Archive for the 'Parenting Tips' Category

Family counseling Parenting Phoenix Arizona

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Many parents are doing their best parenting as well as doing a balancing act with work, and being a good partner or spouse in a relationship. Parents feel overwhelmed with information on parenting and are judged and criticized for not doing things the “right way”. Many milennials feel to young to be parents and 80 percent of children born are to millennial moms. Many parents are protective of their children and d o not want to post their children for fear the child will become a meme or have some negative connotation used on the web.

Most parents need co-parenting and when one parent criticizes the other parent it can destroy the family and the marriage. Each parent needs positive support and if one parent does not like the way the other is parenting than it must be discussed and a consistent agreed upon strategy is vital for the child as well as for both parents.

Many millennials are receiving financial support from parents and In laws because they do not have established jobs and they have a great deal of college debt  to pay off. Older mom’s in general are more financially secure so do not have to rely on anyone else to pay monthly bills.

Over 40 percent of marriages have a spouse from a different racial group. This is double the number from the 1960’s. There are many challenges with parenting and finances is a big piece, however, it is clear that parents that have financial stability have more tools to receive the support needed o raise their child be it: a tutor, counseling , joining sports teams, arts, etc.

Parents need the opportunity to provide stability to their children. Having a written out specific and organized parenting plan for each child that both parents agree upon will reduce stress and family pain as long as both parents are motivated to follow the behavior plan. Families can find peace and happiness and success with a professional plan for each child.

Child counseling,Family counseling parenting conduct disorder Phoenix, Scottsdale Arizona

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Children with behavioral issues and emotional issues need guidance, support, and coping skills for their behaviors and emotions. Children and teenagers need work on their communication and interpersonal skills. Learning less defiance and learning how to avoid power struggles is huge.

Many children display behaviors that are : angry, disrespectful, and stressful to say the least. Struggles with completing chores, doing homework, studying, getting out of bed, and listening on a daily basis create stress and emotional turmoil with families. Is your child s: spiteful, argues with you, vindictive, antagonizing, defiant, blames others, does not take accountability, acts as if she is an adult and should have the same rights and freedoms as any adult.

A combination of counseling that works with the child or teen in conjunction with giving parents tips to improve communication and their relationship with their child or teenager is essential. The more parents are open to implementing helpful family suggestions the quicker your child or teen will display less conduct problems and less defiant behaviors. Of course it is not a perfect formula however it will work 90 percent of the time.

The first piece is to look at our parenting style. No parent is perfect and we all can improve in areas of our lives. Having the thought that you can improve your parenting style is essential for facilitating behavioral changes with your child.

How are you connecting and communicating with your child or teen? Are you talking in a soft tone or do you tend to yell or scream in an angry tone? How do you set consequences? Do you shame your child or punish them? Do you have a history of using a physical spanking with your child or teen? Are ou patient with your child when they are talking to you or do you tend to get impatient ? Do you threaten your child with punishments? Do you embarrass him or her? Do you use sarcasm with your child or teen? Do you interrupt your child? Do you nag them? Do you gossip or talk about them to other family members behind their backs?

How is your stress level? What are you doing on a daily basis to take care of your health? Are you exercising? Are you eating healthy? Are you getting enough sleep each night? Are you doing things you enjoy and taking time each day do activities that nourish your mood? How is your relationship with your beloved?  All of these items impact your mood and will impact your child or teen.

Of course there are many other skills your child can learn and can do on their own to change behaviors. It is a combination of strategies that will facilitate behavior change in your child. As your child sees you making an effort they are more likely to mirror your healthy habits and it will flow into all aspects of your life.

Parenting Child with ADHD Behaviors Scottsdale, Phoenix Arizona

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

ADHD medications are tested for 8-12 weeks and most children stay on these medications for years or decades. Do you want your child on a medication when you do not know what the long term effect is of these medications. Dr Breggin has numerous books out on medication a Harvard graduate and physician/ Psychiatrist. Some of his published books are : medication madness, toxic psychiatry and many more.

The view that ADHD is caused more by biology than environment has become increasingly popular, as has the prevalence of this disorder among American youngsters. There is also evidence that environment and stress impacts the genes in children and teens .

