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It's Gonna Be Ok!

Author: Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge

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Parenting comes with joys and challenges. If you are a mom or dad with a child or teen who is struggling with everyday life or clinical issues like ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Executive Functioning, Anxiety, OCD, Depression or Mood, or Lyme and PANS/PANDAS, then you need solutions. If you have seen Dr. Roseann on TV, then you know she doesn’t shy away from real talk about real problems. She gives parents the science-backed keys to unlocking big and small kid and family issues. Blending hope with science, Dr. Roseann teaches parents how to calm the brain to have a happy family.
122 Episodes
Suicide cases have dramatically increased during the pandemic as exacerbated by the challenging circumstances brought about by the pandemic. And at present, the sad reality is that the number of suicide cases has been alarmingly increasing in the previous years. It is vital that we acknowledge this escalating crisis and strive to prioritize mental health support and resources. By addressing the root causes, raising awareness, and fostering a society that values mental well-being, we can work towards reducing these alarming suicide rates and supporting those in need during these challenging times.And since it’s Suicide Awareness Month, we’re going to dive deep into suicide and self-harm to help educate more people particularly about the signs to be aware of.When should we be concerned about self-harm?For around 30 years, I've been supporting kids dealing with self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Throughout those years, I’ve emphasized the importance of addressing these issues effectively. Moreover, what I have noticed is that nobody ever thinks their kid is considering ending their life. However, there are many risk factors or red flags that we just miss.Also, it’s necessary for us to distinguish self-harm from suicide; they are two different things. People with suicidal thoughts contemplate or attempt to end their own life. Most of them struggle with severe emotional pain, mental health issues, or overwhelming life circumstances. On the other hand, self harm involves intentionally causing harm to oneself without the intent to cause death. Common forms of self-harm include cutting, burning, hitting, or any behavior that causes physical harm to oneself. Self-harm involves intentional harmful behaviors like cutting, often distinct from suicidal ideation. Non-suicidal self-injury, also known as deliberate self-harm, is a concerning issue closely related to suicide risk and mental disorders, as highlighted by the World Health Organization. This deliberate self-harm does not involve a direct intention of ending one's life but is often a way for individuals to cope with emotional pain or stress. However, it can escalate to suicide life threat behaviors if left unaddressed, particularly in the case of mental disorders.Youth suicide prevention is a critical component of adolescent mental health, especially in middle-income countries, where mental health services may face significant challenges in accessibility and affordability. The prevalence of self-injurious behavior necessitates a comprehensive approach to mental health support, including education, awareness campaigns, and improved availability of mental health services. Collaboration between governments, communities, and healthcare systems is vital to creating a safety net for those at risk and fostering a society that values mental well-being, ultimately mitigating the alarming trends in deliberate self-harm and suicide.If your child shows signs of depression or self-harm, seek mental health support immediately. Suicidal ideation covers a range of thoughts, from a desire for life to feeling overwhelmed. Any such statement necessitates investigation and mental health assistance. If you're concerned about your child's well-being, reach out to a mental health professional or call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-5855. Take these matters seriously and prioritize your child's mental health.Risk factors for suicide.Aside from bullying, the most common reason as to why young adults resort to self-harm impulsively is because of a breakup. The emotional toll of a breakup can be overwhelming, leaving individuals grappling with a surge of intense feelings such as sadness, rejection, loneliness, and hopelessness. Because of this, they push themselves towards impulsive actions like self-harm as a way to cope with the emotional pain.It might seem like a way to...
Managing ADHD and finding effective behavioral interventions can indeed feel overwhelming and challenging for most parents. Parents often grapple with questions about the most suitable approach and the potential effectiveness of various treatments. It's a journey that demands time, patience, and dedication.Simply wishing for things to take a positive turn won’t work. You have to exert efforts in putting yourself or your kid to action. Luckily, we’re going to discuss all about behavioral interventions for ADHD so you can manage your kid’s behaviors better. Behavioral interventions.There are many ADHD behavioral interventions available and in discussing these, it's essential to consider various approaches for both home and school environments. We have to emphasize that action is key when a child is struggling.Behavioral interventions for ADHD are greatly important in addressing negative behavior and managing the often-severe ADHD symptoms that children may exhibit. When dealing with a child's behavior affected by ADHD, negative behavior can manifest as impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity, leading to academic, social, and emotional challenges. Thus, these behavioral treatment strategies are designed to target and modify these negative behaviors, focusing on providing coping mechanisms and skill-building techniques.In behavioral treatments, an emphasis is placed on understanding the triggers of negative behavior, identifying patterns, and implementing appropriate strategies to mitigate these issues effectively. For children with severe ADHD symptoms, behavioral interventions are vital in helping them gain better control over their impulses, attention span, and emotional responses. These interventions are done to encourage positive behaviors, improve self-regulation, and enhance overall functioning in various aspects of a child's life.Through consistent application of behavioral interventions, parents, caregivers, and educators can play a pivotal role in shaping a child's behavior positively. This proactive approach involves implementing strategies that acknowledge the unique needs and challenges of the child, ultimately fostering an environment conducive to their growth and development.Behavioral parent training is of great importance and I feel like somehow, we don’t talk about parental support enough. Parents play a crucial role in shaping their child's behaviors, and this training equips them with effective strategies and communication skills. It involves role-playing, problem-solving, focusing on positive behaviors, and even mirroring successful school-based interventions at home which can provide valuable structure and support for children with ADHD.Self-management interventions.As parents, it is natural for us to want the best for our children. We thus want our kids to be independent and have good executive functioning skills. This doesn’t happen overnight; it requires a lot of fostering and reinforcing of the desired skills that we want them to have.Dealing with ADHD brings a common challenge—difficulty in listening and following directions due to attention issues. It's crucial to work on building self-management skills and improving executive functioning to promote and ensure effective self-regulation and planning. We have to keep in mind that without emotional self regulation, no learning can occur. You can go to this link for useful tools and valuable resource and insights for parents: skills interventions.One of my favorite interventions for kids with ADHD is social skills intervention and social skills training. Oftentimes, we end up neglecting social and emotional development at the expense of academics. We have to bear in our minds that...
