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On Parenting
Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 08/16/2012

A touchy preteen needs a full physical before she gets therapy: Family Almanac’s Marguerite Kelly

From elsewhere in The Post: How do you know if a tempestuous preteen would be better served by seeing a physician or a therapist? A mom of three girls, including one, 12, who is prone to emotional outbursts, asks Marguerite Kelly for advice.

“This child had temper tantrums when she was young, but they stopped around first grade, and I thought she had outgrown them. Not so. She now gets extremely angry over minor things and then she yells, shrieks and causes a scene. If someone bumps into her, she says he did it on purpose. If she can’t find her homework, a sister must have moved it, just to be mean. And if she oversleeps, the radio station was playing the wrong songs or I gave her the wrong kind of clock.

“How can we help our child the most? Should she see a physician? Or a therapist?”

Kelly suggests that the girl needs to see her pediatrician first, to rule out any health problems, and an allergist, to make sure allergies aren’t causing her emotional outbursts.

“Whatever the findings of the pediatrician and the allergist, your daughter will probably need some talk therapy to deal with the messes she’s made and to correct the problems that come with middle school — that time when preteens and young teens are expected to adjust to more physical, mental and emotional changes than they’ve ever faced before and to do it with grace and aplomb,” Kelly writes.

Read Kelly’s full column here.  

By On Parenting  |  06:00 PM ET, 08/16/2012

Tags:  family almanac

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