Home
About us
Get Forms
Parenting News
Contact Us
   
 


From time to time, we will update this page with news designed to be helpful to parents.


                                   Attention Problems



What are attention problems?

Children with attention problems have a very hard time focusing. They might get distracted easily. They might find it hard to finish a task. They might make a lot of mistakes or forget things. They often have to be told many times to do things. They often can’t remember the three things they were told to do. They might start the first thing and get distracted and never get back to completing any of the things they were told to do. They might have a hard time knowing where to start on a complex task. They might have a hard time sitting still when they are required to do so, such as in school.

 

Why do some children have attention problems?

Some children just have a harder time paying attention than others. They may need more practice focusing on things. Children might have attention problems when they are tired or sick. Some children have a hard time when they are worried or sad about something.

 

Why do we need to worry about attention problems?

Attention problems can make school work very hard for children. They might fall behind on class work. Their grades might go down. Sometimes children with attention problems might act out in class if they don’t know what they should be doing. Homework can be difficult for these children. They might forget to bring home books or assignments. Parents might get in power struggles with children in trying to get them to complete their homework.

 

What can parents do?

1.    Remember that children can’t pay attention as long as we can. You need to watch carefully to see how long your child can pay attention. You will want to try to gradually increase how much time they can continue to pay attention. If they can only focus for one minute, work to increase the time that they can focus to two minutes. It takes time and patience to help them increase their attention span.

2.    Use “sit down” activities that your child likes. Try puzzles, coloring, craft activities and board games as ways to help him or her pay attention longer.

3.    Read with your child every day. Help him or her to stay focused on the story. Try not to stop and talk about the story until it is done. Encourage your child not to interrupt you while you are reading. This is good practice for school as well as with homework. Use a calm and pleasant tone of voice to keep them focused on the story. Encourage them that when you read with them again at bedtime, you’ll be happy to talk about the story along the way and let them interrupt you with their questions then. This helps them to understand that there are different times and different places when it is OK to ask questions and interrupt the story.

4.    Some children have a hard time after watching tv, playing video games, or spending time on the computer. If so, try to limit the time that your child spends in each of these activities. Try to find tv shows, video games and computer activities that have a slower pace and tell a story. This will help to focus their attention.

5.    Make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Help them to be calm and quiet before bedtime. Avoid tv before bedtime as this can stimulate their brains to stay awake. Reading before bed can be a good, calming activity.’

6.    Talk with your child’s teacher. Together, you can come up with things that will help your child to pay attention.

7.    Find help and support from family and friends. You might want to find someone trained to work with children. Of course, we can also help you here at Peak View Psychology.


                          Routine: Things Your Child Can Count On

Routines are actions and events that are repeated at regular intervals. They are convenient ways to organize daily actions.

Typical daily family routines include wake up, bedtime and dinner routines. Common weekend routines might include a special family breakfast, going to religious services or sporting events. Routine has many benefits for you and your child. 

     - Routine provides predictability. With schedules and a world that seems constantly changing and chaotic, your child will find security and stability through routine.

     - Routine is comforting. Consistency is reassuring to both children and adults. We know what is expected of us and what to expect of others. We do routine things without thinking about them. It's nice to know what's coming up next.

     - Routine helps with discipline. Children argue less about a consistent set of actions. They take routine for granted. If there is the same set of consequences for certain behaviors, they learn to adapt those behaviors to be in line with what we expect of them.

     - Routine can be empowering. Routine provides structure with a chance for some limited negotiation. A child might decide he or she wants to wear their favorite shoes or their new shoes. He or she can choose a favorite bedtime story or sing a song instead. Once the outline of a routine is in place, the specifics can be worked out and varied.

     - Routine encourages cooperation. When your child knows what to expect, things are less scary and unknown. This means your child can feel that they have more control over a situation and thus can gain greater cooperation.

     - Routine can help your child feel safe and secure. Stress in a family is often evident in the disruption of family routines. It's an early warning system that something is not right. During times of stress, such as holidays, family crisis, divorce, moving to a new home, etc,, pay close attention to routines. During rough times, routines are the path to stability.