MTHFR mutations are deemed to be relatively common but the strong link between MTHFR mutations and mental health has gained attention in recent years. This connection is often associated with an increased risk of various mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. People with MTHFR gene mutations may be at an increased risk of other mental health issues which highlights the importance of personalized treatment and support. When we identify these MTHFR-related risks, we allow for early intervention and preventive measures. That's why it’s necessary for us to talk about MTHFR and its impacts on mental health.What is MTHFR?I frequently get asked about MTHFR and its effects on mental health. MTHFR is a genetic mutation that significantly affects an individual’s mental health. Although it is still important to note that MTHFR is just one factor that can contribute to mental health problems. Other factors, such as genetics, environment, and lifestyle, also play a role.There are several different mutations for MTHFR, but the most common ones are C677T and A1298C. C677T, which reduces the MTHFR activity, is more common in European descent whereas the A1298C is more common in Asian populations. People with these mutations have a decreased ability to convert folate into methyl folate which is why the MTHFR gene variants can influence physical and mental health misuses linked to folate metabolism, including mood disorders and cognitive impairments. Common difficulties associated with MTHFR.There are many toxins surrounding us in our daily environment which is why it is important for us to detoxify. These toxins can build up over time and cause various health problems such as neurological problems, mental health problems, and other health problems.Without nutrients from B6 and B12, your nervous system, particularly neurotransmitters, cannot work properly. With respect to the long-term effects of MTHFR, it can be associated with cardiac problems, stroke, autoimmune conditions, ADHD, anxiety, OCD, depression and others. In fact, I have never met anyone with bipolar disorder that didn’t have MTHFR and so this establishes a strong link between MTHFR and mental health.MTHFR genetic mutation also impacts how psychiatric medication works and we've known this since 2000. That is why the Journal of American Psychiatry recommends that all psychiatrists do genetic testing prior to giving medication for better and more effective results. What do you do if you need a solution?I always emphasize the need to have a qualified, functional and reputable mental health professional. You can also ask your psychiatrist to run genetic testing which is common nowadays. It's really important to get proper support and find help from somebody who fully understands.Mental health care often involves a holistic approach which is why seeking help from mental health professionals who are well-trained and experienced in their field is crucial for effective diagnosis, treatment, and support for individuals with mental health concerns. Monitoring nutrient deficiencies could be a game changer in your child's mental health insofar as nutrient deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems, including mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. That’s why genetic testing is becoming more common nowadays, and it can be a helpful tool for understanding your mental health.For more information, you can check this blog post:
Parenting comes with many challenges and sometimes, it can be so demanding and overwhelming due to the many challenges in a parent-child relationship that arise due to miscommunication or the lack of communication. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as different communication styles, different expectations, or simply a lack of time to talk.In some cases, miscommunication can even lead to more serious problems such as behavioral problems or mental health issues. But there is no need to worry because there are many things you can do and lucky for you, this episode is a continuation of our previous episode on Ways to Improve Communication With Your Child or Teen. How to create opportunities for open dialogue.As mentioned in the previous episode, parents should actively listen and engage with their kids. But more than that, let us create opportunities for open dialogue with our kids since great conversations don’t just happen. They take time, effort, and commitment. When we create opportunities for open dialogue with our kids, we build stronger relationships, learn more about them, and help them develop into well-rounded teens or adults. We should also be respectful of our kids' opinions, even if we don't agree with them. We're definitely not going to paint a picture of parenting as something easy and bearable all the time but I want to encourage parents to show empathy as much as you can. I think many would agree that it is not easy being a kid now due to many expectations and pressures set upon them. When parents show empathy to their children, they are sending the message that their feelings matter and that they are valued. It is thus essential for building strong relationships and for helping children develop emotionally. Ultimatums vs. clear boundaries.I want to emphasize that we need to avoid ultimatums. However, what we need to do is to set clear boundaries and that is totally different from setting ultimatums. Ultimatums are not effective parenting tools and can create resentment and make children feel like they are being controlled. In fact, ultimatums somehow seem like you’re bribing your kids to behave or to do something you want. Boundaries, on the other hand, are about what you will and will not accept, and they are not about controlling others. By setting clear boundaries and being respectful of your child's feelings, you can create a safe and healthy environment.Moreover, boundaries teach children about what is acceptable behavior and what is not. They also teach children how to respect the boundaries of others. By having clear boundaries, our kids are made aware of what to expect and what is not allowed. This can help them feel more in control of their lives.Using humor to defuse difficult situations.Humor is my favorite way to improve communication. I think humor is a wonderful way to defuse pretty much anything particularly difficult situations. It’s a great way to open up communication, defuse those big feelings and get really what's underneath.It can help to break the ice, diffuse tension, and make people feel more comfortable. When used well, humor can also help to build rapport and trust. However, humor must be consensually agreed upon since some people are a little more sensitive than others. Not everyone appreciates the same kind of humor, and what one person finds funny, another person might find offensive. Communication requires consistency.Your kids crave consistency which is why we want to make them feel validated and recognized as much as we can. Consistency in communication may also signify how reliable you are as a parent. It also helps avoid confusion and misunderstandings. When you’re consistent, your kid is less likely to misinterpret what you are saying.As parents, we should always encourage positive...
Due to the overreliance on technology, the communication skills of many people have taken a bad turn. This shift gave rise to the excessive use of shortcuts and emojis, and led to a massive decline in traditional communication skills, further impeding the development of essential interpersonal skills such as active listening, empathetic understanding, and non-verbal communication cues.This episode is the first part of Ways to Improve Communication With Your Child or Teen and we will be focusing on the great strategies that parents can use to foster a better and healthier parent-child relationship. Practice active listening.In my previous episode, I’ve emphasized that one of the prevalent mistakes that parents commit is failing to engage in active listening when communicating with their children. If you want to be a good active listener, you can give reassuring responses that indicate that you’re listening to whatever your child is telling you. Active listening is all about being fully present and engaged when communicating with your child. And nowadays, I don’t think that we do enough active listening considering that we tend to lose our patience easily. As a result, parents find themselves struggling to maintain their patience with the amount of pressure from work and other responsibilities. Even when your child is upset or extremely angry at you, you want to be as physically present as possible. Also make sure that your body language and way of speaking with them are proper. We always have to take into consideration the fact that our kids are still developing and they don't always have the right communication skills. Recognizing the significance of active listening and making a conscious effort to practice it is essential in building strong parent-child relationships. That’s why we have to hold ourselves responsible for meeting them where they’re at.Avoid critical language.Oftentimes, there’s miscommunication between parents and their children rooted in the difference between what parents intend to convey and how their messages are actually perceived by their children. Some of the reasons behind this is because of the generational gap and differences in communication styles. It is thus crucial for parents to not only recognize the potential sources of miscommunication but also actively strive to bridge these gaps. This can involve cultivating empathy for their children's perspectives and adjusting their communication style to align with their children's preferences and behaviors.Moreover, our brain is wired to see the negative more than the positive. That is why we often think that we are helping our kids when we point out their mistakes every single time when in fact, we’re doing the opposite. We must therefore avoid using critical language. Instead, we can try pointing out what they’re doing and try to model it in a way that we want them to do it. As parents, we should never invalidate the feelings of our children. Personally, I love getting validated especially during hard times as it is undeniably comforting and uplifting. Validation provides us with a sense of acknowledgment and assurance that our emotions and experiences are valid and worthy of consideration.How to set boundaries.We must observe boundaries and set up clear expectations but the sad truth is that most people are terrible boundary setters. These boundaries serve as essential guides for maintaining healthy and respectful interactions.This requires a deep understanding of one's own needs and limits, as well as the assertiveness to communicate those boundaries to others. It is imperative to promote and prioritize boundaries and self-awareness. By acknowledging this challenge and working towards improving our ability to establish and respect boundaries, we get to foster more respectful and harmonious...
