If you discover at some point that your child is not attending school, you’re probably upset and wondering exactly why he or she is not going to school. At first glance, you might think that your child is avoiding school because most children don’t want to go to school or to rebel or to avoid what he or she doesn’t like.
However, there might be a significant reason that you don’t yet know. For instance, there might be some bullying happening or your child might be having feelings of depression and feel left out from peer groups at school. Furthermore, your child might be experiencing a form of a mental illness, such as anxiety, and he or she doesn’t want you or friends to know.
So, the first step in trying to get your child to return to school is to uncover the source of the problem rather than jumping to conclusions. Furthermore, your child might be hiding report cards, throwing away letters from teachers, or avoiding discussions about classes. If grades are declining, children might be fearful of punishment or embarrassed to admit their failures. For this reason, get in touch with teachers. Email or call the school to be clear about how your child is doing academically. This will provide you with the information you need to support your child and to have a better understanding of what’s really going on. Continue reading
Whether 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
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.
More 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
Self esteem could be described as having confidence in oneself. It’s having confidence in one’s abilities and having respect for who one is inside and out. Yet, there are so many factors that can contribute to a child’s self esteem, and the way that parents respond to their children can play a large role in lifting a child’s sense of self.
The following tips are ways that parent’s can help improve the self esteem and self confidence of their children.
Look for the good in your child. Instead of seeing the A he should have gotten, praise him on the B that he did get. Instead of seeing the marks that your daughter got on her term paper, praise her for researching and completing the paper in the first place. The emphasis on what he or she is doing well can help those positive behaviors grow. Although it might be apparent that praising your child can significantly support his or her positive sense of self, it’s easy to get caught up in the tasks of the day, chores and responsibilities, and the to-do list. For some parents, it’s easy to forget that relationships come first, and with that, seeing what your child did right instead of what he or she didn’t do can have significant impact on how she feels about her life. Continue reading