MAYBE IT'S NOT JUST A TANTRUM

MAYBE IT’S NOT JUST A TANTRUM

 

We’ve all seen toddlers having meltdowns–throwing themselves face down on the floor, crying, wailing, screaming and behaving in a way that’s embarrassing to their parents and irritating to by-standers.. Is this a natural and normal part of child development or is it something else?

New research suggested that a lack of emotional regulation (or self-control) in childhood can predict psychological problems in adolescence and adulthood. The study included 1,000 children from birth to age 32, and revealed that kids who were prone to tantrums and emotional upsets in childhood were more likely to have serious psychiatric issues in later life.

One of the main issues in emotional regulation is something known as "delayed gratification." We all know that when a toddler wants something, she wants it right this moment. While this might be overlooked in "the terrible twos," it can lead to problems down the road if not properly addressed.

Children who don’t learn emotional control are three times more likely to suffer from health problems and addictions as adults, will probably earn less than $20,000 a year, will be poorly educated, will tend to become single parents and will more likely to commit a crime.

Discouraging statistics, but here’s the good news. Emotional control–both for children and adults–is a skill that can be learned.

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