Communication is indeed the key to fostering a healthy relationship. The ability to effectively communicate applies as much to parent-child relationships as it does to any other type of relationship. Sometimes, it just seems too difficult for parents to establish a strong connection with their children which usually results in more issues in their children’s mental health and overall well-being. Reasons as to why parent-child communication breaks down vary and each one of them is capable of significantly impacting the parent-child relationship. That is why it’s essential for us to dive deep into those reasons in today’s episode. Why do kids get stuck with sensitivity?One of the prevalent mistakes that parents tend to commit is that they fail to engage in active listening when communicating with their children. Sometimes, parents just lose their patience due to various reasons which in turn cause them not to listen to their children attentively. Of course, it's understandable considering that it is not uncommon for the demands and stressors of daily life, or the constant hustle and bustle to wear down a parent's ability to be fully present and engaged in conversations with their children. However, this negatively affects our children insofar as they are likely to feel unheard or undervalued. As such, development of a strong and healthy parent-child relationship is hindered. More importantly, we must break the negativity cycle that our kids have inherited from us parents. 70% of kids nowadays have rejection sensitivity which usually leads to the breaking down of parent-child communication. This is because most parents don’t put themselves in their children’s shoes which is why they don’t understand the latter’s point of view in various circumstances. We should stop putting the same expectations with completely different rules and parameters for our kids. Things have significantly changed over the years and contemporary parenting styles have improved since then for the better. As such, we must be more empathetic to our children. Recognizing these changes and adapting our parenting approaches accordingly is essential for fostering healthier parent-child relationships. Let us create a more compassionate and harmonious environment within our families and allow our children to thrive and flourish.Meet kids where they are at.As parents, it is our responsibility to adapt and connect with our children at their developmental stage and to recognize that they may not yet possess the skills to meet us where we are. This greatly helps in fostering effective communication and mitigating conflicts within the parent-child relationship.I think one of the major reasons why conflict happens is because of different communication styles. This holds true especially now that we have become so connected to our devices and less communicative to other people. It is thus important for parents to acknowledge these gaps and actively work in fostering an open and effective parent-child communication to pave the way for more harmonious parent-child interactions and establish a better and healthier relationship. For more information, you can read this blog post:
At some point in our lives, we’ve had traumatizing experiences in some way, shape or form. These traumas affect how our brain works and how we react to things and unfortunately, for some people, the profound impact of their traumas could be worse and further affect their overall well-being.It's important to recognize that not everyone responds to trauma in the same way, and some individuals may be more resilient than others. Nonetheless, it’s important that we discuss why and how traumas affect the brain and the body. It doesn’t matter what age you are, the body holds trauma. Trauma is an emotional consequence from living through a distressing event or series of events. It can happen at any age and it is unique to each person. What may be traumatic for one person might not have the same impact on another. There are different kinds of traumas – acute trauma, chronic trauma, complex trauma and developmental trauma.Among those mentioned, developmental trauma is what is likely to stick longer as it occurred in the early developmental periods of the individual. That’s why it’s really important to seek proper help immediately. For some people, their traumas stick with them for a long time. Sometimes, it has something to do with temperament, disposition, and of course, the mindset.If you haven't read the book entitled The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel van der Kolk, you’re definitely missing out especially if you’ve experienced trauma or you know someone who has experienced trauma. It’s such a game changer as it deals with the struggles in the advancement in brain science, particularly in the world of traumas. It greatly helps people to understand just how important getting that trauma out of the subconscious and the body really is. What we know besides the role of temperament in the long-lasting effects of trauma is that what you bring to the table is what helps you get through. As such, if you have other clinical issues, the trauma is more likely to stick with you. However, it is important to note that this doesn’t mean that it’s going to be there forever. How trauma affects the brain and the body.When trauma affects the brain, what happens is that our limbic system determines if there is a threat or not. Once you are in a trauma state and activated, it's going to start activating more and more. Consequently, it will misperceive sensory information, sound, or other things that are triggering you to activate causing a cascade of cortisol which in turn negatively affects the body’s responsiveness. As for those who start to react to things negatively like having panic attacks or difficulty in waking up, what is different is you're having constant activations of things that are triggering your past trauma. In fact, many trauma survivors experience heightened anxiety and panic attacks whereas others experience mental health issues or memory and cognitive issues. The importance of working with a trauma specialist.Considering the fact that traumas badly affect the brain and the body in various aspects and can get stuck for a long period of time, it’s essential for you to have a highly trained trauma therapist who will provide you with expert care as he/she is equipped with extensive training in trauma-focused therapeutic approaches. The good thing about working with a trauma therapist is that we believe in the benefits of somatic therapy. Personally, I also like EFT tapping and EMDR therapy. But of course, to each his own. Whatever you choose, you’re gonna have to work with your trauma specialist and trace the root causes to have the appropriate treatment that you’re going to stick with. Remember that when you do therapies that go in through the body, you're able to anchor and regulate your brain and body. These therapies aim to help individuals regulate their emotions, manage stress,
Despite the care your child is getting, there is still a chance that his behaviors are going to get stuck, making it more challenging to resolve your child’s behavioral issues. If the behavioral issues are rooted in deeper emotional, psychological, or neurological factors, addressing them may take more time.Nevertheless, it's important for parents to remain optimistic, seek professional guidance when necessary, and continue to adapt their strategies to meet the needs of their child. In today’s episode, we’ll be talking about the importance of choosing expert care rather than the general care your child is probably getting.Why choose expert care? Like what I always say, it’s important to seek proper help from a qualified provider immediately because every day that you delay getting help is another day your child and your family are suffering. It still amazes me how, for so long now, people from all over the world have driven or flown thousands of miles to consult and work with me for my expert care. I dedicate myself to my work with the primary goal of educating more people and ensuring they receive the appropriate support they require. It's all about the right solutions at the right time in the right order. Seeking expert care ensures that you receive the appropriate treatment and support. Experts base their interventions on evidence-based practices, which are scientifically proven to be effective. This increases the likelihood of successful treatment outcomes.How do you know if you are an expert?We have to steer away from the idea that just because somebody has 10 or 20 years of experience, that makes them an expert. The truth is that expert care requires that you are a specialist which means that you have taken sufficient time to dive into a specific area of study. I have personally trained therapists and all these years, we have required them to declare their areas of specialties within 18 months. However, around 70% of them didn’t make it because they didn’t want to declare their specialty and they weren’t aware whether or not they’re considered an expert. You have to go deep into that area of specialty and do sufficient training as compared to surface level training. An expert should be able to help you understand your child’s issues and provide you with appropriate treatments in accordance with your child’s condition. If your child is dealing with ADHD, autism, depression or other mental health conditions, an expert should be able to talk about how these conditions affect your child’s brain and behaviors and the solutions to these.How to choose the right therapist?In order to find the right expert for you, it’s necessary to set down your goals. Look for professionals who specialize in the area that aligns with your needs. If you have a specific concern, such as PTSD or family therapy, seek out experts who have experience and training in that area.Make sure that that person advertises himself/herself as a specialist in a specific area because you’re getting a specialist’s care. I work with younger kids who are on the spectrum and I’ve been told that they’ve been having a hard time finding a good therapist. And so, we want to make sure that you're finding somebody that does have experience in their respective areas of specialty. You can always search for experts on Google if you’re in an area where expert care is hard to find. Also, you can try going to state associations or organizations. In fact, the International OCD foundation lets you search specific types of therapies related to OCD and clinical issues. Always choose expert care whether home and community based or even from certified training team healthcare professionals. Whether it's providing support to individuals navigating the complexities of their emotional well-being or assisting families in managing...
