Archive | Child Psychology

Bust Bad Moods: How to Help Your Child Cope Positively With Negative Emotions

Every child has a trigger: what’s your child’s? What gets that smile to turn upside down? What causes your child’s tantrums and power struggles? If you are finding it hard to deal with a childhood conflict, here are some ways you can turn into a can-do situation:

Learning a new skill:

Your child may feel frustrated and disappointed, especially when he or she doesn’t get a particular skill right. He or she may also withdraw when overcome with failure and guilt for not being good enough or not learning quickly. Here are ways you can address this issue:

  • Help your child get organized. If your little one seems to have trouble keeping up with his or her belongings, help him or her by creating labels and color coding items in the closet or drawers. Organizing helps your child gain more control at his or her own pace.
  • Take it slowly and know when to stop. You want to encourage your child, but learning a skill requires a lot of patience, an example you should be providing. Don’t push it – stop before he or she starts getting frustrated. Remind your little one there’s always another day to practice again.
  • Remind your child that it’s okay to make mistakes. Do not be rigid especially if you don’t want to see your little one melting down or giving up altogether.

Getting dressed:

This can be power struggle, especially for very young children. It’s not just about getting the buttons in the right holes – it’s also about picking their own clothes.

  • Give your child control. Hang a few outfits for him or her to choose from.
  • Help out. Get your child to zip up and button up the right way, so you don’t have to redo everything and waste time. Say something like, “I’ll do the first button, and you can do the next one.”
  • Choose clothes carefully when shopping. Don’t make your child’s life difficult with complicated bows, zips, pins and the link. Choose clothes with zippers or Velcro.

Sharing and playing:

Young children may be selfish, even when you teach them to share. When bringing your child to the playground or to a play date, negative emotions may arise from fighting with other kids, accidents, and having to share.

  • Don’t humiliate the child. When your child fights with another, don’t shout at him or her because this will only embarrass the child and make him or her think that you aren’t on his or her side. Instead, sit your child down and talk it out, gently reminding him or her to be nice.
  • Plan in advance. Pack your child’s bag with extra toys and snacks, so there will be opportunity to share.
  • Set boundaries. Tell your child that if he or she acts up, then you guys are immediately off the slides and homebound.

Banishing Bad Mood:

It doesn’t matter what ticks your little one off. It may be waking up on the wrong side of the bed, a tummy ache, or not getting what he or she wants. Whatever the cause of a pout is, here are some ways you can deal:

  • Acknowledge. Getting your child know that you are understand his or her feelings will make it easier for him or her to talk it out. Verbalize your observations and offer something comforting. For example, you can say “I can see that you are a little grumpy today, can a kiss from Mommy make it better?” to get started.
  • Be funny. Pull on silly faces, funny songs, and goofy ideas to get your sour-faced child to smile. It’s a great distraction, as well as a wonderful way to ease the tension.
  • Reverse roles. Instead of finding solutions for your child, help him or her think it through. Say, “My day’s not going well, too. Can you help me think of something that can make it all better?”

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Divorce and Its Effects to Your Children

Divorce is inevitable in some marriages and even if you try so hard to save the relationship with your partner, there would be times that you and your spouse will not be able to hold onto it anymore. All couples would consider divorce as the last resort in marriage especially when they have children. The most painful experience that a child can experience is hearing the news that his parents are bound to have divorce. It can be painful to the couple, but it will be extremely difficult for their children to deal with the situation.

The following are some of the effects that divorce bring to children and what you can do to help them:

  • Children may blame themselves on what happened with their parents relationships. You should tell your child that he has nothing to do with the divorce. Tell your child about the reason why you can’t continue with the marriage and why it is the best option for your family.
  • Children may lack self confidence and think that they are inferior. Encourage your child to be the best that he can be. Tell him that you believe on his talents and the things that he can do. Let your child feel that both you and your partner will always be there to support his endeavors even if one of you has to go from home.
  • Children may think and feel that they are abandoned and not loved. It is normal for children to feel this way especially when they are used to having the both of your partner together at home. Assure your child that he is loved even if you and your partner are having a divorce. Tell him that their role and love as parents does not stop with divorce.
  • Children who have to deal with parents on divorce will have feeling of sadness, pain, frustration, and anger. No matter what happens between you and your partner make sure that you treatment to your child will not change. Express and tell your children that you will love them. Encourage him to ventilate his feelings and do your best to give him assurance that only your family set-up will change your child will always remain the love of your life.

