Archive for June, 2014

Toddlers Should Toddle Instead of Watching TV

June 26, 2014

To help prevent a child from developing attention deficit disorder, keep children under 2 years old away from the TV.

Researchers at Children’s Hospital and Regional Center in Seattle found that for each hour of TV watched each day between the ages of 1 and 3, the risk of attention problems at age 7 increases by nearly 10%.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders among children. It affects between 4% and 12% of children, and boys are more likely than girls to develop the disorder.

TV is not the sole culprit, say researchers. They say that genetics and even neglectful or distracted parents may play a part in whether a child develops ADHD. However, they also propose that TV may be partly to blame because it rewires children’s brains. Experts say that TV images and sequences of events move much more quickly than real life. If a child is exposed to this rapid experience of time, they might develop and attention deficit disorder.

To promote health, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:

  • No TVs, DVD players, VCRs and video games should be allowed in children’s rooms.
  • Allow no more than one to two hours of TV a day for older children and no screen time for those under 2.
  • Make sure children engage in other activities such as reading, sports, or creative play.

Being Assertive

June 12, 2014

To get ready for difficult conversations – asking a spouse to change an annoying habit, a supervisor to change his/her mind about something important to you, or a family member to reconsider a hurtful statement – use the following steps.

Think about how you’ll feel during the conversation. If you think you’ll feel tense or anxious, you might prepare by practicing some calming techniques.

Think about how the other person will feel. If the person will feel caught off guard, she may become angry or defensive. Be prepared.

Think about the different ways you can express your thoughts. Experts say statements that begin with “I feel” work best. These “I feel” statements can help you stay focused on your own feelings and your responsibility for them rather than on attacking the other person. Note: Be sure to use words that describe your feelings – “I feel hurt when you call a name” – rather than using the “I feel” statement as a setup for an attack – “I feel like you’re a jerk when you call me a name.”

Think about what the other person might say in return. This will help you think of other ways to effectively communicate what you want to say.

Follow through by having the conversation. Many people go through these steps only to back out at the last minute. But not having the conversation can leave you feeling bitter, hurt or wronged. Be assertive. Give yourself permission to express your feelings and have that conversation.

A Thoughtful Perspective on Anger

June 6, 2014

A recent study shoes that a hostile person is about three times as likely to have a heart attack as someone less prone to anger. The article in the Journal of the American Heart Association on Circulation said hostile people are also at higher risk for stroke, and holding in anger may suppress your immune system.

But we are not only affected physically by the effects of simmering anger. Frequent displays of anger can drive others away. This isolation can lead to a downward spiral of reduced social support and an increase in risky behaviors like smoking and alcohol and other drug abuse.

Here are some ways to help avoid constant angry outbursts.

Examine your own actions. The first thing we should do is examine our own hostile behavior and ask ourselves how others might experience it.

Exercise self-restraint. When interacting with someone who makes you feel angry, instead of giving in to the anger and frustration, you could say to yourself, “I have the power and will to endure this person for a while.” Remind yourself that you will not have to be around this person 24/7/365. You only have to bear what’s upsetting you for a little while.

Preprogram your brain for love, joy and compassion. When you go to a rose garden, you notice the roses not the thorns. Even though you may never notice the thorns, they outnumber the roses in a garden by far. The reason you did not notice the thorns is because you did not go to the garden or meadow with the intention of observing thorns. Even before going to the rose garden, your brain is preprogrammed for observing the beauty there – not the prickly thorns. In other words, we should not concentrate on or preprogram our minds about other people’s faults. The more you pay attention to a person’s positive traits and talents, the less angry you will feel.

If you need help managing anger or know someone who does, please give us a call at Soundside Wellness Consultants to set up an appointment today.