Sometimes when my 3-year-old melts down, and just. Won't. Stop. Crying. And crying, and creating a spectacle, and rolling around on the ground, and repeating the exact same thing over, and over, and over again, like, "I want more chocolate!!!!" ... I look at her (with exasperation) and think, "Why can not you just get it together?"

Later, following the catastrophe moment passes, and her head stops spinning around like she is in an exorcist picture, and I've jumped through hoops to appease her (she obtained the chocolate after time-out neglected), I'll remind myself, "She is just 3." And it turns out I am not alone in expecting too much from my small one. Parenting advice is always a key in these type of situations. 

Early childhood resource team ZERO TO THREE recently conducted a national Parent Survey, Tuning In, and discovered most parents overestimate young kids' ability for self-control, something they call that the "expectation gap."

He added in the press release, "As an instance, if a parent thinks a child is capable of higher self-control than he really is, it may lead to frustration for the parent and maybe more punitive -- instead of supportive -- responses."

Other results of this survey reveal:

• 56 percent of parents think children have the impulse control to resist the desire to do something prohibited before age.

• 36 percent consider that children under age two have this kind of self-control.

• 43 percent of parents think kids can share and take turns with other kids before age two.

• 24 percent of parents believe children have the ability to control their feelings, such as resisting tantrums when they are frustrated, at 1 year or even younger.

• 42 percent believe kids have this capacity by 2 decades.

Here is the facts:

• Self-control actually develops between 31/2 and 4 years and takes even more years to be utilized regularly.

• Sharing skills develop between 3 to 4 years.

• Emotional control also won't develop until between 31/2 and 4 decades.

In light of the poll, Melmed provides this advice to parents: "The early years are about teaching, not punishing. When parents have realistic expectations about their child's capabilities, they could direct behavior in very sensitive and productive ways."