Kamis, 14 September 2017

Parenting Adolescents - How to Apply the New Brain Research to Increase Your Effectiveness

Surprisingly, new research on the brain tells us that adolescent brains undergo a great deal of development during adolescence -- perhaps far more than previously thought.

Fine tuning of reasoning and the decision making processes occurs during this time, making it difficult at times for the adolescent to think logically. This may help explain the tendency toward risk-taking behavior, too. As teenagers become more independent, they engage in more adult-like activities and take more risks. However, they do not have the life experience to guide them, or to always ensure that their risks are safe, such as when they are engaging in novelty-seeking behavior.

Close Supervision

That's why it's important for adults to maintain close supervision of adolescents, without smothering them emotionally. Parents must strike a delicate balance between allowing the teen to become more independent while keeping up close supervision. This is a difficult transition to make for some parents, who are used to parenting a young child, and not having their authority questioned.

If the parent behaves too authoritatively, the teen may rebel or mistake the good intentions of the parent in a negative way, and the relationship may suffer.

Striking A Delicate Balance

It's an age-old question: How do you keep tabs on your teenager, and ensure a safe and healthy passage to adulthood?

First, it helps to learn all you can about adolescence (and dispel any myths), so you know what to expect. One prominent myth is the idea that adolescence is a hard developmental phase to go through and always a struggle. In reality, many kids breeze through adolescence.

Another myth is that teenagers and their parents cannot get along. Yet good parenting can make all the difference in the world.

Second, stop to realize that teens feel invincible at times and like to do unsafe things. They may actually feel or sense no danger, or get caught up in the emotion of the moment. This is known as the myth of invincibility, and refers to the tendency teens have to not recognize the dangers inherent in a situation . . . and to think they can endure dangerous ordeals or unsafe activities unscathed.

Peer pressure added to the feelings of invincibility can create a prescription for disaster.

What Can You Do?

Help your adolescent to be realistic about life's risks without nagging or insulting. Instead of forbidding certain experiences, consider helping to figure out a way to have experiences safely. Be sure that all the variables are analyzed, but leave the final decision to the adolescent, fostering a growing independence and self-confidence.

Encourage your adolescent to be responsible for decisions and mistakes. This is how the teen will develop confidence and gain the experience to be a successful adult. Avoid rescuing, allow your adolescent to experience the results of behaviors and decisions.

If a really bad decision is made - one you can't live with - then you can always shoot straight about it, and help your adolescent to make a better one. Sometimes you just have to say "no," such as when your teenager wants to do something that is highly dangerous or foolhardy. It may be helpful to negotiate, too. There is an art to this, and the use of finesse and tact are especially helpful.


1. Don't be a know-it-all.

2. Avoid acting like a tyrant or ogre.

3. Don't lecture. Lecturing turns kids and adults off.

4. Learn to listen and pay attention to what your teen is doing and thinking.

5. Talk, don't yell!

6. Watch for red flags: drinking, staying out until all hours, and disconnecting from the family are examples. If you see a sign something may be wrong, sit down and open a discussion with your son or daughter. Be advised, they won't tell you how they feel if they are afraid of you or fear your over-reaction.

7. Be a concerned parent who communicates honestly with your child. That means being there for him/her, and not being too busy with your own life to give your teen the attention he/she needs.

Additional Considerations

Adolescent brains are more sensitive to addiction, or repeating any enjoyable event/activity that releases dopamine, than adult brains. So the wise parent knows this and realizes the likelihood of adolescent experimentation.

The parts of the brain that are responsible for impulse control, such as the prefrontal cortex, undergo big changes during the adolescent years. Teens are not always well equipped to resist the new temptations of adolescence. Not all cognitive capacities are mature in the adolescent brain, making it hard for teens to always make good decisions.

Parents who understand this can spend less time criticizing their teenager for making bad decisions and more time relating to him/her. The latter will prove helpful to the relationship the parent has with the teen.

It is the relationship that counts when a parent tries to guide a teenager properly. The relationship matters far more than the rules or the consequences. Teens don't automatically behave out of blind obedience. If you want your teenager to obey you and to be able to talk to you, then avoid an authoritative or militaristic approach, and work hard to keep your relationship on good terms.

The Coaching Approach

Be a coach to your teenager, and not a judge or critic, and things will go much better. Kids will generally behave when they understand why you make certain decisions, and they have a good relationship with caring and involved parents. A close, trusting relationship is of paramount importance. If you don't have that kind of relationship with your teen, you can develop it.

