The Child Mind BlogBrainstorm
Mom, Dad, Do I Look Fat?
March 17, 2011 Web MD
Kids start worrying about their age far before their teen years. According to experts, kids as young as kindergarten may already be worried. According to one poll, more than half of children between the ages of 9 and 13 said they were stressed about their weight—regardless of what their actual weight was. The signs may be obvious—kids poking their stomachs and asking if they look fat—or the signs may be more subtle. Some kids will stop eating foods that they used to enjoy, especially around their peers. Others may refuse to put on a swimsuit or go to a sleepover. Here Web MD offers tips on how to boost your child's self-esteem.
Click here for tips on how to give your daughter a healthy body image.View Comments | Add Comment
Taking the Preschool to Court
March 16, 2011 New York Times
The New York Times parenting blog Motherlode is following the story of one Manhattan woman who has decided to sue her daughter's preschool for failing to prepare her for the intelligence test used by the private school system in New York City. Private schools are notoriously competitive in the city, and elite preschools are often viewed as feeder schools to the Ivy League. Lisa Belkin invites Motherlode readers to discuss the role and purpose of preschools—and commenters living outside the city have a lot to say.
Click here to read more about effective parenting—and how much is too much.View Comments | Add Comment
Glee Actress Speaks Out on Bullying
March 16, 2011 San Francisco Gate
Lauren Potter, the actress who plays Becky Jackson on the hit television show Glee, has joined a national campaign called Disable Bullying. Kids with special needs are more likely to be bullied than any other students, and as a kid growing up with Down syndrome, Potter was no exception. Fortunately Potter was able to speak up for herself, and now, with the help of Disable Bullying, she hopes to help other kids who are struggling too.
Click here for more on the mission to end bullying.View Comments | Add Comment
Gay Parenting: Out of the Closet and In Again
March 16, 2011 ParentDish
ParentDish debuts its inaugural column on gay parenting to some amount of fanfare—and, inevitably, to some disapproval. While gay parenting seems to be the "new normal" in many areas, for much of the country (not to mention the world) being gay is decidedly not mainstream. And, as the writer says, "in these scary, polarized times, one disapproving nut can ruin your life." So while happily out in her daily life, in her column on ParentDish Veronica Rhodes (and her partner and their two little girls) will never go by their real names. But their voices will still be heard.
Click here for more on parenting.View Comments | Add Comment
Arguing In Front of the Kids
March 15, 2011 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Children are extremely sensitive to the environment at home, and watching parents fight can actually be harmful to their mental health. But realistic parents know that arguments are a common (and often necessary) part of any relationship, so it's a good idea to establish some ground rules to prevent things from getting too heated. Here is a recommended code of conduct to help keep discussions civil.
Going through a divorce? Click here for advice on keeping your kids out of the crossfire.View Comments | Add Comment
For Survivors in Japan, Psychological Consequences Can Linger
March 15, 2011 LA Times
Many survivors of the earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan will likely experience psychological problems. While some people are predisposed to being resilient, those with a history of anxiety or depression, or those who have already experienced a disaster, are more likely to struggle. Children who have been separated from their families and people who have suffered physical trauma are also more at risk. Fortunately, according to Melissa Brymer, a clinical psychologist and director of the Terrorism and Disaster Programs for the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress at UCLA, "The majority of people do get better, and there are effective ways to help them." Psychological counseling and supportive, self-reliant communities are essential after a disaster.
Click here to learn more about how children are affected by trauma.View Comments | Add Comment
Mom Checked Herself Into Hospital to Get Help For Son
March 14, 2011 Charleston Post and Courier
A distraught South Carolina mother who was denied services for her 18-year-old son with autism and bipolar disorder finally checked herself into a hospital for post traumatic stress disorder in order to force the state to find residential care for her son. Lacey LIpe, 45, reports being afraid of her son and unable to manage his temper tantrums—he would would punch holes in the walls when he wanted tacos for dinner instead of mashed potatoes. South Carolina, which cut off in-home services for the son a year ago, has slashed its mental health budget 23 percent in the last two years.View Comments | Add Comment
Dutch Study Finds Restricted Diet Helps Some Kids With ADHD
March 14, 2011 NPR
Dutch researchers, investigating the hypothesis that ADHD may be triggered by hypersensitivity to certain foods, the way eczema can be triggered by eating a pineapple or strawberries, devised a study that involved restricting the diet of children with ADHD and looking for changes in symptoms. The lead author concludes that food triggers ADHD iin some 64 percent of children who have it. "After the diet, they were just normal children with normal behavior," she tells NPR, adding that teachers and parents who worked with the children in the study were "flabbergasted." It doesn't work with all kids who have ADHD, she notes, and parents should not restrict a child's diet without a doctor's supervision. To see the study, which was published in The Lancet, click here.
Exergaming Can Help Overweight Kids
March 14, 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer
Videogames that have players on their feet shadowboxing with an opponent or breakdancing to beat their own record can provide good exercise to couch-prone kids, a new study finds. A number of games, including PlayStation's Dance Dance Revolution, Nintendo's Wii Boxing, and the XaviX J-Mat featuring Jackie Chan, were tested on kids; all got high enjoyment rankings, and the 54 percent of the kids who were overweight liked them the most. They expended enough energy playing to beat walking on a treadmill, causing pediatricians involved with the study to conclude: "Exergames can act as a positive force for health if they are used in addition to other types of exercise."View Comments | Add Comment
Depressed Dads Are Prone to Negative Parenting
March 14, 2011 NPR
A disturbing new study finds that fathers who are depressed are much more likely to use corporal punishment on very young children, NPR reports. In a survey of 1,700 fathers of 1-year-olds, 41 percent of depressed dads reported spanking their children, compared to 13 percent of those who weren't depressed. Authors of the study cite evidence that corporal punishment isn't the most effective form of discipline, and that 1-year-olds are too young to connect the spanking to their behavior.View Comments | Add Comment