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).
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.
Choosing to Create Healthy Relationships
The end of the year is often a natural period of reflection where we take inventory of our lives over the past 12 months. For some of us, our thoughts naturally gravitate toward the moments of individual and familial triumph and success in the last year. The moments when we met our goal of having a date night with our spouse once a month, shared a quality conversation with our adolescent, or spent time in play enjoying our children throughout the year. When such memories come to mind we feel proud, joyous, and grateful! For many others of us, our end-of-year reflections more readily remind us of the disappointments, setbacks, or hurts of the year—goals we set that have yet to be achieved or maintained with consistency, fights with partners and children where mean things were said and remembered, or even the loss of loved ones. These memories are often accompanied by regret, sadness, or anxiety. [Read more…]
Therapy for Relationships: More than Managing Conflict
Couples and family members who enter therapy to improve their relationships have usually endured long periods of harsh conflict. Couples might be caught in repetitive cycles of criticism and defensiveness; parents and teens might be trapped in power struggles; siblings may find themselves in escalating rivalries. Anguished to stop destructive arguments, people usually begin therapy focused on containing their conflicts. Therapists can help clients to manage their conflicts by helping them engage in respectful communication focused on thoughts and feelings, and avoiding excessive blame, criticism, and stonewalling. With improved communication, power struggles can become more manageable, and conflicts can more easily resolve.
Building Connection through Quality Conversations with your Child
As children grow, they tend to turn away from parents and toward friends. If you start talking early on, it is easier to maintain rapport as they grow into adolescents and young adults. Taking the time to have a quality conversation each day fosters a close emotional bond between you and your child that can endure as they grow and develop.
Transformational Dialogue: Guiding your Teen through Communication
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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