Remember, adolescent brains are different. They are slower to develop to full maturity than once thought. No wonder it is often hard for an adolescent to make good decisions. Be understanding and supportive. Provide good supervision of your teen's behavior, and always take a proactive role in keeping a strong relationship with your teen.

Selasa, 29 Agustus 2017

Adolescent Depression - Causes and Best Treatment Options Available

Adolescent depression is a certain disorder that can occur during ones teenage years. What this type of depression involves are things like loss of interest, feelings of uselessness, constant sadness and discouragement among other negative feelings. You cannot predict whether a teenager will become depressed or not; sometimes it can be foreseen but in other cases it can be kept quiet without any suspicion, until something happens. It is important for adolescent depression to be seen to before it gets out of hand, which could be at any time. As soon as you realize you are depressed or your teenager is depressed you have to have the matter seen to. It might not easily be resolved, but you have to start somewhere.

Adolescent depression could be a temporary response from a teenager regarding certain situations or just usual stress, but it could also be a disorder that they will suffer from for years if they are not helped. When it comes to teenagers, depression is often due to:
o Independence arguments with parents
o Lack of freedom (in their minds)
o The natural maturing process and the stress and worries that come with it
o Sexual hormones can sometimes play a big role in depression

Adolescent depression could also be a temporary reaction that could lead to a permanent situation from disturbing events like:
o Failing school
o Being the victim of bullying
o Death of a relative or a close friend
o A sad breakup with a partner

Teenagers that experience low self-esteem, those who are very critical of themselves, and those who feel that they don't have any control or have little control over certain negative events are at risk to be depressed too. It is also a known fact that teenage girls are more likely to experience depression compared to teenage boys should they go through a difficult time.

Some of the risk factors involved include:
o Unstable care giving
o Weak social skills
o Chronic illnesses
o Sexual, mental and physical child abuse
o Genetic depression - family history of the disorder
o Loss of parent to divorce or death as well as other stressful life events

Adolescent depression can also be associated with some eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

Psychotherapy is the first thing that should be considered when seeking treatment for adolescent depression. Talk therapy tries to assist the depressed teen and change the way they think. They will be taught more reasonable ways in which they can solve their issues and they will also be taught how to improve their interpersonal and social skills.

Anti-depressants are normally used to keep depression at bay, but the side-effects that come with taking anti-depressants are something scary and not for any teenager to experience.

The best thing for any depressed adolescent is taking herbal supplementation. This is perfect as it is all natural and will have no or very little side-effects. There are many herbs available to take; the teenager will have to decide what works best for them.

Sabtu, 12 Agustus 2017

The Adolescent Acne - Peculiarities, Truths and Tips

During adolescence comes a stage in which many adolescents admit they would like to disappear from the earth: "the adolescent acne". It is when young people feel the world is coming up and they start to ban most delicious food.

The adolescent acne is a disease of age and we should not feel bad with it, but face it and realize that will soon pass. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that mainly affects adolescents and is characterized by clinical polymorphism consists of:

1. No inflammatory lesions (blackheads).

2. Inflammatory lesions (pustules, nodules, cysts).

3. Residual lesions (scars).

The onset of the condition occurs in puberty, but is not uncommon to find it between the second and third decades of life, especially in women. According to some experts, the main symptoms of acne are caused by the ingestion of foods such as peanuts, chocolate, mayonnaise, butter and fat-rich foods.

Men produce small amounts of female hormones and women produce some male ones, that is why we have some common changes, including the one that affect both at this time: acne, which is favored by the increase of male hormones. So, that is the main reason acne usually is more severe in men.

In adolescence, young people should give adequate care to their skin. Acne can sometimes disappear spontaneously in early adulthood, but requires further therapeutic measures that help to shorten their development and reduce the severity of the process avoiding complications that might leave some sequels.

There are some myths about acne that should be considered as having little or no truth, because many times they do more harm than help, these myths are about the influence of diet, sex or vitamins on this kind of condition. It has been scientifically proved that what we eat has no direct or immediate influence on the production of acne lesions. It is neither true that washing the face more times than usually or by rubbing stronger than suggested, it will not improve acne, far from it, may get worse.

People who have an oily skin are more likely to suffer from acne as a result of dysfunction of the sebaceous glands, which are clogged and not functioning properly. If the above are added to the occlusion of the hair follicle by powders, creams and soaps too fatty, ingestion of certain medications (such as iodides and bromides), an inadequate nutrition (chocolate, cheese and other foods high in fat) are given all factors for the adolescent acne appears.

