Parents want their children to be more thankful, poll finds

Parents want their children to be more thankful, poll finds

The season of giving thanks can’t come quickly enough for some parents.

Four in five parents who responded to a poll from the University of Michigan Health say children today are not grateful enough.

Parents who responded to the poll say they are teaching their children the magic words, “please and thank you.” However, when it comes to actions over words, the children — and parents — could be falling short, said Sarah Clark, research scientist at the University of Michigan and co-director of the poll.

Nearly all parents say it’s possible to teach children gratitude, and three-fourths of parents say teaching gratitude is a priority. The most common ways parents teach children gratitude are “please and thank you,” followed by enforcing chores. Just over one-third of parents use strategies like donating toys or clothes and saying a prayer of thanks.

“My hope is a poll like this causes some parents to stop and think about, ‘Are we being purposeful about teaching our kids how to be grateful?'” Clark said.

The national sample includes parents of children 4 to 10 years old. The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan conducts monthly polls to observe child health. The poll “purposefully” did not define gratitude; Clark said parents had to bring their own interpretation of the word.

The poll’s report also provided five strategies to nurture gratitude in children — including saying thank you, discussing gratitude, helping with family chores, volunteering and donating.

Expressing gratitude can improve mental health for both children and adults, studies have found. But children don’t develop gratitude automatically — parents need to model and create strategies to teach children these behaviors, Clark said. Volunteering and community service can help children see what they should be thankful for, and what they can do for others, the report said.

Emily Conder, a research scientist and doctoral student in Vanderbilt University’s psychology and human development department, published a study about how children can develop negative biases toward people after overhearing negative words. Children can model behaviors from indirect sources as well.

“It’s important to remember as parents that modeling comes from you and also comes from what’s on TV and what they’re hearing from other sources,” Conder said.

Parents can also play a role in how children process and express emotions, said Ashley Ruba, postdoctoral researcher in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Child Emotion Lab.

She said when parents talk to their children about emotions, both positive and negative, children have a better understanding of what they are feeling and how to react.

“Gratitude can be socialized in a similar way … actually having conversations about things that you’re grateful for and why you’re grateful for these things,” Ruba said.

The emotional and physical toll of the pandemic burdens an already complicated stage of a child’s life. Young people’s depression and anxiety doubled during the pandemic, an analysis published in August found.

Ruba said social isolation and missing out on school can be scary for younger children. But strategies like discussing children’s feelings and keeping a gratitude journal can help.

What to Know Anxious Attachment and Tips to Cope

Anxious Attachment and Tips to Cope

Anxious attachment is one of four attachment styles that develop in childhood and continue into adulthood. These attachment styles can be secure (a person feels confident in relationships) or insecure (a person has fear and uncertainty in relationships).

Also known as ambivalent attachment or anxious-preoccupied attachment, anxious attachment can result from an inconsistent relationship with a parent or caregiver.

Adults who are anxiously attached may be considered needy or clingy in their relationships and lack healthy 自尊.1

Through approaches such as therapy, it’s possible to change attachment styles or learn to have healthy relationships despite attachment 焦慮.

What’s Your Attachment Style?

There are four main attachment styles. The following are some of the ways they may manifest in relationships:1

  • Secure attachment: Able to set appropriate boundaries; has trust and feels secure in close relationships; thrives in relationships but does well on their own as well
  • Anxious attachment: Tends to be needy, anxious, and uncertain, and lacks self-esteem; wants to be in relationships but worries that other people don’t enjoy being with them
  • Avoidant-dismissive attachment: Avoids closeness and relationships, seeking independence instead; doesn’t want to rely on others or have others rely on them
  • Disorganized attachment: Fearful; feel they don’t deserve love

History of Attachment Theory

British psychiatrist John Bowlby developed the foundations of attachment theory from 1969 to 1982.2

Attachment theory suggests that early life experiences, particularly how safe and secure you felt as a young child, determine your attachment style as an adult. These events shape your ability to develop trust, boundaries, self-esteem, feelings of security, and other factors at play in relationships.3

Developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth built upon Bowlby’s theory with her “strange situation” test to determine the nature and styles of attachment behavior. The assessment consists of a mother leaving her infant alone with a stranger for a few minutes. The infant’s response is observed and coded when they’re reunited with their mother.2

Exploration of adult attachment began in the mid-1980s by researchers such as Mary Main, Phil Shaver, and Mario Mikulincer.

