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I've just moved in with my boyfriend and his two kids, ages 5 and 7. He (we) has them 50% of the time. Contrary to how we were both raised, he is committed to not spanking. Fine. Never experienced that, but I'm willing to learn.

Problem: his five year old daughter has started having screaming temper tantrums. In the car while kicking the seat, in the parking lot while walking between moving cars, at home when she doesn't want to do what he says.

He gets upset, starts taking things away (blankie, money, etc.) until Five finally knocks it off. Meanwhile, her brother is being ignored while all this is going on and my guy feels like a failure and wonders if he should just give his ex full custody.

School counselor sez that yes, Five will still be reacting even though they been divorced for a year. In fact, will probably continue to act out for another year (latest temper tantrum was because she wanted him to move back in with Mommy so that he could fix her lunches on her custodial days because Mommy didn't do a very good job).

So, as a parent/step parent, what would you do in this situation? I'm of the "warm that behind up" school of thought - not applicable in this case (see first paragraph). Luckily, she has had most of these melt downs while I've been at work, so I didn't have to hear her scream in the car. We need help quickly before I end up in jail for strangling a minor.
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