The First Days

Immediately institute a Bad-Temper Cure Policy by setting one rule: "We talk only when we're calm." Write it up as a contract, and have everyone sign it. Then establish a family guideline: "When anyone feels their temper is ready to flare, they take a time-out." The bad-tempered member then walks away and doesn't return until he's completely calm and under control. Everyone in the family should honor that guideline. The best place to practice controlling tempers is in our homes, and intentionally doing so as a family is the most effective way to ensure that your kid can control his temper in the real world. It will most likely take twenty-one days until the rule becomes a habit that all members use consistently no matter where they are. From then on, the habit should become automatic without thinking about it.

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