Attachment theory’s principles are currently supported by hundreds of studies on bonding between child and parent and between adult partners.4

How Closely Linked Are Childhood and Adult Attachment Styles?

While it’s generally accepted that early attachment experiences influence attachment style in adult romantic relationships, the degree to which they are related is less clear-cut. Studies vary in their findings on the source and degree of overlap between the two.5

Characteristics of Anxious Attachment

Anxious attachment is an insecure attachment. Insecure attachment can take one of three forms: ambivalent, avoidant, or disorganized.1

It’s believed that anxious attachment in childhood is a result of inconsistent caregiving. More specifically, the children are loved but their needs are met unpredictably. A parent or primary caregiver may respond immediately and attentively to a child sometimes but not at other times.6

This inconsistency can be a result of factors such as parental substance use, 沮喪, 壓力, anxiety, and fatigue.

Children raised without consistency can view attention as valuable but unreliable. This prompts anxiety and can cause a child to perform attention-seeking behaviors, both positive and negative.

Adults with anxious attachment often need constant reassurance in relationships, which can come off as being needy or clingy.1

One study showed that anxious attachment can affect trust in a relationship. Further, those who are anxiously attached are more likely to become jealous, snoop through a partner’s belongings, and even become psychologically abusive when they feel distrust.7

Recognizing the Signs in Yourself

Some indications that you might be experiencing anxious attachment include:

  • Worrying a lot about being rejected or being abandoned by your partner
  • Frequently trying to please and gain approval from your partner
  • Fearing infidelity and abandonment
  • Wanting closeness and intimacy in a relationship, but worrying if you can trust or rely on your partner1
  • Overly fixating on the relationship and your partner to the point it consumes much of your life
  • Constantly needing attention and reassurance (can be viewed as needy or clingy)
  • Having difficulty setting and respecting boundaries
  • Feeling threatened, panicked, angry, jealous, or worried your partner no longer wants you when you spend time apart or don’t hear from your partner during what most would consider a reasonable amount of time; may use manipulation to get your partner to stay close to you
  • Tying self-worth in with relationships
  • Overreacting to things you see as a threat to the relationship

Recognizing the Signs in Someone Else

A partner who is anxiously attached may exhibit similar behaviors as those listed above, but you can’t know for sure how they are feeling unless they tell you.

Signs of Anxious Attachment in a Partner

  • Regularly seeks your attention, approval, and reassurance
  • Wants to be around you and in touch with you as much as possible
  • Worries you will cheat on them or leave them
  • Feels threatened, jealous, or angry and overreacts when they feel something is threatening the relationship

Strategies for Coping

While anxious attachment can be challenging in a relationship, having a loving, healthy relationship is possible. There are ways to address and get beyond attachment problems in your relationship, including:8

Short Term

  • 研究: Learn about attachment styles, which ones best apply to you and, if applicable, your partner.
  • Keep a journal: Keep track of your thoughts and feelings in a journal. This is a helpful exercise for getting out your emotions, and it may help you recognize some patterns in your thoughts and behaviors. It may be worthwhile to bring your journal to therapy sessions where you can unpack its contents with your mental health professional.
  • Choose a partner who has a secure attachment: The chances of success in a relationship for someone with anxious attachment are higher if they are paired with someone who is securely attached.
  • Practice mindfulness: Regularly engaging in mindfulness exercises can help you learn to manage your emotions and your anxiety.
What is Emotional Dysregulation?

What is Emotional Dysregulation?

Emotional dysregulation refers to difficulty in managing emotions or in keeping them in check. These may also be thought of as mood swings or labile moods. It can involve experiencing intense emotions such as sadness, irritability, frustration, or anger that are comparatively more heightened than expected, relative to the situation that triggered them.

What is emotional dysregulation?

Emotion dysregulation involves difficulties with negative affective states e.g., sadness and anger.

