Teens, Cellphones and ADHD

Is your teen glued to their cellphone? A recent piece by NPR journalist Rhitu Chatterjee should boost your confidence to set limits on cell phone use. She discussed a new research study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showing an association between the development of ADHD symptoms and high cell phone use in teens.

What’s a parent to do?
KEEP THE RELATIONSHIP STRONG:
In my previous blog post, I talked about the association between too much cell phone use and symptoms of depression and anxiety in teens (July 22, 2018) and the fact that simply reducing cell phone use, does not fully protect kids from developing problems. That’s because it is life’s current dangers that are troubling teens more than anything else. Fortunately, your relationship can be a buffer against their fears and worries.  (more…)

Cellphones: Cause or Symptom of Teen Anxiety? What You Can Do About It.

We know there is a rise in teen anxiety and suicide. Many blame an addiction to cell phone use as the cause. They cite that too much exposure to social media can cause a teen to feel envious, and inadequate; to feel rejected and left out, and even to suffer from cyber-bullying. While apps are now available that can help reduce cell phone use, this will not fully solve teen’s vulnerability to anxiety. That is because the reason teens are so anxious these days is that their lives are filled with fear and uncertainty. The excellent article by Tracy A. Dennis-Tiwary is a good resource for any parent of a teenager. Another good resource is The film Eight Grade written and directed by Bo Burnham. It illustrates what being a reflective parent of a teenager can look like. In the film, the father gives his daughter just the kind of relationship backup that every child needs. (more…)

It is Normal and Healthy for Siblings to Fight

Finally, someone is emphasizing that it is normal and healthy for siblings to fight! This article should be a relief for all those parents who think something is wrong whenever their kids don’t get along. It turns out that sibling fighting gives your child a leg up on dealing with the realities of life. For one thing, it teaches your child that they are not the center of the universe and that not everyone will always love everything about them. While your role as a parent is to treat your child in the most loving caring way possible, to keep your hostile feelings well contained, and to build a sense of safety and trust for your child- a sibling’s role is different. Siblings are the perfect people to teach each other ‘the ropes’, so to speak when it comes to having successful social relationships outside the family. Let’s face it not everyone is going to treat your child as kindly as you do. (more…)

Children Can Delay Gratification More Than We Think

The ability to delay gratification in childhood is associated with better developmental outcomes. Today’s parents tend to think they were better at delaying gratification as children than their own kids are. According to this article, research indicates just the opposite. Today’s young children are better at it than were their parents and their grandparents. This should help with two things.
One, it should help parents feel more positive toward their kids. Being positive towards a child is associated with better developmental outcomes. Two, it suggests that preschool has long-term benefits. Preschools emphasize such things as sharing, not interrupting, and waiting your turn. Improvements in delaying gratification may be the result of more kids going to preschool these days than did their parents and grandparents.
Caveat: As the article points out, the research was done only with white children from more affluent and educated families. We have to also do these studies on a more diverse population.
Written by Regina Pally, Co-Director, CRC


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