Most kids dealing with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Learning Disabilities (LD) find it challenging to launch themselves successfully back into their school routine affecting their back to school success. Slowly introducing regular routines and schedules aids in easing their transition, enabling them to adapt at their preferred pace.Let’s help you be more proactive than reactive to be able to help your kid no matter what their problem is, particularly in relation to being back to school.The greatest failures of parents in middle school.What I’ve observed from many cases I’ve encountered is that parents don’t seek help for their kids which is something that I think is their greatest failure. There are kids who go through different school levels and at the same time, dealing with many issues with regard to their mental health.Since these kids don’t get help, they are left feeling terrible about themselves causing them to be stuck. They no longer want to engage with other kids because of their bad experiences and their condition.These challenges may encompass various issues, including anxiety, depression, attention issues, or learning disabilities. Failure to address these challenges not only hinders the child's immediate academic and emotional growth but may also cast a long-lasting impact on their overall progress and even success. When parents hesitate to ask for help, they unknowingly keep their kids from getting the important support and resources they need. It is of great importance to step in early and seek help from professionals and teachers to really understand and help with their child's mental health. This also helps in creating a caring environment that helps them succeed in school and emotionally.Identifying the issue and regulating the brain.Like what I’ve emphasized in my previous episodes, it’s a must to identify the main issues or the underlying causes contributing to the behavior of your kid. This will be beneficial particularly in getting the necessary support and interventions.Regulating the brain is equally important. That is why we conduct neurofeedback for our patients alongside the use of Calm PEMF. There are also brain supplements that kids can use. I personally love brain supplements which is why we are launching our Neurotastic line soon – the first brand designed solely for mental health.You can check out my book entitled ‘It’s Gonna Be Ok’ to improve your child’s mental health. If you want to be part of our community, you can join our Facebook group ( where we discuss all about natural parenting solutions for ADHD, EF, LD, Anxiety, OCD, Mood and PANS/PANDAS.Putting structure into place.When it comes to being proactive, it’s important for us as parents to put structure into place. We have to do something different to make sure we are prepared when we encounter various circumstances, especially concerning our kids.Establish a routine that promotes their overall wellbeing and ensures that they are getting the right support. Don't just rely on the school because the school's job is to help them be better in academics and in matters related to school.This involves implementing effective strategies and making conscious changes to our routines and approaches. It's about fostering a mindset that anticipates change and is receptive to adapting different parenting techniques. Parents have the responsibility to provide other types of support to their kids. Even if you feel like you can’t afford getting help from mental health providers, there are a lot of places where there are services available. You
Parents naturally want to shield their children from life's difficulties. That is why it is nerve wracking for parents to see their kids struggling and to not be able to do anything to help them. Fortunately, neurofeedback has profound effects as it taps into the brain’s inherent self-regulation ability.In today’s episode, we’ll be joined by Alex who is the reason why I started doing neurofeedback. We’ll dive deep into the effects of neurofeedback as Alex shares his life changing journey with us as his life took an unexpected turn toward empowerment and healing through the power of neurofeedback. Alex’s introduction to the world of neurofeedback.The first time I tested Alex, I thought he was a real genius as his brain processing was so fast. We were able to get support for Alex in a public school but then, his mom made him try medications. His mom had to stop medicating him as it was making him so sick and opted for many other alternative treatments. Alex’s mom decided to give neurofeedback a try considering that nothing was working well for Alex. She asked me what I know about neurofeedback and thankfully, I know enough about it since I wrote a paper about it back in graduate school. And that’s how Alex was introduced to the world of neurofeedback.However, neurotherapy wasn’t at all appealing for Alex during such a young age. He preferred doing anything else other than sit in front of a screen and stare at it for quite some time. This is understandable considering that the unfamiliarity of the process may be a bit daunting for them. What is neurofeedback and how does it work?Like what I always say, medication should not be the first line of defense. Thankfully, neurofeedback has been proven to be effective, especially for struggling kids, in improving cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning. It trains the brain at a higher level and helps the brain start behaving in a natural, healthy way. It doesn't provide a quick fix; rather, it offers a pathway to long-term growth. There are several reasons as to why the brain is unfocused. For Alex’s case, he had a lot of hypercoherence insofar as his brain was overcommunicating. This means that there are a lot of unfocused brainwaves and 50% of the time it’s not even genetic; it could be caused by environmental toxins.In medication and stimulants, there is no regulation and control whereas in neurofeedback, it amplifies your own assets. Since neurofeedback makes your brain sharper, many people, particularly athletes, are doing neurofeedback treatment as an investment. The importance of staying on top of your game.Being a mom to a struggling kid is challenging yet remarkable as parenting struggling kids requires unwavering support while also fostering independence and growth. This becomes even more crucial when it comes to raising kids who are struggling with mental health issues.  Staying on top of your game means improving your communication skills, actively listening to your children, and finding ways to connect and understand them. As parents, you have to be able to adapt to constant changes and to recognize when to provide guidance and when to step back, allowing your children to be more independent.One of the recurring mistakes that I have observed parents do is that they give up too early. What usually happens is that when parents don’t see instant change, they think what they’re doing is already a failure. However, we shouldn’t always expect 100% change immediately. In fact, even a 25% change is already a significant amount of change.Although this decision to give up may stem from a combination of frustration, exhaustion, and a desire for immediate relief, we have to understand that progress takes time. Always remember that there is no magic transition from struggling kid to zero symptoms. We just have to keep...
