When a Childs Tantrums Reveal Significant Behavior Issues

Children will regularly start to tantrum as they near the age of two. They are reaching out, grasping for the independence they desire. A tantrum may come because a child is told they have to eat that detestable broccoli before the delectable cookie, or maybe when they want to wear their swimming suit into the -10 F winter air. All parents have witnessed a tantrum, some because their child is tired, or hungry, others because they desire to test their limits and see just what Mom and Dad will let them have. However, there are some tantrums that point to other concerns; areas where Mom and Dad should seek a professional opinion.

Ask yourself these questions:

Are tantrums regularly concerning an order that needs to be followed? This could range from needing the exact same cup or color cup all the time to the order in which their shoes are put on. Perhaps it is a request that cartoons are watched in order, or routines be followed exactly the same way all the time.

Do tantrums regularly occur during transition periods? Transitions periods are when a child is being directed from one activity to another.

Does your child injure themselves or others during a tantrum? Actions could consist of repeatedly hitting/scratching themselves or others, head-banging, or hair-pulling.

Do tantrums regularly occur when surrounded by loud noise or crowds? Maybe at Chuck E. Cheese the public pool or a parade?

Do tantrums regularly occur when made to wear certain fabrics, when they itch, or when they have to touch something they do not want to touch?

Does your child regularly tantrum when the lights are too bright or the TV is too loud?

Does your older child often lose their temper, argue with adults, actively defy or refuse to comply with adults, deliberately annoy people, and/or blame others for their mistakes?

Is your older child touchy or easily annoyed, angry and resentful? Are these feelings in conjunction with actions listed above?

If you find your child is regularly fitting into these categories, you should consider taking them to see a licensed psychologist or a developmental pediatrician. The tantrums may be normal, but they also could be signs of behavioral difficulties which may need to be addressed, such as: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or Sensory Integration Dysfunction, or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD.)