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that 13.5 percent of boys and 5.4 percent of girls between ages 3 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD.

What’s interesting is the variability in how different cultures treat this disorder. Whereas 6 percent of American children are on medication for ADHD, in France only 0.5 percent of youngsters are prescribed pills.

For parents seeking alternatives to medication used for ADHD, recent research published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology documents the efficacy of a treatment option that is easy to implement, cheap and has other health benefits exercise.

For a group of children in kindergarten through second grade, about a half an hour of exercise before school had a significant impact on their attention and mood. These findings are consistent with other studies stressing the importance of exercise for all children, but particularly for children and teenagers with problems of impulsivity and concentration.

It makes no sense to expect children to sit for endless hours without the opportunity to move around, run and stretch.

These tips will help your child:

  • Power down all electronics/media devices and go for a walk with your child before school. Researchers recommend 30 minutes of activity every day. However, that may not be realistic for many families. Develop a morning exercise routine, even if it’s only five to 10 minutes. Enroll your child in: dance, sports, karate, soccer, basketball, baseball, running, cross country, volleyball. The more physically active your child is the better his or her mood will be as well as school performance.
  • Yoga is also excellent for children with ADHD. The breathing, meditation, and postures will help him or her with: impulsivity, lack of focus, and relaxation.
  • Talk with your child’s teacher and principal about options for incorporating modest activity throughout the day. Kids get restless and inattentive. Let’s not punish them for being kids or give them a medical diagnosis for normal childhood behaviors.

Only 20 percent of children, teens, adolescents on medication are involved in any counseling program. Talk with a therapist that has expertise with children and families about how behavior-management strategies can be used to encourage a more active lifestyle in your family.

Developing a healthy lifestyle is not about running every day but rather taking a few modest steps to increase your activity. Focus on small goals you can achieve rather than lofty goals that will result in failure.

The research is extensive and aggression and spanking impacts your children in negative ways. First off your child learns that you can get things resolved through aggression. Your child will model your aggression and be aggressive toward siblings and peers. Current research shows that spanking will reduce the grey matter in your child’s brain. Why is grey matter important? It is the part of the brain that allows your child to learn rewards from consequences. It is the part of the brain that is used in making decision.

Aggression. Delinquency. Mental health problems. And something called “hostile attribution bias,” which causes children, essentially, to expect people to be mean to them.

This bias makes the world feel especially hostile. In turn, children are on edge and ready to be hostile back. Over time, across all cultures and races, the findings are consistent: Spanking is doing real, measurable damage to the brains of our children.

Many parents state that they were spanked and they turned out ok. Well yes parents made it through spanking however parents do not know what they would be like had this not happened. A parent will develop a strong relationship through healthy rewards and consequences allowing your child to learn to make good choices and learn from poor choices as well.

Research shows that spanking your child DOES not make your child improve his or her behavior it only stops them for the moment. Children will become angry, aggressive and have mental health issues the more they are spanked. In the journal of Cognitive Neuro Science it states that the more you physically punish your children for the lack of self control, the less self control the child will have. The child is not learning self control here they are learning to stop out of fear however they are not learning healthy life skills, decision making, insight into their behavior. They are learning that external forces control their behavior.

Creating behavior modification systems that allow the child to make good choices daily and be rewarded for healthy choices combined with losing privileges due to poor choices or unhealthy choices is one of the best ways to teach your children life skills, communication skills, social skills, responsibility, values, ethics, respect and much more.

Parenting Children Stress impacts Child’s genes and future generations.

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Caring for children is more powerful than once believed. Parenting can help not only shape your child’s life it can shape your child’s genetics. Early experiences as children make our genes work differently.

Genes are very important because they create cells. The relationship that goes from cells to each gene in your body is very detailed. Genes in a cell can be expressed in different ways. Genes can be turned on or the gene can be turned off. If a gene is turned on it makes the cells behave in a totally different way than if the gene is in off modality.

One of the most vital discoveries today in the field of biological sciences states that the process of transforming genes into cells can be greatly impacted and influenced by environmental conditions.

