5 Ways to Build Emotional Skills for Social Media

5 Ways to Build Emotional Skills for Social Media

No one can predict exactly what the digital world will look like in 10 years. There is legitimate concern that a profit-driven metaverse will further erode what young people need to thrive. Conversely, some of our best minds (including young people) are working hard to define what age-relevant, safe, and playful digital platforms free of commercial exploitation might look and feel like. Young people themselves are often at the leading edge of adopting and hacking tools for their purposes. The reality is probably an ongoing push and pull between commercial demands, adolescent needs, and our collective imagination of what is possible online. Media is social as soon as it involves interacting with others. No matter what the future of social media holds, it’s clear that we can do a lot to prepare kids to interact in healthy and meaningful ways online. It is tempting to push off these conversations until... Read more

How emotions affect your child’s education

How emotions affect your child’s education

Science is revealing how children's feelings help and harm learning. Here's how adults can support kids so they feel, and learn, better. “Honk,” says my 9th grade French teacher on the first day of school. “En français, your name is ‘Honk’.” “Excuse me,” I bleat in front of 35 classmates. “My name is Hank.” “Non, incorrect,” she replied. “En français, and in this class, your name se prononce ‘Honk’.” For two wretched years, I was called Honk by this cruel teacher and snickering students. Five times weekly, I entered the classroom twitching with fear, rage, and shame. The ordeal crippled my self-esteem and GPA. My grade lurked between C- and D because I refused to study for my persecutor. I hated the teacher (mutilating her face in my yearbook), and I subsequently hated the language. My negative emotions destroyed my learning ability. Research indicates my pitiful French performance was a... Read more

3 Daily Activities to Help Kids Handle Their Emotions

3 Daily Activities to Help Kids Handle Their Emotions

Navigating our feelings is a lifelong journey, but we can show kids how to get started on it right.  The shows you watch, books you read, games you play and conversations you have as a family make a big difference in how your little one connects with their emotions and with the world around them. Emotions change frequently throughout the day. One moment, your child may be filled with pride and joy as they share a painting they've been working hard on. But the next can be filled with disappointment, anger and sadness when a cup of spilled water ruins the painting. Navigating our feelings is a lifelong journey. We can support young children in learning important skills like self-awareness, communication and empathizing with others by embedding simple opportunities to identify and express emotions in our daily interactions. Normalize Sharing Feelings as a Family Looking back to your own childhood,... Read more

Adult ADHD: A 21st century epidemic?

Adult ADHD: A 21st century epidemic?

The United Kingdom is experiencing dramatic increases in requests for diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults. But what is ADHD, and why is it suddenly becoming something the general public and medical professionals need to be aware of? In this feature, Dr. James Brown and Dr. Alex Conner provide some context. National Teaching Fellow Dr. Conner is a reader in biomedical science communication at the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, U.K. Dr. Brown is a reader in biomedical science at the College of Health and Life Sciences at Aston University, U.K. ADHD is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder in which the brain grows differently. This leads to deficient action from the chemicals involved in pleasure and reward. The name ADHD is a little unhelpful as those with the disorder do not have a deficit of attention, more a lack of ability to... Read more

The ADHD Guide to Naturally Flowing, ‘Normal’ Conversations

There’s a general assumption that people know the unspoken, unwritten, often mysterious rules of social engagement. These assumptions do not account for the experience of living with neurodiversity. Either way, it’s never too late to learn how to have a conversation. Communication can be tricky for people with ADHD, who may interrupt too much, speak too quickly, or space out unintentionally and miss key elements of a conversation. As a result, many individuals worry that they will say something stupid in conversation, or that they’ll try so hard to appear “normal” that they end up looking strange. The task becomes so daunting, people may question their ability to engage in naturally flowing, comfortable conversations. There’s a general assumption that people know the unspoken, unwritten, and often mysterious rules of social engagement. These assumptions do not account for the experience of living with neurodiversity — some people with ADHD, learning differences,... Read more

COVID-19 Impact: Spotlight on Older Children, Adolescents

As a society, we can certainly acknowledge the serious impacts that COVID-19, quarantine and social distancing has had on all of us. However, in my psychology practice, I have been particularly concerned with the rise of mental health issues in older children and adolescents. This age range thrives from being with peers, connecting through social outlets and feeling validated by their social interactions. With the long period of school closures and changes in schedules and social opportunities, adolescents in particular have faced significant challenges, including virtual learning, a significant duration of more limited face-to-face peer interactions, a significant rise in depression, suicidality, drug use and uncertainty about their future. In terms of development, adolescence is a pivotal period when relationships begin to reorganize. Older children and teenagers desire to have more independence and emotional distance from their parents. They shift their focus to peer interactions, and broadening and deepening their... Read more

