Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Friday, June 14, 2024

Trust in a benevolent universe is a key to spiritual health.

Even if your spirituality does not include a Supreme Being, children need to feel that the universe smiles on them. Einstein said that the most important decision each person makes is deciding whether or not this is a friendly universe.

Dr. Laura Markham, Great Spiritual Lessons Every Child Should Learn

Laura Markham is no relation to me and I don’t know her. However, I admire her work.

As I read and think about this quote, it seemed to me that this is an important decision for adults as well as children. To what extent is one of the foundational purposes of psychotherapy to help people shift their perception from a world of malevolence to one of friendliness? How do we help our clients shift their perception from a malevolent universe in which they feel victimized to a benevolent universe in which they are loved unconditionally?

One of the most important contributions to this mind shift from the negative, fear based perspective to a positive, optimistic perspective is the cultivation and expression of gratitude. Before bed, it is suggested by the positive psychologists that we reflect on the three good things that have happened to us during out day. What have we been blessed by? Identifying these things fosters an appreciation that allows us to become aware that we are loved by the Universe. 

At any age we can intentionally choose to recognize and acknowledge the blessings in our life. What greater gift could a parent give a child that to facilitate the child's awareness and expression of gratitude?

Monday, June 6, 2022

Parents' unpredictable behavior may impair optimal brain circuit formation Disrupted development increases vulnerability to mental illness, substance abuse

 Researchers are conducting pioneering research into the concept that unpredictable parental behaviors, together with unpredictable environment, such as lack of routines and frequent disasters, disrupt optimal emotional brain circuit development in children, increasing their vulnerability to mental illness and substance abuse.

For more click here.

Editor's note:

Children do will with predictability. It makes them feel secure. Predictability and security contribute to the development of what is called  a "secure" attachment style as compared to an "anxious," "avoidant," or "disorganized" attachment style.

Children learn early in their development whether people mean what they say and say what they mean. when there are contradictions between what people say and do it contributes to what is called "mystification" and is the opposite of "validation." 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Irrational societal fears can paralyze parents and cripple their children.

From Dr. Peter Gray's article on Psychology Today on 06/14/19

Children are designed, by nature, to spend hours per day playing with other children, independently of adults.  

In such play they practice all sorts of physical and mental skills; discover and pursue their passions; and learn how to create their own activities, solve their own problems, get along with peers, and control their emotions and impulses.  

Depriving children of independent play inflicts serious harm on them.  

For documentation of such harm, see: The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental DisordersAs Children’s Freedom Has Declined, So Has Their CreativityDeclining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges; and How We Deprive Children of the Physical Activity They Need.

For more click here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Psychotherapeutic humanities - Do we own our children or lease them?

Linda McCullough Moore writes in her story, "You Choose" in her book of short stories, An Episode of Grace,

My windshield is all but whited out before it occurs to me it’s snowing. I’m getting to be so slow on the uptake. It takes a snowplow broadsiding me for snow to capture my attention. 

“Wow,” Jonah sings out from the backseat as the car in front of us attempts to brake and skids into the empty passing lane. 

“Awesome. That rules.” 

Jonah is eleven and things either “rule” or they “suck.” 

I can’t decide which word I dislike more.

McCullough Moore, Linda. An Episode of Grace . Thornapple Books. Kindle Edition.

Reading this passage, I smile. Jonah is eleven which puts him in sixth grade, the first year of middle school. The power of the peer group starts to exert itself and kids pick up the slang words of their generation. This makes them part of the in-group and fosters a sense of belonging in a group outside of the family of origin.

Slang sets its speakers a part. Slang is a sign of membership and separates the child from his/her parents and family. The narrator, Jonah's mother, doesn't say what she doesn't like about the words that Jonah is using. We can speculate that they are not the same slang words she used in her middle school years and so they seem foreign to her and therefore objectionable.

Jonah's use of his generation's slang is an apron string being cut, a pulling away from a mother-son bond and attachment and could it be that mother feels somewhat jealous, competitive, left out, and sad?

It is hard for some parents to watch their children grow up and leave them which ultimately they must if they are to develop a healthy self sufficiency and autonomy. As one person put it, Our children are not our possessions. We don't own them. They have only been leased to us temporarily by God.

This is a second article on "You Choose" by Linda McCullough Moore.

To be continued

Monday, February 25, 2019

American Psychological Association takes position against spanking

The American Psychological Association passes a resolution against spanking.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the American Psychological Association recognizes that scientific evidence demonstrates the negative effects of physical discipline of children by caregivers and thereby recommends that caregivers use alternative forms of discipline that are associated with more positive outcomes for children.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the APA engage in competency based public awareness, education and accessible outreach activities to increase public knowledge about the effects of physical discipline on children and knowledge regarding alternative forms of discipline and their effectiveness and outcomes for children and parents.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the APA engage in promoting culturally responsive professional training and accessible continuing education activities regarding alternative discipline strategies and their effectiveness.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the APA support funding for research in the U.S. and other countries on: • The factors that underlie parents’ supportive attitudes about physical discipline; • The factors that lead parents to rely on physical discipline; • Differences in cultural understanding and values, including socially shared beliefs and norms of practice related to the use of physical discipline; • The factors that promote parents’ best practices in supporting their children, and in developing positive parent-child relationships with their children; and • Interventions that may help to diminish parental reliance on physical discipline and enhance parents’ access to culturally sensitive alternative approaches.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the APA encourage efforts to increase access to positive parenting supports for underserved groups.

