If you find yourself getting irritated or mad at a child, then it is time for you to try ignoring. Some behaviors, especially attention-getters like whining and interrupting, are best handled by you pretending the behavior never occurred or the child is not there. For instance, would you have a temper tantrum in a room all by yourself? What’s the point, right?

Before you try ignoring, however, you have to make sure of one thing: the child knows what the corresponding right behavior is. If Tyrone’s problem is interrupting, he needs to know how to wait for a pause in your conversation and to say, “Excuse me…” Otherwise he may not realize he’s doing anything wrong, and by ignoring him, you may be confusing him or provoking him to talk louder so you will pay attention to him. The best time to teach Tyrone the right behavior is not at the moment he’s interrupting you–usually you’re irritated and he’s anxious to get your attention. Pick a time when you’re both patient. As well, keep in mind, ignoring usually doesn’t work right off the bat–kids get worse before they get better.