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 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.

The pandemic is changing the way young people eat and how they feel about their bodies: 4 essential reads

The pandemic is changing the way young people eat and how they feel about their bodies: 4 essential reads

Kids, like adults, cope with stress and anxiety in many different ways.

For example, while some children reach for more snacks to deal with uncomfortable feelings, others overexercise or restrict their eating in unhealthy ways. As a result, rates of obesity 以及 eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia have both increased among young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are four recent articles from The Conversation’s archives that deal with kids, body weight and the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Child obesity

Many programs over the past four decades have tried to get kids in the U.S. to eat healthier food 以及 exercise more often. Despite these efforts, child obesity rates have continued to increase – particularly during the pandemic.

Amanda Harrist 以及 Laura Hubbs-Tait, child obesity researchers at Oklahoma State University, designed an intervention that actually lowered kids’ body mass index, or BMI.

The key factor that made their program succeed where so many others before failed? A focus on acceptance from family and friends, they say.

In their study of over 500 first graders, Harrist and Hubbs-Tait found that lessons on diet and exercise alone do not help kids at risk for obesity to slim down. Just as important, they say, is teaching new family dynamics and reducing the amount of rejection children face. That means showing parents how to emotionally support and comfort their children who are overweight, and teaching classmates to be more accepting of one another.

“Knowing you can come home and talk about how angry and sad you are is essential to healthy physical and mental growth,” the pair write. “And children must also have friends and peers who accept them for who they are.”

2. Eating disorders

Physician Julia Taylor and psychotherapist Sara Groff Stephens specialize in treating eating disorders in teens and young adults, which spiked after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When it comes to eating disorders, they say, three groups of young people are often overlooked: young male athletes, LGBTQ youth 以及 “normal”-sized adolescents. This last group includes young people who are average weight or even overweight, but may develop dangerously abnormal vital signs, electrolyte imbalances or severe gastrointestinal issues due to their unhealthy dieting.

“The recent COVID-related increase in patients presenting for care has reinforced that no group is immune from them,” Taylor and Stephens write. “Breaking down barriers for identification and treatment for all individuals – including boys, sexual and gender minority youth and kids across the weight spectrum – will improve outcomes for those who struggle with these significant illnesses.”

3. Weight stigma

The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard and stressful for everyone – and being critical of people’s bodies doesn’t help, argue Nicole Giuliani, Nichole Kelly 以及 Elizabeth Budd, psychology professors at the University of Oregon who are also moms with young children.

The scholars believe health research and health initiatives place a disproportionate emphasis on kids’ weight. This draws attention away from better predictors of chronic disease such as smoking, lack of exercise or poor mental health. And it also reinforces weight bias, which they describe as “the belief that a thin body is good and healthy, while a large body is bad and unhealthy.”

Weight bias, in turn, contributes to bullying and teasing, which are common among youth and linked to disordered eating and depression, as well as poorer academic performance and health.

“To best support the physical and emotional health of children during this pandemic, we suggest reducing the emphasis on body size,” Giuliani, Kelly and Budd write.

They offer five tips for parents, which range from avoiding words like “fat,” “obese” and “overweight” to noticing when kids feel bad about their bodies after spending time on social media, and encouraging them to take a break.

4. Social media


Humans are in a constant need to regulate how they feel to successfully navigate the challenges of everyday life. Emotion regulation, from managing feelings in a long line at the grocery store to those needed for work and in relationships is a key to successful adulthood. Emotion regulation is particularly challenging for toddlers, who experience frequent emotional outbursts. To date, there is limited research about how toddlers learn to apply specific emotion regulation strategies and how this differs between children. A new study published in Child Development by researchers at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany investigates the relationship between toddlers’ temperament, their use of distraction as a strategy for regulating their emotions and learning through observing adults’ behaviors.

“Toddlers increased their use of distraction as a mechanism to calm themselves in stressful situations after they had watched others calm themselves in the same way,” said Johanna Schoppmann, doctoral candidate and researcher at Ruhr University Bochum. “The findings also demonstrated that toddlers can learn how to regulate their emotions by observing strangers, not just parents or other family members. These results show a need for further research on the role of the wider social context for the development of emotional regulation beyond the parent-child relationship.”

The researchers recruited participants via public birth registers in Bochum, Germany. The sample included 94 24-month-old German toddlers (50% were female). Sixty-one per cent of mothers and 67% of fathers had a university degree. Eighty-two per cent of toddlers had parents whose native language was German. Data collection took place between March 2018 and January 2020.

Toddlers were randomly assigned to two of three conditions: two experimental and one control. Initially, all toddlers freely played with their parents, then were placed in two “waiting situations” in which they waited for something they wanted such as a wrapped gift or a snack. The waiting situations were designed to elicit negative affect, specifically frustration.

