Managing Anxiety during Pregnancy

For many women, becoming pregnant is not only a joyous experience, but also one fraught with anxiety. What’s that twinge I’m feeling? What if something goes wrong? What if I’m not a good mom? Is the baby moving enough?—Too much??—HELP!!! Anxiety during pregnancy can spiral out of control if we’re not careful, but there are things that every pregnant woman can do to help manage the anxiety she feels. (more…)

Helping Young Children Manage Emotions

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Photo by Jin.Dongjun

How often do we find ourselves telling our children to calm down? It sounds so simple, and yet calming down is a very hard thing for most adults to do, let alone children. Managing difficult emotions truly is a skill, and one that we’re not just born with. As babies, we have very little ability to regulate, or soothe, ourselves. For the most part, we rely on our caregivers to help do this for us by rocking, holding or comforting us. As we develop, we slowly learn how to do this for ourselves—how to deal with distressing or upsetting experiences, how to soothe ourselves, and how to get our needs met in a world that is always changing. These are difficult skills to learn, ones that many adults still have not mastered! Rarely have the words “Calm down” helped anyone actually calm down… so here are some strategies that you, as a caregiver, can use to help support this process for children. (more…)

Using Mindfulness to Reduce Parenting Stress

Father Holding Daughter's Hand

Photo by Spirit-Fire

Picture this: you walk in the door after a long day at work and are greeted by a howling infant and two toddlers screaming, “Mommy, we’re cleaning, we’re cleaning! Mommy—WE’RE CLEANING!!!” As you turn your head to peer deeper into the house, you see what they’re “cleaning”—every single toy light enough to carry has been strewn about the kitchen, leaving a layer of puzzle pieces, magnets, toy groceries, sticker books, and stuffed animals so thick that the kids could lay down and form angels as if it were a snow drift. (more…)

The first report card has come out and my child is struggling . . . could it be ADHD?

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Photo by CollegeDegrees 360

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is fairly common, affecting approximately 5-7% of school aged children and 1-7% of adults worldwide. Criteria for ADHD includes pervasive problems with attention and concentration, often in combination with hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. Individuals with ADHD often have difficulties with foresight (predicting the consequences of their actions), time management, problem solving, self monitoring and self awareness.

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Flu Shot Bravery – Coach your Child through Needle-Related Fears

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Photo by Army Medicine

As winter approaches, many children and families are setting out for their yearly flu shot. For some youngsters, a pending shot conjures up lots of fear and dread. In line with all forms of anxiety, fear of needles has a cognitive component (e.g., thinking the worst, like “this will hurt so much!”); an emotional component (e.g., physiological reactions such as racing heart, feeling faint, dry mouth) and a behavior component (e.g., trying to avoid the appointment). Of course, avoidance only works to stave off anxiety in the short-term, and doesn’t help up to achieve the bigger goal – to get the immunization. (more…)