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why does my child curl up into the fetal position every time i punish or yell at him?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Nanette Nuessle
Specializes in Pediatrics
Anxiety: Many children curl up in the fetal position during times of anxiety. This may continue for several years. It does not indicate a problem with their development. However, you may want to look for methods of discipline other than yelling.
Answered on Mar 26, 2013
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Dr. James Ferguson
46 years experience Pediatrics
Fear, anxiety: The fetal position is symbolic and reflective of a period in our memory when we were safe and complely nurtured. The child (or adult) may revert to the position as a sign of how/where they would like to be/feel. Young todlers are self centered by nature and confused when their primary nurturers rage at them. Your pediatrician or a local councelor can help you work thru this rough area.
Answered on Apr 10, 2019
Dr. Charlene Sojico
41 years experience Pediatrics
SECURITY: Young and old alike feels " safe and secure" in a fetal position! instead of "yelling" use the positive approach. It works all the time. Your child may have legitimate needs and wants that he cannot express himself. Yelling will scare him more, and not good atmosphere for learning because he is always fearing something!
Answered on Oct 14, 2016

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