Divorce will always be a hard part in all of the family member’s life, but your children will still grow up normally just as long as you do extra efforts to make things as normal as possible even if you are no longer a couple with your partner.

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Undergoing Eye Examinations: What You Can Do to Help Your Child

Every examination undergone by the child, every trip to the hospital or any consultation with a healthcare personnel may signal a child that there is probably something wrong with his body. This is but a normal occurrence, but as parents, we do not want our children to suffer a great deal especially when all that we’re doing has only something that involves preventive or precautionary measures. As parents, we have to make sure that our toddlers or pre-schoolers do not develop a sense of fear or anger towards any individual in the hospital or clinic donning a white uniform or wearing a stethoscope.

This situation also holds true for doctors who are tasked at taking care of our child’s eyes. The family physician may be able to do the initial check for eye problems but when it becomes more serious, for instance, an eye infection, another doctor may be needed specifically an ophthalmologist which will, in turn, another relatively threatening situation for the child. As parents, we have to be able to help our child for such transition of healthcare provider as well as let our child be more submissive to treatment or procedure options.

When a child undergoes an eye examination, it will be to your advantage to talk about what will happen inside the clinic or examination room. For example, you may want to narrate stories about how important our sense of sight is. Additionally, you may want to also inform your child that in cases of problems with the eyes, a doctor may need to let mommy put some eye drops to make the situation better in cases of blurry vision or eye infection. You may also want to tackle more specific procedures done in the eye center like a penlight being pointed in the eyes for a very short time just to check the colors of the eyes for instance. These are but some measures you may need to take to reassure your child of whatever might be done by the doctor. Also, make sure that either you cuddle your child or sit beside him to make your presence known and felt.

 

If the child is already able to understand charts, he may also need to be instructed about using his hands in order to mimic whatever is in the chart. Herein, a kid who may have problems at home prior to the visit may not be very cooperative; that is why, again, it is crucial to explain to the child in the simplest terms possible the importance of the eye check-up. Also, remind your child that the Snellen chart is not really to decipher if he is a smart kid or not. There are eye patches given but for children who are competitive and who want to be correct or right, there is a tendency to peek through the patches during the exam.

Finally, remember that these tests should be undergone by a child not only during birth but also when he hits six months, three and five years old. Thereafter, you have to accompany him every year or as the need arises. Whether the professional involved is an ophthalmologist, optometrist or an optician, the important thing you should be wary of is that the personnel involved is duly recognized to avoid any unnecessary problem that may arise in the process.

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Channeling Your Child’s Inner Chopin

It’s no secret – when you were pregnant, you spent days listening to soft, classical music because your pregnancy-help books told you it helped the fetus in more ways than one. You may have even used music as a relaxation and pain therapy while you were in labor and while you were giving birth. Music has been your tool in helping your baby to settle down during those first few months. Now that you have a toddler, a preschooler, or a school-age schild in the house, is music still any good?

According to researchers from the Long Island University, students who go to a school that has a good musical program may have leverage in terms of academic performance. The research conducted involved second – grade students who took piano lessons twice a week. It was found that these students showed better performance in school, and had great aptitude in vocabulary activities compared to those who did not play music or read musical notes.

According to the author of the study, Joseph Piro, Ph.D., it is possible that the regular piano lessons developed above average listening skills in the second grade students. These listening skills allowed the students to hear, listen and retain more words to enrich their vocabulary. When children begin to learn music, the notes can be viewed as words. Then, the learning becomes simultaneous.

Aside from improving intellect, music is also a great way to develop a child’s emotional and psychological well-being. Several studies have found that children who appreciate music at a young age generally relate well with other children and exhibit more stable emotions and dispositions compared to their counterparts who were not exposed to music during infancy and toddlerhood.

Music enhances a child’s creativity, specifically because a child who is exposed to music early in life may excel in language and arts later on.

According to Dr. Piro, private lessons to teach a child how to play a musical instrument is generally effective in stimulating his or her vocabulary aptitude, but in order to foster more eagerness to learn an instrument, the best setting would be in a group, such as music classes in school. Perhaps this is because the child learns to play harmoniously with other children, and is challenged to perform very well.