Many young adults in the United States and across the globe are just not launching themselves properly. They are often faced with increased stress, anxiety, and mental health challenges. As such, they are impacted by their ability to make decisions and set long-term goals. This episode can benefit parents, particularly those who find it difficult to help their teen or young adult in launching themselves and are stuck in life. Make sure to read through these strategies to help you get back in touch with your child and help them take the necessary steps for positive change.Identify the main issue and understand what failure to launch is.To properly resolve the issue, we have to really identify the main or underlying issue that is contributing to your teen’s failure to launch. By tracing the root causes, parents and mental health providers can develop appropriate strategies to overcome these obstacles and help young adults cope and launch themselves successfully. Mental health tends to be one of the biggest issues holding kids back. We have to understand how mental health affects motivation and how the brain gets stuck. Once you understand that the brain is stuck, the behavior is stuck.Mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, can significantly affect an individual's motivation and can often lead to feelings of hopelessness and a lack of interest in activities. This can also lead to difficulties in setting goals and planning steps on how to achieve them affecting their motivation to move forward.Give your kid opportunities for independenceIt is understandable that as parents, we expect a lot from our kids and we tend to bubble wrap them. However, we have to keep in mind that as our kids emerge, we also need to give them space and opportunities for independence.Being overly reliant on parents or others for support can hinder a kid’s motivation to take independent actions. And if they don't have those opportunities to be successful, when you launch them, they are going to have a hard time coping.Communication is the key.You've got to find a way to connect because you're certainly not going to fix this on your own. You can also find someone who has experience with kids that are stuck developmentally.However, setting boundaries is also needed. This allows individuals to express their preferences, opinions, and personal space and prevent misunderstandings and conflicts by defining what is acceptable and respectful behavior. This creates a positive and safe environment for both parents and kids.Boundaries help children develop a sense of independence. When both parties know what to expect and what is considered respectful, they can engage in honest and constructive conversations.Providing comfort and relieving stress.It comes naturally to parents to help relieve their kid’s stress and provide them comfort when they are distressed. However, if we do this frequently, you’re establishing a pattern of relieving your kids from different issues causing them to be stuck.While it's natural for parents to want to provide comfort and support to their children, it's important to strike a balance between offering assistance and allowing them to develop essential skills for handling challenges. This requires patience, as it can be challenging to witness our children facing difficulties. However, it's essential for their long-term development. Successfully launching young adults into adulthood requires more than just pushing them out into the world; it requires equipping them with the necessary skills, tools, resources, and support to navigate the challenges they'll face in the future.You can also consider doing neurofeedback as it helps to self regulate the brain. Then, layer that with strategies to overcome failure to...
110: Autism Myths

110: Autism Myths


Many widespread myths and misconceptions about autism prevent kids from getting proper diagnosis which means that they are also not getting the right help. Certainly, the effects of these myths spread across the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, influencing how they are perceived, how they interact with others, and also affecting their overall quality of life.By debunking these myths, we create an environment where individuals with autism can be understood and embraced for who they are, fostering a more inclusive society. That is why this episode is important for parents as debunking these myths are crucial for accurate diagnosis and intervention. Myth about only boys having autism.One of the most common myths about autism is that only boys are suffering from autism. There are indeed many boys who have autism but that does not mean that they are the only ones who are diagnosed with it. Boys are easily diagnosed considering that they tend to have coordination issues. While it is true that a notable number of boys are diagnosed with autism, this myth perpetuates an inaccurate and limited understanding of the disorder's prevalence. Autism knows no gender boundaries. We must broaden our understanding of autism and challenge gender stereotypes associated with it. Is autism just a childhood condition?There is a misconception about the period of autism and whether or not it is just a childhood condition. Autism does not end in childhood and is rather a lifelong condition. The brain of an autistic just sees things differently and it doesn't end. Autism isn't something one simply outgrows. Recognizing autism as a lifelong condition is crucial for promoting inclusiveness, offering suitable assistance, and guaranteeing the well-being and success of individuals on the autism spectrum.People with autism don’t feel emotions. We often hear others say that people with autism don’t feel emotions but that is not true despite the fact that they may not show the same range of emotions because their interpretation of them is different.They don’t really perceive situations the same way that we do. As such, they’re not going to react in a way that we expect them to. For example, an autistic individual might experience sensory overload, where external stimuli become overwhelming, affecting their ability to process emotions effectively. Gastrointestinal issues are not common.Another big myth that I encounter a lot is that gastrointestinal issues aren't common for those with autism. In fact, that is one of the most common things we see. When the American Academy of Pediatrics updated all the guidelines after 12 years of not updating them, the rates of autism went through the roof and they finally admitted that this issue is very common. As for my experiences so far, I have never had an autistic that doesn't have gastrointestinal issues in their history. Studies have shown that individuals with autism are more likely to experience a range of gastrointestinal issues, including constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and food sensitivities.People with autism can't make eye contact.There are people who think that if you don't make eye contact, you have autism. Some kids with autism do make eye contact but it is more common not to make eye contact.Other kids with sensory processing also don't make eye contact a lot. And as we know, many kids with autism have sensory processing but many kids with sensory processing don’t have autism.It's important to recognize that eye contact is just one of the many elements within a wide spectrum of behaviors. While some individuals with autism may exhibit challenges with making direct eye contact, others may engage in it naturally, and the reasons behind these behaviors
Sometimes, we don’t realize that in some ways, we are already leaving negative impacts on our kids which then causes generational negativity in the long run. If we don’t break the cycle, our kids are likely to pass on similar negative behaviors to others and their own children as they grow up. This can also leave negative impacts beyond childhood in different aspects of a kid’s life, may it be education, career, lifestyle, and more. That is why it is important for us parents to overcome negative thinking. This is a continuation of our discussion about our own negativity and how it badly affects our child’s success but in today’s episode, we’ll be focusing on how we could overcome negative thinking and be a better parent. Take care of your own mental health and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.Like what I always say to my friends, mental health is important which is why we should all prioritize and take care of our own mental health. I firmly believe in the significance of mental health as it stands as an integral aspect of our overall well-being.As we continue to raise awareness, we have to emphasize that just as we take care of our physical health through exercise and nutrition, nurturing our mental health is equally significant. By dedicating time and effort to understanding ourselves, managing our stressors, and seeking support when needed, we empower ourselves to be better parents.In line with this, you also have to figure out and set boundaries for the betterment of your mental health – this is a non-negotiable. However, we should also keep in mind that there are things that we simply cannot control. What we can do, however, is to learn from our experiences to grow more as better individuals. We should look at all of our experiences as blessings or opportunities to take care of ourselves better. It's like upgrading our life perspective to see things as chances for growth and good vibes, no matter