Every parent has struggled with a grouchy child. The whining and crying can drive you crazy, not to mention the frustration of knowing that you’re being manipulated by someone one-fourth your size. Here’s a technique to quickly transform that bratty child into one who’s smiling and laughing again.

Explain to the child the importance of having a good attitude, smiling even when you don’t feel like it, etc., then ask the child to go find a good attitude “behind that chair over there.” When the child looks behind the chair they will, of course, find nothing. You then explain to the child that you find a good attitude by walking all the way around the chair. When that fails, explain that the child must walk around the chair three times backwards. If that doesn’t elicit a smile, then tell the child they must make a funny face as they skip backwards around the chair three times. By the end of this little exercise in nonsense, the tot will almost certainly be smiling and laughing. At this point you explain, “Now you know how to find a good attitude. Whenever you’re grumpy or sad, you can find a smile right behind that chair.” END

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