It happens to every parent. The weekend comes and you don't have any plans for the kids. Realizing that allowing the kids to tear up the house all weekend is not an option and that if you have to take them to the same park that you took them the last 15 weekends, you are going to drive yourself crazy. You live in a great area and you know there are things to do, but you don't know what they are. And the idea of spending 2 hours on Friday night researching these options does not sound appealing.
Anyone who works with adolescents knows that many teenagers use marijuana. Some teenagers use marijuana very regularly-daily-and that number is on the rise. So what are the implications of that? Many people feel that because marijuana is 'natural' that it is not potentially dangerous and that it does not affect the brain. This article tells us something different and also discusses some of the social, economic, and racial implications of increased marijuana use. If you have a child over the age of 10 (yes 10-this stuff comes up much earlier than you think) or if you are a user yourself, I urge you to listen to this interview and get some more facts about the affects of marijuana use. And if you feel that you or your child needs help reducing or eliminating their use, contact a physician who may then refer you to a program or a psychologist trained in helping those with substance use/abuse.
I know this is a controversial topic, so let me know what you think in the comments, tweet me @fpschDrSweeney, or contact me directly. Enjoy and share!
This is a quick update from the FDA. They now warn against treating children with behavior and mood problems with drugs. I am reading between the lines a bit here, but I think that inherent in this warning is that children may need to talk to someone instead. Depression, behavior issues, and other mood disorders are very treatable and children can benefit from working with a psychologist. If you have concerns about your child, feel free to contact me or another psychologist. Treatment can make a significant difference in the life of a child who is struggling. Even if they do not meet criteria for a psychological disorder, it can really help for your child to develop coping skills.
Check it out and comment, tweet, or contact me directly. Enjoy!
I keep articles that I want to blog about and I found this one hidden away. It is a great follow-up to my previous posts. There appears to be evidence that spanking actually alters a child's brain chemistry in negative ways. Spanking-especially harsh and other forms of corporal punishment-may effect a child's prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain that contributes to planning, memory, organization, and motivational behaviors. Lower grey matter in this area may be linked to depression, executive functioning difficulties, and even IQ. Check out the article and leave comments below, tweet me @fpschDrSweeney, or contact me directly. And, as always, if you find that you need support coming up with effective alternative ways to discipline your child, contact me, another psychologist, or a behaviorist. Enjoy!
I admit it. I feel guilty about my lack of posts lately. So I'm doing back-to-back posts. It's a great follow-up to my previous post and my radio appearance. It's a list of effective child discipline techniques organized by age. Check all of them out-you never know what may work best for your own child. And of course, if you are feeling overwhelmed, a consultation with your child's pediatrician or psychologist may work wonders. Working with a psychologist does not necessarily mean that you are going to meet every week for the next 2 years. One or two meetings of consultation may be all you and your family need.
Enjoy the article and let me know your thoughts!
Hi everyone! Sorry that I have been so delinquent with posting. I hope that you all enjoyed the radio show. It was a lot of fun and the host-DeShuna Spencer-was lovely and gracious. She really has a fantastic show. I hope you all will check it out. Here's a link: http://deshuna.com/radio-show/
Anyway, the show was really interesting. We had a wide variety of callers. Some who felt that children needed to be physically punished in order to learn discipline, some who felt that physical punishment was not the answer, and some who were beat as children and felt they turned out fine. It was interesting and challenging for me to hear their stories. Although I acknowledge that people have different opinions for different reasons, I stand firm with what I tried to say on the show. Physical punishment is not the way to teach your child discipline. Talking to a child, explaining things to them (in a developmentally appropriate way), and providing natural consequences is the most effective way to produce behavior change. Physical punishment does not actually get rid of a behavior; it suppresses it. It teaches kids that it is ok to get physical when you are angry. It teaches kids that they are not in control of their own behavior-that someone else needs to control it for them. And real beatings-not a quick spanking, but as some listeners said,beating with an electrical cord or a switch-is dangerous. It leads to all kinds of negative outcomes for children. But most of all-it's scary for children. In the place that they are supposed to feel safe and unconditionally cared for. Additionally, if you use an instrument-a switch, a cord, a belt-to hit your child it's not legal. It is child abuse and anyone who works with your child is legally mandated to report it if it is suspected. It is also illegal to leave a mark on your child.
If you want your child to learn and feel in control over his or her own behavior, talk to them. Teach them the correct way to act. And do it with love because fear and respect are not synonymous. Fear teaches your child that you are scary and that you will not always protect them. It can greatly damage relationships, which nobody wants.
Here is a link to the show: http://www.empowermagazine.com/empowerhour/. It is the October 2nd show. It was my first show, so I was nervous, but I hope that my message got through. Hitting your child is not just dangerous, it is ineffective. I hope that the show helps you explore new avenues for discipline. If you need help, contact a psychologist or another behaviorist. Parenting is overwhelming and determining the best way to parent your unique child can be exhausting. No one is perfect and there is no shame in contacting a professional.
As always, let me know what you thought! Comment below, tweet me @fpschDrSweeney, or contact me directly!