Teens

  • 4 Ways to Curb Emotional Eating in Children and Adolescents 4 Ways to Curb Emotional Eating in Children and Adolescents

    4 Ways to Curb Emotional Eating in Children and Adolescents

4 Ways to Curb Emotional Eating in Children and Adolescents

The new school year is almost here and your kids are probably getting excited about seeing their friends and favorite teachers again.  For some kids though, school is a source of high anxiety as it relates to making good grades, balancing homework with after-school activities, and sadly, bullying or family troubles.  Just like adults, children have to cope with these everyday stressors and often turn to overeating and consuming not-so-healthy foods as a way of dealing with these issues.  This emotional eating behavior can have serious health concerns if children do not have a different means of coping with their stress.

I recently ran across a study published in Appetite in September of 20071 that discussed the correlation between emotional eating in adolescents and the rising intake of energy-dense, or higher calorie, foods.  According to the study, children were more likely to eat foods with higher fat and calories, primarily from sugar, than children who cope with their stress in other ways.  The children in the study consumed less fruits and vegetables when they were stressed out which is associated with a higher risk of being overweight as teens.  Additionally, these children are more likely to consume sugary beverages such as soda when they are feeling the burn.

So as the new school year approaches, here are 4 ways that may help curb emotional eating with your children and adolescents and to help them cope with their stress and anxiety in a healthier way that won’t increase their risk of becoming overweight or obese later in life:

1.        Keep healthier snacks on hand.  If unhealthy snacks aren’t available in your house, your children won’t be able to eat them.  Try to keep carrots, celery, peanut butter, low-fat cheese […]

4 Warning Signs of Sibling Bullying

A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics from researchers with the University of New Hampshire brings light to a very talked about subject in a very different environment. We are all aware of the unfortunate situation of bullying occurring at school. Name calling, physical aggression, and children taunting each other are the common methods used by bullies towards their victims in the school setting. Depending on the severity of the bullying that an individual has experienced, it can have lasting impact on their emotional and psychological well-being.  But what about being bullied at home? Is it possible to be bullied by your own sibling? The aforementioned study finds that sibling bullying is real and can be harmful to a child or adolescent’SIBLINGBULLYINGs mental health.

Surely if you have grown up with brothers and sisters, or have children of your own, you are aware that various forms of sibling rivalry can occur. Maybe you argued over who the best athlete is or constantly fought over who would ride in the front seat.  Sibling bullying is different from sibling rivalry in that its main purpose is to hurt the other child. This can occur physically or emotionally.  Sibling bullying is different from peer bullying in that siblings have the ability to get at each other quickly. Parents, listed below are a few warning signs and advice to use if you suspect that sibling bullying is going on in your home. While this is not an exhaustive list, it exists to give parents a starting point to help assess the relationships between their children.

WARNING SIGNS

1.       Harsh insults are forms of sibling bullying and can take […]

3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Single | Singles Counseling & Therapy

girls night out 2I took nearly two hours to get ready for a fun night with my single girlfriends.  My Michael Kors outfit was fab, my makeup was spotless, and the compliments were overflowing from my girlfriends.  We were going to paint the town red, or at least that was the plan. But on that particular night I felt empty and more so than usual.  I was looking for acceptance, validation, and recognition, but not from my girlfriends. I was hoping that my Prince Charming would magically appear and whisk me away into the sunset. HE never showed up! My expectations weren’t much after all; I was only asking for a half decent looking guy with a pulse. Was that too much to ask for? Years later, I realized it was too little to ask for.

Hindsight is 20/20. I wish I had the self-love, self-worth, and self-confidence that I do today.  Why isn’t this a high school graduation requirement?  Why aren’t children taught the meaning of self-respect and self-love before they are taught Algebra I (which most won’t use anyway)?  The truth is I can’t go back in time and whisper to myself, “love yourself Joann, you are good enough.” I struggled and felt empty.  But what was I truly missing if love wasn’t the answer?girls night out 5

1. I was missing a positive inner voice.  I was too busy focusing on what others said, waiting for them to affirm what I should have already known.  I was good enough, worthy enough, and beautiful enough that night and every other night for that matter.  […]

Five Ways to Detect Depression in Your Teen

Depression has become a serious problem in our teenage culture. There are many reasons for this trend but it is most important to notice the pressures faced by teens in today’s society. Apart from the pressure from parents to excel at school, teens also face immense pressure from their peers. Teens are struggling with “fitting in” while trying to answer the questions, “Who am I and where do I belong?” Identity is a major factor for teens, they want to associate with others that are likable. It can be quite difficult for a teen if they are unsure about where to fit in or if they are rejected by peers he or she would like to identify with.

Bullying is another factor that has received increased attention. Especially since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School and the recent shooting at Chardon High School, observations have been made regarding the link between bullying, depression, and homicidal thoughts. According to research, teens that are involved in bullying are more likely to become depressed than teens that stay away from it.  

Research has also touched on the relationship of antidepressants and homicidal thoughts. It has been shown that teens that used antidepressants were more likely to experience suicidal or homicidal thoughts. In the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist who analyzed the massacre at Columbine, revealed that side effects of anti-depressants may include increased aggression, loss of remorse, depersonalization, and mania.

5 Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, and Family

Pornography, which is the depiction of graphic sexual acts, has tremendous effects on anyone that continuously engages in its viewing.  It distorts a person’s concept of the nature of sexual relations which in turn can alter his/her sexual attitudes and behavior.  Below are some of the effects pornography has on its viewers.

