Thursday, June 14, 2018
Doctors Perspective
The science of temper tantrums

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
Often, parents cannot accept the fact that their childrens temper tantrums are caused by their behavior management techniques. Temper tantrums are a learned behavior. All children have temper tantrums at about two years of age. The way parents react is what creates subsequent behavior. Since they have problems accepting the fact that they caused this kind of reactive behavior, they look to blame other things. Some parents think it must be ADHD and all their child needs is stimulant medication. Once their child gets medication, the behavior will improve. While stimulant medication helps some behaviors, it does not help temper tantrums. Other parents think that it must be bipolar disorder; after all people who are bipolar are often out of control. While that is true to an extent, it is not true of children with temper tantrums. Bipolar behavior tends to be driven by nothing in particular. The behavior lasts for hours or days. The child acts completely different on those days than other days and the behavior continues regardless of what else is going on. Rarely is it found in pre-adolescents. Temper tantrums are always reactive. The child does not get his or her way and the result is a tantrum in order to get the desired result. Every time a tantrum is successful, the parents send the message that it works. Sometimes this happens by accident. For example, a child may ask for a cookie. A parent may answer, No, it will spoil your dinner. The child proceeds with a temper tantrum. The parent figures that maybe it is not that soon so the cookie is given. In the parents mind, it had nothing to do with the tantrum. In the childs mind, it was a direct result. One example I use in the office is that Sussex County residents do not speed through Greenwood on Rt. 13. Most of them have never had a speeding ticket. They have seen too many people pulled over for speeding. Logically, they do not want to join them. Children think differently. If they speed through Greenwood 20 times before getting a ticket, they think they have 19 more times to go. Thus every time a tantrum works, they feel that sooner or later it is going to work again. There is one example of tantrums being a medical problem. Tantrums can be a form of a seizure, however, these are extremely rare. Seizures also have other accompanying symptoms. Temper tantrums are learned behavior. Blaming them on other medical problems does not work.

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers childbirth classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital hosts childbirth classes on Thursdays from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the Ground Floor Conference Room. The class will meet for a total of five weeks Ð four weeks related to childbirth education and the fifth week will be a breastfeeding class. 2018 dates: July 5, 12, 19, 26; Aug. 2, 30; Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27; Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25; Nov. 1 *November 13, 20, 27, December 4, 11 (*Tuesdays) The maternity education classes are designed to offer information, counseling, support, and hands-on experience to help prepare for a new family member. They will cover pregnancy in general, information to prepare the expectant mother for labor and delivery, and will include a tour of Nanticokes Mother & Baby Care Center. A refresher course is also available for those who have previously taken childbirth classes. The refresher class covers breathing techniques, signs, symptoms, and stages of labor, birthing options, and a tour of Nanticokes Mother & Baby Care Center.

The cost of the childbirth course is $50, and the cost for the refresher course is $25. Mothers are encouraged to bring their partner or support person for all courses. Pre-registration is required for either class. To register or for more information, contact Nanticokes Maternal Child Health Clinical Educator at 302-629-6611, extension 2540. To learn more about womens health services provided by Nanticoke, visit Nanticoke Health Services includes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, the Nanticoke Physician Network and the Nanticoke Health Foundation. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital was the first hospital on Delmarva to receive a 4-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is the only hospital in Delaware and Maryland to be nationally recognized by Healthgrades with both the Outstanding Patient Experience Awardª and the Patient Safety Excellence Awardª. Nanticoke holds a Level III Trauma Center certification, is nationally certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center, and is a Gold Plus Award performer according to the American Heart/American Stroke Associations Get With The Guidelines¨ program. Nanticokes Cancer Care Services holds Accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and is a member of the Association of Community Cancer Centers. Nanticokes medical staff includes over 160 health care providers practicing in 40 different specialties including the 55 providers employed within the Nanticoke Physician Network.

Diabetes support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital hosts free diabetes support groups on Mondays four times a year from 5 to 6 p.m., in the Medical Staff Conference Room. Pre-registration is required. 2018 schedule- June 18 Ð The ABCDs of Diabetes with Medicare with Lakia Turner, community relations officer, State of Delaware September 17 Ð Move with Jonathan with Jonathan Souder, MS, fitness director, Manor House December 3 Ð The Dish on Diabetes - Learn food preparation skills for simple, savory diabetic dishes. For more information or to register, contact Nanticokes Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2288.

Bariatric Support Groups Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts free bariatric support groups three times a month at the Nanticoke Training Center, located within the Miller building at 121 S. Front Street in Seaford. These support groups provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery and are open to the public. Support group meetings consist of guest speakers and presentations to provide information about nutrition, supplements, exercise and behavior modifications. Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. The general bariatric support group is open to all bariatric patients before and after their surgery and is held the first Monday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the fourth Monday from 6-7 p.m. (no meeting on the first Monday in July due to holiday). The post-op bariatric support group is designed for post-op bariatric patients and is held on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information about these support groups or other services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit or call 536-5395.