Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Toddler tantrums, self-control and adult problems
Children who are badly behaved and impatient at three are already at risk of having problems as adults. Researchers from Duke University in North Carolina studied 1,000 people in New Zealand in a long-term study which followed them from early childhood to adulthood. Those children who were unable to tolerate frustration, lacked persistence, had difficulty sticking with a task, couldn't wait their turn and who acted before thinking when they were toddlers were more likely to have problems with their finances, be single parents, have a criminal record, smoke, drink too much and have a drug problem as young adults. The badly-behaved toddlers were also more likely to end up with breathing problems, gum disease, sexually-transmitted diseases, inflammation, overweight and high cholesterol and blood pressure. However, those people who were badly-behaved as toddlers but who later improved their self-control were at no greater risk of developing problems.