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Pro-Social Children

It ought to be easier to raise pro-social children — kids who are helpful and kind and empathic — since the impulse toward pro-social behavior is something we’re born with. Yet so many youngsters seem to miss the mark. Two aspects of how we raise our children may be getting in the way.

Learn Ways to Help Your Children Transition to Adulthood

In this issue of Clinical Science Insights, Jacob Goldsmith, Ph.D., explores Jeffrey Arnett’s theory of emerging adulthood, highlights potential problems that emerging adults and their families may encounter, and suggests some general guidelines for what parents can do to help and lay the foundation for a healthy parent-adult-child relationship.

For students, the transition back to school can be both exciting and stressful. Here are a few tips to help your kids and teens feel prepared for that transition, as well as some thoughts about what is “typical” back to school stress and what might be a sign to seek support from others:

As we help our sons and daughters get ready to return to school, let’s reflect on our own readiness to promote our kids’ best emotional development during the school year. Consider these dimensions:

Dim That Light

Settling youngsters down to sleep at night isn't always easy. Recent research suggests that the amount of exposure children have to bright light in the hour leading up to bedtime — whether emanating from light bulbs or electronic devices — can have a big impact on sleep-related behavior.

Eating Disorders

Nearly 3% of teenagers between the ages of 13-18 — boys as well as girls — struggle with food, weight and body image issues severe enough to constitute an eating disorder.1 Such disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating) seriously affect both physical and mental health, and in some instances can be life-threatening. 

Don't React — Respond

"Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?"
Lao Tzu
How many times a day do your children say or do something that bothers you — words or actions you know are wrong or simply irritating? And how often do you quickly correct or scold?

Hijacking Their Minds

There is increasing evidence that using smartphones, even just having them nearby, makes it harder to concentrate.

Spanking Revisited

Researchers at the University of Texas and the University of Michigan reviewed fifty years of studies representing the findings across more than 160,000 children. What they found was that the more children are spanked, the more likely they are to show aggressive and anti-social behavior and to manifest mental health and cognitive difficulties.

Let's Talk Facebook

For most of our sons and daughters, especially the tweens and teens, Facebook has become almost as essential as food, air and water. With adolescent identity development oriented so much around the peer group, Facebook and other social media are powerful vehicles mediating how our kids experience themselves within their social universe.