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All children occasionally throw tantrums and have big behaviors that make parents worry.  Some children are just naturally more fussy and irritable.  Others are more cautious or slow to warm up. A child’s temperament, how they experience and approach the world, greatly impacts their behavior. Sometimes parents want to talk to someone about their concerns for their child.  The following resources will help you learn what to expect, how you can help your child, and where to turn if you need help dealing with challenging behaviors.
Learning about your child's developmental stage and temperament will help you know what to expect from your preschooler. Visit "Why didn't anyone tell me that?" section of the Early Milestones website for more information.
  • Challenging Behaviors - Zero to Three has developed a set of resources designed to help you better understand and cope with some of the typical challenges parents face in the early years: Aggression, Defiance, Inconsolable Crying, Children who are slow-to-warm-up and Sleep.
  • Crying - Whether you're exhausted and overwhelmed or just have questions about your baby, the Fussy Baby Team will help you and your family find more ways to soothe, care for, and enjoy your infant.  To learn more visit the Fussy Baby Network.
  • Encouraging Your Child to Speak Up - Children don't automatically know when to speak up or the power of words and how to use them correctly. Disney provides suggestions of when and how to encourage your child to speak up so he or she can become empowered and self-responsible youngsters.
  • Family Tools - The Center for Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning offers parents a number of great tools such as Teaching Your Child to: Identify and express emotions, cooperate with requests and more!
  • Helping Your Child Sleep - While there is no easy answers to sleep questions, and there is no one-size-fits all approach to solving sleep challenges, there is lots you can do to start moving in the right direction.  To help you Zero to Three offers tips and tools on sleep and lists the most popular resources on sleep.  To learn more click here.
  • Learning to Tell the Truth - Toddlers don't fully understand the difference between reality and fantasy. To help understand your child and learn ways to help with this behavior, visit Zero to Three  "When Young Children Lie".
  • Temperament and Behavior - To help you gauge your child's temperament and learn how to effectively engage your child based on their temperament and behavior, visit Zero to Three's Tips and Tools on Temperament and Behavior. For further exploration into temperament and what makes your child tick, visit Zero to Three's Magic in Everyday Moments video series.
    -Project ABC offers parents tips for dealing with your toddlers temper tantrums.  Interested in developing your child's Emotional Intelligence  Project ABC can help!
  • Are you looking for local parenting classes or parenting support groups?  Look no further!  Just visit the Being the Best Parent section of this site to find some answers.

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Parents are often the first to notice that something is not right but often their concerns are overlooked or dismissed by others. Some parents are told they are over-reacting or that their child will grow out of the behavior. Parents are usually accurate in their concerns about their child's development. Many of the symptoms of ADD such as having difficulty paying attention, feeling restless, fidgeting ,and running or climbing excessively, can also be red flags for a sensory processing disorder or related condition. The following resources can help with this journey.
  • Identifying Signs and Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder - Zero to Three offers eight tips for surviving your child's developmental assessment process.
    -Healthy Children by the American Academy of Pediatrics offers a wide array of information on ADHD.  To learn more visit this site.
    -The Attention Deficit Disorder Foundation explains the difference between ADD and ADHD, talks about who has it and what the research show about the causes of ADHD and ADD.
  • Sensory Processing Disorder - Learn what the "red flags" are for Sensory Processing Disorder.  The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation provides parents a checklist for identifying signs and symptoms.
    Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation explains what the Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) looks like, what causes it, the impact of the disorder and how it is treated.

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Teaching young children to be accountable for their actions and providing opportunities for them to practice independence can help foster responsible behavior. The following programs and resources for parents and children help build positive leadership and friendship skills that can last a lifetime.
  • Rules and Responsible Behavior - Even very young children can take some responsibility for their actions.  Set up rules for responsibility early and you can build responsible behavior in children. 
    Learn how at Project ABC.
    Parenting Resources - To access positive parenting tips for health child development, a family guide, information for raising an emotionally intelligent child and more visit Project ABC. Check out the Building Blocks Family Guide for fun activities and discussion starters for you and your children.
  • Local Leadership and Community Action Programs - Girls, Inc. of Sarasota County     offers girls between the ages of 6-14 a wide array of programs for the positive development of young girls.
    -Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County offers a Character & Leadership Development   Programs that empower youth to support and influence their Club & Community, sustain    meaningful relationships, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic   process, and respect their own and other’s cultural identities.

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Children occasionally throw tantrums and misbehave, but when does problem behavior cross the line from typical acting out to something more serious? Because all children go through stages of misbehavior, it can be hard for parents/caregivers to know whether a child is just going through a phase, or needs additional help. Sometimes, if a child is reacting to something that is stressful in his or her life, and it is possible to remove the source of stress, the child's behavior may improve on its own. A number of resources exist for understanding, identifying and treating social/emotional challenges in young children.
  • Child Development Assessment - Zero to Three offers eight tips for surviving your child's developmental assessment process.
  • Infant Mental Health Information - Infant mental health reflects both the social-emotional capacities and the primary relationships in children birth through age five. Because young children's social experiences and opportunities to explore the world depend on the love and care they receive, the child and the child's relationships are central to "infant mental health." To learn more on how to help ensure your child's social and emotional well-being visit Florida State University's Center for Prevention and Intervention Policy site.
    -Tulane Institute of Infant and Early Child Mental Health lists the 10 things you should know about Infant Mental Health.  Project ABC also has a list of things you should know.
  • Infant Mental Health Services - The Florida Center for Early Childhood, Inc. Focused Infant/Young Child Mental Health Therapy specializes in infant and young children's mental health, providing mental health services for children from birth through age eight and their family members.
  • For more information on programs and services to help positively develop your child's early childhood mental health link to counseling section in Keeping Your Child Healthy & Active.

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