Here are specific reasons why parents should consider schools with structured music programs for their children:

  1. Music enhances the left side of the brain. This hemisphere is mainly for language and reasoning.
  2. Music is linked to the development of spatial intelligence, which is crucial for forming abstract images. This is an important skill to help children excel in mathematics and critical thinking.
  3. Music helps children become more culturally diverse.
  4. Music teaches discipline, risk-taking and strategy. It helps develop problem-solving skills.
  5. For many, including children, music serves as a means to express self. Life becomes more meaningful when children play music, and as a result, self-esteem and a deeper appreciation for life is developed.

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How to Effectively Deal with Hyperactive Children

To be with someone who is hyperactive as an adult is already difficult, what more if it were in the case of precious angels who are not exactly aware of their conditions. Primarily, effectively dealing with hyperactive children entails a good dose of patience, a great amount of love, enthusiasm and reading. As it is no joke, taking in as much information and applying the techniques in real life setting is difficult but in the end, very rewarding.

Hyperactivity, foremost, refers to a varied number of symptoms ranging from extreme emotional reactions to relatively short attention span. For children, common diagnosis include the most commonly known ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome. Nonetheless, as the disorder is in truth, not common, the child concerned should be assessed and evaluated by an expert in the field. It is unfair to brand a child as such if the real causes are not explored.

The reasons for hyperactivity which are not psychological in nature include thyroid problems, lead poisoning and even sleep deprivation. A remarkable effect though is that some can be very gifted. Unfortunately,  some could also have learning disabilities.

Nonetheless, what remains to be done is to take care of the precious angels that speak of nothing but a world that is difficult to understand and where they continue to thrive an strive.

Hyperactivity can be dealt with by establishing a routine to be followed as a structured and consistent environment facilitates the learning and behavioral processing of the child. This could actually be employed in the waking and sleeping hours of the child as well as when one is allowed to take a nap or watch the television. Clearly express that rules are rules.

It will however help that these limitations also be receptive to slight changes. You can break the rules at the time you see fit but make sure that you remind the child that there are conditions that were earlier discussed to be followed at a later time. Remember that being harsh to the child would result to more problems especially if he is at the point of asserting his self-worth. This is especially true for toddlers.

It is just as important though to facilitate a relaxing environment; that is avoiding over-stimulation. If it is possible to have a big space for the child, then, why not? De-cluttering the life, if at all possible means to keep things to a minimum, the loud noise from the TV or the radio can be very distracting so as talking simultaneously with several unknown visitors. And when things do get messy, try to avoid the use of negative reinforcement. As always, recognizing the good things or the accomplishments of the child is far better than punishing every single wrongdoing made.

Always look at the brighter things in what the hyperactive child does. Your desperation to understand is easily picked on by their sensitive disposition. If you sense that you may reflect someone giving up, both of you could take a walk or transfer your energy somewhere else. It is very difficult for someone hyperactive to just relax and sit around, make use of the energy and translate it to something productive and creative.

Posted in Adolescence, Child Psychology, Communication0 Comments

Teachers as Friends: How to get along with your teachers?

When children start going to school, parents worry about a lot of things. Their child might have problems coping with the tasks, responsibilities and activities in school. Their child might even find it difficult, interacting with his classmates, peers and teachers. All of these things leave the parents worried, making them think twice, whether or not their child can survive the long hours they spend in school. Children spend as much time in school as they do at home. If they’re not home, they’re at school, studying, learning and spending time with friends. This is all part of a child’s complex life, one of the milestones of growing up. Since children are bound to be in school for quite some time, the best way to make their stay as pleasant as possible is to teach them how to get along with other people. It’s easy for kids to get along with other children and peers with the same age. Most of them do a good job in making friends all on their own. When it comes to adults, most especially teachers, it’s a whole different story. Children see teachers as figures of authority. They consider their teachers as someone who sets rules, gives tasks and serves sanctions and punishments; similar to what their parents do at home. Children might find it a bit challenging to get along with their teachers because of this. Children who have good relationships with their teachers tend to learn more in school. They become more confident with themselves and they show a much better attitude towards learning and responsibility. Children who get along with their teachers are also not afraid to ask questions. They can confide relevant school matters like learning constraints, difficulty understanding, bullying and other similar issues. Here are some helpful tips on how teachers and children can get along and become friends.

1)      Allow the child time – Relationships are not built overnight and they do not happen right there and then. Children are like sponges, they easily absorb everything around them. When they see other children acting a certain way towards their teacher, they would immediately follow what the others are doing. If their classmates are scared of their teacher, they would also feel the same way. When children are given enough time, this allows them to make their own impression about their teacher. Eventually, they’ll get to know their teacher more and will be able to build a better relationship with them.

