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Does Your Child Say This? "I want it now."

by James Lehman, MSW
Does Your Child Say This? I want it now.

Does Your Child Say This? "I want it now."

Do you dread the threat of a temper tantrum, and feel like you give in to your child’s demands in order to avoid an outburst? In this month’s issue, James Lehman, creator of The Total Transformation Program for parents, shows you how to defuse a tantrum by using an effective response aimed at teaching your child that acting out is not the way to meet his needs.  

“I want it NOW…” followed by a tantrum.
Translation: If I escalate my behavior, you’ll give in, and I’ll get the cookie. I know. I’ve seen you do it before.
Ineffective parenting response: “Sarah, stop it! I said stop it! Here…(gives Sarah a cookie) now be quiet!”
Effective parenting response: “Don’t act that way. It won’t help you get the cookie.” Then turn around and walk away.



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James Lehman, MSW was a renowned child behavioral therapist who worked with struggling teens and children for three decades. He created the Total Transformation Program to help people parent more effectively. James' foremost goal was to help kids and to "empower parents."


I really find the program very helpful. I only wish I had these tools for my son that would have been 24 had he not taked his own life 3 years ago.

Comment By : marie

I, too, wish this information has been available to me when my 30 yr old son was in his teens. Thank you for making this available on the internet for free. You are providing a great service. I am reading it now to get ideas on how to deal with my 3 yr old grandson as he gets older.

Comment By : Hope

If it was that simple don't you think everyone would have the most well-behaved children in the world? I seriously doubt there are very many parents out there who haven't thought of this and tried it before. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't...

Comment By : Teressa

My husband and I frequently compare raising kids to having a bonsai tree. You need to know what you want the tree to look like when mature and then envision where the current branches will be when grown. That will help you make better decisions on what branches to trim off, which to redirect and which are fine where they are. While this technique may seem overly simple, it can go a long way in directing those little branches as they grow.

Comment By : Cynthia

I am finding these parenting techniques very helpful, it gives us some parenting direction finally for our 10 and 7 year olds. I wish I had these 5 years ago! Some techniques work better than others and it's individualized for each child. nothing works for everyone..nor can we expect them to. We as parents will never know what to do in every situation, but thanks to this program, we will have more patience and direction with our kids!

Comment By : tia

I have a tough time dealing with my 3 year old son who always throw tantrums whenever he lacks attention or when he wants something. I'm really grateful for this helpful article. I always give up. this is really a great help for me as mom.

Comment By : xyna

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Rating: 2.6/5 (193 votes cast)

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Does Your, Child, Teen, Kid, Teenager, Say This, I Want It Now, Outburst, Temper Tantrum, Attitude

Responses to questions posted on are not intended to replace qualified medical or mental health assessments. We cannot diagnose disorders or offer recommendations on which treatment plan is best for your family. Please seek the support of local resources as needed. If you need immediate assistance, or if you and your family are in crisis, please contact a qualified mental health provider in your area, or contact your statewide crisis hotline.

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