Special Editorial: The [Mis]Interpretation of Anti-Bullying Efforts

The author of the article went on to discuss this incident within the framework of heightened bullying awareness and the pressure that administrators feel to react strongly when students are threatened in some way.  As our readers know, we take bullying very seriously.  In this day and age when research has shown us that bullying leads to outcomes such as increased depression,anxiety, poor academic performance, and suicide risk, we can not afford to ignore the seriousness of this issue that affects children of all ages, races, religions, cultures, sexual orientation, abilities, socio-economic status, and gender.  

APA Guidelines for Parenting Coordination for High Conflict Separated Divorced Parents

Research suggests that divorce in and of itself is not destructive to children, but rather it is ongoing parent conflict that takes the lead in negative child outcomes. For high conflict parents, those that cannot seem to work cooperatively and respectfully on behalf of their children, who drag out parenting decisions, spend inordinate amounts of time in litigation, and/or do not follow through with parenting agreements even when court ordered, there is a service worth considering. In fact, it will oftentimes be court ordered when the abovementioned get too severe. That service is parenting coordination.

Depression during pregnancy may lower your child’s IQ.

Maternal depression has some significant negative consequences on kids. Among them, some studies have shown that maternal depression may impact the cognitive development of the offspring. But it is still unknown how maternal depression impacts the child’s cognitive skills. For example, are there sensitive periods during the child’s early development that makes them more susceptible to maternal depression?

Aggression in the Toddler Can Be Traced to Hostility in the Marriage

Stover and colleagues describe the “spillover” theory to explain this process.  That is, high conflict marriages can breed emotional distress in the parents that leads to decreased parenting quality.  Another interpretation of the theory is that the emotional arousal that happens in one family relationship (in this instance, marriage) can bleed into other family relationships (such as that between parent and child). 

Boys With ADHD and Their Dads

The study took place in New Zealand and included 93 preschool boys that were placed in a “hyperactive” group, control group, or in another comparison group where symptoms were present but less severe and, thus, gave the researcher the ability to look at a wide range of ADHD symptoms.  According to the author, only boys were included both because of logistics and because they tend to have more observable behaviors linked to ADHD than girls.  Eighty-nine fathers participated.  Data was collected using parent observations, interviews, and questionnaires, as well as teacher questionnaires.  The study spanned three years, starting when the boys were an average of four years-old.   A second round of data was collected two and a half years later when the boys were an average age of seven.

Diagnosing ADHD: What every parent should know.

So, here are some thoughts that may help parent navigate the complex process of ADHD diagnosis.Currently, the general consensus among psychiatrists and psychologists is that ADHD is diagnosed based on the criteria included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition (DSM-IV Click here for the full diagnostic criteria for ADHD and a discussion of the proposed changes for the new DSM-5). Although I wont summarize the full criteria here, I want to talk about four important aspects of the diagnosis of ADHD, some of which are often disregarded by clinicians resulting in questionable diagnoses.

Put Aside the To-do List: How to Bring Mindfulness to Parenting

In brief, mindfulness is the bringing of one’s attention to what is right here, right now.  It is inviting oneself to let the ruminating about the past go and the obsessing about the future go as well.  And just as important, it is treating yourself with compassion while suspending judgment.  Studies have given much support for the usefulness of mindfulness in treating a variety of mental health and medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and chronic pain and stress (Baer, 2006).  By simply being where you are and gently and compassionately bringing yourself back to the moment when you find yourself wandering elsewhere, you can calm your nervous system and allow a peace that we could all use.

Liar, liar, pants on fire: How punishment can affect children’s honesty

Many, if not most, parents out there wish for their children to be honest.  We know that honesty lies at the heart of healthy relationships, for it helps people to build and maintain trust in one another. Are there discipline styles, things that we are doing as parents, that hinder or promote honesty?  Talwar and Lee (2011) lend evidence to the affirmative. 

Spare the rod, save the child.

This week Ive been reading Steve Pinkers wonderful new book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, which provides some compelling evidence about the drastic decline in violence throughout history. According to Pinker, we live in an extremely peaceful world and that this is likely the most peaceful time in human history. The evidence that Pinker provides is vast and compelling, and he also provides some colorful graphic examples to make his point. One example stuck with me: just a few hundred years ago parents would take their kids to the towns plaza to watch people be tortured to death. That is right! Just a few hundred years ago, in many European countries,watching an execution or a torture session was not just entertainment, it was a family affair! Pinker argues that we have also become significantly less violent in much more subtle ways, from the abandonment of settling personal honor conflicts through deadly duels, to the reduction of executions in all industrialized nations (except the USA), to the drastic reduction in marital violence as well as parental violence against their children (aka spanking) in the western world.

Special Editorial: Should I vaccinate my child against HPV?

Although research suggests that parental acceptance of HPV is actually much higher than anticipated (around 50% in most studies), a substantial number of parents (as high as 25%) are opposed to vaccinating their kids. In addition, despite relatively high parental acceptance of HPV vaccination, only about 1/3 of teen girls have been properly vaccinated. That is, most teens have not been vaccinated and are therefore unnecessarily at high risk of getting HPV.