Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Develop Your Child's Self-Esteem

A healthy self-esteem is a major factor for success in life. To develop a positive self-concept is extremely important. Kids who feel good about themselves seem to enjoy life more and they are more optimistic than does kids with low self-esteems. Kids who feel good about themselves also have an easier time handling conflicts. They act independently and they take pride in their accomplishments. Children with healthy self-esteem tend to be more tolerant. Remember that patterns of self-esteem develop early in life. A child will try, fail and try again until he or she accomplishes what they want. This is how children learn about their abilities, their strength and limitations.

As parents, we can help our child foster a good self-esteem. Keep in mind that we have to watch what we say to our children because they are very sensitive to our words. Tell your child that you are proud of his or her efforts. Praise them when they do something good and don not speak to them negatively. Be a positive role model. You are a hero in your child’s eyes, so do not be pessimistic when thing go wrong. Be affectionate with your child and do not be afraid to tell them how much you love them.

How to discipline your child

Teaching a child to behave properly is not an easy matter. It requires a lot of time and effort from both parents. One of the main aspects of parenting a child consist on disciplining him or her. Keep in mind that the aim of discipline is to teach your child to behave in an acceptable manner. We need to be cautious when disciplining our children. We have to know when to be strict and when to be lenient. Remember that too much leniency can result on more misbehavior. As parent, we have to know when to give exactly the right type of punishment, in the right amount and at the right time. You do not want to punish a child for something they did three hours ago. You have to correct the bad behavior exactly when it occurs.

Keep in mind that children learn by modeling the behavior of adults, particularly that of their parents. Make sure that your behavior is role-model material. One of the first things you have to remember when disciplining your child is to be calm but firm. Do not act upon anger and do not spank your child, spanking will only teach them that it is ok to hit when they are angry. Explain to your kids what you expect from them before you punish them for certain behaviors and do not forget to reward good behavior.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to regain parental control

How to regain parental control

Conduct disorders are one of the most difficult behavior disorders to treat. Children with ODD can be very difficult to manage and they can be very difficult for parent. Parents with ODD children feel at times frustrated and helpless and they need support and understanding from others. During my interview with Mr. Alvarez, I asked him what would be some helpful things that parents can do to help their child with ODD. He said that he has found the following guidelines very helpful.

1. How you say it.

You need to establish guidelines with your defiant child. It is important to establish what constitutes, “hitting below the belt.” Make it very clear that you have no intention of cursing at them, yelling or using profanity and so you expect the same from them. Never move on to discussing anything unless they speak to you appropriately. If they are inappropriate or yelling or interrupting address that before you get into anything else.

2. The card you play

Remember that oppositional and defiant children are often betting that you will run out of moves. Don’t make empty threats for consequences that you cannot come through with. Speak softly and carry a big stick. Take inventory of all privileges that your child receives and make it clear that you will not provide anything unless their behavior improves. A therapist should help you develop an effective behavior modification program.

3. Hold the line

Never make unilateral decisions. When important decisions have to be made about your teen conduct a question and answer session with all parents or guardians present. Remain noncommittal and take as long as you have too in order to make a team decision and stick to it.

Mr. Gerardo Alvarez, LCSW, C.A.P. - Substance Abuse is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Clinical Director of Inspiration for Youth and Families, LLC Treatment Center. For more information you may contact Inspirations via its website: www.InspirationsYouth.com

Understanding Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Understanding Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Today I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Gerardo F. Alvarez on the subject of oppositional defiant disorder. Mr. Alvarez is a licensed psychotherapist with a specialty in substance abuse. He is also the clinical director of Inspirations for Youth and Families LLC Treatment Center. Mr. Alvarez gave me the insight on what is to have a child with oppositional defiant disorder and explained to me as follow:

The plague of the modern family is fear. It is the struggle of an adolescent who has been given control of a home before his or her time. It is the story of parents held hostage by two powerful words……….what if? What if they hate me? What if they run away? What if they kill themselves? What if they leave angry and something bad happens to them? What if this is all my fault?

According to Mr. Alvarez these fears can only be faced head on. He cited that parents feel compelled to risk action when the pain comes to be too much and the following realizations occur:

1. A life that consists of being held hostage by a sixteen year old child and your own fears is no
life at all (i.e. anything is better than this).
2. The child is only getting worse and I have to risk trying something for their sake.

Of course setting up boundaries when a child is used to running the household is no easy matter. What do you do when your sixteen year old child is running your home and your life? What happens when your child does not take no for an answer? How does one stop their child from manipulating them or “holding them hostage?”

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

All kids misbehave or are oppositional from time to time. They may talk back, disobey and even defy their parents and teachers or any other adult for this matter. Children with ODD do not follow rules. They blame everyone else for their mistakes and they have great difficulty accepting responsibility. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), have an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that seriously interferes with the youngster's day to day functioning.

According the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA’S), children with ODD may experience academic difficulties, poor relationships with peers or adults and higher rates of injuries, school expulsions, and problems with the law.

Some warning signs of conduct disorders may include:
• Lying or stealing
• Not doing well in school.
• Skipping school
• Early smoking, drinking or drug use.
• Consistent hostility toward authority figures.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Let nothing trouble you

Let nothing trouble you

Let nothing trouble you.
Let nothing scare you.
All is fleeting.
God alone is unchanging.
Everything obtains.
Who possesses God
Nothing wants.
God alone suffices.

~St. Teresa of Avila