1) Effects on the Family

Married men (this can also apply to women) who regularly engage in pornography are more likely to be dissatisfied with their wives and can become detached emotionally from them.  Wives may not be aware that their husband is viewing Pornography but they do notice a difference in his attitude toward her.  His change can be due to the fact that Pornography viewing makes you numb to “normal” sexual relations.  The more you are exposed to, the more you want it.  It’s like a never ending vicious cycle.  It may not just be the wife that’s suffering, if children are present they will be affected by their father’s pornography viewing as well.  A consequence of pornography viewing can be a loss of interest in family relations.  That also means less time spent with children.  All the addict can think of is how to satisfy his cravings.  Another problem can arise if a child becomes exposed to the pornographic material or accidentally finds his/her father engaging in Pornography.  This can very much distort the child’s perception of his/her father and the child’s image of healthy sexuality in general.

2)  Effects on the Individual

One […]

5 Things You Must Do If Your Child Is the Bully

My child?  A bully?  No way!  That is probably most parents’ response or at least what most parents would like to think of their children.  Unfortunately, somebody has got to be the bully, not everyone can be the victim.  Of course, that is not something we want to hear but denying that your child is the culprit is not going to help the situation. 

So what can you do as a parent when you find out your child has been bullying others?

1.  Schedule an appointment to talk with your child’s teacher or school counselor. 

Your child’s teacher may be able to give you some more insights on what is going on in the classroom, or tell you of any unusual behavior that he/she has witnessed about your child.  A school counselor may be able to give you some ideas on how to talk to your child about his/her behavior or even speak to the child him-/herself.

2.  Explain to your child that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

Your child needs to learn how to behave appropriately toward others.  Your child also needs to learn to have clear boundaries.  If these are being crossed it is important that you, as a parent, are consequent in disciplining your child.

The Characteristics of Poor Communication

Are you facing struggles in your relationships with your friends and loved ones?  Do you feel like the other person does not understand you or never listens to you?  Are you having a hard time communicating with other people in general?  The main reason couples struggle in their relationships is because of poor communication.  Many couples, and people in any other relationships, have a hard time communicating in an effective way.  Most likely, it is not always the “other” person that is in the wrong but you yourself as well.  It can be hard to acknowledge that, because that means we have to give in and agree with the other person but always being right is not what this is about at all.  Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that lead to poor communication.

           

  1. Truth– You insist that you are “right” and that the other person is “wrong”.
  2. Blame– You say that the problem is the other person’s fault.
  3. Martyrdom– You claim that you are the innocent victim.
  4. Put-down– You imply that the other person is a loser because he or she “always” or “never” does certain things.
  5. Hopelessness– You give up and insist that there is no point in trying.
  6. Demandingness– You say you are entitled to better treatment but you refuse to ask for […]

Four Ways To Deal With Guilt

Burdened with feelings of guilt?  Have you done something to cause hurt to your friend or spouse?  Let’s take a look at what you can do when those feelings start to take over your whole being.

 

 1) Pay Attention to the Feelings

  • Guilt is simply a sign telling your conscience that something is wrong.
  • Embrace your feelings, feeling guilty can be a good thing, there is a reason as to why we feel guilty.

2) Determine the Source

  • Are you feeling guilty because you have done or said something that may have caused hurt to someone or are you feeling guilty because you ate too much chocolate today?
  • The ultimate question is:  Are your feelings appropriate?  Do you feel guilty because you really did something morally wrong or are you feeling guilty for something that has no rational purpose?

True Guilt

  • True Guilt means that you feel guilty for a good reason.  You probably have caused hurt to someone close to you.

If that is the case, you have to ask yourself what you can do to fix the problem.  What can you do to receive forgiveness from your friend or spouse?

If for some reason you are not able to apologize […]

Pornography and Sex Trafficking

  • Pornography is used as a “tool” to train trafficked children and women so that they will “know” what to do in performing sex acts.
  • Often, the forced sexual acts between the prostituted woman/child and the John will be filmed and photographed and then shared elsewhere.
  • Studies show that pornography users often seek to act out what they have viewed in porn. Often their partners will not engage in such acts, so they seek it elsewhere – increasing the demand for trafficked women and children to be prostituted.
  • Pimps are operating more and more online as it becomes easier to connect with potential buyers and to remain anonymous. Popular websites like www.Craigslist.com and www.Facebook.com have become “virtual brothels” where one can quickly find prostituted women and children to engage in sex acts.
  • As addictions to pornography increase, users seek harder and harder material. There is a recent boom in the availability of “live” porn as trafficked children and women are forced to perform “on-demand” sex acts in front of web cameras as “Johns” or porn users watch.
  • Porn users do not and cannot distinguish between trafficked women, prostitutes, and porn stars. Pornography fuels the global sex trade by driving demand into the mainstream of society.

 

Five Warning Signs of Facebook Depression

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recently warned that there are potential harms linked with teen social media usage? Did you also know that teens that already struggle with low self-esteem can be triggered into Facebook depression?  It is important that if you are parent of a teenager that you know what to look for if your teen has already experienced challenges with comparing themselves to their peers.

Here are five warning signs to look for in your teen if you are concerned that Facebook has impacted their mood potentially causing depression:

1 – Obsession: The teen spends large amounts of time talking and thinking about their Facebook activity.

2 – Social Isolation: The teen spends more time alone and engaging in online activity rather than spending face to face time with their friends.

3 – Academic performance change: The teen has gotten lower grades and has spent less time dedicated to studying.

4 – Physical appearance/health decline: You have noticed that your teen is […]