Being a teenager can have many ups and downs, some of which can make it difficult for you to make sense of as a parent. If your teen has been exhibiting a change in mood and you are not sure if they are depressed, here are some things you should know.
What's the Difference?
While most teenagers can seem rather moody and typically want to isolate themselves, these are some of the most common behaviors exhibited by teenagers. However, if you notice any drastic changes in your child's behavior, you should pay close attention to make sure there isn't an underlying issue going on. According to the Transformation Treatment Center, common signs of depression in teenagers are a rise in school truancy, declining grades, unusual emotional sensitivity or volatility, new involvement in alcohol or drug use, an unusual avoidance of social contact, or the appearance of "cutting" or other self-harming behaviors. If you find that your teen has turned to drugs as a form of coping treatment centers can help them overcome their addiction while promoting mental health as well.
What to Expect During the Teen Years
As your child becomes older, it is perfectly normal for them to prefer spending time with their friends over you. Although you might feel hurt by this, your teenager is just expanding their social circle and is becoming more independent, which means they'll be less dependent on you and the family for emotional support. During this time, you may also notice that your child's mood is becoming more irritable and they tend to be restless or even lethargic at times.
LoveToKnow reminds us that before you go dialing the depression hotline, remember that your teenager is going through lots of hormonal changes, and their mood and energy levels will be affected. But if you notice that your teen is isolating themselves from everyone and is extremely irritable for no apparent reason, you may want to keep a closer eye on them to make sure everything is okay.
Total Personality Changes
DiscoverPlace teaches that while a change in mood is to be expected when your teen is becoming an adolescent, a total personality shift may be a sign of something more serious. If your child has always been very bubbly, outgoing, and happy yet is now totally withdrawn, never smiles, and acting very angry, there may be a deeper issue.
Just because your teen is moody doesn't mean they are depressed; however, when you notice drastic changes in behavior, you should take heed. If your gut is gnawing at you, don't just write off the moodiness as growing pains because it could be deeper than that.
Teens need their sleep! Click here to learn how to overcome Sleep Deprivation!
From taking steps toward the stairs to learning that bubbles don’t taste good, exploration is a part of development for babies and young children. While it’s an exciting time, it also can be coupled with anxiety and hesitation as parents find themselves saying “no” or jumping in when baby discovers a new space. To help raise resilient, confident and adventurous humans, consider these tips.
5 Ways to Raise a Confident, Adventurous Child
(Family Features) From taking steps toward the stairs to learning that bubbles don't taste good, exploration is a part of development for babies and young children. While it's an exciting time, it also can be coupled with anxiety and hesitation as parents find themselves saying "no" or jumping in when baby discovers a new space.
An Open for Adventure survey from Babyganics found a majority of parents (69 percent) believe a child can learn to be more confident if he or she is allowed to explore freely as a baby. However, letting go doesn't always come naturally for parents.
Aid in discovery. Encourage and applaud baby's healthy risk-taking, such as mastering a challenging stair climb or pushing through moments of frustration and failure. Additionally, create teachable moments that introduce your child to necessary limits. For example, if you have hot coffee in the morning and your little one wants to touch the mug, let him or her gently touch a warm area of the mug with a fingertip and repeat that the mug is "hot" to help encourage exploration and flex baby's senses.
Let baby be free. While you may think baby gadgets are necessary for playtime, consider rethinking those toys. Instead of searching for stimulation through lights and sounds from a toy, allow your baby to explore the natural environment. Look for opportunities that allow him or her to make a manageable mess and even get wet or dirty. This could be as simple as playing with a container filled with water or letting your baby pull up grass in the backyard. These small unstructured play adventures can help develop independence and confidence.
Engage the senses. Exposing your baby to new flavors and smells helps engage him or her on a multi-sensory level. For example, allowing your baby (at an appropriate age, typically between 4-7 months) to try new foods can provide a feeling of accomplishment while also exposing him or her to different textures and flavors. Encourage even more sensory exploration by allowing your baby to smell the food and even play with it using his or her fingers.
