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Reports of a youth anxiety epidemic are highly exaggerated, according to research. But in the face of much media coverage, we are understandably alarmed when our children exhibit or even utter the word anxiety. In this era of “I just want my kids to be happy,” we rush to rescue and shield, fending off whatever seems to unsettle our little (and not-so-little) ones. That may be the epidemic.
Do you freely post pictures of your children on social media? After capturing them blowing out the candles on their birthday cake, walking down the aisle at their eighth grade graduation, or stylishly setting off to the high school prom, do you indulge the pleasure of uploading the photos of their beaming smiles to Facebook, Instagram, or the social media site du jour? You may want to think twice about what you're doing.
If you find yourself sandwiched between two generations — your children and your aging parents — do all that you can to nurture their connection.1 With some exceptions, grandparents can deliver to grand-kids the unconditional love — and more — that can make an important contribution to a child's life. Particularly during times of family upheaval such as divorce, remarriage or illness, or when faced with their own challenging personal experiences, kids may find it easier to…
Whether it's soccer, baseball, gymnastics or any of the sports our children participate in, we want them to enjoy athletics. We want them to have a good time pursuing the activity they love. But the joy of competitive sports — whether during elementary, high school or college years — easily dissipates when youth find themselves unduly stressed by their own perfectionism, a burdensome sense of obligation to fulfill the expectations of parents or coaches, or a loss of balance…
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.
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:
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.
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.