Do Tantrums Require a Shrink?


Photo by LelandsMommy

You be the judge. Who is right here -- the pediatrician or the mom:

The facts of the case:

You take your typical toddler to the pediatrician for his 3 year well-baby visit. The doctor makes you and your tyke wait an hour before calling you into the exam room.

By then, the 3 year old has had it. Exhausted. Bored. Frustrated. He refuses to let the nurse weigh him. Refuses to let her check his blood pressure. Tries to wiggle out of mom's hold. Pretty soon, it's a full-on tantrum.

Another more experienced nurse bearing toys and a latex glove balloon manages to calm the child down, and mom and the nurse agree to reschedule the appointment for another day. It's better this way, the mom thinks, because she needs some tranquility to talk to the doctor about controlling her son's tantrums, as well discuss as an unrelated dietary issue.


The nurse leaves and returns after speaking with the doctor, who relays the message that he does not deal with behavioral problems. Doesn't even talk about them. He won't treat the child further until he sees a psychologist.

The mom can't believe it. Aren't tantrums normal toddler behavior? And isn't a pediatrician the go-to person for all issues involving the physical and mental health of a child? But just maybe this is routine procedure at other doctor's offices, as well, she considers.

What's your verdict?

1. The pediatrician was appropriate to order the consult before talking to the mom and examining the child first.

2. It's time to find a new pediatrician.

This happened in real life last week to LelandsMommy, who gives more details in the Journal post A tantrum is sending my son to the psychologist?!?!

One mom responded to the Journal saying the pediatrician was probably thinking autism, and was afraid to make the diagnosis himself, so he was passing the buck. But that just doesn't make any sense to LelandsMommy. It wasn't even her son's worst tantrum.

What say you?

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