Provide early exposure to new places. Bringing baby along to restaurants and other public spaces allows for positive exposure to new places, people and sounds, which can help build the immune system, encourage social interaction and support development. While letting a child explore in a public setting like an airport or train station can make many parents anxious, carrying products such as Babyganics Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizing Wipes can help ease parents' apprehension and keep little hands germ-free while on the go.
Wait a moment. It's common for parents to intervene the moment baby awakes from a nap or starts moving toward the stairs. Try pausing, allowing your little one to naturally find his or her limits while managing your own fears and worries. This tactic can allow your young explorer an opportunity for cognitive and social-emotional development with you as a safety net nearby.
"Parents often look to their own internal response to guide parenting: 'If I am worried then it must be dangerous, and I should not allow my baby to do it,'" Wegner said. "When in fact, parents should prioritize their baby's exploration and needs to provide learning opportunities rather than allowing their own anxieties to impede their children."
For more information, visit babyganics.com.SOURCE:
(BPT) - Headlines filled with news of opioid abuse, overdoses and reports that 90 percent of addictions start in the teen years could make any parent worry. Yet parents remain conflicted about opioids: While more than half express concern their child may be at risk for opioid addiction, nearly two-thirds believe opioids are more effective at managing their child’s pain after surgery or a broken bone than non-prescription medication or other alternatives, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
“The survey results shed light on the country’s conflicted relationship with and understanding of opioids,” said ASA President Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA. “Opioids may not always be the best option. It really depends on the type of surgery and how long they are required. It is important for parents to know that there are many alternatives available that are as — or more — safe and effective for pain management.”
During Physician Anesthesiologists Week (Jan. 27 to Feb. 2), ASA wants parents to know that a physician anesthesiologist can create an individualized plan to best address patients’ pain based on the condition or type of surgery and decrease the risk of opioid misuse and addiction.
Parents aren’t asking about effective alternatives
While opioids can help with pain management for a few days after surgery or injury, there are effective alternatives that do not have the side effects and risks of opioids. But the survey results suggest parents often don’t ask about alternatives, or aren’t aware of the range of options.
* 59 percent said they would talk to their physician about pain management options, but only 37 percent of those whose children were prescribed opioids actually did.
* 88 percent recognized non-opioid, over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and aspirin, are used to effectively help treat pain. However, few were aware the same applies to other non-opioid options, including steroids (23 percent), antidepressants (9 percent) and anti-seizure medications (7 percent).
Beyond medications, a number of non-drug therapies can help with ongoing pain, including nerve blocks, physical therapy, biofeedback, meditation, virtual reality, massage and acupuncture.
Parents are unaware that safe storage and proper disposal are key
More than half of people who misuse prescribed opioids get them from a friend or relative. That’s why safe storage and proper disposal of the drugs are important to help curb the epidemic.
* Only 50 percent said they stored or would store opioids in a safe and secure place.
* 60 percent of those whose children took opioids said they needed fewer than were prescribed and had leftover medication. But only 39 percent of all parents disposed or would dispose of leftover opioids as recommended, including taking them to a local pharmacy or health clinic, flushing them down the toilet or mixing them with dirt, kitty litter or coffee grounds before throwing them away.
* 61 percent correctly identified the ideal method of disposing leftover opioids, which involves taking them to a collection center at a local police station or drug disposal program at a pharmacy or health clinic.
Parents understand importance of communication
When a child is prescribed opioids, parents need to have an open and honest discussion about the potential side effects and risks — not only with the child taking the medication, but other family members as well.
* 74 percent said they have talked to their child about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter medications and 20 percent said they intend to have the conversation.
* 89 percent of those whose children have been prescribed opioids said they’ve had those discussions.
* 91 percent said they are confident their children know that prescribed and over-the-counter medications can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs.
Parents recognize naloxone saves lives
Naloxone (Narcan) is a lifesaving medication administered via nasal spray or injection that rapidly reverses the effects of an overdose. It’s important to know about naloxone because anyone who uses opioids may be at risk for an overdose.
* 71 percent agreed that having naloxone on hand is the same as having other life-saving medication available for people who suffer from conditions such as allergies, asthma or diabetes.
* 80 percent said they would be more comfortable having it at home if their child or another family member was taking opioids.
* 92 percent thought all first responders should carry it.
