New Online Tool Helps Parents Manage Children’s Bad Behavior

Category: Education/Family

Listening

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. tantrum / ˈtæn trəm / (n) – a short burst of anger by a child usually characterized by crying, screaming, or sometimes violence
    Example:

    The babysitter is having a hard time dealing with the kid’s tantrums.


  2. trigger / ˈtrɪg ər / (v) – to cause something to start happening
    Example:

    Loud noise can trigger my headache.


  3. throw a fit / θroʊ ə fɪt / (idiom) – to show extreme anger
    Example:

    The boy is throwing a fit because he doesn’t want to go to school.


  4. temper / ˈtɛm pər / (n) – the way a person is feeling at a particular time in relation to being angry or calm
    Example:

    It’s not easy to talk to him when he’s in a bad temper.


  5. composure / kəmˈpoʊ ʒər / (n) – the state of being calm
    Example:

    When a technical problem occurred during the event, the host never lost her composure.


Article

Read the text below.

Researchers from the Yale Child Study Center (CSC) have created an online tool that helps parents manage children’s tantrums.


Before the Covid-19 pandemic, CSC had started developing a virtual program that trains parents to deal with children’s tantrums. Researchers then had no idea that telehealth treatments would eventually become popular because of social distancing measures.


The online tool includes short animated modules with videos that show what usually triggers children’s tantrums and how to handle them. Some of the scenes in the videos show a child throwing a fit because it was already bedtime and a kid having a bad temper at a grocery store because his parents did not buy him candy.


To know whether the tool is effective, CSC researchers enrolled 15 families in the program. These families have children aged three to nine with behavioral disorders characterized by anger and irritability. Researchers asked parents to notify them after completing a module and update their progress on a behavior chart. Afterward, researchers set online meetings with parents to give them feedback to make them feel more confident. During the meetings, the researchers also try to personalize the tools for every family’s specific situation.


After the eight-week training program, the 12 families who completed the online training said their children’s tantrums became fewer, and they managed to have more composure when their kids were misbehaving.


According to Denis Sukhodolsky, senior author of the study, the program has the potential to be rolled out to parents all over the United States. He added that dealing with children’s tantrums is a learning opportunity for parents. He advised parents during such situations to ignore the minor misbehaviors but not the child.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it’s important for parents to learn how to deal with children’s tantrums? Why or why not?

• If the tool were available in your country, do you think a lot of parents would want to use it? Why or why not?


Discussion B

• Do you think parents should undergo training on how to raise children? Why or why not?

• What do you think are good parenting practices in your culture? Explain.