Children

Sound familiar? Your child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) fidgets and squirms his way through school and homework, but seems laser-focused and motionless sitting in front of the TV watching an action thriller. When a parent or a teacher sees a child who can sit perfectly still in one condition and yet in another they're all over the place, the first thing they say is, “well, they could sit still if they wanted to.”
Research published in the journal Psychological Medicine found that the onset of a new mental disorder may be a consequence of exclusion from school. Excluded children can develop a range of mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety as well as behavioral problems. There can be a long-term impact on education and progress by excluding a child from school. This study suggests that their mental health may also deteriorate.
Rules are a natural part of life, and having guidelines helps kids learn how to manage in different situations. Rules provide the framework for children to understand what is expected of them at home, with friends and at school. While parents know that this kind of structure is important, it's often challenging to establish and maintain rules at home.
When children are first born they need 3 basic things: food, sleep, air (and a clean diaper doesn’t hurt.) As these babies turn into toddlers and these toddlers into tweens and adolescents, things stop being so basic and can become a little more complicated. Many children need and crave attention. They want their parents to be present, both physically and emotionally.
Validation is key to building a strong relationship with your child. When children experience invalidation, their self-esteem decreases, as does their trust in you. Many parents, teachers and professionals in a child's life don't realize the tremendous power their words have. "You should do ...." "Why didn't you...." "You should be more like...", are all roadblocks in learning and connecting with your child. When we practice validation skills, we show children that emotions matter and that we are here for them.
Teach kids how to handle failure and disappointment, so they can persevere in an unfair world. Last week, I sat in my office talking to one of my young adult clients. As she began our session, she stated that she needed to problem-solve how she could talk to her professor. "I need to tell her that her system is unfair. If I have to submit my assignments by a specific time, then she should get the assignments back to us in the same kind of timeframe," she complained. She went on to say that she didn’t do an assignment that was due that day, because of the unfair arrangement.
The rate of adolescents reporting a recent bout of clinical depression grew by 37 percent over the decade ending in 2014, with one in six girls reporting an episode in the past year, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health-led research suggests. The findings, published online Nov. 14 in the journal Pediatrics, highlight a need to focus on the mental well-being of young people and match those in peril with mental health professionals.
Kids are thinking about race and gender, and not just in terms of being able to identify with these social categories, but also what they mean and why they matter. Children are bombarded by messages about race, gender and social stereotypes. These implicit and explicit messages rapidly influence their self-concepts and aspirations.
It’s important to be understanding – even when you don’t get where you child is coming from. As parents, we have all been in the situation where we don’t understand why our child is losing it over something that seems so minor. The same could be said for sometimes not getting it when it comes to what our family or friends are going through.