and may not get enough rest).

Look for a pattern in the tasks your child finds frustrating. Ask her teacher about the things she's struggling with, like her prereading or fine-motor skills.

Adjust the difficulty of tasks downward until your child regains willingness to complete them. …

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