what. It's not about having it all figured out, but more about moving forward with a clear sense of why we're doing what we're doing and really being present in each moment.Practice mindfulness and meditation.I know most of us are busy with various things in our lives but we actually have time. We have more time than we think we have. The good thing is that we just need 10 minutes daily to practice mindfulness, whether it is through doing breathwork, listening to a calm app, doing EFT tapping, going for a nature walk, or more.Even simply sitting there and doing meditation helps you have a calmer mind. As for me, I pray everyday and it actually helps me throughout the day. The focus that comes with meditation has this amazing ability to melt away the stress and worries, leaving you with a much calmer state of mind.Hone the positive qualities.There are parents who tend to solely focus on all the wrongs that their kid has done but that shouldn’t be the case. However, this approach can have unintended consequences.This is not to say that we are going to ignore the wrong actions of our kids but what we want to do is to hone their positive qualities instead while addressing their issues. Otherwise, it's just going to be friction laden and frustrating.Better parenting involves a good balance between nurturing and guiding children towards positive growth while also addressing behavioral issues. We should thus adopt a more holistic approach to parenting.Active listening is not easy.In establishing better parent-child relationships, it’s essential for parents to be active listeners. Active listening may not be easy but it surely is a good way for your child to feel heard and even be seen. It will help you understand your kids from a clearer perspective. The core idea here is that active listening is not just about hearing the words spoken
Parenting skills are influenced by many factors and one of these factors is how you were raised as a child. As such, negative upbringing affects how you are as a parent insofar as your previous experiences deeply shape your attitudes, behaviors, and emotional responses as parents.Recognizing the impact of one's own upbringing and seeking support to address negative patterns and experiences can definitely pave the way for healthier and more positive parenting. That is why we will be discussing negativity in relation to parenting in today’s episode.How negativity is affecting parents.Many parents believe in a disciplinary model which means that their parenting skills involve pointing out everything that their kids are doing wrong. Many parents can relate to this but despite such good intentions, you shouldn’t be doing that. Constantly pointing out their wrongs can lead to kids feeling criticized, discouraged, and unmotivated. This may also affect their self-esteem and confidence and can hinder their ability to explore and learn from their experiences.Generally, we are wired to see the negativities in life. This perception dates back to the time of the cavemen where everything was dangerous which is why they had to be alert and on the lookout all the time. That is why we really have to exert more effort in seeing the positive to be able to help our kids who are neurodivergent or who have mental health issues.We have to take into consideration that things are different now. Many things have changed and progressed – even parenting styles. Now, we know more about the best ways to parent a kid's brain so that they can be more self-regulated, happy and healthy. Modern parenting takes on a more compassionate, careful and informed approach towards kids. Moreover, it helps create strong emotional connections with their kids, emphasizing empathy and trust. Boundaries are set with explanations, rather than imposing a strict punishment, enabling kids to understand the consequences and develop better self-regulation skills. Your subconscious shows up when you're talking.Our subconscious will always reveal the truth. If you let your guard down, and you move into a subconscious state, you'll fall back into those negative patterns.These negative patterns can arise from past traumas, unresolved issues, or negative experiences that we may not be fully aware of in our conscious state and can affect our relationships, decision-making, and overall well-being.And as adults, we may not always be consciously aware of these negative patterns or thought processes. Yet, they can still influence our behaviors, attitudes, and reactions to various circumstances. If a parent had a negative or authoritarian upbringing, their subconscious mind might default to similar patterns of behavior.Acknowledging and understanding the influence of the subconscious mind is important when it comes to ending the cycle of the negative patterns. Mindfulness and self-reflection can help parents become more aware of their emotions, reactions, and beliefs, allowing them to identify any negative patterns and their underlying causes.Negative childhood triggers.Parents may have reinforced unhealthy communication or negative experiences as you were growing up. And sometimes, these are triggered when we get angry because of our kids which is why we tend to fall back on the same old patterns.For example, if a parent grew up in an environment where expressing emotions was discouraged or met with criticism, they may struggle to handle their child's emotional outbursts. And if a parent experienced harsh discipline or control during their childhood, they might resort to similar tactics when feeling frustrated with their own child's behavior.We have to remember that our kids regulate themselves off of us. That is why if...
Using essential oils as a natural remedy has become more common to help people relax. As a matter of fact, research studies show that essential oils improve attention, cognitive functioning, mood and lower stress levels. If you’re seeking natural solutions for relaxation and improved mental health and brain function, this episode is for you. Learn more about the use of essential oils and how they contribute to reducing stress, anxiety, and depression while promoting relaxation and emotional well-being.How essential oils impact the brain and reduce stress. Essential oils are indeed essential for me as I always carry peppermint with me wherever I go. I even have peppermint and lemon on my desk to help me focus. Peppermint is a personal favorite because the smell wakes me up and gets me alert helping me to do many things. The good thing about these essential oils is that they both have antimicrobial properties. Research studies show us that they can improve attention, cognitive functioning, mood and lower stress levels insofar as they impact our limbic system which is the part of our brain that is our alert system in our autonomic nervous system. As such, essential oils can be considered as a quick fix. Essential oils can also influence the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain which also play a crucial role in regulating various physiological and psychological processes, including mood, emotions, cognition, and stress response. However, we have to keep in mind that the effects of essential oils may vary.Regular use of essential oils can help keep the nervous system in check. As the saying goes, consistency is key and just like biofeedback, PEMF and magnesium, you have to use these things on a regular basis. How to use essential oils.Essential oils can be used in various ways. There are essential oils that you can put on your skin while others can be diffused through diffusers that have been of popular use in offices, at home and at the spa. This method allows the aroma of the essential oils to be inhaled, influencing emotions, mood, and overall well-being. There are even essential oils that can be ingested by putting them inside little capsules or by incorporating it in a dish. It is important to be cautious when considering internal use of essential oils, as not all of them are suitable for ingestion. This should be done with the supervision of a qualified aromatherapist or healthcare professional who is an expert in essential oil safety.It must also be noted that when you are applying them to the skin, they need to be with a carrier oil. Carrier oils, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil help dilute the essential oil and reduce the risk of skin irritation. I have personally encountered some cases wherein people got burnt spots from putting these essential oils directly without a carrier oil.The best essential oils for mental health.Based on research, the top three best essential oils for mental health are lavender, lemon and bergamot which have consistently been found to be effective in lowering stress levels. Rose and geranium have also been clinically proven to support mood. I have observed that most kids love the smell of peppermint. I can even recall this kid from years ago who asked me if he could take home the diffuser with him and put it right under his face to make him feel good. Later on, he made his mom get him a diffuser which has significantly helped improve his overall mood and focus. Lemongrass is also a good essential oil. It smells so pleasant which is why we use it in our office. As for oregano, you can put it in your food or perhaps a little capsule and ingest it. On the other hand, black pepper is effective at lowering inflammation.Consider incorporating natural solutions like essential oils into your routine and embark on a journey of...
