Children and Teens

5 Helpful Tips to Help Children Manage Stress


Being a kid these days is intense. Here's how to help your child cope with the pressure.

You know how awful stress makes you feel. But seeing stress on your child’s face or hearing it in his or her voice? That feels even worse!

You recognize these feelings oh so well -- overwhelm, anxiety, exhaustion, restlessness, irritability, and a mind racing with less-than-helpful thoughts. It doesn’t matter how big, small, or "real" you think the threat is, to your child some challenges of childhood (and young adulthood) seem larger or stronger than he or she can handle.

Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

What is Affluenza? Is it Real?

Affluenza is a term describing a "metaphorical illness" whereby children or teens who grow up in a privileged lifestyle, largely isolated emotionally and developmentally from their working parents, feel excessive pressure to achieve in both academic and extracurricular activities. This can make children feel more isolated than their friends, while at the same time feeling an increase in pressure to perform. The result? Greater depression, anxiety and substance or alcohol abuse compared to their friends.

Researchers don't generally refer to this as affluenza, but rather as problems growing up in a culture of affluence. There is no official diagnosis of "affluenza," and research into this phenomenon is fairly scarce.

Continue Reading

Caregivers

The Effects of Overparenting on Children

The term helicopter parenting was coined in 1969 by Dr. Haim Ginott, psychotherapist and parent educator, in his book “Between Parent and Teenager.” A helicopter parent is defined as someone who is overprotective or overly interested in their child’s life. Several examples of this include telling a child how to play correctly, brushing a child’s teeth for him when he is a healthy 12-year-old, completing a child’s science project for her, cutting meat at the dinner table for a 16-year-old boy, or talking to a college professor about an adult child's grades.

Being an involved parent is not a bad thing. Being active in a child’s life can increase the child's confidence, build a closer bond between parent and child, and increase chances of the child being a successful adult. But where is the line that divides the actively involved parent and the overly involved parent?

Continue Reading

Addiction

Nomophobia & Smartphone Addiction Among Children

The term “addiction” is usually associated with alcoholism and drug abuse. Yet people do get addicted to different stimulants that are quite legal substances.

Smartphones changed our primary concept of a cell phone. It is no longer used strictly to establish audio communication. Smartphones allow us to have our camera, GPS navigator, video game terminal, and even our own library in hand. Nevertheless, the biggest and most important aspect is that a smartphone gives us access to the Internet.

Continue Reading

ADHD and ADD

I Am a Special-Needs Parent Raising a Special-Needs Child

My 11-year-old son Sam has anxiety disorder, for which he takes a daily dose of Zoloft. He’s also being treated with Adderall for ADHD. And he was recently diagnosed with autism.

I’m 52 years old and bipolar. I ingest a nightly cocktail of four psychotropic meds.

Because both son and mother have notable disabilities, the going, as they say, can get rough. Thank goodness, Sam's father and my husband, Pete, has both feet planted firmly on the ground and is without mental illness.
Continue Reading
Comment Announcement

Children and Teens

The Psychology of Smartphones and Texting

Our communication habits are changing faster than in any other period throughout history. More than 80 percent of American 18- to 34-year-olds prefer nonverbal communication mediums in daily life. We are witnessing not only the demise of the landline phone, but possibly also the end of the phone call itself. In my new book Texting in Sick: How Smartphones, Texting, and Social Media are Changing Our Relationships, I’m documenting the factors behind these massive changes as well as their social implications.

Most people are probably unaware that text messaging, when it was first conceived, was not intended for person-to-person use. When SMS saw the light of day back in 1993, its original purpose was to allow operators to send concise service updates to their subscribers. However, as it often happens with technology, unique social uses emerge when in the hands of users. That became true for SMS as well.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Overprotecting Your Anxious Child Backfires — Try These 5 Tips Instead

Parents want to protect their kids. This is natural, healthy and adaptive. As psychologist Elizabeth Penela, Ph.D, noted, “In many ways, parents are physiologically wired to protect their children from harm.”

You also likely want to prevent your child from getting upset or stressed. And if your child is already upset and stressed, you want to make it better. This is especially true if your child is struggling with anxiety; if their anxiety, worries and fears — about everything from an upcoming test to an upcoming birthday party — are so intense that they interfere with their everyday life.

Continue Reading

Caregivers

5 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Spouse after Baby

If you’re a new or expectant parent, you’re probably relishing all of the joy, excitement and memories your new baby will bring. You’re also probably fretting over the changes and challenges that will occur, too.

No one prepares us for the relationship struggles that happen after a baby arrives. We don’t realize how taxing sleep deprivation, uncertain parenting roles, money worries and everyday stressors can be on our marriage. You soon realize that your precious arrival has set off a bigger cascade of problems between you and your spouse than you ever knew possible.

Continue Reading

ADHD and ADD

ADHD Isn’t a Disorder of Attention

Many people think of ADHD as a disorder of attention or lack thereof. This is the traditional view of ADHD. But ADHD is much more complex. It involves issues with executive functioning, a set of cognitive skills, which has far-reaching effects.

In his comprehensive and excellent book Mindful Parenting for ADHD: A Guide to Cultivating Calm, Reducing Stress & Helping Children Thrive, developmental behavioral pediatrician Mark Bertin, MD, likens ADHD to an iceberg.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: December 12, 2015


This week's Psychology Around the Net is full of some surprising information (for example, did you know many doctors in training suffer from depression?) as well as helpful suggestions (such as how to handle awkward personal questions during your next family gathering).

Dig in!

Signs of Depression Are 'Unacceptably High' Among Doctors in Training, Study Finds: Are all those years of medical training actually providing a "crash course in depression," too?

Continue Reading