As parents, we’re trying to do a million things to promote the well-being of our children. Mental health, though, often gets short shrift.
Not all mental health disorders can be avoided (genetics do play a role here.) But their impact can be lessened, and in some cases, prevented altogether.
If you’re thinking, Oh, no, not one more thing I need to do, on top of making them do their homework, driving them to activities, etc.–good news. These tips aren’t time consuming, and they fit right in with the rest of your life.
It’s not an easy task: being there for someone who might not even seem to want you around a lot of the time. But I have some tips to make it at least a little easier.
Sometimes it feels like we’re always hustling our kids through their routines so that we can get to the good stuff (reading together, snuggling, whatever your fancy.) But what if those little moments–the getting-things-done moments–actually are the good moments, if we make them so?
There’s a lot out there about how to talk to your kids, especially about difficult topics like drugs and sex. But what might be of greater value to your relationship and to their development is if you become a better listener.
Here are some tips.
I’ve got some pretty recent experience with this one, as my almost three-year-old has been alternating between intensely delightful and intensely–well, intense.
This can apply to your toddler’s tantrums (which tend to be brief) or meltdowns (which are protracted bouts of screaming and oppositional behavior that can go on for minutes to–worst case scenarios–more than an hour.) What’s key is focusing not on what they’re doing, but on what you should be doing yourself.
Challenging, I know, but here are some ideas to get you on a better path.
I think most parents have had this experience: You’re out somewhere and your child (toddler, teenager, anywhere in between) is behaving in a way that you find embarrassing, and that you hope is not reflective of your parenting. But you feel the shame anyway, and the judgment of others, and you wonder: Is this my fault? Is my child my reflection?
If you’re the parent of a teen girl, you’ve probably experienced one (or maybe both) of the following two scenarios: watching helplessly as your daughter is hurt by the meanness of other girls; watching helplessly as your daughter inflicted meanness on others.
I have some thoughts about the emotional brutality of female adolescence, and what you, as a parent, can do about it.
Social media and the parent-child bond are among the themes in my novel, “Don’t Try to Find Me.” They were also among the topics of a recent radio interview I gave (thanks to Answers for the Family for a great talk! you can listen to it here.) While there are the obvious ways that social media can harm a teenager (for example, cyber bullying) there are some more insidious ones as well.
What are they, and what’s a parent to do?
There’s a fresh wave of stories about yet another young model told she’s “too fat for the runway.” To the vast majority of us, that young woman doesn’t have a pound to spare.
And there’s always the latest story of another young woman driven to suicide after being raped, or being bullied for being too sexual or not sexual enough or too hot or not hot enough. The online world is rife with opportunities to be told that something is wrong with you.
So what’s a parent to do?
Every parent has had that feeling at one point or another. It could be an error in judgment, a moment of frustration, a public spectacle, a comparison to other people’s kids… Lucky us, there are a ton of scenarios that can evoke feelings of anxiety, insecurity, self-doubt, and self-laceration.
What if you’re having those feelings with some regularity? Here are ideas of what to do.