Our limbic system plays a crucial role in shaping our daily experiences and overall well-being as it regulates our emotions, memories, and even learning processes. We have to ensure that our limbic system is calm to reduce the risks of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.That is why I’m here to provide you 5 ways to calm your limbic system that will especially come in handy when your kids get so angry making you feel so overwhelmed in trying to help them be more regulated and calm. How the limbic system interprets and interprets stress.The limbic system is that part of your brain responsible for responding, managing and interpreting emotionally coded information. It is an important part of our brain since we are living in such an emotional world considering that sometimes, people are way too emotional. That is why we also have to be concerned about our limbic system, especially our kid’s limbic system. I’m sure you have already heard of the term “brain on fire” and sometimes, we don’t notice that our kids are already having issues with their limbic system. And because generally, our kids find it difficult to express themselves, we don’t notice that their excessive and frequent emotional outbursts, including tantrums and uncontrollable crying, could be a sign of a dysregulated limbic system. This may also lead to either social withdrawal or aggressive behavior towards other people.When the limbic system becomes overactive, it can lead to a range of emotional and behavioral issues. An overactive limbic system can lead to heightened stress responses, making it challenging for us to manage stress effectively. Doing brain maps significantly helps me assess a kid’s brain as I see the brain activity through those maps and I literally see that some areas of the brain are too active. We have to take note that our limbic brain has different components that help us manage stress.Chronic stress reduces the volume of grey matter.When your brain is overactivated, you get into a chronic stress profile and your nervous system starts reacting more to things. However, it must be stressed that this actually reduces the actual volume of our grey matter.Chronic stress can have significant and long-lasting effects on the brain, impacting both its structure and function. It is thus essential for us to manage stress effectively to protect brain health and preserve grey matter volume. Engaging in stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, and regular exercise can help reduce the negative effects of chronic stress on the brain. The importance of diet and therapy.As much as we can, we help parents and their kids to not have a brain on fire. We simply can't have a brain on fire but it’s important that you do the necessary steps to achieve this because you can't expect a miracle and not do the work. When we speak of calming the brain, let’s not forget about doing therapy alongside having a proper and healthy diet to help the brain calm down and get those neurotransmitters working properly. You don’t actually have to take medications immediately since there are a lot of food options available that you can incorporate in your diet in lieu of those medications. If you switch your diet, you actually can get your brain to work better. How to get your brain to work better.It’s also important that we let our kids exercise regularly not only because it is detoxifying but it actually promotes good mental health thereby reducing inflammation. Engaging in mindfulness-based activities like meditation and yoga can also boost your kid’s emotional regulation and improve attention and concentration.Getting enough sleep can improve a child's emotional well-being, reduce carbohydrate\ cravings, and contribute to a more balanced limbic system. Moreover, a well-rested...
SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) medications are often prescribed to treat conditions such as major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder in children and adolescents. And while SSRIs are generally considered safe, there have been concerns regarding their use.This episode is perfect for those who are thinking about medicating their child with SSRIs or already doing so. We’ll be diving deep into the effects of SSRIs on a kid’s brain.The dangers of SSRIs.SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are psychiatric medications used for the purpose of increasing serotonin levels in the brain. They are widely used in clinical practice and have been proven to be effective in many cases.However, when we speak of SSRI medication, we also have to discuss the dangers it entails insofar as there is an FDA black box warning on it for anybody under the age of 25. In reality, most people don't think twice about taking it because somebody they trust – whether it’s their kids, pediatrician, a psychiatrist, or some professional in the medical field – has prescribed it to them.We have to remember that 100% of psychiatric medication comes with a toxic effect. That is why it’s important for us to really take into consideration natural solutions instead of resorting to medications primarily. It is thus crucial to balance the potential benefits of treatment against the risks of untreated mental health conditions, which can have serious consequences on a person's overall well-being and functioning.According to a Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, an organization from the UK, the risks posed by and associated with SSRI medications outweigh the benefits for anybody who is under the age of 18. In fact, a 2007 study shows that 60% of adolescents using SSRIs experience side effects which could lead to more severe conditions.The importance of serotonin.Serotonin is created in the gut and the good thing about that is that there are many things we can do to change how our microbiome works, so that we can get serotonin back in our brain naturally. This fact comes as a shock to many people whenever they know about this. Serotonin is important for mood and attention insofar as it helps with the mood regulation, and imbalances in serotonin levels have been linked to conditions like depression and anxiety. This is why it is often referred to as the "happy hormone".It also plays a vital role in the regulation of sleep-wake cycles, promoting sleep by converting to melatonin, a hormone that influences sleep patterns. As such, imbalances in serotonin and melatonin production can contribute to sleep disorders.Mental health and weight gain.Other risks posed by SSRI medications include anxiety, agitation, suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues. I’ve encountered many cases wherein someone already dealing with a mood disorder or other mental health condition experiences worse symptoms or conditions.It may also trigger fatigue, restlessness, and even gut issues. Some people, especially teenagers, also experience weight gain. We always have to prioritize one’s overall well-being, health and safety, which is why it is essential to find a qualified medical provider who will educate you about all the necessary information and provide you safe options. Moreover, your medical provider shall take a comprehensive or holistic approach when it comes to evaluating someone’s condition and also take into account the family history, medical history, as well as other factors that may contribute to whatever he or she is experiencing to prevent it from worsening. Understanding a patient's history is crucial in identifying any pre-existing medical conditions or medications that might interact with potential...
