Impulse control and self-regulation are a large part of many therapies with young children who have difficulty with waiting, stopping, following directions, and accepting limits. These skills are part of a larger set of abilities called the “executive functions,” which include emotion regulation, organization, attention, inhibiting one’s actions, and time management. Research shows that the area of the brain responsible for these complex tasks, the pre-frontal cortex, continues to develop into one’s mid-twenties. No wonder our little ones are still learning and growing and in these areas! With practice and persistence, we can help our little ones gain connections and strengthen executive functions. The games below are used to do just that.
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
It may sound cliché, but in my professional experience it could not be more accurate: There is an enormous amount of academic pressure on children today. Many of the children and teenagers who seek my services are struggling with severe anxiety over the workload, pace and level of difficulty experienced in school. Some of these children have an extra challenge: trying to keep up with the hefty demands of school while also having a Learning Difference (LD).
When my grandmother was nine years old, her parents sent her off alone to America. She went with a bundle of belongings and a Russian-English dictionary, across the ocean to live with a married, older sister in New York City. The family had scrimped and saved to make this possible, knowing all the while that they might never see their beloved daughter again. She had worked hard to prepare, mastering frugality and other life skills, and she flourished here, despite the poverty. Now one-hundred and seven years have passed and I, too, am heading to New York. Although I am only going for one week, I am taking more with me than my grandmother took when she emigrated. Furthermore, I am probably leaving behind in my house more things than her entire community (either in Russia or in New York) possessed. While my grandmother was challenged by the scarcities in her world, children today have to learn to manage the abundance, even excess, of ours.
The “dog days” of summer have arrived. The sun is blazing, the mosquitos are biting, and the kids are, well, barking (at least in my house!). Summertime certainly brings its share of joy and laughter, but after 3 months of relaxed schedules, unpredictable routines, and normal “jitters” about the start of a new school year, many children (and parents!) have become downright cranky.
We are pleased to present a guest post by Psychologist Judith Glasser, Ph.D., a local Psychologist with over 30 years of experience. For Dr. Glasser’s bio, please scroll to the end of the post.
Life with a family member with ADHD can be stressful; wonderful in some ways, but stressful in others. People with ADHD often have a great deal of energy and enthusiasm for life. However they also lose things, forget things and are impulsive and distractible. This combination of difficulties can lead to being late for events or forgetting to pick up a child at school. It can also mean that sometimes things get said in impulsive ways that would be better off not said. All of these kinds of behaviors can lead to hurt feelings.