Whether you have younger or older children, helping them process their experiences can give them a sense of understanding of both the world around them and their responses to that world. The deeper that children and parents understand their feelings and reactions to what is happening in any given moment, the better they can be present to their own and others’ experiences, leading to less mindless reactivity, which reduces reactive conflict and challenging interactions between family members.
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.
For many children, moving from one activity to another can be a great challenge. Managing expectations during transitions and using specific strategies can decrease battles and increase harmony when moving shifting tasks. Below are several ways to ease transition time both inside and outside of the home.
When I was little, my favorite game to play with my dad was “Rumble Tumble.” My dad would lie on his back on the floor, and my siblings and I would stack ourselves on top, with the youngest always getting the comfortable top position. Then my dad would rock back and forth, chanting “rumble tumble, rumble tumble” until, one by one, we fell off giggling. This kind of silly fun, mixed with physical touch, is a great way to encourage closeness and attachment with children.
I recently took a parenting class at the Parent Education Program in Kensington and during one class the teacher said “Limits worth setting are limits worth upholding.” For the last three months that statement has stuck with me because it highlights that limit setting involves a two step process – (1) making a (hopefully) thoughtful choice about what limits to set and (2) following through with the work of upholding the limit.
When a newborn arrives, it calls out into the world. As her parents take her into their arms and provide care they learn to respond to her cries. When she is hungry she is nursed or bottle fed. When he is uncomfortable his diaper is changed. Sometimes the young baby is carried on the parent’s shoulder, patted and whispered to, and the crying stops. The parent feels connected and accomplished. Their love builds with their ability to understand and respond to their infant.