Studies were done in a ground breaking journal called Nature that studied how animals react to stress. The study showed that genes can be methylated or de-methylated.  This means that a certain molecule can attack itself to the gene or it can not attach itself to a certain gene. The methylation or de-methylation impacts the way a gene influences cells in your child’s body.

Studies show that early care giving influenced how the stress regulating gene was methylated. The animals that received less licking and less nuzzling from there mothers had more methylated genes. The animals with the more methylated genes were more likely to react badly to stress later on. These animals in turn were less likely to care for their own young, passing on the effect to the next generation.

The above study showed this connection between nurture and cells and genetics for rats however the question was is this identical to children’s brains which is obviously different and much more complex. A recent study done in the Journal of Child Development shows the  same results for children and there family nurturing system.

Teens from vulnerable backgrounds were looked at and comparison was done on genes of children and teens who had been abused or neglected compared to those that and not been abused or neglected.

The same pattern of methylated genes occurred in humans as had happened in the rat study. Maltreated youth had more methylation than children that had been cared for. We have lots of research that showed abused and neglected children are more sensitive to stress as adults and hence are more likely to develop problems like anxiety and depression. Many did not suspect it traveled all the way to their genes.

These studies show that their is a multigenerational circle that is created at a biological level through nature and this biology is created under stress and in situations such as: abuse, isolation, maltreatment, socioeconomic stress, etc. This creates children and generations that are  more vulnerable to stress.

Parenting child: Spanking, Mental Health Family counseling

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The research is extensive and aggression and spanking impacts your children in negative ways. First off your child learns that you can get things resolved through aggression. Your child will model your aggression and be aggressive toward siblings and peers. Current research shows that spanking will reduce the grey matter in your child’s brain. Why is grey matter important? It is the part of the brain that allows your child to learn rewards from consequences. It is the part of the brain that is used in making decision.

Aggression. Delinquency. Mental health problems. And something called “hostile attribution bias,” which causes children, essentially, to expect people to be mean to them.

This bias makes the world feel especially hostile. In turn, children are on edge and ready to be hostile back. Over time, across all cultures and races, the findings are consistent: Spanking is doing real, measurable damage to the brains of our children.

Many parents state that they were spanked and they turned out ok. Well yes parents made it through spanking however parents do not know what they would be like had this not happened. A parent will develop a strong relationship through healthy rewards and consequences allowing your child to learn to make good choices and learn from poor choices as well.

Research shows that spanking your child DOES not make your child improve his or her behavior it only stops them for the moment. Children will become angry, aggressive and have mental health issues the more they are spanked. In the journal of Cognitive Neuro Science it states that the more you physically punish your children for the lack of self control, the less self control the child will have. The child is not learning self control here they are learning to stop out of fear however they are not learning healthy life skills, decision making, insight into their behavior. They are learning that external forces control their behavior.

Creating behavior modification systems that allow the child to make good choices daily and be rewarded for healthy choices combined with losing privileges due to poor choices or unhealthy choices is one of the best ways to teach your children life skills, communication skills, social skills, responsibility, values, ethics, respect and much more.

Parenting Child Behaviors Agression Violent games? Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, Peoria Arizona

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Children who are physically punished have a greater risk of developing a mental health disorder. Children can develop: PTSD, Anxiety, Depression , Oppositional defiance, Conduct Disorders, Behavioral issues, and anger issues.personality disorders. Abuse of drug and alcohol also increases in children and teens who are raised with physical punishments.

Children who watched many hours of violence on television when they were in elementary school tended to show higher levels of aggressive behavior when they became teenagers. By observing these participants into adulthood, Huesmann and Eron found that the ones who’d watched a lot of TV violence when they were 8 years old were more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for criminal acts as adults. Interestingly, being aggressive as a child did not predict watching more violent TV as a teenager, suggesting that TV watching could be a cause rather than a consequence of aggressive behavior. However, later research by psychologists Douglas Gentile and Brad Bushman, among others, suggested that exposure to media violence is just one of several factors that can contribute to aggressive behavior.