     - Routine provides a supportive framework for a child to learn new skills. While routines do not have to be rigidly scheduled, they do need to be predictable enough to allow your child the opportunity to participate. If your child has soccer every Saturday, it allows them to know what activities they might want to join and when they have time to do so.

Bedtime is a common family struggle. It is important to have a consistent bedtime routine.

     1. Be sure to allow your child plenty of time outdoors to run and play during their day. A child who has been active during the day will rest better at night.

     2. Begin the calming down process at dinner time. After dinner, do something relaxing such as going for a walk.

     3. Allow your child some quiet play time. Books, puzzles, craft projects and board games can be conducive to creative playtime. Quiet activities help prepare your child for rest. It's OK to occasionally have some activies that are more active during these times, but in general, prior to bedtime should be a winding down time.

     4. Provide a healthy snack and drink. Food and drink in the tummy help alleviate the excuse of "I'm hungry and I'm thirsty" after your child is tucked in to bed.

     5. Run a warm bath. Allow a minimum of 15 minutes of playtime in the bath tub once your child is cleaned up with soap and shampoo. It is helpful to have a specific set of toys that only get used in the tub.

     6. Right after their bath, take care of all of the pre-bed activities such as getting dressed for bed, brushing teeth and going potty.

     7. Read to your child in bed. Don't allow anything to interrupt that time with your child. After 15 minutes of reading with them, allow them another 15 minutes to read or look at books on their own in their bed. Make sure that your child knows there is a set time limit and once that time has passed, there are no arguments and lights are out for sleep. If you have a hard time tracking that time, set a timer for yourself, so that you ensure that the time limit is kept.

     8. After reading time is over, put the books away. Give your child a hug and a kiss. Saying, "I love you," helps establish security in your child. Tuck them lovingly in to bed and say, "Goodnight."

     9. You might want to consider putting in a cd of soothing music for your child to listen to while they drift off to sleep. Playing the same music every night helps to establish a calming bedtime ritual.

     10. Be firm to your established routine. The less you deviate from it, the easier bedtime will be. Occasionally, you might have situations that come up that disrupt that routine. As long as those times are not often, the routine of bedtime will be remembered and comforting. When there is not a consistent bedtime and routine, that's very unsettling for everyone and sleep struggles escalate.

You will find that your child will want to continue with the routine as much as you do. Preschools and child care centers have long understood the importance and value of routines. They start and end the day with a series of familiar activities that form a comforting routine. At home, familiar routines also mean the difference between a chaotic or calm house.

To create a routine for your household, keep the following tips in mind:

     Develop a list of absolutes. These are things you expect of your child. By knowing these, you can be free to negotiate about things that are not absolutes and avoid power struggles. There are times when you can be flexible in your approach to discipline and there are times when it is not negotiable. For example, during the week, your child must be dressed and ready to go by a specific time, but perhaps on the weekend, you can let your child get dressed later in the morning.

     Use routines as a loose plan. If you allow the routine to have some flexibility, you can allow extra time at the park if you're having a good time or your child is in the middle of a game with a friend.

     Be consistent. When you're consistent with your routine, you have the flexibility then to respond to individual circumstances of each situation. For example, you can establish a play date or other activity in the morning, so that you're home in time for the afternoon nap.


                     What's Your Parenting Style?

Understanding parenting styles gives insight into both parent behaviors and outcomes for children.

Dimensions of Parent's Behavior

- Parent responsiveness (warmth and nurturing) refers to the degree to which a parent responds to a child's needs in an accepting, supportive manner.

- Parent discipline (control and demandingness) refers to the extent a parent expects and demands mature, responsible behavior from the child.



Parenting Styles

- Parents who nurture and discipline their child are positive. Positive parents set high standards and expectations, consistently enforce rules, and encourage independence. A give-and-take communication, with the ability to listen is the key to positive parenting.

- Parents who nurture their children, but do not discipline them are permissive. Although permissive parents show love and give attention, they make few demands and set no guidelines or structure for their children.

- Parents who discipline their children but are not very nurturing of them are dominating. Strict parents value obedience and discourage independence. They do not like their authority questioned.

- Parents who neither nurture nor discipline their children are unengaged. This parent is often referred to as uninvolved as a minimal amount of time and effort is spent with the child. The parent is unavailable to the child. Drug use and immaturity of a parent are possible reasons for unengaged parenting.

