Archive for the 'Teen Anger' Category

child counseling: social skills, Self esteem, anxiety, behavior, iPhone smartphone Phoenix Arizona

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Many parents come to my office weekly with a wide array of challenges: disrespect, poor grades, anxiety, poor self esteem, poor social skills, Bipolar, addiction, depressed mood, defiance, conduct disorder, OCD, Aspergers, autism etc. All of these issues are important for a child, teen and family. Are smart phones the cause of these problems? They may not be the root cause of the problems , however, if your child is spending more than 1,5 hours a day : texting, you tubing, watching TV, playing games on his or her phone, playing  video games on a computer,x box, PS3 , DS player, smartphone, face booking, insta-gramming, snap chatting, TV, texting.. then all the above are more likely to occur.

Electronic devices and games are very addictive and are different than TV. Children and teens are sucked in by psychological principals that keep them attached to their devices. One psychological principle used is partial reinforcement. Children and teens are rewarded for various moves they make and can win rewards that are monetary and visual and auditory and your child is tapping in to many regions of the brain that are giving him or her natural chemicals that keep them playing. Also most children and teens would rather be on an electronic device you tubing or net flixing than doing algebra or an English paper or really most homework.

If your child is sucked into the electronic vortex chances are grades are not great and learning is not optimized. Your teen also is not learning social and interpersonal skills hiding behind the smart phone or computer or video game. Playing Halo online with friends is not “real life communication skills” that are needed for relationships and employment except possibly learning to write. So it is a very limited type of communication.

If your child is on electronics most of the day chances there relationship with family is suffering. Family communication is not optimized. It is important to learn face to face communication skills with family for healthy and happy relationships.

If your child or teen is in his or her room most of the day and night chances are he or she is not getting the needed sleep for a teen that is 9-10 hours a night. If your child is not getting adequate sleep he or she will be irritable and angry and unfocused in class. Your child may sleep in class and not be able to pay attention to the teacher as well. Relationships will go South and so will grades.

Research show that the more children and teens spend time on  social media the lower satisfaction they report regarding their lives. Childhood experiences are vital in shaping how they will succeed in adult life.

Teen counseling Video Games Aggression Phoenix Arizona

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Teen violence Shooting In State  of Washington.

A teen who was a freshman high school student at Marysville-Pilchuk High School brought a gun to school and shot five students including himself. Two high school students have passed and four are

In very serious condition according to AP reports. The shooter turned the gun on himself and died.

Reports state the boy appeared to be popular was the Freshman Prince which is voted on and was a member of the football team. Reports further state he was suspended from football for fighting and recently had a break up from a girlfriend. His tweets indicated he had been pissed off and broken and had aggression.

Had suicidal ideations written on his twitter account from June 2014. There were warning signs..we must take these signs seriously and provide help for children and teens. The UCSB shooter had warning signs on his you tube account.

This is tragic and these children need help. If they are not getting psychological help through the home it would be great if it was provided or mandated at school to help a troubled youth. If this boy had emotional support and had an alliance with a counselor, psychologist or Teacher it potentially could have been prevented. The key is having someone available that is a professional that can help these youth that are pain. The bottom line is the boy was in pain and could not manage it.

The UCSB shooter stated he played video games like: Halo, and World of warcraft and this was going on for many years. He states he was rejected by society and felt lonely and depressed and he immersed himself in his video games for a distraction from his pain. It is interesting to note that his comments on his video tube discussing anger, aggression, and pre meditated murder used quotes from the video game work of warcraft.

What has been missed until now is that quotes from his final YouTube video announcing his murderous intentions seem to come from the Warcraft character known as Garrosh Hellscream, whose pursuit of dominance and power lead him to hate the Warcraft races, including his own.n his last YouTube video, Rodger stated in what seems like prepared remarks, “If I had it in my power, I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood, and rightfully so.” It appears that the UCSB shooter is mimicking a character from World of War Craft.

Whatever we focus on gets bigger and larger. IF a child or teen or adult spends most of his time playing shooting games this will preoccupy his thoughts not playing basketball, socializing with friends, healthy family interactions, improving social skills, building self esteem, doing homework, learning creativity, healthy communication and more.

Video games like anything can become addictive. Children and teenagers are playing video games on average of 6 hours per day. The imbalance in life is creating problems with communication, social skills, life skills, physical health ( diabetes), obesity, mood regulation and a complete breakdown of family values. Children are isolating themselves in their room and not participating in family dinner’s and family activities. This is a huge problem for healthy relationships, work, employment and for Families.

