Temper tantrums are very common in two- and three-year-olds, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier for parents to handle when faced with one. Helen Egger, MD, chair of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and director of the Child Study Center at Pelisyonkis Langone, advises parents to contain the child in the moment, and then when the storm has passed, figure out what caused the tantrum—be that hunger, fatigue, or a change in routine.
If your child is having frequent tantrums with no clear trigger, especially if they bite, kick, hit, or break things during the tantrum, you may consider seeking help from a pediatrician or child mental health specialist. “When we follow these children into early and middle childhood, these aggressive early childhood tantrums may be associated with emotional disorders like anxiety and depression,” Dr. Egger tells The New York Times.
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