In addition to nurturing and discipline, another aspect of parenting is showing respect. Respect means giving children freedom of thought and expression. It's just as important as "love" and "limits". It's giving your child the ability to express thoughts and feelings openly which leads to higher self-esteem and confidence. Positive parenting begins with a balanced approach of nurturing, disciplining, and respecting as illustrated below.



What are the outcomes for children when parents use a particular parenting style?



To help you begin to discover your parenting style, make a note of all of the items that appear to be true for you.

1. ______ I believe that it is better not to have rules than to worry about breaking them.

2. ______ Children should obey their parents and not talk back.

3. ______ Children should be given choices.

4.______ Children can get along pretty well if you just leave them alone.

5. ______ My own problems are so consuming that I don't have time or energy for my child.

6. ______ What I do won't make a difference, so I've given up with my child.

7. ______ Sometimes children have a point. I try to listen to them.

8. ______ I make the rules of my household. Children should be punished for not following them.

9. ______ Children should be allowed their own sense of individuality.

10. _____ I have high standards which I expect my children to understand. I enforce rules   consistently.

11. _____ I should do as much as they can for their children (making their beds, getting their snacks, dressing them).

12. _____ When my child misbehaves, I yell and threaten.

13. _____ If I discipline my child, I am afraid he/she won't love me.

14. _____ I know what's best for my child, after all, I'm the parent.

15. _____ I let my child do what he/she wants because I want to avoid conflict.

16. _____ I have so many other things to do, the children will just have to make it on their own.


Positive                      Demanding                     Permissive                  Unengaged

      3                                  2                                      1                                 4

      7                                  8                                     11                                5

      9                                 12                                    13                                6

     10                                14                                    15                               16

Look at the numbers which you picked and determine your parenting style. Most parents find that they have characteristics of more than one style. It's important to assess your parenting style and make adjustments, if and where you feel necessary, to achieve the best outcomes for your child.


                           Effective Discipline

Effective discipline is NOT punishment.  Effective discipline is reasonable, practical consequences for behavior.  These consequences can be either positive or negative, depending on the behavior.  For example, if a child picks up his toys at bedtime, his consequence is praise and a hug from his mother.  If a child throws his dinner on the floor when told to eat it, his consequence is not getting dessert.

Effective discipline is administered in a calm, matter-of-fact way.  It is NOT delivered when the parent is angry, or yelling.  If the parent is too upset, the child does not learn the message of the discipline, which is that the child chose a behavior that resulted in negative consequences.  If a parent yells or loses control, the child learns that the parent is not in control of him/herself, therefore the child does not learn that self control is important.  The child will instead focus on the parent, and the consequence of the parent yelling, rather than the consequences of his/her own behavior.

Consequences should be immediate, proportional, and logical.  For example, if the child will not turn off the TV and come to dinner when called, the child does not get to watch TV for the rest of the day.  If the child throws a toy at another child, he/she does not get to play with that toy for an hour (or the day).  Taking away all his/her toys for a week as a consequence for throwing one toy is not proportional nor logical.  Waiting until a parent gets home to administer discipline is not immediate.  Many things can happen by the time the parent arrives home!

Effective discipline is consistent between caregivers, situations, and environments.  For example, if a child receives a timeout for hitting when with mom at home, he/she should receive a timeout for hitting when at grandma's house, Sunday school, and the babysitter's.  Consistency between caregivers is extremely important, because if one parent administers timeout, and another does not, the child will become confused, or will begin testing limits in order to see which consequence will be used, if any, leading to more acting out behaviors.

Make sure expectations are clear, consistent, and expressed ahead of time, so children know what to expect.

Effective discipline is reinforced by adults modeling the desired behaviors, and demonstrating good self control themselves.  Children learn what they see.

Keep It Simple, Silly!  Lecturing young children doesn't work.  After a few words, you lose their attention.  Keep your directives simple.  For example, "You hit, you sit" describes the consequences of timeout for aggression.