Video games target the brain’s reward system and generate dopamine the feel good chemical in children however it produces even more dopamine when they are losing according to research which makes them physiologically addicted to the game . This was seen in children and teens whom play video games more than one hour per day in some of the latest studies.

Violence is king for the teens and children. The most popular games played by our children are games that : kill, maim, decapitate, or torture other human characters. Children seemed to lack empathy when playing these video games it was as if this moral value was turned off due to the reinforcement and dopamine reward in the brain. So basically these violent games will create children that could delay and lack compassion and empathy for others in all areas of life. The lack of involvement in social and interpersonal experiences impacts many life skills that are vital for healthy relationships, marriage, family dynamics, and in school.

Exposure to violent video games rewards children for a lack of empathy over and over again and numbs them out to feelings and moral development according to research. So the games are rewarding your child for: killing, having sex with prostitutes, killing police, decapitating people etc…How can this possibly be good? Healthy?

Children and adolescents that lack social interaction that results from obsessive gaming can have long-term social consequences. An addicted teenager won’t develop effective social skills, which will hinder his ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships in college and beyond. Suddenly, he’s 21 but has the social skills of a 15-year-old. He doesn’t know how to make friends, talk to girls, or just “hang out” and enjoy people’s company. The social awkwardness created by the isolationism of gaming addiction, unfortunately, feeds the addiction. The gaming addict will likely retreat back to his online world where relationships are easier and already waiting for him.

Gaming addiction is serious. Though there still is much debate about whether it is a diagnosable disorder, there is clearly a piece of our society for whom gaming is more than just a casual pastime. These people need friends and family members who care enough to intervene and try to help them break the addictive cycle.

 Below is an article from A London Paper on children who had played a violent video game.

A HEADTEACHER has sent a letter to parents after becoming aware of “extremely concerning behaviour” of pupils, some as young as six, which he puts down to a violent video game.

Pupils at Coed-y-Brain Primary School, in Llanbradach, have been, according to head teacher Morian Morgan, “initiating games that involve simulating rape and sexual intercourse” and “having detailed discussion of drug use”.

Staff at the school discovered that the worrying behaviour was a result of children coming into contact with Grand Theft Auto, or GTA, which follows the dark underworld of America’s biggest cities.

Its latest instalment, Grand Theft Auto V, is thought to be one of the best-selling video games of all time, having sold more than 32 million copies worldwide.

It is certified for people over 18.

The letter to parents also said children were “acting out scenes from the game which include the strongest of sexual swear words”, “having conversations” about sexual acts and “play acting extremely violent games that sometimes result in actual injury”.

Mr Morgan said the letter was simply a way of making parents aware of this trend rather than criticising them for the children’s actions.

He said: “I sent out the letter with some trepidation but I’m pleased I sent it because all the comments, as far as I’m aware, have been very supportive.

“Until I went online and checked the content of this game, I thought it was just a bit of swearing and some shooting and I think some of the parents will tell you that they have been equally naive.

“But I must stress it’s not a matter of me condemning parents at all.”

Mr Morgan said staff approached some of the children to ask them where they had seen some of the behaviour.

He added: “We noticed it building up. It used to be when people watched TV programmes – we probably did it ourselves with cowboys and Indians.

“It became more concerning because this newest version (GTA V was released in September last year) seems to be even more shocking than the previous games.

“The youngest child showing this kind of behaviour was a six-year-old but that is unusual. It was very much a minority re-enacting these acts.”

Caerphilly council said it was a matter for the school to deal with internally.

Counseling Children, Parenting, Teens ? Internet Video Games? Glendale, Peoria, Goodyear, Phoenix, Chandler, Arizona

All families have stress and pain . Imbalance, stress, death, moving, violence, divorce, rejection, loss, abuse, discord, bullying, isolation, are just some factors that contribute to: emotional, social, addictions and behavioral problems in youth today. Many children feel a void of meaninglessness and attempt to fill their void with the internet, you tube, tv, video games, drugs and more. None of these activities can fill their void.

Creating a deep meaningful  parent-child relationship filled with unconditional love and genuine interest and attention is the most important factor in providing a child with a safe, secure, and stable foundation for his or her future. The loss or absence of beneficial relationships is the Greatest source of suffering in a child’s life.Consistent parenting that is lacking causes a great deal of distress for a child. Emotional engagement and inconsistent parenting can take a devastating toll on a child. A child can grow up feeling alienated, rejected, helpless, unloved, angry, confused, depressed, anxious and more.

Parents are working more these days and there is less time being spent with children. Parents are exhausted by day’s end and there is little time spent together. Eating dinner together does not happen and quality time to develop a close relationship with children have fallen to the waste side. Children are growing like “weeds” playing video games and internet games to drown their pain out however the only thing that can fill them up is unconditional love and finding meaning in their lives.

