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Helping children to cope with tragedy-related anxiety

Children sense the anxiety and tension in adults around them. And, like adults, children experience the same feelings of helplessness and lack of control that tragedy-related stress can bring about. Unlike adults, however, children have little experience to help them place their current situation into perspective. Click here for more information.

Children and role models

Suggestions for discussing role models with your child and for serving as a positive role model yourself.  

April is Autism Awareness month

For more information about autism, click here.

Signs and consequences of adolescent drug and alcohol use

Alcohol is a drug, with serious risks and potentially harmful consequences. Marijuana and other drugs are also dangerous and often addictive. Casual use of drugs like club drugs, inhalants and steroids can cause long-lasting brain damage and impair health. To learn more, click here.

Fostering gratitude

A few simple practices can promote the feeling and expression of gratitude among students, thereby building their character, prosocial skills, and positive emotions.

 Helping your teen become a safe driver

Parents need to work with their teens to help them gain the needed experience and judgment. For more information, click here.

Keep children safe when shopping and traveling

Important tips from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Making day care a good experience

Experts agree that when day care is used in the first years of a child's life, the quantity and quality of the day care have significant impact on the child's emotional and physical development. To learn more, click here.

What is a school psychologist?

School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students. Click here to learn more.

Talking to kids about school safety

Knowing how to talk with your child about school safety issues could be critical in recognizing and preventing acts of violence, and will play an important role in easing fear and anxieties about their personal safety.

Talking to children about violence: Tips for parents and teachers

High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.

Bedwetting

Child and adolescent psychiatrists stress that enuresis is a fairly common symptom and not a disease.  Occasional accidents may occur, often when the child is ill.  Parents need to be understanding particularly if the child has been able to have a majority of dry nights. Some facts parents should know about bedwetting:

Treatment of children with mental illness

Frequently asked questions (and answers) about the treatment of mental illness in children from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Helping children cope with tragedy and related anxiety

In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Connecticut, Mental Health America offers help for parents. 

Children and role models

Some helpful suggestions from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology for discussing role models with your child and for serving as a positive role model for your child:

Psychotropic medications are prescribed appropriately among U.S. teens

Prescribed psychotropic medications are not being misused or overused among U.S. youth, according to a study using nationally representative data sponsored by NIMH. The study was published December 3, 2012, online ahead of print in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

Talking to children about natural disasters

Hurricane Sandy reminds us of a basic truth: Disaster relief and preparedness matter. Following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the way families, communities, and citizens of the world respond can have an enormous effect on the well-being of children and their families. Click here for more information.

Parents’ depression linked to problems in children

A parent’s depression, it turns out, can be linked to all kinds of problems, even in the lives of older children. To learn more, click here.

Why is children's mental health important?

Mental health — an essential part of children's overall health — has a complex interactive relationship with their physical health and their ability to succeed in school, at work and in society. Both physical and mental health affect how we think, feel and act on the inside and outside.

Treatment of children with mental illiness

Research shows that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.1 Scientists are discovering that changes in the body leading to mental illness may start much earlier, before any symptoms appear.

Through greater understanding of when and how fast specific areas of children's brains develop, we are learning more about the early stages of a wide range of mental illnesses that appear later in life. Helping young children and their parents manage difficulties early in life may prevent the development of disorders. Once mental illness develops, it becomes a regular part of your child's behavior and more difficult to treat. Even though we know how to treat (though not yet cure) many disorders, many children with mental illnesses are not getting treatment.

Helping children build resilience

Resilience is the ability to adapt to adversity and cope with living in spite of stresses. 

Building resilience is building the ability to bounce back and adapt to all kinds of adversity, including trauma, tragedy, threats, setbacks and stress. Children at some time in their lives will experience stress and trauma, but by building resilience, children are better able to manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. To learn more, click here.

'Children Succeed' with character, not test scores

A child's success can't be measured in IQ scores, standardized tests or vocabulary quizzes, says author Paul Tough. Success, he argues, is about how young people build character. Tough explores this idea in his new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character.

Wings for Life series designed to aid parents

Wings for Life provides age-appropriate emotional development information for parents of children in kindergarten through 8th grade. To read the series, click here.

Back-to-school transitions: Tips for parents

Getting a new school year off to a good start can influence children’s attitude, confidence, and performance both socially and academically. The transition from August to September can be difficult for both children and parents. Even children who are eager to return to class must adjust to the greater levels of activity, structure, and, for some, pressures associated with school life. To read more, click here.

Back to school

The beginning of a new school year can be particularly unnerving and overwhelming for children who are facing major transitions such as starting elementary school or entering middle school. As a parent there are proactive steps you can take to support your child as he or she heads back to school.

American Psychological Association: Children's Mental Health

Recent psychological research featured in the APA journal American Psychologist focused on mental health issues in young children. Researchers looked at how these issues could develop and what our health-care system can do to help. Click here to view a video or read a transcript.

School Readiness Interactive Birth to 3

This ZERO TO THREE Web exclusive is an interactive learning tool designed to help parents and caregivers encourage their young children's early learning.

Tips for traveling with challenging children

It might not be easy, but here's how to take control of your trip.

How to find mental health help

Talk to someone you trust who has experience in mental health — for example, a doctor, nurse, social worker, or religious counselor. For help in your area, click on the link in the blue area to the left that says "SD Directory of Clinicians." Click here for other resources.

What parents can do about ADHD

Children with symptoms of ADHD should be referred to and evaluated by a mental health professional who specializes in treating children, unless your primary care doctor has experience in treating this disorder. For more information from Mental Health America about signs, symptoms and more, click here.

Why is children's mental health important?

Mental health — an essential part of children's overall health — has a complex interactive relationship with their physical health and their ability to succeed in school, at work and in society. Both physical and mental health affect how we think, feel and act on the inside and outside. Click here for more information.

Talking to kids about fear and violence

Knowing how to talk with your child about violence will play an important role in easing fear and anxieties about their personal safety in these tenuous times as well as helping them to manage rising concerns.

What every child needs for good mental health

It is easy for parents to identify their child’s physical needs: nutritious food, warm clothes when it’s cold, bedtime at a reasonable hour. However, a child’s mental and emotional needs may not be as obvious. Good mental health allows children to think clearly, develop socially and learn new skills. To learn more, click here.

Bullying

Bullying is a common experience for many children and adolescents.  Surveys indicate that as many as half of all children are bullied at some time during their school years, and at least 10 percent are bullied on a regular basis. For more information, click here.

Children and movies

Watching movies, videos, and DVDs can be a fun activity in which children and adolescents can use their imagination and fantasy. Parents should, however, consider the following issues when planning to watch movies at a theatre or at home:

Making day care a good experience

Experts agree that when day care is used in the first years of a child's life, the quantity and quality of the day care have significant impact on the child's emotional and physical development. Click here for more information.

 
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