Carol, a 4-year-old girl, was an only child until recently. After her baby brother was born, Carol began to engage in tantrum behavior. When Carol’s mother, Judy, was attending to the new baby, sitting at her computer, or engaging in some other activity, Carol screamed and cried and demanded her mother’s attention. Judy usually stopped what she was doing and spent some time with Carol until she’d calmed down. After a few months of this, Judy decided to do something about Carol’s tantrum behavior. She decided to implement self-instructional training with Carol. Judy set up pretend situations (role-plays) with Carol in which Carol started to tantrum and immediately said to herself, “Mommy’s busy,” or “Calm down and be good,” or “Mommy likes it when I’m good.” Judy taught Carol to say these self-instructions in the role-plays, and when Carol could say them to herself without any help, Judy told her to say the self-instructions when she really got mad.
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