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Ain't Misbehavin': Tactics for Tantrums, Meltdowns, Bedtime Blues and Other Perfectly Normal Kid Behaviors [Paperback]

Alyson Schafer
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Table of Contents


Preface: How to Make Lemon Bars and Raise a Child.

Chapter 1: Parenting Primer.



Family Fun.

Family Meetings.

Firm and Friendly.

Four Dances of Misbehavior.

Mutual Respect.

Natural and Logical Consequences.

Never Do for a Child What a Child Can Do for Herself.

Punishments and Rewards Are Old School.


Take Time for Training (TTFT).

Chapter 2: The Classics—a Democratic Approach to Overcoming Those Typical Trials.







Chapter 3: Sleeping—the Democratic Approach to Getting Wee Ones to Winky Land.

Won’t Fall Asleep Unless Parent Lies with Them.

Wakes Every Few Hours during the Night.

Crawls into Your Bed at Night.

Night Terrors and Nightmares.

Afraid of the Dark.

Comes Out of Room after Being Tucked In.

Chapter 4: Potty Training—and the Democratic Approach to Toileting.

Holds Bowels.

Will Only Move Bowels in a Pull-Up.

Refuses Diaper Changes.

Won’t Use Public Toilet.

Accidents at Playdates.

Won’t Use the School Washroom.

Still Pooping Pants at Age Six, Seven, Eight or, .Yikes!, Nine.

Still Wetting the Bed at Age Seven (or Eight or Nine).

Refuses to Wipe.

Refuses to Wash Hands.

Chapter 5: Fretting Over Food—the Democratic Approach to Ending Food Fights.

The Pokey Eater.

The Food Strike.


The Picky Eater.

Will Eat Only If in Front of the TV.

Gags or Spits Food Out.

Won’t Give up the Bottle.

Chapter 6: From Trough to Table—the Democratic Approach to Table Manners.

Won’t Set the Table When It’s Their Job.

Won’t Come to the Table When Called.

Gets Up and Down from the Table.

Who Invited Tom Foolery to the Table?

Talks with Mouth Full.

Refuses to Clear Plate.

Toys at the Table.

Chapter 7: Social Skills—the Democratic Approach to Socializing Your Little Barbarian.

Won’t Say Hello.

Won’t Say "Please" and "Thank-You".

Won’t Kiss Grandparents.

Tells Your Company to Go Home.


Curses and Swears Like a Sailor.

Rude, Rude, Rude.


Gives Attitude and Tone.

Doesn’t Play with Friends Invited Over.

You Hate Your Child’s Friends.

Has No Friends.

You Think Your Child Is Being Bullied.

Your Child Is a Bully.

Chapter 8: Health, Hygiene and High Fashion—the Democratic Approach to Managing One’s Body.

Won’t Brush Teeth.

Refuses Hair Brushing.

You Can Never Get the Ponytails Right.

Hates Water and Getting in the Tub.

Will Only Wear One Favorite Pair of Pants—and They’re Dirty.

Refuses to Wear Socks.

Won’t Take Medicine.

Sticks Hands in Dirty Diapers.

Disagreements about Wardrobe.

Won’t Get Dressed.

Won’t Put on Pajamas at Bedtime.

Chapter 9: Bad Habits—and the Democratic Approach to Breaking Them.

Hair Twirling.

Hair Sucking.

Masturbating Tots.

Nose Picking.

Thumb Sucking.

Love Objects.

Pacifier Dependence.

Loves Eating Glue, Playdough, Etc.

Chapter 10: Bedroom Brawls—and the Democratic Approach to Settling Space Issues.

Won’t Make Bed in the Morning.

Won’t Put Clothes in the Laundry Hamper.

Won’t Let Sibling into Bedroom.

Won’t Let You in Bedroom.

Destroys Bedroom during Time-Outs.

Writes on Walls.

Siblings Share a Room, but They’re the Odd Couple.

Chapter 11: The Plugged-in Kid—the Democratic Approach to Managing the Wired World.

Inappropriate TV viewing.

Addicted to Gaming.

Acts Aggressively after Watching Violence.

Disregards Screen-Time Limits.

Wants a Cell Phone.

Chapter 12: School 101—the Democratic Approach to Academic and Social Issues at School.

Has Poor Grades.

Doesn’t Pay Attention in Class.

Homework Hell.

Doesn’t Care about School or the Subject Matter.

Hates the Teacher.

Always Late for School.

Switching Schools.

They’re Autocratic—We’re Democratic.

Chapter 13: Extracurricular Activities—the Democratic Way to Manage the Angst.

The Overscheduled Child.

The Dropout Kid.

Goes to Lessons but Won’t Participate.

Chapter 14: Kids and Coins—the Democratic Approach to Money Matters.

Mommy, Buy This for Me! ("Dammit" Implied).

Complaining about the Amount of Allowance.

Savings or "Slavings"?

Loses Money.

Chapter 15: Sibling Fighting—and the Democratic Approach to Ending It.

Sibling Fighting Cheat Sheet.

Fighting in the Car.

Mommy, He Stole My Toy!.

Can’t or Won’t?

The Physical Factor: When Siblings Physically Fight.

My Toddler Is Too Rough with the Baby.

Name-Calling and Being Mean.

Is Jealous.

Chapter 16: The Best Practices Democratic Family Checklist.

Best Practices Family Checklist.

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