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Toddlers With Over-Reactive Parents Are More Likely to Have Tantrums

Stephanie Rausser

Ever feel like you could easily burst into a tantrum along with your limit-testing toddler?  Hopefully you avoid these occasional erratic urges, as researchers at Oregon State University have found a link between toddlers temper tantrums and easily angered parents, reports Medical News Today.

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The study examined 361 families in 10 different states, all which were linked to adoption. They found that adoptive parents who frequently over-reacted when their nine to 27-month old children pushed limits had a negative impact on the child’s behavior. These toddlers were more at risk for acting out themselves, and having more temper tantrums than average for their age.  

The tendency for toddlers to have temper tantrums isn’t all down to the parents’ behavior. The study also proved that genetics does play a role; the toddlers in the study who were raised in a low-stress environment but who had a high risk of negative emotions from their birth mothers had more temper tantrums than normal.

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Not only does overreacting impact the emotional development your toddler; it also follows them into their school years. The study’s head author Shannon Lipscomb said, “Research consistently shows that children with elevated levels of negative emotionality during these early years have more difficulties with emotion regulation and tend to exhibit more problem behavior when they are of school age,” said Lipscomb. 

Plus: Strange Toddler Behaviors Explained: Tantrums, Picky Eating and More

How do you handle your toddler’s temper tantrums? How do you keep your cool when you feel like overreacting to your toddler’s tantrums?