Posted by: Gracie | 2009-03-01


PLEASE could you settle a dispute for me? My mother-in-law says that temper tantrums in toddlers is a sign of intelligence and I do not agree with her! My 2 year-old niece throws herself to the ground and bangs her head on the floor and my m-i-l says that she is showing signs of intelligence by doing this as it is her way of communicating her wants! As far as I am concerned, it is a phase that many toddlers go through and has nothing to do with levels of intelligence! I have read that sometimes children who are ADD sufferers are also prone to throwing tantrums! No-one in the family agrees with her, but she insists that she read in a medical journal that toddlers who throw temper tantrums are highly intelligent! The world must be bursting at its seems with highly intelligent toddlers then as a lot of young children throw tantrums. I mention that my niece is a very spoilt little girl - her parents indulge her every whim! Please let me have your input!

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Our expert says:
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Intelligence in who ?
Even very unintelligent children have temper tantrums, perhaps more so than clever kids. Children of unintelligent moms might have more tantrums, in some circumstances.
As you may have noticed, a tantrum is a highly ineffective way of communicating what one wants. It might, dramatically, communicate THAT you want something, but not what --- because the tantrums are all the same. Its similar to the fact in adult verbal fights, that the louder you scream or whine, the harder it is for people to hear what you're saying.
Tantrums are atempts to manipulate adults, and when they work, as in the case of your niece, the kid becomes horribly spoiled, and learns the most unhelpful and false message that if she screams hard enough, the world will always eventually give her everything she wants. And how much more bittger for her eventually to learn that this is definitely not so.
Mom should watch Supernanny / Little Angels and other parenting shows on the BBC Knowledge channel. And ask her to send me a copy of that article in the medical journal she's quoting --- I'd be curious as to which idiots wrote it.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Nix | 2009-03-02

Tantrums??? A sign of INTELLIGENCE????
No, just of BAD PARENTING.
You should learn how to control your child.

Reply to Nix

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