Divorce and separation  is the single most traumatic and painful event for  a child. Losing a parent from death or an absence is extremely traumatic and must be dealt with so the child can feel safe and balanced. The lives of many children are impaired from grief, siblings and family illness, friends, a loved pet and more.

Physical, emotional, sexual abuse and trauma must be worked through in counseling to heal these emotional wounds. An emotional wound that goes untreated will spill over and ooze into other unhealthy behaviors for a child if left untreated.

Technology has replaced human connection. Dinner has been replaced by violent video games and addictive video games. Development of a child and teens brain is being stunted by a lack of interactions with adults. Children are isolated in their rooms playing video games, you tubing, face booking, however they are not having face to face human interactions that we all need and desire with adults that have: values, morals, ethics, boundaries, wisdom and more. So the internet is raising and shaping your child’s values and life. Many children spend 40-60 hours a week on the internet..garbage in garbage out..sure their are a few things that are positive however most activities are addictive and reinforce negative behaviors. Children are not exercising and getting out in nature. Children are not playing with peers however play with virtual friends and spend most of their free time developing virtual activities.

Children are looking for support and love in the wrong places. They are searching for love in food addictions, video games, Facebook posts, and more and wonder why they are unfulfilled. They really are looking for unconditional love and time with family.

Children are lacking direction and meaning in life. They can not derive meaning from finishing a video game. when life is void of meaning children and adults are depressed, empty, crushed, and vulnerable to emotional and behavioral issues.

Many experts are concerned that the drive through fix of medications is extremely dangerous for children and teens. Experts state a child that was free of emotional problems can be driven to: withdrawal, depression, irritability, anger, or psychosis from mind altering medications that are commonly prescribed as well as marijuana and street drugs.

Spending more quality time with youth is vital and family counseling and individual counseling with an experienced practitioner can facilitate desired change if parents are dedicated to improving their children’s lives

Children Violent Video Games Racism, aggression, school: Family Therapy, Counseling Phoenix Scottsdale Gilbert Peoria Arizona

Friday, March 21st, 2014

A recent study shows a connection between violent video games and racism and aggression . This was published in The Journal of social psychological and personality science. The violent video games perpetuate the  stereotype that african americans are violent. Women and police are portrayed in a negative light

and aggression may increase due to playing these violent video games.

Most parents view video games as” entertainment.” their content is not taken as seriously as that of the passive act of watching TV. After all, most adults today grew up playing pong, pac man, asteroids, space invaders, or defender. Nevertheless, what many parents might not realize is that the challenge for many players today is to rack up points by killing prostitutes after having sex with them. Video games have not only become more violent, the characters have become more real, and the effects that they are having on society, specifically women is shocking. Video games have engaged the “once spectator” to actively participate in addictive violence. Recent studies have undoubtedly concluded that the violence and negative reinforcements in video games have not only successfully promoted violence against women by desensitization, but they have also increased aggressive behavior in children and teenagers to a level that has devastated the lives of many.

The worldwide video game industry,  which includes video game console hardware and software, online, mobile and PC games, will reach $93 billion in 2013, up from $79 billion in 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. Driven by strong mobile gaming and video game console and software sales, the market is forecast to reach $111 billion by 2015. This includes: xbox, PS3, WI, Mobile devices, and computer devices as well as smart phones and gaming.  I wrote an article on the negative effects of gaming in 2004 and this is research based and is listed below to support some of the potential negative impacts gaming could have on a child.

Many people are shocked to discover that the video game industry is larger than the film industry. The Interactive Digital Software Association reported that video games are “the fastest growing entertainment industry in America, surpassing books, records and movie box offices combined” (Berger 2002). In 1997 the video and computer game industry generated 16 Billion dollars in economic activity, this does not include computer and video game hardware sales. In the year 2000 it became a 20 billion dollar industry and is still growing considerably (Berger, 2002). IDSA also reported at the time sixty five percent of all Americans age six and older, or about 145 million people, play computer and video games (Berger 2002). The video game industry has increased exponentially since 2002. It is stated that video games, many times is the initial experience that children have with the computer/ technology world. So, if boys tend to be the primary target of the industry, which, they are, what effect does it have on girls.

If a child’s interest begins with games. most common computer games involve violence and aggressive themes have the effect of turning girls away from the computers in general. This is one way of keeping women out of power. After all, these are male dominated industries. Since computer literacy is essential in most jobs, people who are exposed to computers earlier in life have an obvious advantage. The boys who outnumber the girls in gaming, will be the men who out-number the women in the business world. This may lead to the girls becoming less interested in the world of computers as a career. Girls are not the only ones who are not enamored with video games. Parents are unaware of the violence that is being reinforced hundreds of thousands of times in their child’s brain.

