Archives for General

General

5 Realities of College Life Every Parent Needs to Know

Thousands of recent high school grads are stocking up on dorm essentials and packing their bags for college. Since your blossoming young adult may be far from home for the next few years, and they’ll be none too quick to call with updates, there’s a good chance you’ll be in the dark about what really happens at college. Here are five of the less savory aspects of college life every parent should be on the lookout for:

#1 Stress Leads to Drug Use, Binge Drinking.

Transitions can be extremely stressful, especially for young people trying to balance a full load of classes, a part-time job, a social life, and new responsibilities like cooking, shopping and cleaning. Whether it’s the stress of school, the first taste of freedom or an attempt to fit into an unfamiliar environment, studies show that substance abuse and other risky behaviors increase significantly during this time.
Continue Reading

General

Stuck in Adolescence: Helping Your Young Adult Act Like One

She looks like an adult, sounds like an adult and occasionally dresses like an adult. But take a closer look and you’ll see someone who more closely resembles a teenager than a bona fide grown-up. The increasingly common phenomenon of taking the long road to adulthood goes by different names - failure to launch, Peter Pan syndrome, the boomerang generation - but is becoming a pressing concern for many families.

Most young people don’t struggle with the transition into adulthood, and of those that do, there are often understandable - even healthy - reasons for it. Some are busy seizing other opportunities - trying on different jobs and romantic interests to see which fits, traveling, or building job skills at unpaid internships. For these youth, living at home and settling down later makes sense.
Continue Reading

General

Ingredients of a Good Dad: What the Science Says

It’s time for our moment in the sun: Father’s Day  -  the day we dads are officially honored before things go back to normal for the other 364 days of the year.

While all that glory may feel undeserved at times, it turns out we might just matter more than many people think. Research shows that good dads have certain traits in common and the paternal influence runs much deeper than once imagined. On this Father’s Day, consider what studies say about all you’ve done for your children and all your dad did for you.
Continue Reading

General

Is My 2-Year-Old Mentally Ill? How a Culture of Over-Diagnosis and Over-Medicating Is Harming Youth

Childhood Mental Health Treatment: Can  We Call Over-Medication Progress?

A disturbing trend has emerged in the health care field: Parents are visiting their doctor’s office asking whether children as young as 2 could have a diagnosable mental illness such as depression. And now more than ever, parents are likely to leave with a prescription in hand.

According to Medco Health Solutions, one in four children now take regular medication. The number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the percentage using antipsychotic medication has doubled in the past decade (Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly one in 10 children has been diagnosed with ADHD.

Have we become so accustomed to medicating problems away that we see pathology everywhere we look, or are we getting better at identifying disorders that were once dismissed as personality traits?
Continue Reading

General

Bullying: A Problem That Starts and Ends at Home

Unless it’s happening to your child, you probably haven’t given bullying a lot of thought. A bold Wisconsin town is trying to change that by hitting parents where it counts: in the pocketbook. Under the town’s “parent liability” approach, parents of bullies who do not cooperate with authorities in addressing their child’s behavior can be fined up to $177 for each instance of intimidation or abuse.

While this approach sends a strong anti-bullying message, it has left the rest of the nation asking: Are parents to blame if their child is a bully? If so, is punishment the best way to get parents’ attention?

Home Is Where the Lesson Is

When people think about bullying, their first question is, “What’s happening at school?” But bullying is an issue long before children step foot on campus. For many children, bullying is a learned behavior. Parents, caretakers and relatives can be bullies, and their influence is even stronger than peers because it comes from people who purportedly love the child and are the ultimate authority in the child’s life.

Continue Reading