My oldest D is 3.5 years old. She throws tantrums that last anywhere from 5-30 minutes most days. This has been going on for 6-8 months now. The littlest things can set her off. This morning, she wanted to get up at 6:15, but was upset and started crying when H and I would not get out of bed for her. She normally gets out of bed at 7. I got her to calm down a bit by holding her closely to me but not otherwise interacting with her. Once calm, she played quietly and picked out her clothes for the day for about ten minutes. Then she spiraled into a second tantrum when she couldn't close her dresser drawer easily.
This is typical of a morning for her.
I try to ignore her until she calms down. H wants to reason with her. I would prefer he ignore her too, but, despite me asking him to do so, I doubt this will happen. It's not his nature to ignore a crying kid.
DD also gave up her napes about two months ago. H lost his job about this time too. He's consulting now and money is not an issue, but I'm sure she's picked up on the stress H (and I) bring home from work. Her tantrums could - in part at least- be her reacting to our stress. However, I believe we're decent about leaving work problems outside of home.
I'm wondering if any other preschool parents experience this. H thinks she's demonstrating signs of mental illness, such as clinical depression and histrionic disorder. He's no psychologist, but had a mentally unstable grandmother and is worried that DD is following in her great-grandmother's footsteps. My instinct tells me she's not really showing signs of mental illness, just being a sensitive three year old. Thoughts???
Should I consult a doctor about her behavior?
I'd appreciate any suggestions for dealing with her behavior, notably to shorten the length of her tantrums.