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Child Abuse Negl. 1987;11(3):421-32.

Seven deadly sins of childhood: advising parents about difficult developmental phases.

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University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver.


Seven of the more difficult developmental phases for any parent to deal with are colic, awakening at night, separation anxiety, normal exploratory behavior, normal negativism, normal poor appetite, and toilet training resistance. For the child living in a high-risk family, these innocent acts can trigger dangerous or even deadly abuse. The two behaviors most commonly associated with fatal abuse are colic and toilet training. When we recognize a child who is going through a provocative phase, we should be prepared to advise the parents on some practical alternatives to a physical response. Such advice is welcomed by most types of families. Any treatment plan for an abusive family that fails to include this type of problem solving may be inadequate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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