Most of all, effective discipline is based on loving, securely attached relationships with parents and caregivers.  If a child knows you care about him/her, he/she is more likely to respond to and seek out positive attention than negative attention.  Catch them being good as often as you can, and let them know how happy it makes you, and how proud you are of them!


             Promoting Social Emotional Intelligence in Parenting

No matter how intelligent your child is, if he or she cannot control his or her emotions, express his or her needs appropriately, and display pro-social skills such as taking turns, sharing and waiting in line, they will not be successful in school or in life. Learning to identify the way they feel, how to express their feelings, and how to recognize those feelings in others will help your child empathize and know when to approach and interact with others. This leads to success in making and keeping friends, interacting with adults, and forming healthy, lasting relationships.  Becoming an effective parent requires being aware of your child’s feelings and being able to soothe, guide and empathize with them. When children see their parents coping with feelings in healthy ways, they learn how to control their own behaviors.

To promote social emotional intelligence in your children:

-      Pay attention to how your child is feeling throughout the day. Note when he or she is struggling to control their reactions, or when they have difficulty dealing with feelings.

-      Name the emotions you are feeling, and model good coping skills. Example: “I am upset because we ran out of sugar and now we can’t make cookies. Let’s make nachos instead.” “You look sad. Can you tell me why you’re sad?”

-      Listen to when your child shares their feelings. Don’t dismiss or demean feelings by saying they shouldn’t feel that way. Instead use reflective listening to show them you heard them and understand. Example: “You said you’re feeling sad today because it’s raining outside and we can’t play baseball.”

-      Use problem solving strategies and demonstrate how to use creative thinking. Example: “The rain is keeping us from playing baseball, and that’s frustrating. What else could we do inside that is fun?”

-      Maintain consistent limits. Make sure everyone who interacts with your child and might be left in charge of him or her knows what the rules are and sticks to the routine as much as possible. If time out is a consequence for aggression, make sure everyone knows how to do it and that they all do it the same way. If one person sends them to their room for half an hour and another person sets them on a chair in sight of them for one minute per year of age, the child will be confused as to what time out really is.If your child is often extremely distressed, aggressive, talking about hurting themselves or others, or is out of control, seek professional guidance. Contact your pediatrician, family practice doctor, insurance company, school counselor, daycare provider or friends for a referral. Of course, you can always schedule an appointment with us here at Peak View Psychology.



                                       Depression

 

What is depression?

Depression causes children to be sad or moody. Children can be depressed, just like adults, but it looks different sometimes in children. Depressed children can be cranky or irritable. They can have a hard time paying attention. They might not want to play or become upset with others. They may get angry very easily, and have trouble calming down when upset.

 

Why are some children depressed?

Depression can come from different things. Children who have had a lot of changes in their life, such as daycare changes, placement changes, school changes, or moving, may begin feeling depressed. Parental changes, such as divorce, or reducing visitation, are important, too. Depression can come from feeling a lot of stress. Children who have a big loss in their life, like the death of someone close to them may feel depressed. Sometimes if a parent or caregiver is depressed, children can begin to feel the same way.

 

Why do we need to worry about depression?

Depression makes life very hard. Children who are depressed do not want to do things they used to like to do. They may be distracted in school. Depression can change how a child sleeps and eats. Children who are depressed feel sad or irritable almost every day. Depression can also cause children to think about dying or about hurting themselves. It is very important to seek help from a mental health professional if children begin speaking about suicide, death, or trying to hurt themselves.

 

What can parents do?

1.    Help your child to talk about his or her feelings. If you are not sure how your child is feeling, just ask. You may need to take the first step. Ask your child about his or her day. Ask about school, friends and home. Let your child know that he or she can talk to you, and that you are interested in how they feel. Try to ask open ended questions instead of questions that can be answered with a yes or no answer. For example, “Did you have a good day at school?” will get you a yes or no answer. Asking instead for the child to tell you about their day will help them to give more information.

2.    Pay attention to changes in our child’s mood and behavior. Try to remember how long the change lasts. Talk to your child about the changes, especially if it last for a few days or more.

3.    Talk to your child’s teacher to see if there are changes in your child’s behavior or performance at school. Ask the teacher when the change started.

4.    Always take children seriously if they talk about death or suicide. Don’t assume they are looking for attention or copying the TV. Get professional help right away!!!