The 17-question Engine Caravan Omnibus Survey was conducted online Nov. 25 to Dec. 2, 2018, among 1,007 parents of children ages 13-24, one-third of whom had been prescribed opioids.
Visit ASA’s website for information about all aspects of pain management and to access an opioid overdose resuscitation card that provides guidance on symptoms of an overdose and how to help.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 53,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring that physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care that every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Like ASA on Facebook; follow ASALifeline on Twitter
(BPT) - The first days of school are filled with excitement and pangs of anxiety, but it doesn’t take long for high school and college students to fall into a routine. Adjusting to the new reality of school can be difficult, but it's the steps students take now that determine their success throughout the school year.
To make sure your child has a successful school year, consider these smart tips. This advice can help you have a great academic experience from now all the way through spring.
1. Eat and sleep well every day
Healthy habits allow the body and mind to be prepared to learn each day. Teenagers (14-17) should get eight to 10 hours each night and young adults (18-25) should get seven to nine hours of sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. On top of adequate rest, make sure to eat wholesome meals starting with a daily breakfast to ensure a hungry stomach is never a distraction in class.
2. Choose the right technology
Advanced classes require note taking, research and more, making a trustworthy laptop a student essential. Stay on budget with the portable LG gram notebook available in 13-, 14- and 15-inch options. With 15 hours of battery on a full charge, students can leave the charger at home, making this ultrabook the perfect fit for students on the go. Featuring Intel’s 7th generation i5 processor and plenty of storage, it's extremely versatile. You can change the display from “Reader mode” to “Movie mode,” which offers versatility for students who plan to use the device for a variety of content.
3. Don't let backpacks weigh you down
High school and college students too often are buzzing through campus with incredibly heavy backpacks. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that a backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child's body weight. Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Select light technology when possible, like the LG gram, the lightest laptop available in its class at just over 2 pounds.
4. Learn smart study habits
How students study influences how well they do in school. Procrastination and last-minute cramming is not effective. The more your child can adopt smart study habits, the better he or she will do in class, plus stress levels will likely decrease. Set times each day to study, preferably not too late at night. Create a quiet, comfortable space free from distractions. If possible, turn the smartphone off or leave it in another room.
5. Reach out for help and available resources
An underutilized resource at high schools and colleges across the country is teacher assistance outside class time. Most professors (and even teacher assistants at colleges) have office hours each week where they help students. If students are struggling or just want to reiterate the material, this is the right opportunity. Swing by the office in person, shoot them an email or set up a video meeting. They are there to help.
6. Strike a balance
There are a lot of demands put on young adults these days. Work, extracurricular activities, classes, study time, exercising, socializing, family time and more make for busy days and nights. It's important to find a balance and set priorities to avoid burnout. Parents can assist children in determining how much they can handle by having an open and honest discussion. Make adjustments as necessary for a happy, healthy school year.
Bullying is a problem that affects millions of students of all races and classes. October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and this year on Oct. 3, students, schools and adults will wear blue shirts in solidarity so everyone hears the message about bullying prevention.
Take a Stand and Unite Against Bullying
(Family Features) Today's students are increasingly at risk of being bullied, and the effects of bullying can be devastating.
Bullying is a problem that affects millions of students of all races and classes. One in four kids is bullied and 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online. According to data from STOMP Out Bullying, the leading national anti-bullying and cyberbullying organization for kids and teens, bullies are more likely to skip school, drop out of school, smoke, drink alcohol, get into fights and be arrested at some point in their lives. Many kids who have experienced bullying show decreases in academic achievement and school participation. Some kids are so tormented that suicide has become an alternative for them and some bullying targets resort to violent retaliation.
On the first Monday of October, STOMP Out Bullying’s Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention raises awareness by giving kids a voice, making it the day that bullying prevention is heard around the world. October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and this year on Oct. 3, students, schools and adults will wear blue shirts in solidarity so everyone hears the message about bullying prevention.
Education is another important element of the campaign, which strives to promote awareness, encourage communication and ultimately prevent bullying by sharing tips such as these:
Understand bullying behaviors. There are many different types of bullying. Bullying is defined as intentional, aggressive and repeated behavior that involves an imbalance of power or strength. It can take several forms, including physical (hitting, punching, beating); verbal (teasing, name calling, threats); emotional (intimidation, social exclusion, threats); and cyberbullying (online harassment, hate messages, threats, impersonation and other digital abuse).
