Amy Morin

Sleep Disorders: From Bedwetting to Sleep Texting?

Monday November 4, 2013

Kids are notorious for sleep disturbances. Most of them are minor and they range from complaints of not being able to fall asleep to fears of monsters hiding under the bed.

However, there certainly are some more serious sleep disorders. And according to some experts, sleep texting is becoming a serious issue for many adults and adolescents. The good news is, there's a cure for that - don't allow your child to keep her phone in her room at night.

Another sleep issue that has been around much longer is bedwetting. Many parents wonder whether or not they should discipline a child for bedwetting. If you're dealing with a child who wets the bed, read more about the best ways to respond to bedwetting.

Values Check: Should You Step in to Discipline Someone Else's Child?

Monday November 4, 2013

There is often a lot of debate about an adult's role in disciplining other people's children. While some people subscribe to the belief that it takes a whole village to raise a child and every adult is responsible to step in to address other children's misbehavior, many others believe you should mind your own business.

With topics like bullying and suicide often making headlines, it has caused many people to question adult's roles in stepping in to address behavior problems, even the behavior of children that aren't yours.

While some people aren't comfortable disciplining other children, other parents feel it is necessary. At what point would you step in and say something if you see a parent who isn't addressing an issue?

Check out this article about whether or not you should really discipline other people's kids.

What Do You Do if Your Child Misses the School Bus?

Monday November 4, 2013

It's great to have a back up plan about what to do if your child misses the bus. A few years ago there was a story about a 6-year-old who took tried to drive himself to school after he missed the bus. He almost made it all the way to school before he crashed. Luckily, he was okay.

Obviously this is an extreme case. However, it is important for parents to have a plan in place about what to do if your child misses the school bus. This is especially important if it becomes a habit.

Most kids don't like taking the school bus. After all, it's loud, chaotic, and the big kids can be mean sometimes. However, for many kids, its their only transportation option.

When kids dislike the bus or dislike school altogether, they often come up with the idea of missing the bus on purpose. They may take as long as they possibly can to get out of bed and to get ready for school in hopes that the school busy will pass by before they've managed to get outside.

It's important for parents to deter this behavior. There are several strategies parents can use to motivate kids to get ready for school on time and to make it on the bus. Learn which discipline strategies are most effective in getting your kid on the school bus on time.

If Time Out Isn't Working...Keep Trying!

Monday November 4, 2013

I hear a lot of parents say, "Time out just doesn't work with my child." When I ask them what happens when they place their child in time out, they say things like, "My child won't stay in time out," or "He just yells and screams the whole the time."

If you're having some problems with time out, don't give up! It's likely that some of the behaviors you are seeing are because your child is protesting. That means time out is an effective consequence.

Just like anything, time out takes practice and perseverance. If your child can weasel his way out of time out, you'll teach him that misbehavior is effective in getting him what he wants.

Instead, resolve to find ways to make time out work. It can be a very effective discipline strategy. If you're having problems with time out, read this.

Parenting: Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture

Monday November 4, 2013

It can be so easy to get caught up in the every day stress of parenting that it makes it hard to see the big picture. Dealing with behavior problems, temper tantrums, and defiance can make you want to pull your hair out.

There's times when every parent has done what's easiest in the moment, instead of what's best for the long-term. Give in during a tantrum and it will stop. Back down when your child argues and the argument ends.

However, it's a vicious cycle. Give in or back down and you'll make behavior problems worse over the long haul. Therefore, it's important to look at the big picture when you're parenting.

Check out some of these inspirational and humorous parenting quotes to help motivate you to stay strong when you're disciplining your child.

Don't Use Spanking to Teach Your Child Not to Hit

Monday November 4, 2013

I get a lot of parents who enter into my therapy office because they aren't sure how to handle their child's aggressive behaviors. Quite often, they're dealing with a child who hits.