Emotional dysregulation might affect children or adults. Adolescents may be particularly at risk due to this developmental period in a person’s life being recognizably a time of increased stress due to puberty and peer context. Although it is a common perception that children learn to manage their emotions as they grow up, for some effectively managing emotions continues to be problematic well into adulthood.

Those with emotional dysregulation might not easily recognize their own emotions and can become confused or guilty about emotions experienced such that behavior is not readily controlled and decision making becomes a challenge.

Experiencing intense emotions can lead to situations in which a sufferer is unable to calm down easily. People with emotional dysregulation might try to avoid difficult emotions and when experiencing them they can easily become impulsive. Another example is that those with emotional dysregulation might be overly negative. As a result, there is a risk for:

  • 焦慮
  • 沮喪
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • 自殘

Other symptoms include high-risk sexual behaviors, extreme perfectionism, and eating disorders.

In children emotional dysregulation exhibits itself through temper tantrums, crying, and refusing to talk or to make eye contact.

Over time the condition may interfere with the quality of life leading to interpersonal problems, issues at home and work, or, in the case of children, at school.

Causes of emotional dysregulation

Scientists believe that in the experience of emotional dysregulation there is a problem with the emotional braking mechanism in the brain caused by a reduction in the response of certain neurotransmitters. This leads an individual to experience an ongoing “fight or flight” response whereby the pre-frontal cortex shuts down in times of heightened stress.

There a several possible reasons why a person may develop this condition and it is often co-morbid with another larger mental health problem (see below). Possible causes are:

1. Child neglect

In the case of neglect, there is a failure on the part of the caregiver to cater to the basic needs of the child. Here the caregiver does not provide adequate levels of physical and or emotional care.

2. Early childhood trauma

Whereby traumatic events are experienced early on in life during the critical period of a child’s development.

3. Traumatic brain injury

Brain dysfunction is caused by a dramatic blow to the head, for example.

4. Chronic invalidation

When a person’s thoughts and feelings are repeatedly ignored, rejected, or else judged.

Creating social access for autistic children, what does it take?

Creating social access for autistic children, what does it take?

Autistic children have indeed potential: most of their emotional abilities improve with age, concludes Postdoc researcher Boya Li in her second Ph.D. thesis on the emotional development of autistic children.

“The development of social and emotional skills is a totally different type of learning. You can’t learn it from books or from your teachers in the classroom, you have to learn it in daily interactions with other people. You can imagine that If you have limited access to social interactions, it is a lot harder to learn these skills. It’s very possible that when you walk into a school, you might see an autistic child sitting in the corner of the classroom, not really playing with other 孩子們 or talking to teachers. Possibly, this child prefers to be alone at times, which is fine, but also this child needs friends and other social contacts, and social learning. How can we achieve that, and how does this affect their social-emotional development? For this, and in collaboration with the Center for Autism, we followed autistic and non-autistic children in their pre-school years, during three years.”

While Li’s Ph.D. confirms the challenges and difficulties many children with autism face in the emotional domain, her research also gives hope. “Most emotional abilities that I examined improved with age in autistic children. Some abilities even grew at a faster rate than in non-autistic children. I am really excited about this outcome, because now I can show that autistic children have the potential and the ability to improve. People often have a stereotypical view that autistic people cannot change, but also autistic children show a learning curve.”

Stereotypical view of autism

Li herself is also not unfamiliar with the stereotypical view on autism. When she started her Ph.D., she held a ‘medical view’ of autism, but her view has changed drastically by the end of the project. “When I look back at the chapters of my thesis, I feel a little ashamed of two chapters when detecting traces of this medical thinking, as if autism is a problem that should be cured. Just as a lot of researchers in this field, before I saw autistic children as children with deficits and impairments. My original goal for my Ph.D. project was therefore to detect these problems so my findings could help professionals and educators to find a intervention that could help them. But this is not how I look at the issue now.”