For more click here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Dads Who Change Diapers in Public Get Help From New York Law

From Governing on 01/07/19

Change is coming to men's restrooms in New York -- and it's going to be a big help to fathers all over the state.
A new law requires all new or renovated buildings in New York that have bathrooms used by the public to make changing tables available to both men and women.
The rule, which passed in April 2018 but didn't go into effect until the new year, applies to restaurants, stores and movie theaters as well as state facilities such as parks and offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
For more click here.
Editor's note:
Another law which influences social change in enhancing the equality of the sexes. This law influences changes in norms and attitudes in a positive direction.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Spanking has negative effects on behavioral development 10 years later

From Psy Blog on 08/05/17:

Spanking can have negative consequences up to 10 years later, new research finds.
The study found that children spanked in infancy had worse behaviour and personalities in their teens.
For more click here.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Motivation through punishment may not work

From Science Daily on July 4, 2017

Parents scold their children to correct their behavior, hoping that their offspring will discontinue their misbehavior as a result. What's paradoxical about this kind of punishment is that it can have the opposite effect.

For more click here.

Editor's note:

There are many explanations for this finding that motivation through punishment may not work. The best explanation in my experience is that negative attention is better than no attention at all. Even though the punishment may be uncomfortable there is what is called "secondary gain" meaning that beyond the negative experience produced there is a positive one. So while the scolding or other hurtful punishment is somewhat painful, the reward of the parent's attention and engagement is positive enough to offset whatever negative experience was inflicted.

Punishment, also, is not enough to correct behavior and repair harm that has been done by the mistake without offering the child at least one alternative behavior.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Over controlling helicopter parents are avoided by their children as they get older

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Helicopter parents, take note: A mother has a better relationship with her child if she respects the youngster's need for independence at a young age, a new study suggests.
Mothers who allowed children more freedom at age 2 were viewed more positively by their children later in childhood, according to the University of Missouri study.
The study included more than 2,000 mothers and their children. The researchers observed how much the mothers controlled the children's play at age 2 and then interviewed the children at fifth grade to assess how they felt about their mothers.
"When mothers are highly controlling of small children's play, those children are less likely to want to engage with them," Jean Ispa, co-chair of the department of human development and family studies, said in a university news release.
For more click here

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What's in a name? Choose your child's name thoughtfully.

What's in a name? Turns out quite a bit. Social science research has shown that names have influence on later life success. Parents need to choose their children's names carefully with a view on how the name will affect the child's life prospects.

This video describes popular names chosen in Western New York city of Buffalo, NY in 2014. They all sound like Caucasian middle class names to me. Names are associated with race and ethnicity and so their implications are significant for first perceptions and initial impressions.

Do you like your name? Has it caused problems for you. Many people change their names for a variety of reasons. Would you change yours? While you can't tell a book by its cover many people wouldn't even pick up a book with certain covers, and many people find it hard to get past their initial prejudices stimulated by a name.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Social workers impacted by the opioid epidemic

From News 5 Cleveland on July 3, 2017
AKRON, Ohio - Heroin overdoses are skyrocketing across the U.S., especially here in Ohio.
Nearly half a dozen people are likely to die from the drug. And now, kids are getting their hands on it, with dangerous consequences.
Already this year, at least four Ohio children have overdosed. Three of them live in Northeast Ohio.
The first people often called when that happens? The county social worker.
"The most difficult is managing everything that is thrown at you, it's a pretty unpredictable job," said Lauren Brown, an Intake Case Worker at Summit County Child and Family Health Services.
Brown is constantly putting out fires and working with families in some of their most traumatic and vulnerable stages.
Already there this year, a two-year-old overdosed in Akron, and a one-year-old died after getting his hands on heroin.
For more click here.
Editor's note:
As people locally struggle with opiate addiction in various ways, the Republicans have considered cutting substance abuse and mental health services from their health care bill through the health insurance plan itself and through cuts to Medicaid. Instead, they propose to give further tax cuts to the very rich. Ohio is a red state that has consistently elected Republicans to office except in their cities.

Opiod addiction is a family problem

Opioid addiction contributes to increase in children in the foster care system. For more click here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Helicopter parenting may create "imagined incapacity" in children.

Helicopter parenting may create "imagined incapacity" in children.

"Imagine a young person very attractive and a little uncertain. Imagine further a mother of this only child a little hovering, a little too eager to be helpful and advisory. This not uncommon situation puts the young person at risk of what we can term "imagined incapacity": the half conviction of being unable to do all sorts of things that in fact she probably can do." Leston Havens, "Freud's Invention"

This "imagined incapacity" creates all kinds of symptoms such as anxiety and depression. There is a learned helplessness which takes persistent effort to overcome. Psychotherapy helps.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hovering (helicopter) parents may create "maladaptive perfectionism" in their children with increased anxiety, depression, and even suicidal ideation

From Medline Plus, June 26, 2016
SATURDAY, June 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Children with "intrusive" parents who push too hard for good grades may be more prone to become highly self-critical or anxious and depressed, a new study suggests.
"When parents become intrusive in their children's lives, it may signal to the children that what they do is never good enough," said study leader Ryan Hong, an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the National University of Singapore.
The five-year study of primary school students in Singapore found that those whose parents acted intrusively, had high expectations of academic performance or overreacted when the child made a mistake were at increased risk of being overly critical of themselves.
The researchers also found that children who were highly self-critical had higher levels of anxiety or depression symptoms, although the study did not prove that parental pressure caused anxiety or depression.
"As a result, the child may become afraid of making the slightest mistake and will blame himself or herself for not being 'perfect,'" Hong said in a university news release.
For more click here.