Use child psychologist Laura Markham's three-step process to set limits when your child is having a difficult time keeping it together—not just during play time, but anytime. And also how to handle a problem child without losing your s#%^.

1. Acknowledge your child’s POV

“You really wanted that shovel back, that’s your shovel and so you hit that boy to tell him so.” See it from their point of view and you’ll connect with them, which is what gives you influence.

2. Set limits

“Hitting hurts. We cannot hit. If you hit, we have to leave the park.” Then follow through, reiterating that it’s your job to keep not just your child but also the other children safe.

3. Explain a better alternative

Supply your child with appropriate words to use, like ”Move, please,” or “Don’t take my shovel,” or “Give me back my shovel.”