In a previous post, I talked about adolescence as a time of transition for the entire family, especially the relationship between teens and their parents, and the important role that parenting has on later development. As a child moves into early adolescence (around 13-14 years), established routines between parent and child will shift and reorganize to accommodate the emerging identities for children and parents. A high degree of variability may exist in the way parents and children interact during this time, which may feel as though conflict has increased in its intensity and frequency, and may not show stability until late adolescence (around 17-18). It is important to remember that some degree of this conflict is expected, and as mentioned in my previous post, how parents approach their children is important during this developmental period. Because a certain level of conflict can be expected, we can prepare and support our teens’ transition through adolescence. One way of doing this is to engage in a healthy way to resolve conflict through communication.
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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.
You might have heard of the task where a candy bar is placed in front of a child to see if he or she can refrain from eating it for a period of time in order to obtain a better reward later on. How do children develop the skills needed to regulate themselves so that they can delay their satisfaction? The ability to regulate emotions is influenced by biological processes (e.g., temperament) as well as social learning. Regulating emotions is a process in which children monitor, evaluate, and change their emotional experience in order to meet their goals. If a child has a goal of eating a candy bar immediately, and believes that delaying eating it will cause pain, he or she may eat the candy bar in order to avoid the anticipated feeling of being upset. Alternatively, if the child believes that the anticipated reward might cause greater joy, then he or she may implement strategies to control an immediate response. [Read more…]
Parents, do you get tired? Do you get frustrated? Your answer is probably yes, and with good reason; the hectic pace of parental life in the 21st century can be exhausting. The complexity of children’s academic, emotional, and developmental needs can be overwhelming; you may confront a number of professional, family, and personal responsibilities in addition to those you manage as a parent. Whatever challenges you face, stress can get in the way of being the kind of parent you want to be. [Read more…]
Children’s and teens’ use of electronic devices have vastly increased over the past several years. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that kids ages 8-18 now spend about seven and half hours per day consuming electronic entertainment. On average, they watch about four hours of television or video, spend two hours playing video games, and surf the internet for over an hour. Because many children often use multiple devices simultaneously, a typical child may spend a combined total of more than 10 hours daily using entertaining themselves with electronics. These figures do not include time spent listening to digitally recorded music, texting or talking on the phone. [Read more…]
Limit-setting is the process parents use to teach their children the rules of the family and the world – what is expected of them, how far they can go, and what happens if they go too far. In the short term, limits stop unwanted behaviors, ease daily transitions, and provide safe boundaries. In the long term, limits help children become responsible people willing to accept the consequences of their actions. Reasonable limits provide a secure structure within which children can make choices and act with freedom. Unreasonable limits over-regulate the child or are so broad as to be meaningless. [Read more…]