Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Parent Involvement Brings Positive Results

Research has consistently reported that a parent's positive involvement with their children's schooling brings positive outcomes. Research is also now reporting that parents that are involved in out-of-school programs for their children are developing a higher level of trust with parents and are less likely to lie or argue with their parents. Family involvement with teenagers is associated with a lower rate of risky sexual behavior, tobacco use, drug use, alcohol use, deliquency, and violent behavior.

Family involvement in out-of-school programs can also help to create better programs that are more child centered which increases attendance and improved activities. Out-of-school programs also offer parenting classes to educate parents about child and adolescent development and parenting strategies to reduce risky behaviors and support positive development.

There are so many positive reasons to be involved and interactive with your family. Whether you are a single parent, blended family, traditional or nontraditional family the extra time taken to be involved in your children's activities will bring a lifetime of rewards.

Take care,

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Assessing the Mental Health Needs of Your Children

Mental health problems can develop at any point in life and may be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, chemical imbalances of the brain, or stressors in the environment. Adolescence is a time of great change and transition, when youth are starting to make decisions about career paths, further schooling and living on their own. These stressors along with changing friends, moving from family, can cause mental health issues to become prominent. It is important to recognize the symptoms of mental health issues like depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety disorders so that interventions can be made to stabilize the child that is experiencing the duress.

Symptoms of Depression
  • Feeling sad, anxious, or irritable.
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless.
  • A loss of interest in activities or hobbies.
  • A loss of energy and concentration.
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Extreme and unrealistic worry about daily events.
  • Extreme feelings of self-consciousness, tenseness and needs of assurance.
  • Pyschosomatic symptoms of headaches, stomaches or other discomforts.
  • Panic attacks - periods of intense fear that usually involve a pounding heatbeat, sweating, dizziness, nausea, or feeling of imminent death.

Becoming aware of this symptoms and changes in behaviors can help you as a parent give your child the support they are needing in a time of crisis.

Best wishes,


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Understand Your Sources of Stress

Stress is your body's reaction to the constant demands of the world. Stressors are events or conditions in your life which may trigger stress. It can be the demands of your children, bills that are due or the pile of work on your desk that never seems to end. The Mayo Clinic reports that there are two main types of stress that people face:

Acute stress triggers the fight or flight response in your body when it is reacting to a threat, challenge or a scare. It can give you an immediate adrenaline rush that can be very exciting.
Chronic stress is a result of exposure to long term acute stress. It is usually a result of day-to-day life situations that often seem unrelenting such as relationship problems, work difficulties, and financial concerns.

Consistent stress can create health problems. Physical symptoms such headaches and fatigue. Mental symptoms like poor concentration and emotional symptions such as irritability and depression. There are also social concerns like isolation and resentment.

There is not a day that passes that we do not experience some sort of stress. Prepare yourself mentally to accept the challenge and think through the issue with a positive attitude. Share your concerns with friends. You can exercise to decrease stress, eat healthy and get a good night's rest to help you prepare for tomorrow. Go outside and play with your children. Take a deep breath and blow bubbles together. The simple joys of life have a way of minimizing our problems and giving us hope for a better tomorrow.

Take care,