Other research has found that exposure to media violence can desensitize people to violence in the real world and that, for some people, watching violence in the media becomes enjoyable and does not result in the anxious arousal that would be expected from seeing such imagery.

Many of the most popular video games, such as “Call of Duty” and “Grand Theft Auto,” are violent; however, as video game technology is relatively new, there are fewer empirical studies of video game violence than other forms of media violence. Still, several meta-analytic reviews have reported negative effects of exposure to violence in video games. A 2010 review by psychologist Craig A. Anderson and others concluded that “the evidence strongly suggests that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, and aggressive affect and for decreased empathy and prosocial behavior.” Anderson’s earlier research showed that playing violent video games can increase a person’s aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior both in laboratory settings and in daily life. “One major conclusion from this and other research on violent entertainment media is that content matters.

Teen children adolescent cheating?

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Fighting test cheating is big business with the advances in technology . There are concerns such as wirelessly transmitting questions outside of an exam and hacking into the computer based tests .

Over 1.8 million children took the ACT a national college placement exam taken by high school students . The test will be computer based starting in 2015.

Test takers have used advanced technology to download questions or capture their images with digital cameras or other devices while taking a test and then they transmit them wirelessly outside of a testing room. These questions can end up for sale on various web sites.

Major testing companies like CTB/Mcgrawhill are developing security software to sell to schools and licensure boards to protect them from cheating .

Computer based exams are expanding rapidly . We are using technology for a large majority of life activities and this is why tests are becoming more computer based as well .

Wireless technology where students that are cheating have reached people outside of the classroom during a test has been a threat to test taking .

An Individual recently used a tiny video camera in his glasses to transmit questions on a drivers test to a person outside the test room who then was able to relay the correct answers for the test via a small earpiece .

Many educators in high schools prefer pencil and paper testing and are opposed to computerized tests due to : hacking , and the ability to cheat through technology .

Teaching children to be honest is important and that shortcuts will not help them in the long run . Cheating does not pay !

Lifeworks Az works with children , teens and families to create health and success in life . Contact lifeworksaz.com to set up an appointment .

Child and teens weight and health issues?

Monday, June 10th, 2013

The rise in the number of people with weight issues and obesity has ignited and epidemic with type 2 diabetes.

Sugary drinks are connected with obesity and with an increased risk of developing diabetes . There are many other things that are connected with weight gain and obesity .

Some areas that impact obesity and weight gain are unresolved : trauma , stress, unhealthy habits , poor sleep, limited exercise , addictive behaviors , sitting around all day playing video games , sitting watching tv for long periods of time , sitting for long periods of time on the Internet ( I pad) ( smart phone ) etc.

The average child between the ages of 8 years old and 18 spend more than 8 hours a day on electronics . This is like a full time job being it is approx 40 hours a week on technology . Typically this means each child or teenager is not exercising or doing much physically which is vital for physical , mental , and emotional health .

Heavy media consumption in children and teens was associated with ; health issues , weight gain , diabetes , behavior problems , low grades and much more .

There is a relationship between heavy media use and children feeling : sad or bored, getting in trouble , not getting along with parents .

Children connected to media in heavy doses are losing out on social interactions and interpersonal skills . Children are not signing up for after school activities : sports , clubs , church groups , dance , exercise , and other extracurricular activities .

Girls and boys that are spending heavy amounts of time on media and electronics describe themselves as less happy and less comfortable in social situations .

Research suggests that youth need to experience the whole range of communication skills which includes face to face interactions to build self esteem and feel good about their social skills .

Parents can make a difference setting rules and limits with all electronic devices.

