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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2592
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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We have a 5 year old throwing terrible tantrums only at home

Customer Question

We have a 5 year old throwing terrible tantrums only at home not at preschool. She has a 1 year old brother. In September, father started working many evenings, she changed from daycare to preschool so there have been lots of changes. We are the grandparents and the tantrums are with us and mom and dad. She cries, throws things. She will pick up and apologize, but it's a miserable process. It's happening about one out of three evenings. We assure her we love her, but her actions are unacceptable. We give her other choices to handle her emotions and praise her when she makes them. We never yell and try to be calm and reasonable. The blow-ups are very intense and come on very quickly, before we can intervene. These are very upsetting to her little brother, so then we're dealing with 2 situations. Help!
JA: Have you seen a doctor about this yet? What medications are you taking?
Customer: My daughter has asked her doctor, but he feels it's normal behavior. She is often on antibiotics for colds and ear infections and is on an antibiotic presently. Otherwise she takes a vitamin and fluoride tablet.
JA: Do you have a fever? Do you have any other existing medical conditions?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: She is 5 years old, but there is some depression in the family history.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 9 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. David. I am reviewing your question now and will be with you momentarily.

Expert:  Dr. David replied 9 months ago.

I am sorry your granddaughter is having these terrible tantrums.

that is too bad that dad has to work so many evenings

is mom working as well?

changes in school and changes in parent work schedules and time away from kids can be very upsetting.

you should keep a log of her diet as well. certain foods, too much sugar, preservatives, gluten could also be making her upset

chronic ear infections can also be very upsetting as well. she may benefit from allergy medications to help decrease these ear infections.

is there a pet or animal at home? allergies to pets or dust could also to be blamed for colds and runny nose and ear infections.

Expert:  Dr. David replied 9 months ago.

do you have other questions?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Mom also works. Unfortunately, the children see Mom from 5:oo until 7:00 but that time is also Mom preparing supper, eating, baths, getting ready for bed. Mom puts the little one down and Dad bathes her, if he is home. They read to her from 7:00 until 7:30--but otherwise life is pretty hectic and rushed without any alone time with Mom and Dad during the week. She is rebelling against being rushed, so much. She does have a cat.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 9 months ago.

I think I would rebel as well with that sort of tight schedule and not enough time with mom and dad

that is unfortunate that the parents have to work so many hours and be away from the kids so much

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Do you feel the frustration comes from the lack of individual attention? Before, Dad had a different job and was home by 5:00 and she saw Mom more at daycare, because Mom came at lunch . She's at preschool now and doesn't see mom at lunch. She wakes up at 5:30 as soon as she hears Mom in the shower and gets up to be with her. She is very exhausted and the parents think some of the trouble is due to lack of sleep. What can be done in this situation? When Dad isn't home the 1 year old demands so much attention and wants Mom to hold him constantly. Mom is still nursing, so he demands a lot of care. Mom and Dad are also exhausted. The emotional stress with the 5 year old isn't helping. Both are engineers with high stress jobs at times. They have little time to unwind, also.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
As grandparents, we babysit one afternoon with her and a whole day with the 1 year old. We used to take her a whole day, before preschool. She is better when we have her alone, but the tempers flare more when we are split between her and her brother , especially when one of us is making supper and one is with the baby.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 9 months ago.

yes, I think the frustration is most likely due to lack of time with mom and dad. and lack of family time