Many times, the child doesn't just hit peers, he's hitting his parents. And, a child who hits his parents, often doesn't stop there. Over the years I've seen lots of youngsters who hit teachers, grandparents, and babysitters as well.

I often hear people say things like, "That wouldn't happen in my generation. Back when parents could hit their kids, kids didn't behave this way." However, I'm often struck by that concept.

Does hitting a child really make the child not hit? Kids learn way more from our behavior rather than what we say. If you spank a child, and then say, "Don't hit," it certainly sends a mixed message.

If you have an aggressive child, check out these articles to learn more:

Holiday Shopping and Your Child's Behavior

Monday November 4, 2013

Believe it or not, the holidays are fast approaching. It's the time of year that always seems to fly by so fast. At least when you're an adult, that is. Ask a kid how fast the week before Christmas goes and they'll likely tell you it takes forever.

As we approach the holidays, it means most parents will spend more time in the stores hunting for gifts and shopping for groceries. That means, kids will likely spend more time in the stores as well. And when stores are crowded and holiday decorations block the aisles, it's more likely that kids will misbehave.

Whether it's the holiday season or not, don't be afraid to give your child a time out in public. It's the best way to address behavior problems and prevent future behavior problems.

Check out these articles to learn more about time out:

How to Give a Time Out When You're in a Public Place
Common Problems with Time Out
Ways to Make Time Out Most Effective

Inconsistent Bed Times Interfere with a Child's Development

Saturday October 19, 2013

An article published in Time discusses the latest research that states irregular bedtimes can interfere with a child's development.

Researchers studied young children, ages 3, 5, and 7, and reported on how their sleep impacted them. They found that children with irregular sleep times suffered in a number of areas. Kids with irregular bedtimes scored lower on standardized tests, exhibited higher rates of hyperactivity, struggled more with problem-solving skills. They also had more emotional difficulties and more problems dealing with peers.

Many parents often don't see the need for young children, especially those who aren't yet enrolled in school, to have a regular bedtime. However, it's important for their bodies to have consistent bedtimes so they can obtain more quality sleep.

Kids with regular bedtimes establish sleep-wake patterns, which can ensure they receive more quality sleep. Their bodies develop consistent circadian rhythms and they are less likely to feel tired during the day.

Establish clear bedtime rules to help ensure your child experiences a consistent bedtime and bedtime routine. Set good habits early and help improve your child's behavior, peer interactions, and chances for academic success.

Learn how to establish bedtime rules and follow through with a healthy bedtime routine.

October is ADHD Awareness Month

Wednesday October 16, 2013

This month kicks off ADHD Awareness Month. ADHD seems to be a commonly misunderstood disorder. Some people doubt the disorder exists while others think all active kids must have it.

If you've got a child with ADHD, it's likely you know quite a bit about the disorder already. Hopefully this month's campaign will help educate others about ADHD and how it impacts a child's life.

One common problem for children with ADHD is how other caregivers discipline them. Kids with ADHD require some slight modifications to most discipline approaches.

Unfortunately, many kids with ADHD get labelled as a "bad kid." They may get yelled at and scolded more often when their hyperactivity or inattention frustrates teachers, daycare providers or even grandparents.

There are many ways to discipline kids without yelling, however. Hopefully ADHD awareness month will spread the word so more caregivers can be educated about ADHD.

Discipline Strategies that Work

Tuesday October 15, 2013

There are some common discipline issues that I help parents address in my therapy office on a regular basis. Although there are five different types of discipline, there are some discipline strategies that work best to address some of the most common child behavior problems.

Lying, tantrums, aggression, and defiance are just a few of the most common child behavior problems. Almost all kids will do these at least once. Most of them will do these things several times.

The way you respond to these behavior problems will play the biggest role in how often they occur. Effective consequences not only teach children to learn from their mistakes, but it should also teach kids what to do instead so they don't repeat the behavior.

Learn more about the 10 Most Common Child Behavior Problems and Their Solutions and find out the best discipline techniques to help your child.

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