Parenting Matters

  • Most of us think of childhood as a safe, peaceful and happy time in a person's life. During this time, children usually learn they are loved while their needs are being met in secure and consistent ways. Children come to understand that they belong to their families and their families belong to them. During the first few years of life, this attachment bond is formed with the parent or primary caregiver and will impact the child in many ways... Read More
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  • The start of school can bring a mix of both excitement and apprehension. Many kids will show some anxiety about the new school year as they enter school for the first time, go to a new school or move from one level of school (elementary) to the next (middle)... Read More
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  • Most of us can remember the bullies in our schoolyards, the instances and names of the bullies, and exactly how these kids impacted the school experience. Boys and girls who bully don't have low self-esteem as we once thought. Bullies may be average students or even classroom or athletic leaders... Read More
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  • Childhood can and should be a time of wonder and discovery. But for children of alcoholic parents, life often is filled with shame, suffering, and fear. These children may find themselves trapped by the same disease that affects their parents unless there is outside intervention from caring adults... Read More
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  • There is a growing phenomenon in our community today that is hurting our adolescents. This phenomenon is often referred to as "cutting," otherwise called self-injurious behavior. The world can be a scary place for adolescents dealing with a lot of hurt and pain. For parents, it can also be scary when they find out their child is cutting... Read More
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  • We hear a lot about eating disorders in teens, especially girls. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are the top headline grabbers. But there exists another type of eating that can also cause undue stress on the body and spirit. It is disordered eating... Read More
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  • Domestic violence is a big issue that impacts our community’s children. When I talk with children at the hospital they don't tell me there is “domestic violence” at home. Instead, they tell me horrific stories of nightmares, being woken up in the middle of the night by screams and yells and how they hit a sibling because mommy and daddy fight like that... Read More
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  • Have you ever found yourself exercising and then feeling better both physically and emotionally? Running, working out and participating in sports have always been important aspects of my own well-being and I often see how physical activity can help adults, teens and children feel better about themselves... Read More
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  • Adolescence - a time of change, self-exploration, and our first meaningful friendships. Friends are the primary focus for adolescents and can become more important than anyone else in their life. During this developmental stage, there is a strong need to belong to a group and feel accepted. This is why teenagers are always so concerned about how they look and act... Read More
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  • How many times has the thought of seeking help for your child with behavioral or emotional difficulties crossed your mind? You say to yourself: this is not a happy child, there has to be something that we can do to help him/her grow up enjoying life. As you look for telephone numbers to make an appointment either with a therapist or a psychiatrist, you hear news about the increase in suicidal ideation induced by antidepressants, the possibility that children are over-diagnosed with this or that illness... Read More
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  • Mental health is a continuum just like physical health. In some ways, it can be very difficult to have one if you don’t have the other. When individuals are dealing with mental illness, there may seem to be no energy left over to focus on healthy eating. This can lead to a vicious cycle of worsening physical and mental health. The human brain, like the heart, is an organ that greatly benefits from healthy nutrition. Turns out, the same kind of nutrition for a healthy heart will benefit the brain as well. So, here are some tips for a head AND heart healthy diet... Read More
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  • Adolescence is a time of change and challenge for your preteen or teenager. The changes that occur during adolescence are often confusing not only for your son or daughter, but for you as well. Though these years can be difficult, the reward is watching your child become an independent, caring, and responsible adult. Here are some tips for managing this often challenging time... Read More
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  • Traumatic experiences can result in a significant disruption of child or adolescent development and have profound long-term consequences. Repeated exposure to traumatic events can affect the child's brain and nervous system and increase the risk of low academic performance, engagement in high-risk behaviors, and difficulties in peer and family relationships... Read More
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  • The whole family is impacted when a child is diagnosed with a mental illness, especially that child’s siblings. Mental illness can send shockwaves through a family that can unsettle well siblings and lead them to feel as though they are spiraling into a place of confusion, despair, hopelessness, anger, and grief. While some siblings can navigate the maze of confusing emotions, others depend on parents or other family members for support and understanding... Read More
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  • Most parents would be concerned if someone told them their child was stressed. Some stress is normal and can help motivate children and keep them focused. However, intense stress levels can have a negative impact and overwhelm the child if they are not able to cope adequately... Read More
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  • Teen dating violence has impacted adolescents for many years and unfortunately it is an issue that is not talked about until a situation gets so violent or aggressive that it comes to the attention of adults. Teens in abusive relationships often feel as though they have no one to talk to since adults are less likely to take the teen’s relationship seriously. There can be pressure to be in a relationship, so they might develop an any relationship will do mentality... Read More
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  • Teenage years are often an emotional time for many. With the difficult transition from childhood into adulthood, teens deal with emotional and physical changes while experiencing pressures and demands from friends, parents, and school... Read More
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  • Thoughtful parenting requires self-reflection. When should we be a coach, a disciplinarian, a nurturer? How much of each? And what is the correct timing of each of these roles? These are only some of the daily questions parents should work on asking themselves when they are negotiating the long and winding road of childrearing... Read More
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  • While there is not a single behavioral management tool that is effective for all children, no one can doubt the popularity of Time Out in modern parenting. However, despite its widespread use, there are always parents that believe Time Out is not a useful punishment for their child. Therefore, it is important to step back and review the purpose and process of Time Out... Read More
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