Children’s Mental Health

As a nation overall, the United States needs to improve how it diagnoses, treats and handles citizens suffering from mental health disorders. One of the areas that receives the least amount of effort and concern is the area of children’s mental health. Too often mental health disorders in children are written off by family doctors and parents as “That’s just Susie being a kid.”, or “That is just how William is.”.  Many times, these conditions are diagnosed years later when a serious event occurs. In an attempt to raise awareness of children’s mental health issues, the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health has designated May 5th – May 11th as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year is “Out of the Shadows: Exposing Stigma” and they have several events planned. You can find out more by visiting their website. So what are the signs that your child could be suffering from a mental health disorder? Changes in Behavior – Has your outgoing, rambunctious child suddenly become withdrawn and quiet? Dropping Grades in School – Is you’re A/B student now performing at a D/F level? Mood Swings – Does your child go from happy to sad within a matter of minutes? Unexplained Weight Loss – Has your child had a weight loss of more than 10 lbs. over a month? Physical Harm – Has your child starting cutting or mutilating their body or attempted suicide? If your child is experiencing one or more of the symptoms above, you should talk to your child about their thoughts and feelings. Find out what is causing these changes. It may require you to reach out to the school for any issues occurring there with a [...]

Show Your Love and Support to the Mothers in Your Life

Mother’s Day this year is on Sunday May 12th. Since this is just around the corner, I wanted to put together some unique ideas on how to celebrate the mothers in your life. This year, step away from the normal flowers and dinner out and really put some thought into a unique gift that will bring her joy and show her how much you really care.   Time Off – Let’s face it, the one thing that every mother would love to have is more time for herself. So why not give Mom a day off. You don’t have to send her off to a day at the spa (not that she wouldn’t appreciate that too!), but give her time away from her normal duties. Take the kids out for the afternoon and let Mom just veg at home. Enlist the help of your children and perform the chores that Mom does. Everyone can pitch in from doing the dishes, to doing the laundry and to giving the dog a bath. Let her enjoy a day spent doing what she wants to do instead of what she has to do. Document the Year – Put together all of the photos you have taken over the past year into an album or load them into a digital photo frame. Too often we take the photos and then never do anything with them. They live in our phones or on our computers, but don’t see the light of day very often. By putting them together in a collection, Mom can look at them regularly and remember all of the times spent together as a family. If you don’t want to do the entire year, take a few [...]

Celebrate The Women In Your Life

Let’s face it; we all have at least one woman in our lives. Whether it is a mother, wife, daughter, friend or mentor, a woman has made a difference in our lives. Too often, these women go unrecognized for all that they do for those around them. This Friday, March 8th is International Women’s Day. Why not use that day to show your appreciation to all of the women in your life? So what is International Women’s Day? Here’s some background on the holiday. International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s. It was started to give a voice to the inequalities that were occurring towards women at the time. Since then, it has grown to be an observed holiday in over 70 countries. This year there will be over 1100 events held throughout these countries. Want to find out more about events in the US? Click here. For more information on events in Orlando, click here. If you can’t participate in these events, here are a few ideas to show your love and appreciation to the women in your life. Show Respect – For those important women in your life that are no longer with us, do something in their honor. It can be as simple as visiting their gravesite, or sharing stories about their lives with others. If they were active in a particular organization, or were an avid volunteer, share your time or treasure in honor of their service. View Their Achievements – Tour a local art museum featuring works by women. While touring, consider the additional difficulties these women faced as artists in a field made up predominately of men. Share the Love – Tell your special ladies, how [...]

How to Make your Family Holiday Travel Joyful instead of Woeful

Extended families want to be together during the holiday season. This inevitably means that some part of the family will need to travel to spend the season with their loved ones. As an adult, preparing for the holidays, planning the meals, planning the trip, packing and getting to your destination can be stressful. What parents sometimes overlook is the impact that this travel can have on their children.  Whether it is a reaction to your additional stress, the change in their schedule or diet, the holidays are ripe with opportunities for children to exhibit bad behavior. Here are some tips to help get you through you trip in one piece and still speaking to each other: Be realistic – As a parent, you need to realize that the trip is not going to be perfect. There will be some bumps either minor or major along the way. Try and stay calm when these occur so that your emotions aren’t transferred over to your children. Make light of the situation if possible. Try and turn it into a game or an opportunity for the family to offer solutions to the issue. Set expectations – Prior to your trip, talk to your child about what you will be doing. Go into detail about the trip, where you will be staying, as well as any special dinners or events that they will be participating in. Make sure that they also know what you are expecting of them. Whether it is to wear fancy clothes, eat with “the good china”, or go out to an event, let them know how they should behave.  If time allows, practice their behavior in specific situations. When children are placed into an unknown [...]