That is why we recommend the cleaning of the facial region twice daily with antibacterial or sulfur soap. Also go to the medical specialist and not apply any product identified by no-authorized specialists or "well intentioned" friends, which far from improving, can irritate your skin getting worse the adolescent acne condition.

Jumat, 28 Juli 2017

Adolescent Substance Abuse - Correctly Identifying the Problem to Correct It

Parents often find themselves in a quandary trying to figure out how to help the adolescent whose behavior, disposition, and mood has changed for the worst. The exact nature of the problem may be eluding them. They use a trial and error problem solving method where they end up trying anything and everything to solve the problem. They try assertive discipline, enrolling their child in extracurricular activities to improve self-confidence or self-esteem, tutors, antidepressants, etc. without really knowing what they are dealing with.

They are often operating under faulty suppositions. Although their child's personality changes can seemingly come out of nowhere, the parent may have identified a link to changes in the family, lifestyle, or other circumstances. Parents tend to point to a geographic move, a divorce, death of a grandparent (or any other significant person), or other major life changes and believe that these changes are the source of the problem.

Much of the time, the personality and behavioral changes they see in their adolescent, are related to substance abuse. And the substance abuse can be linked to those life changes. If there is substance abuse/dependence issue, those life changes may have propelled the child into escalating use of the chemical, which could bring about escalating negative consequences of that drug use.

Most parents do not want to believe that their child has an addiction or drug problem. It is much more emotionally comfortable to believe that their child is having a hard time adjusting to changes in the family or to developmental stage difficulties. Parents are often so invested in "the problem" not being a "drug problem" that they ignore or explain away the first few wake-up calls that they are dealing with addiction.

Classic examples of an alcohol or drug problem that parents often miss include (but are not inclusive):

1) finding drugs in the child's room and believing that the drugs belong to some other child and that your son/daughter is holding them for "Johnny".
2) writing off some anonymous phone call or letter that your child is using, to jealousy, or some other malevolent motivation,
3) explaining your adolescent's change in group of friends as his/her low self-esteem or need to take care of others,
4) explaining drugged or drunken behavior as a "one time only" event.

Other common changes in your adolescent that may signal an alcohol or other drug problem:

-Drop in grades, being late, skipping school
-Defiant, rebellious behavior at home, school, and in community (lack of respect for authority figures).
-Depression, over sleeping, insomnia, sadness, apathy, loss of motivation, loss of interests
-Irritability, agitation, acting out of anger, hostility, negative attitude Change in peer group. Peers are not the same group of kids they have always hung out with (i.e."druggies", kids that are getting into trouble, older kids)
-Changes in appearance and personal style; neglect of hygiene; weight loss/gain
-Social isolation and withdrawal
-Emotional lability and mood swings.
-Secrecy, dishonesty, lying about insignificant things

Adolescents are more vulnerable to moving from casual/experimental use of chemicals into addiction because of their still developing brains and emotional immaturity. Other adolescents are even more vulnerable to addiction than others because of genetic predisposition, personality characteristic (low self-esteem, people pleasing, anxiety, especially social anxiety, lack of social skills, easily bored, antisocial attitudes, etc.), peers with pro-drug use attitudes and behavior, certain family dynamics.

When parents discover that there is a substance abuse problem amidst other life changes and circumstances, it is tempting to try to focus on those other circumstances, believing that the drinking/using problem will be resolved when the other issues are fixed. This is typically not the case.

Unresolved emotional, mental health, and relationship issues can be worked on and resolved once the drinking/using stops, but working on the other issues will not stop the drinking/using. Unless the chemical use is stopped, the symptoms and negative consequences of drinking/using will continue to occur. The symptoms and negative consequences of substance abuse are those listed above (i.e. drop in grades, secrecy, depression, etc.)

Most addiction treatment modalities target the emotional and psychological issues present in a patient with addiction. Many emotional/psychological issues are resolved through getting clean and sober. Many addicts have been misdiagnosed with physical and mental illnesses that they simply do not have. Once the using stops, so do many of the other symptoms. Addiction can mimic all kinds of other illnesses, including bipolar, schizophrenia, ADD, borderline personality, depression, anxiety disorders and others.

Sometimes, however, other illnesses are co-occurring with substance abuse/addiction and will persist well into sobriety. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to know whether there is another underlying disorder when its symptoms are the same ones as addiction itself.

