Behavioral And Psychosocial Issues
Alcohol and Your Child: What Parents Need to Know
One of the most abused drugs in our society is alcohol. It's also a drug that many people start using at very young ages. Though it's illegal for people younger than 21 years to drink, many children are introduced to alcohol well before they reach that age. The earlier they begin using alcohol, the higher the risk they will have problems with it later in life. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents understand the dangers of alcohol and how to prevent alcohol use.
Did you know that there are about 5 million children in the United States who wet the bed? If your child wets the bed, he or she is not alone.
Beyond Screen Time: A Parent’s Guide to Media Use
While family is the most important influence in a child’s life, media in all its forms, including TV, computers, and other screens, are not far behind. Because media can influence how children think, feel, and behave, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to help their children form healthy media use habits early on. Read on for information about steps you can take to encourage healthy media use habits and to learn more about media messages and TV ratings.
Bipolar and Mood Disorders
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Nearly 1 in every 100 kids suffers from bipolar disorder and may suffer extreme mood swings. In kids these swings can happen much more rapidly. If your child is diagnosed be sure to contact your pediatrician for advice on treatment.
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: If you discover your child is being bullied, teach your child to remain calm and to have the courage to walk away from a fight. Talk to a teacher about the bully, and encourage your child to develop strong friendships. Children with loyal friends are less likely to be bullied.
Bullying: It's Not OK
CONNECTED KIDS: Bullying is when one child picks on another child again and again. Usually children who are being bullied are either weaker or smaller, are shy, and generally feel helpless. Bullying most commonly takes place at school, when adults are not watching, or through email or instant messages. Whether your child is the one being bullied, doing the bullying, or simply a bystander, there are a number of measures you can take as a parent to improve their social skills and decrease their involvement in this detrimental practice.
Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse of children is more common than most people think. About 1 out of 5 girls and 1 out of 10 boys will be sexually abused during their childhood. Parents can take steps to help prevent and recognize sexual abuse in children.
Cocaine: What You Need to Know
Young people are surrounded by pro-drug messages in the media and on the Internet. They may try cocaine for the excitement or the experience without realizing the very real risks and consequences that come with cocaine use.
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: A cyberbully is a child that uses the internet to broadcast hateful comments about another child. Monitor your child's internet use to prevent them from being bullied or from doing the bullying. There are no federal laws against cyberbullying, but your state may have such laws.
Dealing with Toddler Aggression
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Aggressive behavior in toddlers is a normal response to frustration that should be handled with reinforcements for positive behavior, opportunities for physical play, and age-appropriate punishments.
Deciding to Wait
No matter what you've heard, read, or seen, not everyone your age is having sex, including oral sex and intercourse. In fact, more than half of all teens choose to wait until they're older to have sex. If you have already had sex but are unsure if you should again, then wait before having sex again.
Depression in Children
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: 1 out of every 5 children are diagnosed with a mental disorder. Signs of depression may include trouble sleeping, headaches or consistant sadness. Encourage your children to take part in after school activities to give them something to look forward to and to give them an opportunity to make new friends.
Discipline and Your Child
As a parent, one of your jobs is to teach your child how to behave. While this can take time, try not to get frustrated when your child does not behave. Instead, learn effective ways to discipline your child. The following is guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to discipline your child.
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: One effective way to discipline your child from ages 2 to 3 may be extinction, meaning that the parent ignores the child's bad behavior. This way the child will understand that bad behavior is ineffective at allowing them to get their way. Also, be sure to react positively any time your child practices good behavior.
Divorce and Children
Every year, more than 1 million children in the United States experience the divorce of their parents. Because the average divorce takes place within the first 7 years of marriage, many of these children are very young. For many children, divorce can be as difficult as the death of a parent. Children need the guidance, patience, and love of both parents to help them through.
Drug Abuse Prevention Starts with Parents
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Eating disorders are most common in girls aged 14 to 17, but are also sometimes found in teenage boys. If your child exhibits any unusual eating habits, such as skipping meals or being overly concerned with their weight, your child may have an eating disorder.
Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia
The 2 most well-known eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia is self-starvation. Bulimia is a disorder in which a person eats large amounts of food (binges) and then tries to undo the effects of the binge in some way, usually by ridding the body of the food that was eaten.
Everybody Gets Mad: Helping Your Child Cope with Conflict
Expect Respect: Healthy Relationships
Gambling: Not a Safe Thrill
Many Americans gamble for fun. However, for young people, gambling may become a serious addiction. The chances of a young gambler getting "hooked" are far greater than those of an adult.
Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Information for Teens and Parents
If you've ever wondered if you're gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you're not alone. Many teens ask themselves this question. It is a normal part of life.
Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Parents: Information for Children and Parents
Millions of children have one or more gay and/or lesbian parents. For some children, having a gay or lesbian parent is not a big deal. Others may find it hard to have a family that is different from most families. Being different in any way can be confusing, frustrating, and even scary. But what really matters is that children can talk to their parents about how they feel and that there is love and support in the family.
Help Stop Teenage Suicide
Helping Kids Understand Tragic Events
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Recent violence in schools has frightened parents and children alike. Help your kids understand these tragic events by monitoring TV coverage of these events, and encouraging them to discuss their thoughts and feelings about the event.
Helping Your Child Cope With Death
By school age, children understand that death is an irreversible event. Yet even though youngsters recognize that death is something more than going to sleep for a long time, they still may have many unanswered questions that they may not verbalize: Where did grandmother go when she died? What is she feeling? Is she in pain? Why did she die? Can we ever see her again? Are you going to die too? Who will take care of me if you die?
Helping Your Child Cope With Life
Every parent's dream is to raise perfect children who have no worries and lead charmed, happy lives free of pain and hurt. We dream that we can keep our children safe from loss, heartache, and danger. But even if we could, would it really help them?
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Inhalant abuse is when children inhale chemicals to get high (huffing). These chemicals can often be found around the house in commonly used products, such as spray paint. Inhalant abuse can be lethal, so warn your child about the dangers of inhalant abuse.
Inhalants: What You Need to Know
Young people today can face strong peer pressure to try drugs, including a group of substances called inhalants. Inhalant abuse is particularly a problem with younger teens, but even children as young as 5 or 6 years may try inhalants.
Kids and Stress
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Kids can suffer from stress and many handle it in different ways. At times there may be physical repercussions from a child suffering from stress, such as shortness of breath. Talk to your pediatrician and always try to provide a loving and supportive environment.
Know the Facts About HIV and AIDS
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). While there is no cure for HIV, early diagnosis and treatment are very effective at keeping people healthy. In addition, there are things you can do to prevent getting HIV. Read on to learn more about HIV and AIDS and how to keep you and your children healthy.
Learning Disabilities: What Parents Need to Know
Your child will learn many things in life—how to listen, speak, read, write, and do math. Some skills may be harder to learn than others. If your child is trying his best to learn certain skills but is not able to keep up with his peers, it’s important to find out why. Your child may have a learning disability (also known as LD). If your child has an LD, the sooner you know, the sooner you can get your child help. Your child can succeed in school, work, and relationships. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about LDs.
Making Healthy Decisions About Sex: Important Information For Teens
Before you decide to have sex or if you are already having sex, you need to know how to stay healthy. Even if you think you know everything you need to know about sex, take a few minutes and read on. Your doctor wants to make sure you know the facts.
Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know
As a parent, you are your child’s first and best protection against drug use. The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about marijuana and how to help your child say “No” to drug use. (Child refers to child or teen in this publication.)
Please check one answer for each question. If the question does not apply to your family (ie, you do not own a computer or mobile device), leave that section blank.
Medicine and the Media: How to Make Sense of the Messages
Your child is sick or hurt and the first thought on your mind is, “How can I make my child better?” That's natural. No parent wants his or her child to suffer. So how do you decide what medicines to give or treatments to try?
Ratings: Making Healthy Media Choices
Research has shown that children are influenced by what they see and hear, especially at very young ages. To help parents make informed choices about what their children see and hear, many entertainment companies use ratings systems. Ratings give parents more information about the content of television (TV) programs, movies, music, or computer and video games. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about ratings and how you can help your children make healthy media choices.
Responding to Children's Emotional Needs During Times of Crisis: Information for Parents
Pediatricians are often the first
responders for children and families suffering emotional and psychological
reactions to terrorism and other disasters. As such, pediatricians have a unique
opportunity to help parents and other caregivers communicate with children in
ways that allow them to better understand and recover from traumatic events such
as terrorist attacks or other disasters. Pediatricians also can help to
facilitate timely referral to mental health services, as appropriate, for these
children and their families.
Separation Anxiety and Sleeping
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Children ages 6 months to 2 years may suffer from separation anxiety, which is a normal stage in emotional development. Be firm in stating that they will be fine on their own, but always reassure them that you will be back soon.
Almost 80% of children grow up with at least one brother or sister. Brothers and sisters teach each other how to get along with others. Even if they do not always get along with each other, siblings play very positive roles in each other's lives.
Single-parent families are more and more common in today's society. While raising children alone isn't easy, children in single-parent homes can grow up just as happy as children in 2-parent homes. Read on to find out how single parents can better cope with the special challenges of raising children on their own.