Mental health in the workplace: The coming revolution

Lenny Mendonca, the former chief economic and business advisor to California governor Gavin Newsom, went public with why he had suddenly resigned from that position on April 10. Mendonca, a former McKinsey senior partner, revealed his struggles with debilitating depression in a deeply personal column that also probed the pervasiveness of mental health issues among the general population and the public-policy implications of untreated mental illness. Three weeks prior to his resignation, suffering severe depression, Mendonca had checked into a hospital for an overnight stay. But, acting in his position of great responsibility, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, Mendonca had “told myself and my team that we all have to operate at 120 percent. . . . This meant 80-hour work weeks and barely sleeping.” Reflecting on his diagnosis and months-long process of recovery, Mendonca wrote: “What does it say about me that I have a mental health... Read more

Follow these tips to help your children deal with negative body image

If we don’t over think the aspects of our appearance that we don’t like and accept them as they are, we are more likely to have a positive self-image of ourselves. A positive self-image leads to healthy lifestyle choices as well as positive thoughts and behaviours. Certain teenagers are body shamed at school or by their families, which can change their relationship with their bodies. Teens are frequently influenced by their peers and family members, and they tend to adopt their views on what constitutes an acceptable body image. A person’s physical and emotional health can suffer as a result of a negative or distorted body image. It can lead to a variety of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, OCD, and eating disorders. A poor self-image can lead to frequent mood swings, social isolation, and dysfunctional relationships. Fear of rejection and non-acceptance due to a person’s physical appearance... Read more

How can you help your child blossom socially?

Following the arrival of the Omricon variant , there has been a rising concern surrounding the potential return to remote learning, yet educators have warned us about this shaky emotional and social situation for Israeli students. There is no doubt that now, facing a great deal of uncertainty, many parents are quite concerned about the social and emotional state of their children. It is important to remember that one’s socio-emotional state includes many individual, interpersonal and group skills with the help of which the child is able to manage emotions and cooperate with friends. This ability begins to develop as early as infancy and plays a significant role throughout life from early childhood through adulthood. Socio-emotional ability is manifested in making connections with friends; understanding, regulating and expressing emotions; developing academic skills and motivation for learning; developing relationships and dating; finding and retaining work and more. When there are problems... Read more

Neuroscience of New Fatherhood: Empathy, Bonding, Childcare

A father's ability to empathize and mentalize during pregnancy correlates with later bonding and parenting during infancy. Specific brain areas in expectant fathers affect social information processing, self-awareness, emotion regulation, and cognitive control. While the role of mothers in child-rearing has historically drawn attention, more recently researchers are examining the impact of fathers on child development. Even before the baby is born, the idea of who they could be takes shape in the mind of expectant parents, to varying degrees shaping the ultimate attachment parents will have once the baby is born, for all parents. In this piece, we will look at recent research on how fathers' empathic attunement and associated brain connectivity during mid to late pregnancy with the first child correlates with bonding and parenting behavior at 6 months following birth. For instance, recent research has identified four key aspects of becoming a father (2021): the “trigger moment”... Read more

What Is Developmental Psychology?

Developmental psychology is the study of how humans grow, change, and adapt across the course of their lives. Developmental psychologists research the stages of physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development from the prenatal stage to infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Learn more about developmental psychology, including the definition, types, life stages, and how to seek treatment when necessary. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), developmental psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on how human beings grow, change, adapt, and mature across various life stages.1 In each of the life stages of developmental psychology, people generally meet certain physical, emotional, and social milestones.2 These are the major life stages, according to developmental psychologists: Prenatal development: Developmental psychologists are interested in diagnoses, such as Down syndrome, that might be noticed during the prenatal (before birth) stage. They also investigate how maternal behaviors (behaviors of the pregnant parent), such as... Read more

What Social-Emotional Development Looks Like

Many parents have heard the term “social-emotional development,” but what does it mean in the real world? Put simply, social-emotional development refers to children’s ability to “experience, manage and express” their feelings, build relationships and actively explore their environment, according to a 2005 report from the nonprofit Zero to Three. Managing one’s behavior, expressing emotions appropriately and developing empathy are all part of the journey. It’s “understanding how our bodies and minds feel and think in relationship to the world around us,” says Mary Hadley, a speech-language pathologist in Texas who has spent 15 years helping adults and children communicate. Children record many physical and mental milestones, especially in their first few years of life. Likewise, social-emotional skills grow throughout childhood and adolescence – also with milestones – and can be just as important. Dr. Toya Roberson-Moore, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, says that social-emotional development relates to brain health,... Read more

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