Sometimes, our kids’ behaviors get a little bit too concerning which makes us wonder whether or not these behaviors are symptoms that could be a sign of a clinical issue. This leaves parents feeling lost considering that while many behaviors are normal and part of growing up, some may indeed indicate underlying clinical issues that need attention and support.This is an episode parents shouldn’t miss as we are joined by an amazing guest, Tiffany, who will be sharing her whole journey both as a mom and a dad who trusted her guts and got ahead of the problem in healing the brain by treating the symptoms not the diagnosis. How Tiffany started to take charge.Tiffany recalls noticing behavioral concerns with her 2-year-old son who was always so energetic and was dealing with some speech problems. They noticed red flags that were not typical for kids his age.They went to consult with a pediatrician but the latter said not to worry about the speech of her son as everything will come soon but as time passed by, nothing’s happening. Tiffany’s instinct told her that something is definitely off regarding the situation despite everyone telling her that it’s going to be okay.It started to frustrate her son not being able to speak properly – wanting to say the words but couldn’t – which is what made them seek help from a speech therapist. However, they were told that everything was fine. Well, it turned out he had a tongue tie as soon as they found another great speech therapist.Luckily, the new speech therapist was able to assess Tiffany’s kid properly and the progress was instant. They also found that something wasn’t right with his nervous system. A friend of Tiffany’s suggested going to a chiropractor and that’s how their natural healing journey began.The importance of asking for help.Seeking help for mental health issues is crucial, especially when dealing with conditions like somatic symptom disorder, anxiety disorder, or any other mental illness. It is essential to remember that addressing and managing the symptoms is just as vital as focusing on the diagnosis itself. We have to instill in our minds and other people’s minds that seeking help empowers individuals to cope with their symptoms, anxiety, or any other mental health challenges. By addressing the symptoms proactively, individuals can enhance their well-being and health. It's important to prioritize symptom management and not let the fear of judgment hinder them towards recovery and mental wellness. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. There are times when everyone’s going to keep reassuring you that everything’s going to be okay sooner or later but then you’ll notice no developments after a while. You can’t just stick to doing the same thing and expect a different outcome; that’s not how it works.It’s really beneficial to surround yourself with supportive and understanding people who believe in a holistic approach. As parents, we’re supposed to know our kids best. As such, if your gut feeling tells you that something is not right or that there might be an underlying issue, it's crucial to take those concerns seriously and seek professional help.Be a strong advocate for your kid's well-being. Connect with other parents who may have faced similar challenges. Sharing experiences and supporting one another can be beneficial. However, parents should also take care of themselves as everything can be emotionally taxing.The importance of nutrition and neurofeedback.It is imperative for us to monitor the nutritional components that kids get. Like what Tiffany mentioned, having an anti-inflammatory diet will do wonders to your kid’s physical and mental health; so much healing can happen. Nutrition and neurofeedback play significant roles in supporting individuals dealing with various conditions, such as functional...
Due to many technological advancements, most people have become heavily reliant on the use of technology, particularly different social media platforms. This brings us a new parenting challenge of how to pry these devices out of our kid’s hands. In today’s episode, we’ll be discussing about stopping screen time battles with your kids considering the fact that excessive social media use significantly affects their mental health. Managing screen time and boundaries.It is definitely challenging to break away from technology nowadays, especially when it has made things more convenient for us in terms of communicating, shopping, transacting, and many other purposes. However, the problem comes in when we’re already becoming so attached with our phones and devices causing excessive social media use.That is why it’s vital to have a structure for social media usage especially when you’re parenting. You have to set boundaries and relay your rules clearly and consistently to your kids. Setting boundaries helps safeguard your kids from potential risks and dangers associated with social media.One of the most critical factors in stopping screen time battles is making your kids aware that they have to work for certain things and that not everything is going to be handed to them on a silver platter every single time. Because right now, most kids get everything and parents find it hard to say no sometimes. This factor also affects a kid’s journey to becoming more independent.Don’t expect too much from your kids.Sometimes, we tend to forget that our kids are still young. We have to keep in mind that kids don’t necessarily know when they’re already being dependent on their phones, specifically, on social media apps. These kids are not aware how much these devices are replacing the real-life interactions they need to improve their communication skills and empathy. Of course, we can’t completely avoid technology because it has already been an integral part of life for so long now. We just have to remain patient and empathetic as our kids navigate the digital realm and consistently provide them with guidance and support.To reduce their screen time, make sure to always have activities ready for your kids. Personally, I like making a list of options that my kids can work through to train them to be more independent and it’s been working out well so far. Giving your kids choices from a list of activities empowers them to take charge of their leisure time and make decisions based on their interests.How to role model technology usage.It is normal for kids to emulate what they see in their parents. Thus, it’s important for us to be role models when it comes to social media consumption or technology usage. It is our responsibility as parents to guide and educate them about healthy technology use and the importance of balancing screen time with real-life interactions.Back when we were on a vacation from years ago, I had a real eye opener when my son drew a picture of me with my phone in hand. Normally, we would just shrug it off or justify such a situation by saying that we are able to work and have fun at the same time. What we don’t realize is that we’re not being good role models for our kids when we are always busy on our phones. And so, to parents, make sure to put your phones down. Focus on your kids and interact with them. It’s also important to schedule screen-free time for the whole family and stick with it. With respect to good mental health, engaging in screen-free activities can reduce stress and anxiety.For more information about the effects of screen time and how to better manage your kids’ screen time to promote healthy media usage, you can read the following blog posts:●     
Technology has developed a lot throughout the years and it has been affecting people’s lives both positively and negatively. Nowadays, most children heavily use mobile phones and other technological devices mostly for the purpose of entertainment. In fact, it has been said that the average time a teenager spends is 7 hours and 22 minutes. While technology has brought many benefits to us, it has also introduced new challenges impacting the mental well-being of many people due to heavy reliance on technology, specifically on social media.It’s important for us to discuss this link between social media and mental health because these technology and devices aren’t going away. We just really have to know how to manage their technology or social media usage to avoid any negative impacts on our kids’ mental health.We just need to balance everything.Although challenging, we need to balance our kids’ playtime, social interactions, screen time, and everything else. Social media can indeed be addictive and the excessive use and time consumption badly affects a kid’s productivity, sleep patterns, and real-life social interactions. Social interactions are very important when it comes to developing communication skills and emotional intelligence. And so, it’s better to encourage your kids to spend time with their friends and family and continue building meaningful relationships beyond social media.You can encourage your kids to engage more in physical activities and outdoor play to lessen their excessive use of social media and technology. Active play helps with physical development, social skills, and creativity. It's also an excellent way for them to maintain a healthy lifestyle.I often get asked how much time kids should spend on social media. There is actually no certain period for that since every family is different. So the best way to know what works for you is to assess the situation and take into consideration different factors. The difference between passive screen time and engaged screen time.Not all screen times are bad. As parents, we have to stay involved in our kid’s online activities and monitor their screen time regularly to know the kinds of content they are viewing and to know who they are interacting with. We have to promote responsible internet use and cyber safety especially at such a young age. The notion that screen time is something bad is associated with passive screen time which should be distinguished from engaged screen time, particularly when we speak of its impacts on mental health. When it's passive, it is more associated with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and more. Some examples of passive screen time are scrolling through social media and browsing the internet aimlessly.On the other hand, engaged screen time is associated with better mental health as it involves interactive activities. It could be in the form of video calls with friends and family, playing internet games, and many more.Putting boundaries around technology.Anxiety is associated with excessive computer use considering that there are many stressors on social media platforms that can worsen one’s anxiety symptoms. That’s why setting boundaries to limit excessive use is also beneficial in promoting good mental health.Excessive screen time can also have negative effects on your kid’s sleep quality which can result in increased anxiety levels. Rather than mindlessly consuming content for extended periods, individuals can focus on engaging in purposeful activities that promote positive mental health.It's essential for us to take a balanced and mindful approach to screen time. As parents, let us continue promoting more interactive activities while limiting passive and potentially harmful usage. For more information about the effects of screen time and how to better
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