Learn to recognize signs of bullying. Students who are victims of bullying may come home with torn or missing pieces of clothing, books or other belongings. They may have unexplained cuts, bruises and scratches. Bullying victims may appear sad, moody, teary or depressed and may seem anxious and suffer from low self-esteem. Bullying can manifest physical afflictions, too, such as headaches or stomachaches, trouble sleeping or frequent bad dreams and a loss of appetite.
Know what steps to take when bullying happens. If you suspect a child is being bullied at school, it is never a good idea to approach the bully’s parents. Rather, prepare documentation of what has been occurring, with as much detail as possible. Schedule a meeting with the principal and ask – don’t demand – for their help. Document the action steps agreed upon at this meeting and follow up to ensure changes are implemented and the bullying ceases. In some cases, if laws have been broken or there have been threats against a child, it may be appropriate to also involve local law enforcement.
Get involved in the anti-bullying movement. Purchase your Blue Shirt, plus find more tips and resources to help prevent bullying, at stompoutbullying.org.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
A good night's rest includes four different sleep stages with 90-minute phases of alternating non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. To help moms everywhere reach all stages and sleep better during the hectic back-to-school season and all year long, Shannon Wright, Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences and wellness expert for Natrol, recommends following these tips and tricks.
(BPT) - Early mornings, new extracurricular activities and loads of homework - back to school is a big transition for kids. With the focus on children's success, there's one family member who always sacrifices her well-being to ensure days run smoothly: Mom.
"She lays in bed at night planning the next day. She gets up earlier than the kids to prepare meals. She selflessly packs her schedule to meet family obligations," says Shannon Wright, Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences and wellness expert for Natrol.
Wright says that this do-it-all attitude is admirable, but the effects mean moms are losing the important sleep they need to feel their best and stay healthy.
"Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night that includes all sleep stages in order to feel well rested," Wright says. "One out of three Americans don't get enough sleep and women are two times more likely to have difficulty falling and staying asleep."
A good night's rest includes four different sleep stages with 90-minute phases of alternating non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. To help moms everywhere reach all stages and sleep better during the hectic back-to-school season and all year long, Wright recommends following these tips and tricks:
Adopt a sleep routine
A consistent sleep-wake schedule isn't just good for your kids, it's good for you, too. This supports your body's natural circadian rhythms that occur with the day-night transition. This also supports the release of melatonin, the body's naturally produced hormone that signals the body to sleep soundly.
Create a sleep oasis
The bedroom environment should be conducive to sleep and that goes beyond the bed. A cool, dark, noise-free bedroom helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. If you have noise or light challenges, consider blackout shades, face masks, ear plugs and white noise machines.
Avoid late evening screen time
The kids are finally in bed and moms everywhere have a few moments to themselves. Catching up on email, watching TV shows and perusing your smartphone can kill sleep potential if you do it within an hour of bedtime. Essentially, the LED lights make your brain believe it's day and therefore prohibit melatonin release.
There is a lot of research that connects quality sleep to exercise, so even if you're tired, try to move and groove your body every day. Walk the field perimeter at the kids' soccer practice, join the kids on the playground or pop in that yoga DVD to start your morning out with a good stretch.
Be proactive about tomorrow
Enjoy a smoother morning and fewer worries while you're lying in bed by getting things done the night before. For example, make lunches, pack backpacks, shower and lay out clothes for the next day in the evening. You'll have fewer to-do's in the morning and you can sleep in a little later.
Take sleep-supportive supplements
Stress, along with other things like age, diet and lifestyle can affect our bodies' production of melatonin. Taking a melatonin supplement can help. Try Natrol, a 100% drug-free melatonin supplement that is non-habit forming. The fast-dissolve tablets help moms fall asleep faster, stay asleep and wake up refreshed to tackle another busy day.
"These tips may be simple, but they are extremely effective. Remember, with a good night's rest it's a whole lot easier to be Super Mom," Wright says.
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