Empowering the Bored Child

“I’m bored.”  It doesn’t take too long before this statement is heard in the summer.  Its a monotone, depressing complaint.  It can trigger anger in parents to hear this, or at least mild irritation.  Boredom by definition is a feeling of weariness with one’s present task or lack of interesting pursuits.  Its something everyone has experienced.  Its a feeling we have to live with sometimes as its part of normal human existence.  Unfortunately, with Netflix and video games this generation of children can pacify their boredom without truly overcoming it successfully.  The result is a low-grade boredom, like a lingering
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Categories: Childhood Disorders, Children, Family, Managing Media, Mental Health, Parenting, and Personal Growth.

Help! My child was diagnosed with ___________!

Anyone out there have a child diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety or other mental disorders?  This article addresses the challenges associated with your child being given a psychiatric diagnosis.  Recently a mother talked with me about a struggle she was having; how to talk to your child about their mental health diagnosis.  It got me thinking about about how difficult and sensitive an issue a psychiatric diagnosis is for individuals and families.  I have talked with parents about this issue several times  The concerns are complex and broad ranging.  For instance, what affect will knowing the diagnosis have on my
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Categories: Childhood Disorders, Mental Health, Parenting, and School.

Why did the Grinch Steal Christmas? A Psychological Analysis

This holiday season as I watched “The Grinch who Stole Christmas” I began to think about what made the Grinch so “grinchy”?  Several questions came to mind. Why was his heart two sizes too small?  Surely he wasn’t born that way, right? What’s his problem with the Whos down in Whoville?  What is it about the Christmas festivities and the “noise, noise, noise” that sets the Grinch’s teeth on edge?    Further, what allowed his heart to “grow three sizes that day”? Let’s start at the beginning. The basic psychological assumption that we are born “tabula rasa” says that we become
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Categories: Childhood Disorders, Children, Holidays, Mental Health, and Personal Growth.

Problem Behavior: Reaction to a Situation or a Disorder?

Imagine this scenario: A 9 year old boy we’ll call “David” is brought in for counseling.  His parents are concerned about his angry outbursts.  They describe him as usually a mild-mannered and well-behaved child until this last year.  The parents have been getting reports from his 3rd grade teacher that David often fidgets, blurts out answers impulsively, “seems to be in his own world” too much and such things.  They became alarmed when the teacher suggested they have David tested for ADHD. At home, the mother reports that David has been having trouble sleeping. Most nights David climbs into bed
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Categories: Childhood Disorders, Family, Mental Health, Parenting, Stress, and Transitions / Change.

Parenting the Aspergers Child

Parents of children with Asperger’s Syndrome have a particularly challenging role to play.  To begin, the diagnosis is difficult to make.  Asperger’s Syndrome can be understood generally as a severe and chronic impairment in social interaction and the development of rigid behavior patterns, restricted interests, and activities.  While this “label” has become more common knowledge in the last 10 years, the disorder is not new.  There is an increased awareness of the syndrome, which hopefully leads to more effective treatment and support for those who need it.  A label or diagnosis is only useful if it helps secure the support
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Categories: Childhood Disorders, Children, Family, and Parenting.

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

Since the 1990’s “Asperger’s Syndrome” has gradually gained widespread attention.  People hear this label, but in the general public it remains an enigma.  The term “Asperger’s Syndrome” was first used in 1981, but refers to research by Viennese pediatrician Hans Asperger.  In 1944, Dr. Asperger conducted research on a small group of boys that he observed to have atypical social and thinking patterns.  As research and understanding of Asperger’s and autism in general expanded, Asperger’s Syndrome came to be understood as a form of high functioning autism.  Asperger’s Syndrome can be understood generally as a severe and chronic impairment in
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Categories: Childhood Disorders, Children, Mental Health, Parenting, and School.