Between the two waiting situations, toddlers in the experimental conditions watched the experimenter play with toys while she apparently had to wait for something. That is, the experimenter modelled how she distracted herself when dealing with the wait. Initially, the experimenter told the child she wanted to play with a toy under a blanket but explained that she had to wait until a lamp in the room turned green. In one experimental condition, 37 toddlers then watched the experimenter actively play with a push-along animal and heard her state how much better she felt while playing. In the other experimental condition, 37 toddlers watched an experimenter model calm behavior while playing and waiting for the toy she wanted. In the control condition, 22 toddlers participated in an imitation game unrelated to emotion regulation between the two waiting […]

“'我怎麼了?' 34 年未確診多動症的代價”

“'我怎麼了?' 34 年未確診多動症的代價”


33 歲時,我搬進了與四個熟人合租的房子。我正在樓上,打開我離婚後的行李箱時,一具屍體倒在我的特大號床上,嚇了我一跳。是比利,來自越南的 26 歲技術支持代理,他看起來非常舒服。

就在那時,它擊中了我:他沒有倒在我的特大號床上,而是他的一半 我們的 特大號床。因為當時我只能租半張床。


讓我告訴你我是如何走到那個低谷的——我忍受了 30 多年的故事 未確診的多動症.


儘管如此,我在整個學校都在以傳奇的水平掙扎 拖延 和最後一刻的保存。我從未從頭到尾完成一本書,這為我贏得了“懸崖筆記阿倫”的綽號。



不過,這個答案讓我感到困惑,因為我想做這項工作。我討厭每次截止日期臨近時我所經歷的輕微心髒病發作。腎上腺素飆升讓我開始行動,但它 讓我筋疲力盡 身體上和情感上。

儘管如此,我還是設法在我的高中課程中從 #1 畢業,並且——吹喇叭! — 被錄取 哈佛.


哈佛本應標誌著我成功人生的開始。相反,它開始了 15 年的失敗。


我本科生涯的這種動盪和失敗進一步侵蝕了我的 自我感覺.但是我在進入就業市場時獲得了哈佛學位,事情變得更好了……


我大學畢業後的第一份工作持續了六個月。我的前七份工作和生意都失敗了。我夜以繼日地工作,因為我的未確診 多動症 在工作日讓我分心,但這開始影響我的 婚姻.



然後,在我 30 歲出頭的時候,我做了任何從事過雜亂職業的人都會考慮做的事情:我去讀研究生。


在很多方面,我做到了。我得到了同伴教練的幫助並開始應用 動機,習慣養成,改變我的生活。





最著名的之一 聖誕節的傳統與您所愛的人分享禮物. For that reason, Christmas is one of the holidays most favored by children, who are often treated to several toys and other gifts on the day.

Toy sales in the 美國在 2020 年飆升,數百萬家庭因 COVID-19 大流行而留在家中。

According to a February 2021 statement from the Toy Association: “One silver lining of the pandemic is that it has helped families rediscover the joys of spending time together and find value in bringing play into their daily lives.”

The association projected that this year families would be “seeking new toys that promote togetherness, as well as inclusive playthings that can be enjoyed by kids of varying abilities and interests,” the statement said.

But can these toys and other gifts become dangerous for a child’s health?

Can Too Many Gifts Be Damaging for Your Child?

There are different factors to be aware of when it comes to giving your children gifts during the holidays.

While it is possible that lavishing your child with Christmas gifts can become detrimental, it isn’t likely to “supersede parenting practices that promote resilience,” Dr. David Palmiter, a board certified clinical psychologist, told 新聞周刊。

Similar to playing video games, spoiling your child is, of course, unhealthy “but not nearly as damning as some might have imagined, especially if other things are going well in the family,” Palmiter explained.

The psychologist said the word “spoiled” can be seen as the opposite of the word “disciplined,” which in America, “appears to have become conflated with butt-kicking—it isn’t,” he said.

The etymology of the word “disciplined” is “to teach” and Palmiter believes that a foundational teaching, “when it comes to the bullseye of the discipline dart board,” is training your children to do things when they don’t feel like it.

“That particular psychological muscle, when well-developed, goes a long way to helping adults to reach their personal and professional goals. At birth, infants are incapable of discipline.

“We hope, as parents, that our child is well capable of it [discipline] by the time they leave home. And, if they are not, they are at high odds to boomerang back home. In this arena, the number of presents a kid receives is unlikely to be a major player,” Palmiter explained.

How Many Christmas Gifts Should Parents Give Their Kids?

The short answer? There is no prescriptive formula and parents cannot be told what’s considered an appropriate amount of Christmas gifts for their own child.

Speaking to Newsweek, David S. DeLugas, the executive director and general counsel of the National Association of Parents (ParentsUSA), said it’s up to the parents to decide “the number of gifts, the extravagance (or lack thereof) of the gifts or the appropriateness of their gifts…so long as the gifts do not cause long-term emotional harm or physical harm.

“We certainly hope parents use their specific knowledge of their child or children to avoid hurting their children by gift giving,” DeLugas said.

Palmiter said: “I don’t believe our science can tell us X number of gifts is adaptive and Y number is problematic,” explaining that “one-on-one time with a parent is much more desirable to most young children than the latest and hottest toy or gadget.”

The magic of the holidays can be captured without spending significant amounts of money, the psychologist said, and advises against stretching your economic resources for presents.

“When parents do this, I’ve found, it’s in service of trying to create a magical experience for their children. But, executed creativity does this much, much better than spent cash,” he said.