Children and Teens Articles

The Importance of Involving Children in Household Chores

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Sharing Household Chores with KidsAs much as we parents like to protect our babies, we are also responsible for preparing and teaching them about the various realities of life. The ability to cope with disappointments, accept the consequences of their actions, develop problem-solving skills, and become functioning, independent adults depends largely on our parenting choices.

Self-respect, responsibility, and accountability are not things that come naturally to toddlers and young kids. We must repeatedly teach them, show them, and help them to develop these traits and skills through our own actions as well as the expectations that we set for them.

ADHD Could Lead to Obesity

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Childhood obesityChildren with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could be at greater risk of becoming obese, a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry shows. “We found that ADHD was a risk factor for later obesity,” said Alina Rodriguez, a visiting professor at Imperial College London, UK, whose recent study found that children with ADHD symptoms were less likely to engage in physical activity and more likely to become obese as adolescents.

This may sound counterintuitive to the image most people have of a child with ADHD: sprightly and in constant motion. How could someone who can’t sit still ever become lethargic and paunchy?

Parenting Advice: Understanding Your Teen’s Cyberlife

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

teenager and mom with computer ss

Like it or not, this is the world your kids are living in. You have to learn to live in it, too.

Unlike my parents, I have always had indoor plumbing. I am guessing when they first started putting toilets in homes that more than one person protested. “In the house? Why would you want that in the house?”

However, I never once heard my parents say, “Life was sure a lot better when we had to go outside in the middle of the night.”

When I hear complaints about advancing technology, I think it is a lot like indoor plumbing. It may be questioned at first, but no one is going back to the outhouse.

Common Things Parents Say to Their Kids about Therapy that Aren’t Helpful

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Social Support Helps Relieve Some Anguish from BullyingParents often use therapy as a last resort, said Kate Leyva, a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in working with children, teens and families in Lafayette, Calif.

So by the time your child starts working with a therapist, you may be feeling helpless, scared, angry and ashamed. Many parents do, said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist. “Many parents feel shame for not being able to ‘parent’ their child’s emotional and behavioral difficulties and struggles away.”

How Laura Ingalls Wilder Got a Rebel to Learn His Lessons

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

thesehappygoldenyearsI’m a huge fan of children’s literature (in fact, I’m in three reading groups where we read children’s and young-adult literature), and Laura Ingalls Wilder has always had a special place in my heart.

So I was thrilled when I found out that her book Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, was being published. I raced through the book last week; so fascinating. For instance, it turns out Nellie Olsen was an amalgam of three annoying girls.

Psychology Around the Net: March 14, 2015

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

woman awake watching clock insomia

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

Despite losing an extra hour this week, we hope you’ll make some time for today’s Psychology Around the Net, which takes a look at how daylight-saving time can affect your relationships, what teen depression really looks like, how your psychologist feels about dating apps, and more.

Daylight-Saving Time Is Bad for Your Relationships: We already know that poor sleep leads to a wealth of mental and physical health problems, but losing that extra hour during daylight-saving time (or any time) could lead to relationship problems, too.

How to Co-Parent Successfully after Divorce

Friday, March 13th, 2015

self-compassionate-parentingThere can be few experiences more painful in life than divorce. Divorces involving children are particularly fraught, with the tradition dictating that the mother is granted custody while the father gets visiting rights. However, recent years have seen the rise of co-parenting — a far more balanced approach which emphasizes the role of both parents in the children’s upbringing.

The sudden breakdown of the family structure after a divorce can be traumatic for children, who commonly experience feelings of abandonment, confusion and loss. Sadly, parents who remain adversarial may compound this trauma.

Top 10 Asperger’s Blogs of 2015

Friday, March 6th, 2015

job-question-woman-typing-laptop-computerAsperger’s is a curious syndrome, showing itself differently between individuals. One person may exhibit repetitive speech and one-sided conversations, while another will have challenges with nonverbal communication and have awkward mannerisms. Others may not engage appropriately in social interactions, may appear self-centered, lack empathy, or be obsessed with a particular topic. A person with AS will not usually show delays in language or cognitive development, and this is what sets it apart from autism.

There is heartfelt discussion of the impact of diagnosis in the AS blogosphere. The American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic reference book, the DSM, added Asperger Syndrome to its fourth edition in 1994. 

Failure to Launch

Friday, February 27th, 2015

video-game-addiction-fix-itselfJohn was never the greatest of students but he did manage to graduate from college in six years. Yay! His parents breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, he had accomplished what he set out to do.

Now, three years later, Mom and Dad are feeling increasingly distressed. John is living back home and going nowhere. His motivation to get a job comes and goes. The bulk of his day is spent on social media, video games and getting high.

He shows little interest in becoming an independent, self-sufficient adult. If his parents would get him an apartment, he’d move in a minute. But the idea of working toward that goal is beyond him.

4 Ways a Child with Autism Affects Family Life

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

family grass blue skyAn autism diagnosis not only changes the life of the child diagnosed, but also that of family members. Parents of an autistic child have to bear a lot of stress owing to complicated therapy schedules, home treatments, and juggling job responsibilities and family commitments. There is also financial stress coming from the expensive therapies and treatments.

Such stress may affect family life in various adverse ways. Parents of autistic children need to meet the needs of their children, as well as address the needs of their family. Coping with the stresses involved in being parents to an autistic child can strengthen families and marriages, but this requires a great support system and a lot of hard work.

Psychology Around the Net: February 21, 2015

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

A wall calendar with the words Do It Now to symbolize the import

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

This week’s edition of Psychology Around the Net brings you information about the subtle signs of depression, how to change your attitude even when you can’t change your circumstances, the connection between being locked up and mental illness and poverty, and more.

(Oh, and we even get an appearance from the Duchess herself!)

Stop Beating Yourself Up for Not Getting Everything Done Every Day: Tired of feeling defeated because you didn’t accomplish every last thing on your to-do list? Ask yourself these five questions and you might just feel a little more relaxed at the end of the day.

Reflections of a White Psychotherapist

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

I Rule This Beach by Graham Crumb on FlickrI have had the terrible opportunity of experiencing a black child’s first exposure to racism. I was in session with an African-American mom while her 4-year-old son played quietly on the rug. She told me she had recently enrolled her child in an all-white preschool and that the teachers reported her son had been taunted for the color of his skin.

Hearing this, the little boy came over to me and held out his arm. “May I please borrow your special soap to get rid of this brown?” he asked politely, tears on his beautiful little face.

I worked with an economics professor, also black. He told me that while walking the halls of his university in tailored suits he was sometimes mistaken for janitorial staff. “I’ve even tried an ascot, for pity’s sake,” he said.

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