Oct. 3, 2022

Ask Margaret: My Kid Won't Stop Spitting

A listener struggles with her three-year-old's endless spitting. Margaret explains how to counter the instinct to react like a jack-in-the-box.

Three-year-olds will do a lot of things to get attention– sometimes including spitting in your face. A listener wrote in to say:

"My almost 3-year-old spits. He doesn't respond well to time-outs, losing toys/treats/etc., explaining that it's rude and hurtful. He spits in my face during church, at his older siblings, or any time he doesn't get his immediate way. He does it when he's getting attention, when he's not getting attention, when he's happy, when he's mad...I'm at a loss. I cannot find the pattern and it is really starting to get to me."

The key, as Margaret explains, is to not give our kids the satisfaction of a big reaction to their unwanted behaviors. Easier said than done... but here are a few things to try.

In this episode Margaret mentions:

Amy Morin for Verywell Family: "How to Discipline a Child for Spitting"

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