Quick Tips for an Easy Transition from Summer to School

I can't believe that Summer is winding down. Colleges and universities are already back in session. Elementary, middle and high schools have either already started or are starting soon. The transition from summer to fall can be difficult for parents and children alike. This can result in rebellion, acting out and anger from the children and anxiety, stress and anger from the parents. So what can you do to make this transition as easy as possible for both parties?   Plan - Prior to the beginning of classes, begin to      get yourself and your children back on to a schedule for school. This may      include reduced screen time, earlier bedtimes and earlier wake times. Dry Run - Take yourself and your children through a      dry run of both the morning and evening routines. This should include a      ride to the school or bus stop, pick up from school or the bus stop and a      drive to any after school locations for extended care, sports practices or      other extracurriculars. Pack your Patience - Things may not run smoothly the      first days/weeks of school so remember to be patient as issues get      resolved. Remember, you are the adult so take a deep breath, count to 10,      recite a mantra or walk away if needed. Enjoy - Right now you might think that these school      days are going to last forever. Before you know it, your child will have      grown up and moved on. Don't forget to take the time to enjoy these      experiences even if they try your patience. If nothing else, they will      make for funny stories to share together in the future. [...]

Multicultural Psychology Today

Multicultural Psychology Today “We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” Jimmy Carter   The United States is the perfect example of a multicultural country. The United States is the home to millions of people with all different kinds of backgrounds. Therefore, we can assume that most of the people we encounter on a daily basis are culturally different from us.   What does this mean for working professionals? Being aware of one’s own culture is the first step in achieving success. What does your culture say about yourself? What does your culture think about other cultures? Those are some great questions to think about. This hopefully leads to the recognition of your own biases toward people from other cultures. From this point on the best thing to do is to start familiarizing yourself with different cultures. This refers to cultivating cultural intelligence.   Ways to acquire cultural intelligence: Join a professional or social group that has diverse membership Attend group functions where you are an outsider and different from others Create friendships with people different than you Make it a point to meet different people at meetings/functions Attend community functions or exhibits that reflect different cultures other than your own Host a party inviting people from different cultures   Multiculturalism in the Business Setting Especially in the business setting it is crucial to be culturally intelligent. You have to know who your target market is, what their values are, and how you can best reach them. Part of the marketing process is to be able to identify the client’s needs. To identify your client’s needs you need to consider the following: Cultural [...]

By |March 22nd, 2012|Categories: Adults, Blog, Family, Featured|0 Comments

12 Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics

Alcoholism, known as “alcohol dependence syndrome” is a disease that is characterized by craving, loss of control and physical dependence. Alcoholics, as well as being victims themselves, have an adverse impact on those with whom they associate. Research has shown that children of alcoholics develop some personalities traits that may impact their lives as an adult. Here are 12 characteristics of adult children of alcoholics described by Woitiz (1988): 1.Adult children of alcoholics guess what normal behavior is. 2.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end. 3.Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth. 4.Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy. 5.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun. 6.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships. 7.Adult children of alcoholics over-react to changes over which they have no control. 8.Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation. 9.Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people. 10.Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible. 11.Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even if in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved. 12.Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive. Research shows that adult children of alcoholics are at risk at becoming alcoholics, abusing drugs, attempting or committing suicide.  Also, they may develop patterns of compulsive behavior such as overeating and other eating disorders. And adult children of alcoholics tend to marry alcoholics partners. If you are an adult child of an alcoholic remember that you are not alone. Millions of people have grown up in families with alcohol-related problems. Because of the environment you grew up in, you had to develop [...]

7 Tips for Coping With Loneliness

The holiday season is here. You see people decorating their houses, wrapping gifts and placing them under the Christmas the tree and you feel the warmth and the joy of having your family and friends close to you. The magic of the holidays bring people together and we look forward to this celebration all year-long. However, for some of us, this season is a reminder of the mistakes we have made and the people we may have hurt along the way.  Maybe the loss of a loved one and the end of a long-term relationship can bring up sadness and anxiety during the holidays. It is very common for some people to feel extremely lonely during this season. Loneliness has been described as an emotion that is characterized by a feeling of emptiness and solitude.  Some words people use to describe loneliness include: lost, afraid, numb, pain, nothingness, overwhelmed, and so on. According to Carlson and Love (2010), recent studies have revealed that about 25 percent of the American population has not talked to anyone about anything important to them in six months. Also they found that another 19.6 percent of the people surveyed said that they only have one close friend  they can talk to. These numbers show that close to 50 percent of the population has one close friend or none at all. How did we get here? Today we live in a fast-paced world; we work longer hours or we may even have two jobs. Also, we have distractions such as the Internet, social media, and cellphones. It’s becoming more and more difficult to develop and nurture relationships. This lifestyle eventually leads to isolation and after a while we start to struggle [...]

What is truly important to you?

When was the last time you evaluated your list of priorities?  We live a fast paced life that sometimes we even forget why we have made certain choices.  This a picture of my brother and me.  This picture was taken when we were really young, but when I look at this picture I am reminded of what is truly important to me and that is my FAMILY.  At the end of the day it does not matter how much money I have in the bank, or what kind of car I drive, and if I am famous or not.  What it;s truly important is that I have friends and family that will always be there for me.  Every time I think about this I get a sense belonging and all anxiety and stress of my day simply goes away. Follow me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.