Long-Term Preemie Issues

Behavioral Problems

According to the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, behavioral problems are in many ways intertwined with learning problems. Both are more likely to occur in former preemies. Sometimes parents of preemies have a tendency to be overprotective of their child and avoid discipline. This can lead to or worsen any behavioral problems that may arise. These issues usually start before school age and often include:

  • Overly aggressive play
  • Temper tantrums
  • Refusal to comply
  • Excessive loudness
  • Inability to stay still for any period of time
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Extreme shyness

Some parents of preemies are reluctant to set limits or enforce rules because of the difficulties that the child had to go through in the early months of life. However, providing structure and defined limits can often lessen or eliminate some of these behavioral problems.

If behavior problems persist or get worse, discuss them with your child's doctor or teacher.

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