“Before I focused on how autistic children recognized facial emotions of non-autistic people and how they reacted in empathy provoking situations compared to a non-autistic person. All behavioral outcomes of autistic children were evaluated based on the standards established by non-autistic people. That is like using Dutch standard to evaluate behaviors of a Chinese child, or vice versa. This clearly doesn’t work. Maybe autistic children have indeed difficulties in recognizing other non-autistic people‘s emotions or reacting in a non-autistic way, but we never thought of the other side of the story.

NWO Schoolyard Project: The other side of the story

Li brings her vision into practice with the Bold Cities/ NWO schoolyard project that she recently joined. This project looks at the development of children with autism from a new perspective. “I love this 項目 because it is a beautiful extension of my Ph.D. research. I want to look at the other side of the story, so not focusing on how autistic children should improve, but on how the other side, the environment of the child, could be improved. For example, we want to see whether there are barriers in the social environment that hinder autistic children from participating, like the attitude of people at school who might not understand autism.”

There is room for improvement in the physical environment of autistic children as well. “We know that autistic children have a different sensory experience. As you know most social interactions take place during breaks when children all rush to the corridor or to the playground. However, that time can be very arousing for autistic children. Instead of chatting and laughing with peers, they may experience anxiety or stress that makes them unwilling to participate. So with the Bold Cities/ NWO Schoolyard Project we want to improve situations like this. As cliché as it sounds, children are the future so we should do our upmost best to facilitate and support them, and to provide all children, with and without 自閉症, the optimal learning environment.”

Why Social-Emotional Leaning Matters More Than Ever

Why Social-Emotional Leaning Matters More Than Ever

Even before the pandemic, though, kids and adults alike were having a hard time coping with life and dealing with their emotions due to the wild world we currently live in. Teens are battling extreme dysregulation, and even kids are being hospitalized for their mental health at alarming rates.

For this reason, many experts are saying social-emotional learning is more important than ever. But why?

How Social-Emotional Learning Helps Children

Social-emotional learning has become quite the buzzword in recent years, and for good reason. These skills help people develop and utilize skills that help them cope with emotions and socialize with others — skills which seem to be lacking anytime you turn on the television or read the newspaper. Furthermore, these skills can help people overcome distressing moments and deal with challenges the world throws at them, which I think we can all agree applies more than ever.

According to the team at Understood.Org, a nonprofit focused on helping children with learning differences find success, there are five types of social-emotional skills children utilize in their daily lives. These skills include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, interpersonal skills, and decision-making.

Self-awareness skills help children identify their emotions and recognize their strengths. By labeling emotions, children can accurately convey what they’re feeling to peers or adults without throwing a tantrum or harming themselves. They can also recognize their strengths and remind themselves of these strengths during challenging times, which is a part of a healthy growth mindset.

Closely connected, self-management skills can help children learn to regulate their own emotions when they feel distressed. This can help kids avoid impulsive or harmful behavior, and it can help them refocus their attention towards their goals. Then, decision-making skills can help them make decisions informed by their emotional awareness while also helping them connect possible consequences to their actions.

Social awareness skills help children show empathy, compassion, and an appreciation for diversity. Then, interpersonal skills help children communicate with others, resolve conflicts, and work cooperatively. Together, these skills can help children make friends and build lasting relationships with their peers.

With strong social-emotional skills, children can build positive relationships within their lives and face nearly any daily challenge that comes up. This can ultimately help children flourish in all aspects of their lives.

Ways To Foster Social-Emotional Skills At Home

As you can imagine, all of these social-emotional skills are important, but kids aren’t born with them. Therefore, we must help our children develop these skills at home as much as possible.

In many cases, mindfulness exercises can help children develop social-emotional skills and a deeper connection with their own feelings. In fact, the team at the multi-brand wellness retailer Standard Dose is now expanding their offerings just to help children hone their social-emotional skills. According to Standard Dose’s founder, the company “really wanted to provide tools to help nurture kind, confident, and emphatic humans who are equipped to navigate our changing world.”

Rooted in evidence-based techniques, their newly-launched Mindful Kids product line includes mindful games, gratitude journals, yoga flashcards, and other tools that encourage children to become aware of their thoughts, understand big feelings, and manage stress. These new, inclusive tools can help children foster understanding and awareness to help children cope with big feelings like loss, frustration, and anger — which the pandemic has only increased.