Sleep Problems in Children
Sleep problems are very common during the first few years of life. Problems may include waking up during the night, not wanting to go to sleep, nightmares, sleepwalking, and bedwetting. If frantic upset persists with no apparent cause, call your child's doctor.
Sleep Problems: Your Child’s Sleep Diary
Children differ in how much sleep they need, how long it takes them to fall asleep, and how easily they wake up. If you are concerned about your child’s sleep habits, talk with your child’s doctor. Your child’s doctor may ask you to keep a sleep diary to help track your child’s sleep habits.
Smokeless Tobacco: What You Need to Know
Chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, and dissolvable tobacco in the shape of sticks, pellets, and strips are all types of tobacco products that are not smoked but used in other ways. All types of smokeless tobacco contain nicotine and chemicals known to cause cancer (carcinogens).
Staying Cool When Things Heat Up
Stressed? Read This.
Even though stress makes us feel uncomfortable, it's not always a bad thing. Sometimes stress can really help us deal with tough situations. A lot of stress changes our bodies quickly and helps us react to an emergency. A little stress keeps us alert and helps us work harder.
Substance Abuse Prevention
The use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs is one of the biggest temptations facing young people today. As a parent, you are your child's best protection against drug use. You can start by telling your children that you expect them not to use drugs and become informed yourself about drug use. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help you identify the warning signs of drug use and provides tips on how to help your child (especially during the preteen and teen years) say no to drugs.
Talking With Your Teen About Sex
Children are exposed to sexual messages every day—on TV, on the Internet, in movies, in magazines, and in music. Sex in the media is so common that you might think that teens today already know all they need to about sex. They may even claim to know it all, so sex is something you just don't talk about. Unfortunately, only a small amount of what is seen in the media shows responsible sexual behavior or gives correct information.
Teaching Good Behavior: Tips on How to Discipline
Teen Dating Violence: Tips for Parents
Teen Suicide, Mood Disorder, and Depression
Thousands of teens commit suicide each year in the United States. In fact, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds.
Teens and Anxiety
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Teens are particularly prone to anxiety, which can be triggered by stress in relationships, peer pressure, or body image. They may be easily irritated or have trouble sleeping. Gently talk to your child about the problems that may be causing their anxiety.
It's hard for a young child to hold strong feelings inside. Young children often cry, scream, or stomp up and down when they are upset. As a parent, you may feel angry, helpless, or ashamed.
It's hard for young children to hold strong feelings inside. When they feel frustrated or angry, they often cry, scream, or stomp up and down. This is a temper tantrum. Temper tantrums are a normal part of your child's development. They usually begin around age 12 to 18 months, get worse between 2 and 3 years, then taper off after that, once children are able to use words to communicate their wants and needs. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents understand temper tantrums and how best to deal with them.
The Risks of Tobacco Use
Many people think that the only people harmed by tobacco use are smokers who have smoked for a long time. The fact is that tobacco use can be harmful to everyone. This includes unborn babies and people who don’t smoke.
Thumbs, Fingers, and Pacifiers
The good news is that most children stop their
sucking habits before they get very far in school. This is because of peer
pressure. While your child might still use sucking as a way of going to sleep or
calming down when upset, this is usually done in private and is not harmful.
Putting too much pressure on your child to stop may cause more harm than good.
Be assured your child will eventually stop the habit on her own.
Tobacco: Straight Talk for Teens
Did you know that about 80% of teens in the United States don't smoke? They've made a healthy choice.
Teaching your child how to use the toilet takes time and patience. Each child learns to use the toilet in his or her own time. Here is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help guide you and your child through the process.
Understanding Irritability in Children
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Irritability can be caused by many factors, depending on the age of the child. Irritability and mood swings are normal at any age, but if your child seems to be chronically irritable, consult your pediatrician to determine if there are any underlying conditions.
What is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?
If your child has a developmental, learning, or behavioral problem, a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician has the training and expertise to evaluate and care for your child. Developmental-behavioral pediatricians possess training and experience to consider, in their assessments and treatments, the medical and psychosocial aspects of children's and adolescents' developmental and behavioral problems.
What Is Your One-Year-Old Telling You?
Language begins long before the first spoken words. Your child starts “telling” you things during the first year of life. Your child may say things with looks, smiles, movements, or sounds. These early messages are very important.
Your Child's Mental Health: When to Seek Help and Where to Get Help
Have you noticed a recent change in your child's behavior? Is she having trouble getting along with friends? Is he failing school? Is this new behavior affecting your family?
Your Family's Mental Health: 10 Ways to Improve Mood Naturally
Great physical health is characterized by strength, flexibility, comfort, energy, endurance, and coordination. Similarly, great mental health includes feeling cheerful, hopeful, confident, resilient, adaptable, and connected to the people and world around us. Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the foundation for physical and mental health.