Sabtu, 08 Juli 2017

Adopting an Adolescent Shih Tzu - Advantages and Disadvantages

A dog is considered an adolescent (teenager) between the ages of 9 to 18 months. Most people tend to adopt puppies when in the market for a dog, but they're those that would like a dog that's not too young and not too old. Therefore, the best choice for those people is an adolescent dog. However, they're some advantages as well as disadvantages to getting an adolescent dog over a puppy or a senior dog. If you're going to bring an adolescent (teen) Shih Tzu into your home, here are some things to consider:

1) Adolescent Shih Tzu's can get a little defiant, but it does not last long

As your dog gets older - around 2 years old, he or she should become nice, sweet and calm as well as set aside their defiant ways. This is just like when you're child matures and reaches the age of 20!

2) Teenage dogs need training just like puppies do, but they learn much faster

A teenager may challenge you at first, but in the end all of the training will pay off. Unlike puppies, teenage dogs have better concentration. In addition, if you're adopting a teenage dog, chances are they've already been trained by their previous owner.

3) Teenage Shih Tzu's may have already been trained by their previous owner

It all depends on the dog's past, but in most situations they've went through some form of training. You might have to do a little training just in case you need to refresh the dog's memory.

4) Teenage dogs bond to their owners a lot quicker

This breed adapts well to new situations and they love to be around people, therefore, there should be no problem with your dog loving and adoring you from the very start. It may even seem that you've known each other forever.

5) Teenage dogs need a lot of grooming

During the teenage years, dogs tend to shed their fur so that the adult coat can come in. Therefore, the coat needs a lot of maintenance. Be prepared for tough and high maintenance grooming sessions. You can groom the dog yourself or you can get a professional to do it for you.

Senin, 26 Juni 2017

Adolescent Depression and Parent Communication

It is a given that adolescence is a developmental period marked by rapid changes. The child's social role expands beyond the family and relationships with peers begin to dominate. At the same time, biochemical changes are occurring that result in surges of physical and intellectual growth. It is no wonder that so many teens describe feeling stressed and pressured.

Despite the aforementioned factors, most adolescents tolerate the transition to adulthood without major problems and grow up to be well adjusted adults. In fact, research over the past ten years indicates that approximately eighty percent of all adolescents reach maturity without significant difficulties. Of the remaining twenty percent, many experience adjustment issues associated with a number of factors including family problems, peer relationships, and educational stresses. For some, the result is depression and normal development becomes derailed.

Depression in adolescence looks very much like adult depression. The teen experiences feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and lack of faith in a happier future. Eating and sleeping patterns may change; friendships and family relationships suffer, and grades at school begin to drop. In some cases, the depression lifts and life returns to normal. But when depression lingers, the adolescent's life course can be altered permanently, leading to school failure, substance abuse, and a dysfunctional adult lifestyle.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps that parents can take to help their teen overcome depression and return to normal functioning.

First, it is important to recognize that changes in the teen's biochemistry predispose them to experience problems with emotional regulation. This results in the adolescent feeling extremes of emotions more frequently than in child or adult populations. Some days can be like a roller coaster of emotional extremes. Because of this, adults sometimes react to the adolescent's expression of feelings with irritation and impatience.

Secondly, it is important to understand that these emotional reactions are very real and that sometimes just listening can be amazingly helpful to the teen. For example, because adolescents are very peer focused the loss of a best friend or first love is typically perceived as catastrophic. Even parents who are empathetic to the teen's grief can become impatient when the storms of tears, sleepless nights, and sullen attitude affect the family atmosphere. But if parents are not available, teens will find someone else to talk to. That someone else is usually another adolescent who is unlikely to have the loyalty, sensitivity, and wisdom necessary to be truly helpful. Furthermore, issues of trust frequently arise when secret confidences become Facebook commentaries

Parents have power. Parents need to understand that maintaining communication and emotional connections with their teen allows them to recognizer problems early in the process and intervene quickly, when necessary, to help the youngster cope with difficult events. Parents can be powerful influences for good by just being available to listen. And, finally, if parental support is not enough, the involved, observant parent can help the teen find professional help.

Adolescents want and need a degree of independence in order to accomplish their developmental tasks. However, caring parents maintain vigilance and step in to provide support when life's challenges overwhelm the adolescent's ability to cope.