Teenagers report that 95 percent of the time their parents do not check the ratings or the content of video games being purchased. Ninety percent of parents do not set limits on how much time their child can play video games.

We have seen an alarming increase in violence and school shooting. Shootings at Paucah, Kentucky, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Littleton, Colorado were all cases where the shooters were students who habitually played violent video games. The bloody game Doom was Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s favorite game ( they wounded 23 and killed 13). Two studies examined violent video games effect on aggression related variables. The first study found that real-live violent video games are positively related to aggressive behavior and delinquency. the second study showed lab exposure to a violent video game increased aggressive thoughts and and behaviors. The results are in line with the General Affective Aggression Model, which predicts that exposure to violent video games will increase aggressive behavior in both the short term and the long term ( Calvert, Jordan, Cocking 2000)

A study of about 329 children and media violence was done over a 21 year period by L. Rowell Huesmann at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Girls and boys participated. This was one of the few studies that followed children into adulthood, which enabled researchers to gauge the long term effects of televised violence. Men in the top twenty percent on childhood exposure to violence were twice as likely as adults to have pushed, grabbed or shoved their wives. The women who scored in the 20 percent were twice as likely to throw something at their husbands. the study concluded that both girls and boys exposed to a lot of televison violence have a greater risk of spousal abuse and criminal offenses, no matter what they were like as children( Ritter, M., 2003). This study was based specifically on violence, however, most video games today are also including very graphic sexually violent images, which are destroying women and the morality of society as a whole.

The effects of viewing sexually violent images was researched and discussed by Ed Donnerstein, Dean and Professor of Communications at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  In his study, young adults ages 18-20 were shown a one hour documentary on battered women. After watching the film, the viewers showed less empathy toward the victims. They lowered their evaluation on the level of injury that the women received. They also under estimated the level of pain that must have been experienced. Both men and women were more likely to display indifference toward the victims. many blamed the rape on the ladies and believed that the women brought it to themselves. It is clear that watching these images are negative, however, the video game industry uses reinforcement tactics to hook children, teens, and adults making the game, not just interactive but addictive. Violence in America and against women has increased since the rise of video games across the country.

Violence was declared the number one health problem for women in 1992, sadly, recent studies have concluded that the problem is not decreasing ( Violence, Women, and  the Media, 2000). For example , consider the following statistics: the single major cause of injury to American women is domestic violence, exceeding gang violence, muggings, murders, and accidents ( The Commonwealth Fund, 1993). In the US, one women is raped every two minutes (National Crime Victimization survey, 1996). One in every seven women has been raped in her life time (Daily News, November 18,1998). Also, In America a woman is physically abused every nine seconds ( The Commonwealth Fund, July 1993). In emergency rooms more than one third of American women have suffered physical or sexual abuse ( Sternberg S. 1999) And a staggering thirty percent of women murdered in the US are killed by their husbands, ex-husbands or boyfriends ( national Crime Victimization Survey,1996). Researchers have found that the way the media depicts women influences how women are viewed and treated in society( Violence, Women, and the Media, 2000). For example, many video games are very degrading and often depict women as victims of violence. Also many video games also portray women as sex objects.

In the year 2000 half of the top selling video games contained negative images about girls according to (Children, Now 2000). For example unrealistic body images, high pitched voices,fainting, violence, and provocative sexuality is promoted.

Twenty eight percent of games in a study show women as inferior and powerless. In games like Grand Theft Auto boys are taught women can be treated brutally and this is reinforced in the video game.

Players of Grand Theft Auto get rewarded if they kick and kill the prostitute to death after they have sex with her. Sounds shocking, but it is true and is one of the most popular video games among children and teenagers in the US. After playing for 4-8 hours a day, these acts of violence begin to seem normal.

Two decades of research had shown that repeated exposure to violence blunts emotional reactions and makes people less likely to help others in need ( Levine, 1996). Perfectly normal people no longer recognize violence because it is so prevalent in the media. People grow numb to violence with repeated exposure via media. People become less responsive to human pain and begin to lose awareness of what it means to be human.

Before the Vietnam War, fewer than 20 percent of soldiers on the front lines would actually fire at the enemy, however, with games such as Doom used as conditioning tools fdor the soldiers, the US military kill rate increased to (0 percent in Vietnam. With video games, our military scientifically overcame the soldier’s innate resistance to killing ( game Over, 2000) Violent video games are the mental equivalent of putting an assault rifle in the hands of every American child. By sitting mindlessly, killing countless thousands of fellow members of their own species without any ramifications or repercussions, operant conditioning concepts transfer immediately when the individual gets a real weapon in their hand and are being taught violence. The recent school shootings in 2008 and 2007 serve as an example of a link between video games and heightened aggressive behaviors.