5.    If you notice these changes last for a week or more, talk with your child’s doctor or teacher to find support. If your child does talk about death or suicide, you should find professional help to keep them safe.



                                 Aggression
 

What is aggression?

Aggression is when children behave in an unkind way. Some examples of aggression are hitting, kicking, biting and scratching. Aggression can also be throwing things, pinching, poking, spitting, pushing, saying mean things to others, calling people names or bullying. Threatening other people is also aggression. When children try to hurt themselves, it is referred to as self aggression, or self injurious behavior.

 

Why are some children aggressive?

Aggressive children often need basic social skills. They may be trying to get attention. Children might be aggressive if they don’t know how to talk about their feelings, or to ask for help when they are really frustrated. Our job is to teach children good ways of asking for attention. We also want to help children share their feelings and ask for help without hurting anyone.

 

Why do we need to worry about aggression?

Aggressive children might be called “bad” by others. They can have a hard time making friends. They can miss class time if they are in trouble (i.e., getting sent to the principal’s office or be suspended). If children miss class time, their grades might go down. Children who are aggressive may have a hard time as they grow up if they don’t know how to talk about their feelings in a good way. If they don’t learn to ask for help, they can give up and never learn how to do things that are hard for them.

 

What can parents do?

1.    Teach your child to identify his or her feelings and model you doing that for them as well. Talk about your own feelings. Label their feelings that you are observing. For example, say, “I am sad because I can’t go to the baseball game tonight.” If they appear angry when you are getting them ready for bed, identify that they look mad because they don’t want to go to bed now. Have them say, “I’m mad because I don’t want to go to bed now.”

2.    Help your child talk about their feelings instead of being aggressive. In general, younger children are only able to identify a few feelings, such as happy, mad, sad, scared and frustrated.

3.    If they are really angry, encourage them to get that anger out in a controlled manner, such as going to their room, lying on their bed and kicking the mattress, or screaming into their pillow. Remember that you’d much rather have them stomp their feet in anger than you would have them hit something or someone.

4.    Remember to praise and reward good choices. Remind them that you’re very proud of them for talking about their feelings.

5.    Give your child appropriate consequences when he or she is aggressive. Use time out – a minute for each year of age, take away privileges such as watching tv or game time.

6.    Work with your child’s teachers to make a behavior plan in the classroom. Make a similar plan at home. If you use a star chart, once they’ve earned enough stars to gain a reward, be sure to follow through and do so as soon as possible after the reward is earned. For example, if your son or daughter earns enough stars for appropriate behavior to turn them in for a trip to the ice cream store, praise them for their accomplishment and take them out for ice cream as soon as possible.

7.    Find help and support from family and friends. Talk with your children’s teachers about what resources they might have for working with aggressive children. Psychologists, therapists and behavior specialists can help.



                       Emotional Control Problems


What are emotional control problems?

Children with emotional control problems have a hard time keeping their cool. They become mad or frustrated easily. Examples of emotional control problems are temper tantrums, crying when they cannot have their way and getting upset when there is a change in their routine.

 

Why do some children have emotional control problems?

Children may have emotional control problems if they feel a lot of pressure. They may not be able to talk about their feelings. Some children may have speech and language delays or concerns that make it hard to talk about their needs. Sometimes children with emotional control problems have  a hard time getting attention from adults in a positive way, or don’t know how to ask for what they need.

 

Why do we need to worry about emotional control problems?

Children with emotional control problems may lose their temper at home and school. They can have a lot of tantrums that can be hard for adults to deal with. They may seek attention in negative ways. Children with these concerns might miss time in the classroom if they are crying or having tantrums.

 

What can parents do?

1.    Model how to use your words to help solve problems. You can help your child use words to talk about feelings and work out problems by suggesting ways to do so. For example, “You look like you are getting frustrated. Do you need help? If you need help, say, “I need help, please””.

2.    Catch your child being good. Positive praise and attention goes a long way. Praise your child when he or she finishes a task. Also be sure to note when you see that they are trying. Whether or not they are successful, pay attention to their efforts. For example, “I like how you kept trying to do that math problem even though it was frustrating to you”.