Selasa, 13 Juni 2017

Migraine in Adolescent Boys and Girls and Its Homeopathic Management!

Acute recurrent headaches that last for 2 to 4 hours and occur periodically are termed as migraine headaches. With the growing civilization, the incidence of migraine cases is increasing and sadly young adolescent boys and girls are also the victims. Dealing with these adolescent migraine cases is not easy, as they involve lot of emotional and psychological issues as well. Especially the cases that involve disability to carry on day to day activities need significant attention.

Incidence- Childhood migraine cases are found more in boys than girls; however, as they reach adolescent age group, more girls are affected than boys. Same trend continues in adulthood. More than 70% cases of migraine have positive family history and one or more immediate family members usually suffer from the same. Though migraine is a very debilitating illness, it usually does not lead to any significant bodily problem, neither are stroke or brain tumors linked with the migraine.

Causes of Migraine- In any age group, until recently the vascular system was blamed for occurrence of migraine headache. It was primarily thought to be due to constriction and expansion of blood vessels in the brain. However, it is now considered more of a CNS disorder primarily due to disturbance in the brain and nerves and secondarily due to blood vessels. Changes in the level of circulating neurotransmitters are thought to be among the primary causes.

Types of Migraine in Adolescence-

1) Classical Migraine- This is an episodic migraine with aura. In adolescent age group, usually the attack of migraine starts in early or late mornings. An aura can be said as a warning sign before an attack of migraine that may begin about 10 to 30 minutes before the onset of headache. Blurred vision, spots before vision, giddy spells, sudden nausea, etc are the common auras experienced by the migraine sufferer.

2) Common Migraine- This is commoner form of migraine that occurs without any aura. Some forms of complicated migraines also may occur in a few individuals, those associated with ophthalmic problems, confusion, and/or hemiplegia, etc; however such complications are rare during adolescence.

Important Migraine Triggers in Adolescence-

1) Stress- In any age group, stress can be considered as the major factor that leads to onset of migraine headache. Especially adolescent age group undergoes lot of mental and emotional turmoil due to social, academic, and familial tensions. Stress management, psychotherapy to handle stress better, involving in some enjoyable hobby, etc are some of the strategies that help conquer such migraines.

2) Menstruation- Menstrual migraines are pretty common in adolescent girls, which may be due to hormonal influences.

3) Abnormal eating patterns- with the increasing stress and modern lifestyle, many adolescent boys and girls have irregular and junk eating habits. Certain types of food like coffee, chocolates, etc act as triggers in certain youngsters. Also remaining empty stomach beyond the normal gastric emptying time (4 hours) can set the attack of migraine.

4) Medicines- certain medicines like Oral Contraceptive Pills, drugs used for asthma, stimulants, etc can result in recurrent migraine headaches. Understanding the bad effects o drugs and taking appropriate precautions to stop those drugs need expert advice.

5) Alcohol- more and more adolescents are getting addicted to alcohol, the major trigger from migraine. Expansion of the arteries of the brain is the cause. Identifying the trigger factors is one of the major steps in treating your migraine. Take apt steps to prevent these triggers and this will help in lengthening the headache-free periods and even reduce the intensity of attacks.

Treatment of Migraine in Adolescence- Medicinal therapy can always be started any time for any age group. But one should make efforts initially and during the medicinal course to cut the triggers and improve the lifestyle and diet. Here is the checklist-

-- Maintaining a headache diary helps one understand the headache-free periods between the attacks

-- Avoid over-the-counter medication as far as possible. Increase use of such drugs can actually increase the intensity of headaches

-- Never skip meals, especially morning breakfast

-- Drinking ample water (at least 8 to 10 glasses)

-- Take steps to reduce stress; relaxation techniques can help a great deal

-- Exercise regularly

-- Re-schedule your sleep; you must get at least 8 hours of sleep at a stretch

-- Take medicines properly as per the guidelines and give apt follow-up

Homeopathic Treatment of Migraine in adolescence--

Homeopathy, as we know is a holistic method of treating patients. Same approach is (or should be) maintained when it comes to treating migraine cases in any age group. One cannot take just the diagnosis of migraine into account while treating these types of episodic headaches homeopathically. Complete physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the patients should be given importance and remedy found after careful evaluation. Symptomatic approach is the best suited approach in any migraine case and rarely have I come across a migraine case that fails to respond to efficient homeopathic therapy. In adolescence age group, proper psychological counseling and stress management are important auxiliary regimens to be advised by homeopathic expert.