For the video game child/ teenager or gamer, beating a previous high score, or winning a free game, or having sex with a prostitute is all part of Skinnerian reinforcement. behavior that is followed by reinforcement will increase in frequency. In short, video games that make a child or teen or adult feel good will be played again and again. A partial reinforcement schedule will lead to behavior that occurs more often with and is more resilient to extinction than does a continuous reinforcement schedule. These two effects of partial reinforcement produce what is considered addictive behavior. These irregular schedules of reinforcement are in part, what cause these video games to be so exciting and desirable. Tis kind of reinforcement, which causes addictive behaviors can explain why their is an increase in the video game industry as a whole.

The AMA states that anywhere in the world where TV appears, 15 years later the murder rate doubles. Ten thousand murders per year, 70,000 rapes, and 700,000 assaults. We must consider the impact of violent video games on the minds and behaviors of our society. The evidence is clear violence breeds more violence in the majority of situations.

The 93 Billion dollar Video game industry must be taken seriously. It must start with education and healthy parenting. It must come with boundaries and limitations. It must come with healthy communication and listening to children and teenagers. It must come from healthy role modeling from parents. The video game industry is no different than access to violence on TV or on the internet. Violence and abuse physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually is not ok! Children and adults need balance and too much of anything is not healthy for the mind or body or relationships.

A recent study shows a connection between violent video games and racism and aggression . This was published in The Journal of social psychological and personality science. The violent video games perpetuate the  stereotype that african americans are violent. Women and police are portrayed in a negative light and aggression may increase due to these violent video games. If a child is interacting with aggression for long periods of time  he or she will likely be thinking about aggression or violence. I have observed many children and teens who wake up at night with anxiety and  nightmares and their dreams parallel many of the video games they are playing.

A student armed w a handgun held 23 students and a teacher hostage in

a high school in Marinette, WI for five hours before shooting himself.

One of the hostages stated the gunman( fifteen years old) seemed

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Child depression bullying phoenix Scottsdale Peoria Glendale Chandler

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Bullying is abuse and has caused numerous children in the USA to be depressed, as well as to self harm and
commit suicide .

Online bullying is increasing and recently a 12 year old girl was bullied by fifteen girls .

Police report the girl was terrorized by these other girls and she was not attacking them back in the computer or on her cell phone .

Angry Teen Anger Phoenix Arizona

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Many Children teens are angry and feel they have been “wronged”. It may be a parent that is critical or a parent that is judgmental or critical. It may be an irrational or distorted thought in relation to a friend or family member that needs to be modified.

Children and teens have many negative thoughts or cognitions that keep them angry, stuck, and frustrated. This anger impacts their school performance, social dynamics,
and creates tension and stress at home. Cognitive Behavioral counseling is an evidence based therapy that shows great results in modifying anger and unhealthy behaviors.

Children and teens can learn about forgiveness and acceptance versus attacking, judgment, and criticism and see how it is impacting their mood and life via counseling and psychotherapy.

In mixed martial arts athletes are taught to side step their attackers force rather than taking the “hit” or “blow” by doing so the attackers energy bounces back onto the attacker. If we maintain judgment and criticism we will be judging and criticizing our selves exponentially. It is heavy.

If we judge someone we will feel judged. If we are angry at others we may feel better for the moment but all our fear and guilt will come back to our mind and body.

Anger Teenagers Anger Adolescents Child Anger

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

In todays world children and teens become overloaded with stress. Children and teens have poor coping skills, anger is the only way they know how to avoid feeling sad, hurt, or scared.

Children and Adolescents have unrealistic expectations, especially if they are spoiled or fill a sense of entitlement. If “this” does not happen, or they realize that things are not always within their control – they get angry.

Their anger can take many forms – some teens might stuff their anger and withdraw, while others get irritable,violent,destructive and may turn to illegal drugs and/ or alcohol.

Various situations can bring out feelings of anger. Parents are often caught by surprise and react by either yelling or arguing back, or punishing their teen for showing their anger.Anger can breed more anger in children or teens.

Instead, parents need to see this show of anger or rage as a signal that their teen may be lacking problem solving skills, or is overwhelmed by the demands of his or her daily live.

Lifeworksaz.com counseling Children, teens, adolescents Phoenix Arizona

A child or teen that is angry is calling out for love and needs to learn new life skills to cope with stress and anger and sadness and fear in their lives.

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