In addition to mindfulness techniques, the National Association for the Education of Young Children says there are many tools parents can utilize to help their children develop social-emotional skills at home.

For example, puppets are a great way to work through several social-emotional skills. Puppets can help children understand emotions, practice conflict resolution, and discuss complicated topics in a fun, engaging way.

Most importantly, though, parents can foster social-emotional skills at home just by modeling the skills in their own actions. Children love observing their parents and often learn a lot through just watching how adults act on a daily basis. Parents can use this to their advantage and model healthy coping skills when they experience difficult emotions and demonstrate empathy, conflict resolution, and compassion when interacting with others. Children can learn a lot just from seeing you do these small things.

Social-emotional skills are needed now more than ever. Luckily, it’s not hard for parents to foster these skills in their children and help them grow in all the best possible ways.

什麼是多動症的綜合醫學?整體健康指南

什麼是多動症的綜合醫學?整體健康指南

ADHD doesn’t only affect attention. Better considered an executive function and self-regulation deficit, ADHD affects the whole person — the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and social self. It increases daily stress and chips away at a positive sense of self. It interferes with self-care and makes it hard to keep healthy habits.

This helps to explain why ADHD is linked to chronic stress, burnout, anxiety , mood disorder , sleep problems , substance use, and other conditions and issues. The reverse is also true: chronic stress and anxiety can worsen ADHD symptoms.

ADHD impacts the whole self, so is treatments must likewise target more than inattention and impulsivity. Integrative medicine is growing in popularity because it’s a treatment approach that addresses symptoms and promotes general health and wellness. Integrative Medicine for People with ADHD: Index of Topics

What Is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine considers the whole person and leverages all options — holistic thinking , complementary therapies , and conventional treatments — in devising a patient’s care plan.

Studies exploring the effectiveness of integrative approaches for ADHD specifically are limited. Moreover, the most common treatments for ADHD are the conventional – medication and psychotherapy. Still, just as ADHD affects many aspects of wellbeing, a variety of treatments and approaches can do the same.

As an integrative practitioner, my approach for treating patients with ADHD is this: If the 多動症症狀 are significantly impairing, I start with medication, and then phase in other strategies, often outside of conventional care. If the ADHD symptoms are mild to moderate, the non-medication and lifestyle approaches can be tried first.

Over time, as the other skills and strategies are employed, the need for medication can be re-evaluated and the dose reduced.

An example of an integrative medicine plan for ADHD may combine psychotherapy (a conventional strategy), stress-management skills (holistic thinking), and omega-3 fatty acids (a complementary supplement).

Conventional Treatments for ADHD

Holistic Wellness and Lifestyle Approaches for ADHD

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

  • Brain-gut health
  • Acupuncture

Integrative Medicine for ADHD: Combining Holistic & Conventional Care

Most of the following approaches address ADHD’s secondary symptoms — namely stress, anxiety, mood, low self-esteem, 和 情緒失調. Treating these factors can help decrease the severity and impairment of ADHD’s core symptoms.

Stress Management and Executive Function

Psychotherapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients develop a greater understanding of their ADHD symptoms and teaches skills that help with 執行功能障礙.

CBT aims to improve patients’ problem-solving and stress-management skills by setting realistic goals and teaching organizational and time-management skills to achieve them. This type of psychotherapy can also improve balanced thinking and communication skills by focusing on one’s unique challenges (e.g., history of 創傷 or other comorbid mental health conditions).

多動症輔導

Like CBT, coaching helps individuals meet their goals and develop skills to address ADHD-related barriers along the way.

正念

Mindfulness — a practice that includes meditation as well as awareness shifts in daily activities — has been shown to improve both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, as well as selected measures of attention, emotion regulation, and executive functions1.

By analysis of automatic habits, the practice allows you to change them in the moment. For example, mindful awareness may help you realize that you are procrastinating, and help you tune in to the emotions that are driving the 拖延.

Self-Compassion

A facet of mindfulness, practicing self-compassion is particularly important for mental health. Offering yourself some validation and kindness — “This is hard. I’m stressed. I’m struggling” — will make a difference in how stress is experienced.