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How to Deal With Toddler Temper Tantrums

You see, I wear two hats as a doctor, and one of them is that of a pediatrician.

By
Rob Lamberts, MD,
August 19, 2009
Episode #010

Page 1 of 3

Today I am not going to talk about your health. Well, perhaps this pertains to your mental health. You see, I wear two hats as a doctor, and one of them is that of a pediatrician. Since I’ve been seeing children for over 15 years, I know what is normal for children, and what to worry about. Much of pediatrics is simply reassuring parents that their child is normal. This is clearly the case in the common child behavior I am going to cover in today’s podcast: temper tantrums.

And finally let me remind you that this podcast is for informational purposes only. My goal is to add to your medical knowledge and translate some of the weird medical stuff you hear, so when you do go to your doctor, your visits will be more fruitful. I don’t intend to replace your doctor; he or she is the one you should always consult about your own medical condition.

But I’m sure you knew that already.

My Temper Tantrum Experience

Back to temper tantrums.

My experience in this area goes beyond my job as a pediatrician; I am also the father of four children. Not only did we have four children, we had our first three kids very close together --our third child was born before our first turned three. Yes, it was pure insanity. After our third child we figured out the cause of these babies, and took counter-measures. Our fourth came four years later.

My wife is a terrific mother, and generally enjoys the role. But one experience stands out as one of her blackest moments. She was in Wal-Mart with the three young kids. They weren’t bad children, but the label “laid back” didn’t apply to them either. They were boisterous, loud, and very curious; in short, they were normal. One of the kids had not gotten something they wanted and started screaming. Not wanting to miss the fun, the other kids to joined the screaming fest. As she frantically tried to quiet the tumult, she noticed the searing glares of the other shoppers. One man nearby muttered loud enough to hear: “If I had five minutes with those kids they would behave themselves.”

She was humiliated. She felt like the worst parent ever and expressed this in tears to me that evening.

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