Worries and fears are a typical part of early childhood. Most children outgrow their fears with little or no impact on their social, emotional, or intellectual development. Little worriers, on the other hand, do not outgrow their fears and over time experience a myriad of problems.
It’s no secret that kids crave attention—in fact, parents’ attention can be the most powerful reinforcement a child can receive. And that goes for positive as well as negative attention—whether you’re complimenting your child or yelling at him. Therefore, it’s important to know how to use your attention wisely.
I met Margaret when she was 5-years old. She wore faded overalls inherited from her older brother that her mother had embroidered with flowers, stars, and hearts. Her mother had to pull Margaret into my office. Once there, Margaret burrowed her head into her mother’s side and would not look at me. When I asked […]
Part 1 in a series on effectively managing challenging behavior in children
Most children have their fair share of behavioral challenges, but for some, these can be especially intense, leaving the whole family exasperated. Difficult behaviors like backtalk, incessant arguing, attention-seeking, lying, and even swearing, hitting, and outright defiance can be incredibly stressful for […]
A clinician recently told me that cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) wasn’t appropriate for children because it was “too cerebral.” I asked her what she meant by this and she said that CBT just wasn’t any fun. It didn’t look fun to her so it couldn’t be fun to a kid. And, if it wasn’t fun then […]
Tourette disorder is a chronic neurological condition characterized by brief, rapid movements (motor tics) such as blinking, sniffing, or tongue thrusting) or sounds (vocal tics) such as throat clearing, grunting, humming. However, both motor and vocal tics can be quite complex, such as a girl who repeatedly and violently thrusts her index finger up a […]
In an age of parents sticking up for their children regardless of how wrong their children’s behavior is, Leslie Blanchard’s post “4th grader comes home with disturbing news – then mom realizes her ‘worst nightmare’ is coming true” is refreshingly honest. Rather than candy-coating the situation of her daughter leaving a well-meaning peer out “just […]
Exposure appears to be the key change-producing procedure in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety and phobic disorders in children. Successful exposures depend on the clinician’s ability to engage the child in anxiety-provoking tasks. Successful exposures are both developmentally appropriate and fun for the child. Developing exposures for anxious children can be fun for the clinician […]
Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is a relatively common disorder in children and adolescents and panic disorder (PD) is a relatively common disorder in adults. Investigators have suggested that SAD and PD may be related in several ways:
- The symptoms that children with SAD exhibit when separated from their parents look much like symptoms of panic […]
While most pediatricians favor pharmacologic treatments for nocturnal enuresis, there is growing interest in other treatment strategies, in part because of the limited effectiveness of medications (less than 50% increase in dry nights) and high relapse rates (most children return to their previous wetting frequency) after discontinuing the medication (Moffat, et al., 1993). A well-studied […]