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Improve Your Child’s Well Being Through the Use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy | Improve-Your-Child.comWhether your child is suffering from daily stress, depression or anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a tool that can be incredibly helpful.

Essentially, CBT helps a child respond to life differently by helping him or her identify negative and distorted thinking patterns. It addresses unhealthy patterns of thought that lead to making poor choices, which is typical for pre-teens and adolescents. Children between the ages of 12 and 18 are experiencing an explosion of growth, physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Even the brain’s neural network is rapidly making new connections. Children at this age tend to make choices based upon strong and passionate emotions versus rational thinking.

CBT is a tool for children to use to help identify their thoughts and help make better choices. For instance, CBT uses the term hot cognitions. It’s a phrase used to describe the experience of a thought that leads to an emotional charge. If a child believes that he or she did poorly on a school exam, the thought, “I failed” might invoke anger and disappointment. It’s a hot cognition because it leads to an emotional zing inside. In fact, a hot cognition is any thought, image, memory, or inner experience that leads to an emotional response within. They are the sensitive areas inside. For children, they are like getting his or her buttons pushed or getting flared up in some way emotionally. Continue reading

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Improve the Health of Your Family with Exercise

Up until recently, it was clear that exercise was an essential tool for improving health when health was not so strong. However, research shows that regular exercise can actually help prevent illness as well. Exercise can keep a heart, mind, and body healthy for all members of the family.

 Obesity | Improve-Your-Child.comMore than 1/3 of American adults are obese.  Obesity is a physical illness in which there is excess body fat for the height and muscle structure for an individual. When there is there is a caloric imbalance – too few calories are being expended for the amount of calories being consumed, the body will likely gain weight. However, the amount of weight gained depends on genetic, behavioral, environmental, and psychological factors. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.

Furthermore, Rutgers University recently did a study to explore the link between obesity and depression in female adolescents. The link between these two disorders has long been evident but the details behind the relationship are less clear. In fact the evidence that indicate a relationship exists has actually been conflicting. The goal of the study was to find clear evidence for prevention and treatment of both obesity and depression in girls. One of the large dangers that come with weight gain for teens is depression, anxiety, and emotional strife. Given the pressures of looking good and being accepted by their peers during adolescence, teens can be vulnerable to mental illness if weight gain is continuing to take place. Continue reading

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Improve the Lives of Your Adopted Children

Adoption | ImproveYourChild.comResearch shows that many adopted children tend to develop a mental health diagnosis. In fact, a 2008 study compared about 500 adopted and non-adopted children and found that the odds of having an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) diagnosis were approximately twice as high in adoptees compared with non-adoptees.

This can be even more problematic when adoption agencies hide information and mislead parents who are leaning towards adopting. Then, when adopted children begin to exhibit mental health symptoms, parents may not know how to respond. Furthermore, they may not have made the decision to adopt if they knew that their child might develop a mental illness. Continue reading

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How To Improve The Way Your Child Manages Anger

Anger | ImproveYourChild.comIf your children are getting angry often with frequent outbursts of rage and defiance, you may want to help them with managing their anger. Anger is a natural and healthy emotion. However, if it becomes destructive and affects your child’s functioning in life, such as fights at school, few peer relationships, and impaired family relationships, then he or she may need to learn how to manage that anger.

Male and female children might express anger differently and have different relationships to this intense emotion. Of course, this isn’t true for all children, but typically society teaches males to express their anger outwardly while females learn to keep anger to themselves, expressing it only when it feels safe to do so. Continue reading