3.    Keep an eye out for triggers to bad behavior. Alert your child ahead of time to changes in his or her schedule. Let him or her know what is happening as much as you can before change happens.Remember that even if your child seems to know the rules, he or she can become easily overloaded. Be calm and consistent and remind him or her of the rules. Praise efforts to follow the rules.


                                            Initiative


What is initiative?

Initiative is when children try to meet their needs on their own. Children like the sense of accomplishment when they do things on their own. Children learn to ask questions and to make plans. Initiative also is displayed when children explore and use their creativity and imagination.

 

Why should we increase initiative?

Initiative allows children to be in charge of their learning. It helps them to take on new challenges and make new friends. Initiative helps children as they grow up to be more willing to try new things and plan for their future.

 

What can parents do?

1.    Set up your home and your child’s room so that things that he or she needs are within reach and they can display their independence in getting them.

For younger children, hang low hooks so that they can hang up their own coats and book bags. Keep a stool at the bathroom sink so that they can reach the faucet to brush their own teeth and wash their own hands. Lay out their clothes in the bottom drawers so that they can put them away. Label toy boxes and shelves with pictures and words describing the pictures so that they can start to learn to put their things in the places in which they belong.

2.    Encourage your child to clean up after him or herself after playing or eating.

3.    Let your child brush his or her own teeth and get dressed on their own. Give him or her a choice of two outfits. Let your child decide what to wear, even if it doesn’t match.

4.    Encourage your child to ask other children to play. Set up play dates with peers so he or she can practice sharing, taking turns and making friends.

5.    Ask your child to help you with simple tasks.

 For example, let them stir the cookie dough, or add chocolate chips when baking. Ask them to help hold the door if your hands are full coming into the house. Ask them to hand you things when you’re working on a project, or to carry something for you while in the store. Show them how to fold towels and washcloths when you’re doing laundry and allow them to help.

6.    Encourage your child to “use their words” when they want something. Avoid giving in to whining or screaming and yelling. It reinforces that that is how they get what they want. Don’t give them what they want until they ask for it politely.

7.    Encourage your child to invent new ways to do thing. This is especially important if what they want is not available. For example, if they want a cookie, but you don’t have any, what else might they want to have to eat. Do you have time to make some cookies?  Are you willing to go to the grocery store to get some? Can they pick a different snack to have instead? Allow them to have materials at hand and choose what to do with them. Let them create with paints and household objects and see what they might invent. What alternative activities can they choose if the weather does not cooperate with outdoor activities were planned?



                                             Self Control

What is self control?

Self control is a child’s ability to tell right from wrong and to act accordingly. Good self control helps children behave in ways that are socially appropriate. Some examples of good self control include waiting to take turns, standing in line and sharing. Self control also helps children cooperate with their peers.

 

Why should we increase self control?

Children who have self control stop and think before speaking or acting. Self control helps children make good choices, solve problems, cooperate with others, and follow rules. It also helps children accept consequence for poor choices. Children with good self control are less likely to act out their anger or lose their temper. This is an important skill for children and adults.

What can parents do?

1.    Lead by example. Use your words to help solve problems. Help the child to hear to talk about feelings instead of acting out.

2.    Offer your child choices. This helps your child feel he or she has some control. Don’t ask them if they want to go to the doctor, but instead ask them which of two toys they would like to bring along in the car for the trip to the doctor. Let them have a choice of two snacks. Let them pick out their clothes for the day from two you have chosen ahead of time.

3.    Try to prevent trouble spots. You know your child better than anyone. If you know that bedtime is always hard, try to make a routine with your child. Prepare your child ahead of time. Starting a countdown to bedtime helps to remind them. Try starting 30 minutes before bedtime, remind them at 15, 10 and then 5 minutes. Remember children do not have a concept of time until they are about 7 years old. Counting down for them helps them to start to understand how long 5 minutes is. Give your child choices of which pajamas to wear to bed. Be sure to praise your child each time that he or she makes good choices.

4.    Remember that even if your child seems to know the rules, he or she can become easily overloaded, and may lose self control. Be calm and consistent. Wait until your child is calm to remind him or her of the rules and stick to them.



                                              Anger

What is aggression?