ADHD Counseling therapy treatment

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Studies show 12-15% of children have attention deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder ADHD. ADHD can impact a child’s self esteem ,academics,
grades, and family life.
Negative behaviors at school impact a child or teenagers self esteem and
can create: anger, stress, frustration, shame, disappointment, anxiety,
and a depressed mood.
Typical ADHD behaviors for children, teens, and adolescents include but
are not limited to: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity. ADHD
behaviors appear in school and since school is a huge piece of a
child’s life these behaviors need to be addressed for success.
Many children learn healthy ways to cope with their ADHD, however many
do not and become labeled as “the bad child” “the bad Boy”
“the bad girl”. Some children and adolescent teenagers get labeled
as the troubled youth. The negative stigma attached to this label can be
carried around for a life time.
At lifeworksaz counseling for children and teens and families we focus
on strengths and building self esteem, social skills and confidence. As
children and teens build the foundation of self esteem they can learn
mood regulation, anger management Phoenix Arizona, stress management,
and positive life skills for the rest of there lives.
Many children and teens are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Some of the
common traits are: procrastination, fidgeting, distraction,
irritability, impulsiveness, and forgetfulness.
The most controversial treatments are using: Ritalin, Concerta, Adderal,
and dexadrine according to a recent article in a natural health
magazine.
The magazine states that amino acids and vitamins can help the brain
treat the underlying problems.
The article states that these drugs treat symptoms but do not treat the
underlying problems or the root that is the trigger to the behaviors
displayed in ADD or ADHD.Fails to give close attention to details or
makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities 
Has
difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities 
Does not
seem to listen when spoken to directly 
Does not follow through on
instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the
workplace 
Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities 
Avoids,
dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained
mental effort (such as homework) 
Loses things necessary for tasks or
activities (toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools) 
Is
easily distracted by outside stimuli 
Is forgetful in daily activities
Symptoms of Hyperactivity
Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat 
Leaves seat in
classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
Runs about or climbs too much in situations in which it is
inappropriate 
Has difficulty playing quietly 
Is ‘on the go’ or
acts as if ‘driven by a motor’ 
Talks too much 
Symptoms of
Inattention
Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in
schoolwork, work, or other activities 
Has difficulty sustaining
attention in tasks or play activities 
Does not seem to listen when
spoken to directly 
Does not follow through on instructions and fails
to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace 
Has
difficulty organizing tasks and activities 
Avoids, dislikes, or is
reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such
as homework) 
Loses things necessary for tasks or activities (toys,
school assignments, pencils, books, or tools) 
Is easily distracted by
outside stimuli 
Is forgetful in daily activities
Symptoms of Hyperactivity
Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat 
Leaves seat in
classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
Runs about or climbs too much in situations in which it is
inappropriate 
Has difficulty playing quietly 
Is ‘on the go’ or
acts as if ‘driven by a motor’ 
Talks too much
Symptoms of Impulsivity
Blurts out answers before questions have been completed 
Has
difficulty waiting his or her turn 
Interrupts or intrudes on others
Children taking stimulant dugs for ADHD to treat this disorder are
several times as likely to suffer sudden unexplained DEATH according to
a study by the FDA and NIMH.
Approximately 2.5 million children in the US take ADHD medications such
as Adderall or Ritalin.
Lifeworks AZ Counseling provides counseling and therapy has an expertise
in working with children, teens, and families. David at LifeworksAZ
Counseling has worked with children, teenagers, and families in Anthem
Arizona, Arcadia Arizona, Biltmore Arizona, Scottsdale Arizona,
Ahwatukee Arizona, Phoenix Arizona, Goodyear Arizona, Chandler Arizona,
Mesa Arizona, and Valley Wide.

Disruptive child behavior school Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Teachers have noticed sharp escalation of disruptive behaviors in the classroom. There is a rise in : emotional , mental , and behavioral problems in the school.

The schools believe there is a lack of boundaries at home, parents are not home enough do to work, there is a lack of positive role models at home or in the child’s life, more families are divorced and there are millions of single parents raising children and balancing work and other obligations . Children have low self esteem and are seeking attention at school because they are not receiving the attention needed at home .

Aggressive behavior, verbal abuse , property damage , bullying physically and emotionally , disrespect to teachers, social media bullying, stealing , abuse toward teachers , not paying attention , smoking , and more is on the rise .

Family counseling combined with individual counseling and therapy can help modify unhealthy behaviors , teach healthy boundaries to parents and children , learn mood regulation, learn stress management skills , learn to boost self esteem , learn healthy communication skills , build social skills , change negative thinking and behaviors , learn to manage anger at home and at school, teach children problem solving techniques as well as work on creating healthy life skills .

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.