Mental Health Matters
October was National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, & ADHD Awareness Month. Here are ways to help your child with ADHD:
Create structure. Make a routine for your child and stick to it every day.
Break tasks into manageable pieces.
Simplify and organize your child's life.
Regulate sleep patterns.
Encourage out-loud thinking.
Promote wait time.
Children Feel Emotions Differently If you’ve ever witnessed a temper tantrum, you know how devastated a toddler can seem over the smallest thing. But this isn’t just for show—studies tell us that toddlers feel emotion in a more full-body way than adults do. Children don’t always know that emotions are temporary. They may feel trapped in a certain emotion, without the understanding that it can come and go. It might even be hard for them to articulate how they feel about a situation, making it more of a struggle for them to do anything about it. At preschool, kids learn to manage their emotions. Once they’re in an environment with other kids and a variety of adults, they’ll have many more models of how to move and interact in the world.
Best Ways to Motivate Children 1. Follow their lead. Babies naturally orient toward novel objects and events. They look away from objects that are overly familiar, but also from new ones that are too complex. 2. Curiosity wins. Provide children with opportunities to interact with new objects—and let them lead and learn! 3. Encourage children’s playful exploration. When given the opportunity, children of all ages spontaneously engage in play. The ingredients of play are precisely the ones that fuel learning: play is intrinsically motivating, it presents an opportunity for novel experiences and for learning from others, it requires active engagement, and it can strengthen social bonds and reduce stress. 4. Prioritize social interaction during learning. Recent research shows that young children can learn from digital media, such as touch-screen tablets, but social interaction during this learning experience appears to be essential. 5. A Challenge is fun. Kids are motivated to work toward achievable goals. From infancy onward, effort is required to sustain motivation, but success must be possible. 6. Give children agency. Children are more motivated when they have some degree of self-determination, and can elect to pursue tasks that are personally meaningful. 7. Provide incentives only when necessary. When children are suddenly rewarded for something they enjoy and do freely, they may begin to do it only when they know they will be compensated afterwards. 8. Maintain a close connection with adolescents. Adolescence is a period when many young people take risks and push boundaries. This trend reflects, in large part, a natural inclination toward novel and exciting experiences that maximize learning opportunities and are important in making the transition to independence. As teens become more motivated by the approval of their peers, it can be socially rewarding to follow risk-taking leaders or stand out by breaking boundaries.