Excerpt It's a nagging feeling. It's a worry that keeps pushing its way into your brain at night as you lay exhausted in bed, simply wanting sleep. It's a concern that your thoughts keep turning to during the chitchat of neighborhood moms at your weekly playgroup. It's something that you hem and haw about bringing up with your pediatrician. You find yourself asking, again and again: Is this a big problem or a little problem? In other words, Should you worry, or should you not? Problem behaviors come in all shapes and sizes, and at all ages and stages of development. Some are bigger than others, but all cause parents and professionals (and children) some degree of angst and stress. As members of a team of child developmental specialists, and as mothers and a grandmother, we are very familiar with these issues, and have worked with thousands of parents and professionals to help them sort out the challenges faced by young children. Our team is based in Rockville, Maryland, at the Ivymount School's Center for Outreach and Education (CORE). Our mission is to help teachers and families identify needs and implement strategies for helping young children be more successful at home and at school. The team consists of two occupational therapists, a speech and language therapist, and a behavioral specialist. We provide individualized support, resources, and strategies to help families, teachers, and, most important, children who face big and little problems. This book will do the same for you. Differences in children's learning styles, temperaments, and personalities are a given, but when should those differences raise a red flag? What strategies might parents try on their own before getting anyone else involved in the problem-solving process? How much frustration or anxiety should a parent (or child) endure before calling in a specialist? When should a parent seek a professional opinion? And what can a frazzled parent do in the meantime, while waiting for that professional evaluation? Let's begin with a list that sums up the most common complaints we hear from parents (and professionals) about young children. These behaviors may represent a "little" problem, easily manageable with a few specific strategies, or they may be the tip of the iceberg of a bigger problem. 10 Common Concerns of Parents About Their Children 1. He doesn't listen. 2. She's stubborn and always needs to have things go her way. 3. He's constantly on the go, in perpetual motion. 4. She has so many tantrums! She's so emotional! 5. He has a really hard time with changes in routine. 6. Sometimes she gets so wound up! 7. He's so clumsy and always getting hurt. 8. She can be so mean and aggressive toward other kids. 9. He's really shy and withdrawn. 10. She's such a picky eater. These ten statements could describe almost every child, on one day or another, at some point during their early years. However, when one or more of these complaints become the norm for a child, a red flag goes up. If these glitches are pervasive and affect a child's ability to be happy, relate to others, and go about his daily life, there may be a real problem. Only further investigation will tell us whether it is a "big" problem or a "little" problem. Most children have little problems. This book is full of strategies to help parents and other caregivers manage the little problems of early childhood. When we use these strategies to adjust the environmenEgan, Amy is the author of 'Is It a Big Problem or a Little Problem? When to Worry, When Not to Worry, and What to Do', published 2007 under ISBN 9780312354121 and ISBN 0312354126.