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.
Learning to help children deal with life’s challenging emotions can be difficult, especially when those feelings lead to behavioral meltdowns. Below are five tips for helping parents understand the emotional reactions of their children, and for working together through difficult times to make even the toughest of feelings more manageable. Keeping these tools in mind will assist you as you build the foundation for both coping and emotion regulation to strengthen your child’s skills throughout their lifetime. We have even included a few “bonus pointers” for parents as you navigate the storms!
When my kids were little, whining ranked right up there as one of my least favorite of their behaviors. I certainly struggled more with how to handle tantrums and worried more about school issues, but when my kids whined at me, it pushed my buttons the way other things did not. Like finger nails on a black board, it just got to me.
At this time of year I enjoy looking through the flood of catalogs and matching up items that catch my eye with people that I know. Rarely do I actually buy these things for them, but it’s still fun. There is one slogan t-shirt I keep returning to, but I’m not sure who would receive it in the spirit I intend. Maybe they would if I wrapped it in this blog. The shirt proudly announces, “I’ve learned so much from my mistakes, I think I’ll make a few more.” I like the reminder that our best learning comes from our own experiences and mistakes. Or as another favorite quote of mine, attributed to Mark Twain, says, “Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from bad decisions.”
“I don’t care!”
We all have heard it before—a child’s dismissive comeback, often in response to a parent’s concern. Discussions about children’s behavior and expectations are often stressful for parents; a child’s “I-don’t-care” retort can generate additional frustration, anger, and sometimes, self-doubt.