Parenting Articles

Improving Your Child’s ADHD with Exercise

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

physical-fitnessGetting in a good run before work keeps us focused and productive at the office. But did you know exercise could also help children with ADHD perform better in the classroom?

“There is evidence that physical activity improves academic performance,” said Betsy Hoza, a professor of psychological science at the University of Vermont. Her recent study found moderate to vigorous aerobic activity before school helped children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder become more attentive.

“The immediate effects are that you’re much more alert — there’s that endorphin rush,” said Hoza. That rush has proven to boost mood, help ward off anxiety and depression in adults, and now to improve cognitive function in children with ADHD.

ADHD Tip: How to Organize Your Family and Household

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

ADHD Tip: How to Organize Your Family and HouseholdRunning a household takes effort. And it can be especially challenging for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD impairs executive functioning in adults (and kids), making it harder for people to plan, prioritize, organize and follow through with various tasks — especially boring ones.

Of course, that’s exactly what you need to do when everyone in the family has a demanding job, goes to school, is involved in extracurricular activities, and has other commitments.

5 Helpful Practices for Families

Friday, January 16th, 2015

5 Helpful Practices for FamiliesIn his book The Secrets of Happy Families author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler turns to various fields and individuals — the military, Silicon Valley, sports coaches and Green Berets — for insights into creating stronger, more connected families. He also tries out these tips at home with his own family, which includes his wife and twin daughters.

In the book, Feiler shares all kinds of tools for teaching kids values, creating a more peaceful household and having more fun as a family.

Here are five tips and tools from The Secrets of Happy Families, which you might want to adopt for your family.

How to Make the Most of Therapy for Your Child

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

How to Make the Most of Therapy for Your ChildTherapy isn’t just helpful for adults. It’s important for kids, too. Therapy provides kids with “a ‘safe’ place to process and explore their world without the inhibitions that the world places on them,” said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.

Therapy can help kids with everything from nightmares to social anxiety to difficulty concentrating in school to trauma to mental health issues, she said.

In therapy kids are able to work on these issues without worrying that they’re hurting their parents’ feelings or disappointing them, she said.

Helping Someone with Asperger Syndrome Bridge the Gap between Cognitive and Emotional Empathy

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Helping Someone with Asperger Syndrome Bridge the Gap between Cognitive and Emotional EmpathyEmpathy is a controversial subject in the field of Asperger Syndrome/neurotypical relationships. The theory of mind postulates that people with Asperger Syndrome have some degree of mind blindness, or an inability to fathom the motivations and feelings of others. Aspies don’t seem to read the social clues that tell NTs (neurotypicals) what is going on.

For example, Aspies are notoriously poor at recognizing complex emotions in others. They struggle to understand that someone may be stretching the truth for emphasis or as the punch line to a joke. They are confused by irony, pretense, metaphor, deception, faux pas, white lies and so forth. This is why NTs find Aspies to be clueless in social situations and why there are all types of curricula on the subject of teaching Aspies how to navigate the social world.

Pros and Cons of Exposing Kids to Fairytales

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Pros and Cons of Exposing Kids to FairytalesMany parents are apprehensive about the messages fairytales convey. However, some say that such narratives illustrate important lessons.

According to an article by Elizabeth Danish, fairy tales provide us with what Joseph Campbell called “the hero’s journey,” a quest that reflects a universal truth.

Before Children, After Children

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Before Children, After ChildrenYou can be so smart. You have a college-educated pedigree. You are a mature person with sophistication and depth. You know what you want out of life. You know how to maintain a loving relationship. You have well-thought-out ideas about how to raise your children.

You surely must be living in the B.C. (before children) era, for you are blessed with ignorance. Lucky you!

Now that it’s the A.C. (after children) era, you acknowledge that things have gotten more complicated than you ever imagined. But you have learned a lot.

3 Tips for Staying Present with Your Kids

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

3 Tips for Staying Present with Your Kids Being present with your kids is fundamental to connecting with …

I’d Never Tell Anyone This, But…

Friday, December 19th, 2014

I’d Never Tell Anyone This, But…I was 12 years old when my 16-year-old cousin got me alone in a room and started feeling me up. I remember being so shaken and scared. I didn’t know what to do.

When I came home, I told my mother. I shall never forget what she said to me: “Stop making up stories. Your cousin is a good boy. You know that. Why would you want to say bad things about him? What’s wrong with you?”

I froze. Could I have imagined the whole thing? Could it not have happened? Could it have been my fault? I ran up to my room and never mentioned the incident again.

3 Ways to Answer Kids’ Questions about School Violence

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

3 Ways to Answer Kids' Questions about School ViolenceExtreme school violence continues to be a major problem in the United States. As such, stories about school violence are frequent on news programs. No matter how much a parent may try, children may see and hear instances of school shootings.

A study out of my research lab four years ago (McDonald, Leahy, et al., 2010) found that 80 percent of kids exposed to trauma often ask their parents about that trauma. So parents need to be equipped to answer these questions in helpful ways.

Our research has uncovered three helpful tips to guide your discussions about school shootings and violence.

Do You Connect or Control?

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Do You Connect or Control? My youngest always fought with me over the littlest of things. Lately I had even resorted to bribing her in return for the peace it brought.

“Put away your plate,” I reminded her after dinner the other night, “otherwise no iPad.”

“I don’t care,” she retorted. “And you can’t stop me.”

The Middling Effect of ‘Hit and Run’ Parenting

Monday, December 8th, 2014

The Middling Effect of the "Hit and Run"Parenting the older adopted child (or any child, for that matter) can be trying. I forever seem to be competing against his impressions that I just can’t relate to his beliefs, ideas, or perceptions, however reasonable they might or might not be.

After all, adults from his past likely were not paragons of physical, mental, or emotional stability. Notwithstanding more than four years together, why should he regard my intentions any differently? Variability in his trust in me to parent him while sensitively meeting his needs still leaves me with little wiggle room to make the right impression.

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