Archive for March, 2010

Children Better Prepared For School With Home Reading

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I came across an article recently that confirmed how important it was to read aloud to your kids at home. With summer coming and school being out soon, it’s a good time to start a habit of reading aloud to keep your kids’ minds working.

Music Education Helps Kids' Brains With Sound Stimuli

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Piano forte

I was in several music classes when I was in school.  One of the most frustrating things for the teacher had to be chatty students in class.  If the whole point of your activity is to work with sound, distracting and noisy conversation is about the last thing you want.  Music educators, I’m sorry.  It looks like your profession actually helps kids communicate even better.

Anxiety and Exercise – A Family Approach

Friday, March 26th, 2010


A recent press release from the University of Georgia confirms what many mental health professionals and doctors have known for some time: Regular exercise can significantly and noticeably reduce symptoms of anxiety. Simple physical activities like walking and weight lifting can be a very effective method for people with anxiety. And the key here seems to be *regular* exercise and also for periods of 30 minutes or more.

Health Care Reform And Mental Health

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Health care reform is a white hot issue right now. Opinions vary widely on how successful, helpful, or even frustrating this whole plan will be for Americans. However, I want to draw your attention to a few small parts of the reform bill that are good for mental health. With all the controversy and political rhetoric, you may have missed these important pieces.

Family Mental Health Around The Web, #7

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Pretty Yellow Orchid at Biltmore

Hi, folks.  I can’t tell you how excited I am that spring officially begins in just a few days.  I don’t know what it’s been like in your neck of the woods, but in my hometown we’d had more than enough winter before January was half-over.

This is your newest Around The Web summary.  You’ll find fun tips on improving family mental health and a great website by the US Department of Health and Human Services.  Take a closer look by clicking the highlighted link.

Why Family Members May Refuse Help For Depression

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Several times a month, I notice new comments on a few of my depression posts on the Psych Central general blog. So many people want to know why the depression has happened, what they can do, how they can deal with their family refusing to get help. Some people would probably take the help if someone extended a hand to them. Others get multiple pleas from family members to get counseling, see their doctor, or do anything to make the depression lift. 

Communicate Uniquely With Your Kids

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Sometimes as a parent, I realize I need to sit back and just notice things for a minute.  Although that realization tends to be more random than I’d like, I usually get something interesting from it.  Lately, it’s been my communication with my kids.  These patterns and differences occurred to me recently when I was putting them all to bed.  I suppose this is because I get a small cross section of my different communication styles in a relatively short period of time – about a half hour total. 

How Well Are Your Kids Sleeping?

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

sound sleep

Today I found a collection of articles highlighting various consequences of poor sleep and positive outcomes of improved sleep. We so often treat sleep like the unfortunate thing we can’t avoid between the important things we really need to do. Commuting, eating, homework, working late, driving various places, errands, housework — the ongoing endless list of tasks and responsibilities we all take on make it easy to fill all 24 hours with activity. When we’re in a pinch, we almost always skimp on the side of less sleep. Maybe after you read this post, you might reconsider how your family views the importance of sleep.

This article reported a few interesting findings. Many of the kids in one particular study on adolescents reported symptoms of sleep deprivation. Young men and smokers appeared to have a higher risk of having a car accident due to their reduced alertness. Something that struck me is a statement from a neurobiologist — all the quick fixes for staying awake such as loud music, opening the window, and drinking caffeine are pretty much pointless. The only way to truly improve alertness is to pull over immediately and take a short 15-minute doze. I’ve had to do that a few times, and I remember how futile some of those quick fix methods have been on long drives. This article is already making me reconsider how I handle driving when I feel that way (or could predict it). Just imagine a young inexperienced driver trying to manage fatigue on the road.

Another article reported the prevalence of sleepy college drivers. While it’s no surprise that college kids have a more varied schedule than most high school students, it’s concerning how many of them still drive when they are like this. The article also reports two many reasons for sleepy driving — sleep restriction (not enough sleep each night) and sleep fragmentation (sleep disruption). Each of these can have causes that are medically related and causes that …

Arguing In Front Of The Kids – The Good and the Bad

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

I’m sure none of you amazing wonderful parents have ever argued in front of your kids, right?  Right??  Yes, I know, we are not perfect and we’ve all done it at some point.  Maybe some more than others, but it can be hard to avoid completely.  So do you know if what you are saying in front of the kids is good for them or not?  We’re going to pick apart the good and the bad about arguing in their presence. 

Roseanne Barr and Marie Osmond's Son's Suicide

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

I’m compelled to write on a new and bothersome branch to the story about Marie Osmond’s son’s tragic suicide.  This painful problem was completely preventable, and yet it wasn’t prevented.  Just this morning I read something about Roseanne Barr making some strong statements about Marie’s son killing himself.  My first thought was, “Oh no, hasn’t there been enough for the family to deal with?”


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