Children and Teens Articles

How to Alleviate ‘Honor Student’ Stress

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

How to Alleviate 'Honor Student’ Stress

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. ~ Lena Horne

Brad’s mom was worried about her son.

“He’s a great kid. An honor student who tries hard to do his very best. A parent’s dream, right? But I’m worried about him. He’s overly stressed. And so hard on himself. I tell him to relax but I don’t think he has the faintest idea about how to do that.”

When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go to Therapy (But Needs To)

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go to Therapy (But Needs To)Going to therapy is hard enough for adults. Stigma stops many of us from picking up the phone and making an appointment. Plus, therapy is hard work. It often requires revealing our vulnerabilities, delving into difficult challenges, changing unhealthy patterns of behavior and learning new skills.

So it’s not surprising that kids might not want to go either. This resistance only escalates when they misunderstand how therapy works. “Many children are afraid or nervous to go to therapy, especially if they have the belief that they are in trouble or because they are ‘bad,’” said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.

Porn Addiction: Not the Whole Story

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Porn Addiction: Not the Whole StoryThe issue of whether porn addiction is real has produced a storm of controversy. Yet all this noise may be distracting us from a graver risk to healthy sexuality: sexual conditioning of adolescents.

I monitor a number of popular online recovery forums. I have read self-reports of thousands of otherwise healthy young men who heal severe symptoms, including sexual dysfunctions (anorgasmia, delayed ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, loss of attraction to real people) by removing a single variable: Internet porn use.

8 Practical Suggestions for Parents of Kids with ADHD

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

help-kids-navigate-computers-online-digital-useThe school year is back upon us, and parents of kids with ADHD probably could use some support and tips. So here are some suggestions:

1. Manage your expectations.

Children with ADHD have a legitimate neurological condition that impairs planning, organization, impulse control, focus, and attention. ADHD cannot be cured, but it can be managed with teaching strategies, accommodations, practicing difficult skills, and, sometimes, medication.

Childhood PTSD: Spanking Is Not ‘About Love,’ It’s About Rage

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

early-start-for-kids-with-autismMy first memory is of being spanked. I was 3 years old, and I didn’t know what I had done wrong. All I know is that it made me terrified of my father and forever doubtful of my safety in my home.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was recently suspended after he was charged with reckless or negligent injury of a child after allegedly spanking his 4-year-old son with a switch. Peterson’s mother Bonita Jackson told the Houston Chronicle that spanking “is not about abuse”:

Suggestions for Parents with Children in Therapy

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Suggestions for Parents with Children in TherapyI greet you in the waiting room, and ask if you need to let me know anything before I bring your child back to my office.

You usually say “no,” and likely wonder what is going on behind that therapy wall for the next 50 minutes.

Yes, parent of my patient, it is my job to keep you involved while still maintaining your child’s confidentiality. Achieving that balance often requires me to offer you general suggestions on the basis of my experience and research as opposed to explaining to you what your child has revealed in therapy.

Helping Children Avoid Depression

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Helping Children Avoid DepressionToday’s children are at a higher risk for depression than any previous generation. Almost one in 10 children will experience a major depressive episode by the time they are 14 years old, and almost one in five will experience a major depressive episode before graduating from high school. The good news is, there is apparently something that parents and educators can do to decrease the likelihood that children will succumb to this statistic.

Passing it On: Parenthood & Mental Illness

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Passing it On“Aren’t you afraid he will get your disease?”

This question was uttered by a colleague at a department picnic this past summer when I was still working as a college instructor. This colleague had known me for a few years. She had known me when I was still adamantly not going to have children. She knew of my diagnoses. This was the first time she had seen me since I had given birth, and the first time she met my son, who had just turned one year old.

She chose to ask a question about my fear of passing on my psychiatric illnesses.Not a question concerning the million other things that happens with new motherhood — a question of genetic loading.

3 Tips for Sparking Your Kids’ Creativity

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

3 Tips for Sparking Your Kids’ Creativity“Creativity is a gift, given in some measure to all of us,” said Tom Sturges, an accomplished music executive, author, teacher and speaker. For over 15 years, Sturges has mentored and taught thousands of students to explore their creativity, “to let their creative instinct ‘emerge’ rather than to force it out into the open.”

(There’s even a documentary, “Witness to a Dream,” about his work with inner-city kids in Los Angeles.)

Creativity, he noted, isn’t drawing, painting or writing a song. “These are just some uses of the creative instinct. But there are so many ways that children can be creative.”

Will Social Anxiety Keep Your Child From Succeeding in School?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Will Social Anxiety Keep Your Child From Succeeding in School?With the ringing of the first classroom bell to signal the start of a new school year, two images often come to mind: children excited about seeing old friends and their favorite teacher, or the endearing scene of a shy child clinging to his mother’s leg.

But what if the latter scenario is not as innocent as popular culture depicts? In the most recent Care For Your Mind (CFYM) series, experts associated with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America shed light on a debilitating but little known disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD) that effects 12% of youth. Often first appearing in grade school, this disorder can be treated and managed with the right support and professional help.

Psychology Around the Net: August 30, 2014

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

workplace-mobbing-bullying-business-woman

Do you care for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease and wonder how you can better help them — and yourself — make it day by day? What about a fear of asking for advice? Ever heard of sleep drunkenness? We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Risky Situations At Work Lead Women To Feel More Anxiety Than Men, Says Study: A new study recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association found that women are more likely than men to fold under the pressure of risky situations at work and, thus, perform worse than they would during normal situations.

10 Things Parents Wish Educators Knew about Eating Disorders

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

10 Things Parents Wish Educators Knew about Eating Disorders

1. Eating disorders are real and deadly illnesses and having one is not a choice. Your reaction, as an administrator or teacher, to a disclosure of an eating disorder should be the same as if you were told a child had leukemia. Certain eating disorders have a mortality rate as high as 20 percent.

Eating disorders are up to 80 percent genetic, and they are biological in nature. Treatment has to be the number one priority, and the medical and psychological needs of the student should drive how school absences, attendance and other issues are handled.

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