Aggression is when children behave in an unkind way. Some examples of aggression are hitting, kicking, biting and scratching. Aggression can also be throwing things, pinching, poking, spitting, pushing, saying mean things to others, calling people names or bullying. Threatening other people is also aggression. When children try to hurt themselves, it is referred to as self aggression, or self injurious behavior.

 

Why are some children aggressive?

Aggressive children often need basic social skills. They may be trying to get attention. Children might be aggressive if they don’t know how to talk about their feelings, or to ask for help when they are really frustrated. Our job is to teach children good ways of asking for attention. We also want to help children share their feelings and ask for help without hurting anyone.

 

Why do we need to worry about aggression?

Aggressive children might be called “bad” by others. They can have a hard time making friends. They can miss class time if they are in trouble (i.e., getting sent to the principal’s office or be suspended). If children miss class time, their grades might go down. Children who are aggressive may have a hard time as they grow up if they don’t know how to talk about their feelings in a good way. If they don’t learn to ask for help, they can give up and never learn how to do things that are hard for them.

 

What can parents do?

1.    Teach your child to identify his or her feelings and model you doing that for them as well. Talk about your own feelings. Label their feelings that you are observing. For example, say, “I am sad because I can’t go to the baseball game tonight.” If they appear angry when you are getting them ready for bed, identify that they look mad because they don’t want to go to bed now. Have them say, “I’m mad because I don’t want to go to bed now.”

2.    Help your child talk about their feelings instead of being aggressive. In general, younger children are only able to identify a few feelings, such as happy, mad, sad, scared and frustrated.

3.    If they are really angry, encourage them to get that anger out in a controlled manner, such as going to their room, lying on their bed and kicking the mattress, or screaming into their pillow. Remember that you’d much rather have them stomp their feet in anger than you would have them hit something or someone.

4.    Remember to praise and reward good choices. Remind them that you’re very proud of them for talking about their feelings.

5.    Give your child appropriate consequences when he or she is aggressive. Use time out – a minute for each year of age, take away privileges such as watching tv or game time.

6.    Work with your child’s teachers to make a behavior plan in the classroom. Make a similar plan at home. If you use a star chart, once they’ve earned enough stars to gain a reward, be sure to follow through and do so as soon as possible after the reward is earned. For example, if your son or daughter earns enough stars for appropriate behavior to turn them in for a trip to the ice cream store, praise them for their accomplishment and take them out for ice cream as soon as possible.

7.    Find help and support from family and friends. Talk with your children’s teachers about what resources they might have for working with aggressive children. Psychologists, therapists and behavior specialists can help.



                                           Attachment

What is attachment?

Attachment is a strong, long lasting relationship between a child and important people in his or her life. Important people in a child’s life include parents, teachers, daycare providers, family members and friends.

 

Why should we increase attachment?

A secure attachment is the foundation of relationships with others. Children with secure attachments form caring relationships with parents, other adults, and friends. Children that do not have a secure attachment may not want to try new things. They may also be hard to comfort when upset or angry. Secure attachments help a child feel safe. He or she will have more confidence in the world.

 

What can parents do?

1.    Give your child consistent and loving care. Praise good choices. Hug him or her daily, and tell them how much you love them. Help prepare them with transition time. Sudden changes to routine can be quite disruptive.

2.    Be firm, but calm when you need to correct your child. Try to never discipline when angry.

3.    Read to your child daily, sitting with them on your lap or next to you. Ask questions about the story and what they think of it.

4.    Help your child join in activities at home and school. Have him or her help with chores at home.

5.    Encourage your child to play with other children at school. Invite classmates, children of your friends, or neighborhood children over to play.

6.    Encourage your child to try new activities. Find new games or toys that he or she can use with you or with friends.

7.    Help your child to say “goodbye” without getting upset. Be calm when it is time to leave him or her at school. Say something simple like, “see you later” when it is time for you to leave. Be sure to let your child know that you are leaving. When you “sneak out” your child will become upset once they notice you are gone. Creating a “goodbye” ritual, such as a kiss, a hug and a rhyme (i.e., “See you later, alligator…after while crocodile”) can help to normalize this part of your child’s day.

 
   
Top