2)     Teachers and students must know their responsibilities – Being friends with the teacher is not the same as being friends with other children, students must always remember to listen when the teacher is talking. The main responsibility of the teacher is to teach. The student’s, on the other hand, is to learn.

3)     Both student and teacher must always do their best – The teacher must do his best at what he does which is teaching. If he teaches well, his students will learn. The student must also do his best with all his exams and school activities. A student who learns a lot will be very grateful to the teacher who helped him.

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How Divorce Affects Your Teenager

You may at last had the chance to overcome the burden and that nightmare living a life each day with your husband or wife but the question is, are you a hundred and one percent sure that your little tots are not in any way affected? Do you think your separation and the dispute you have made do not create an impact to your family? What if your kids are not just doing fine? What will you do? What are the possible interventions?

Having divorce is not new to couples who have decided to move on with their own lives rather than insisting to be together and in the end having a faulty family relationship. There is actually no big problem if husbands and wives are just the ones confronting the situation. In most cases, children are involved and they become victims at an early age. Situational crisis may likely to happen because divorce in a family consisting of children is something that is not ideal.

Difficult as it may seem, diplomacy and love can bridge the gap between parents and children.

Help your children cope with divorce. It may be very difficult but using a matter of fact approach with a touch of empathy may be in any way essential. Consider the following:

  1. Be honest and tell your child the truth. Make the explanation simple to avoid having your children confused. Do not blame each other and stay calm all throughout the talk.
  2. A powerful and sincere message like “I love you” will help your children feel that nothing has changed in terms of your feelings and amour towards them. Let them understand that you will still keep an eye to them.
  3. Present reality like things may or may not change. Help the children to cope and gradually accept what is happening.
  4. Avoid nagging, shouting and throwing undesirable words in front of your children.

Your choice of words should be considered otherwise, you might hurt your children’s feelings.

  1. Plan everything and conversations should be done with both parties (husband and wife) present.
  2. Let your children be aware that the divorce or the separation is not their fault.
  3. Listen to your children’s feelings. Do not intrude.
  4. Encourage verbalization of concerns and help them find the best words to elaborate what they have deep within.

Children should be observed for signs of failure to adapt or ineffective coping. Things like difficulty falling asleep, violence, poor concentration, trouble making in school, among others should not be ignored as they can be all manifestations of divorce related anxiety or worst depression.

Even things are not as the same as before, unconditional love should always remain and be reserved for the children incessantly.

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The Reasons behind Your Child’s Bedwetting

Bedwetting is very common in young children. You meet friends who are parents themselves who have similar stories to tell about their children peeing in the middle of the night while on bed. While bedwetting is common, it is important to know what the cause why your child pees in bed so that you address the cause and help your child not to bed wet anymore.

Your child can be bedwetting due to different reasons. Categorically the reasons can be divided into two. The first category does not prove health threat and the second one makes bedwetting a sign of more serious conditions. Here are the most common reasons behind your child’s bedwetting:

Causes of Bedwetting That Does Not Prove Health Threat:

  • The child can bed wet due to physical activities during the day. When the child is exhausted from too much play, he is prone to have bedwetting.
  • Your child can have bedwetting when he is in a sort of developmental delay. Although at the age of three to five, children are expected to know how to control their bladder, this may not be the case for most children. Some still has not developed to do this task, so in turn they still bed wet at night.
  • Drinking too many liquids before bedtime can increase chances of bedwetting. Their bladders are already full and most of the time they are in deep sleep making them unable to wake up when needed to pee.
  • The child is still unable to hold his bladder in daytime, much more during sleep.
  • Children who used to bed wet as a child have higher chances of bedwetting as compared to children whose parents do not. There are studies that link bedwetting to be sometimes hereditary.

Causes of Bedwetting Link to Certain Conditions:

  • Children with juvenile diabetes bed wet as a symptom of the disease. Just like in adults, children diagnosed to have the condition are prone to bedwetting as the body gets rid of the excess blood sugar in the bloodstream.
  • When your child has urinary tract infection, he is prone to have bedwetting.
  • Children who have frequent bedwetting may have anomalies in the structure of his urinary system.
  • When a child has neurological disorders, he may have a hard time in holding urine especially during sleep.
  • When children are under emotional stress, they are prone to have bedwetting. Problems in the family, bullying from playmates, and poor performance in school can cause the child to be under stress making him prone to bedwetting.

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