Video games are often used in excess, which may result in parent-child conflict. Parental concerns are not without merits. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has produced guidelines on screen and media usage, along with negative associations on development. Alternatively, some studies have shown positive associations with video game use. Arguing about the merits of video game use, however, places the focus on the video game itself rather than the important teachable moments that are made available.
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.
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.
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…]
Adolescence brings about many changes within both the individual child as well as the entire family. These changes can bring both excitement and challenges as the developing teenager seeks out his or her autonomy and identity. Parents are important agents within this developmental transition, serving as a secure base while teenagers explore their environment. This can be accomplished through parenting strategies that foster support and encourage exploration.
Children’s needs shift as they travel across the developmental stages from infancy, middle childhood, adolescence, and into young adulthood. Throughout these stages, parents may need to adjust their strategies accordingly and remain firm but flexible. Parents serve as their children’s secure base from which they could explore the world around them, providing safety and comfort as children’s capacity to explore the world gets bigger and wider. It is also through this attachment that children can learn about relationships, as well as means to regulate their emotions. [Read more…]