16

August

2016

0

Dr John Mayer

Back to School Stress

Back to School Stress

 

The biggest source of stress is always from the unknown, always. When we, humans at any age, do not have first hand experience with an event, we stress about it. With school, think about it, the upcoming school year is a big unknown for both parents and children. No matter how old you are the upcoming year holds a lot of mystery, if you are going into the 7th grade (middle school here) you may have been an expert at grades 1 through 6, but 7th grade is a new experience.

I’m sure many of you can relate to this: I was a confident, successful student my whole career, yet I can still remember and tell you that each Sunday night before the start of the next school term, at every level, even through graduate Medical School (Northwestern University Medical School) I had a sleepless night that night. What was this semester going to be like? How would my professors be? Is this the semester I fail?

Our goal shouldn’t be the impossible task to eliminate the stress, but to help our children cope with that stress. We do too much thinking as parents about how to eliminate this or that in our child’s life rather than letting them face SOME stress and learn how to develop coping mechanisms in the face of it. This is healthy and good development. They will not and cannot avoid stress all their life; it’s inevitable so help them face it. To do this parents can share their methods of handling unknown situations, tell YOUR story of how YOU coped with the new school year when you were young. Often children feel like they are going through this alone or that their big, strong parents never had to feel this way.

So, some ways parents can help with the stress:

  • Keep your home stress free as much as possible around these times-they don’t need extra stress.
  • Be compassionate about your children’s fears-this is not a time to, “tough it out” or to minimize it—“It’s just school-wait to you get a job and bills and responsibilities.”
  • Tell them how you experienced the same feelings when you were their age-as stated above.
  • Take their school stress seriously—don’t dismiss it or diminish it—don’t compare it to the adult stresses you face and then belittle what they are going through. For them, these first experiences of facing a stressful event are just as big in their lives as the “serious adult stresses” you face as a parent—trust me on this.
  • Suggest to them coping strategies—such as:
  • Being organized for the start of school
  • Reviewing habits that worked well last year
  • Improving on skills that were weak last year
  • Tell them how you cope with stress-tell them your “story”
  • Take breaks/have fun/get physical activity
  • Use the coping skill of having them focus on several of the pleasurable aspects of going back to school, such as seeing their friends, playing in a sport, participating in the music program, art program, getting some new clothes, etc.
  • Teach them ‘visualization’ techniques-that is guide them through visualizing in their mind what the classroom will look like, what the other students will look like, image going through a typical day, etc. etc.

Children worry about many of the same things we adults do: failure, how hard will this be, again, as above, what is this unknown adventure I am embarking on. Keep in mind that children are not in complete control of their lives to the extent that adults are, thus their fears are magnified because they feel helpless and powerless to change what they are about to experience.

Children changing to a new school or changing a grade have all the above fears PLUS: the peer group which offered them sameness and comfort is different.

Extra credit tips:

Make a big deal and have fun getting school supplies…..new pencils and pens, special writing paper, notebooks and binders to keep organized, an assignment notebook, a backpack or book bag to carry school supplies, highlighter pens to underline sections of books, a special case to carry lunch or snacks. Make sure your kids are an active part in this treasure hunt. These “treats” help kids see the positive in school and look forward to school and are great coping mechanisms.

Along with getting supplies, insure your child is organized and prepared for school. This minimizes the “unknowns” that fuel fears in children. Don’t rush through or neglect preparation and organization. It is important to keep it up through the school year-this develops it as a habit in your children.

The great step in helping your child prepare for the beginning of the school routine is to set schedules, you might even say rules, for your child. You will go to bed at xxxxxx time, xxxxx time is homework time, you must participate in one extracurricular activity each year-you can pick which one, but you must be involved. You do this because children will not do these things on their own. They are not finished products so we cannot expect them to conduct themselves like we do. This is one of the biggest conflicts between parents and children. We (adults) expect them (children) to approach things like school the same way we would. My favorite example is procrastination. Parents get frustrated when children wait to the last minute to do an assignment, when we parents would have prepared for it ahead of time. Children need firm guidelines on all these issues of school preparation asked in this question. I discuss getting great grades in my booklet for parents at: www.DrJohnMayer.com

Make sure your child has a rich and full life outside school. School is only a part of their life, an important part, but only a part. This is a great coping mechanism for their entire life and a very good one for parents to follow as well!

Talk excitedly and positively about the upcoming school year. AND watch out for hidden negative comments/reactions such as “The Party’s Over” or crinkle up your face when you speak of school, etc.

If you can, make visits to school throughout the summer. If can’t get inside, visit the neighborhood and look at the outside. If they have a playground, athletic field, track, pool go there and use it and be upbeat and positive.

Plan out something that will be a ‘bonus’ or special treat once school starts. Make it a tradition like Friday after school ice cream celebrations, etc.

Check throughout my web site for more school help!

 

 

 

4

April

2016

0

Dr John Mayer

PROM TIPS for PARENTS & TEENS

Prom Guidelines for Parents

 

Two incontrovertible facts should guide parents’ actions toward Proms:

 

Fact #1: Young people do not know how to “do” a prom unless they are shown. So many parents don’t help with this event, they simply allow the teen’s to handle everything on their own—this is not being a good or cool parent—kids have never done this before even if they went to someone else’s prom last year.

 

Fact #2: It is WRONG—DANGEROUS—ILLEGAL to allow your underage children and other’s underage children to behave illegally and immorally either in your home or with your knowledge outside of your home.(Note: The new spirit of the courts is to make parents responsible for their children’s behavior!) This is not a time to give “kids” permission to act like adult, unless they earned it.

HOT Tips:

Help with plans.

Know the schedule of events-This isn’t just any date!

Talk with the date’s parents.

Talk with Limo drivers. So they know you are involved.

Cell phones are now your best friend. You can contact your teen throughout the night.

 

What to do for your teen:

ü  Don’t just take pictures. Help with the event. Eagerly help with flowers, tux, and restaurant reservations. This has the great side-effect of informing you of all that’s happening.

ü  Talk to your teen before the event. Tell positive stories about your time. It’s never too late for this! Your stories should be real and not meant to impress them. Your aim is to teach and share.

ü  Don’t try and be a COOL PARENT. By this time you either are one or not. Being cool is not obtained by letting your child and their friends drink or act sexual. (How sad is your life if you have to strain to get this acclaim from your teen and their friends–grow up.)

ü  Talk with the other parents involved. And certainly with the date’s parents. Even if it is to say hello and let them know you exist.

ü  Help with the planning. Sure that’s time out of your life and work, but again, if you’re involved then you know what’s going on and you’re more in control. Help arrange ‘after Prom’ events.

ü  HAVE CONTROL OVER THE EVENT. After all, you are probably paying for it, so you have a right to say how your money is spent.

ü  SET RULES—IF APPROPRIATE. If your teen has been a “knucklehead” all year (or since 12) then all of the sudden they are not waking up boy/girl scouts on Prom day. If you can’t trust them—then don’t— and set a curfew and other rules. Give only a set amount of money or don’t give out credit cards to those teens that haven’t deserved it. Conversely, be generous if they have earned it! This is a great time to reward them for good behavior.

ü  Do not support negative behaviors: Hotels, drinking/drugs, sexual acting out. Remember parents are now being held legally (criminally) responsible.

ü  WATCH YOUR MOUTH! Talk positively—don’t tease or be sarcastic (Dads!)—no put downs of the date, the event, the school, etc. This should be a fun, memorable event, not a stage for you to look good or be a comedian. It’s your child’s event.

 

This should be a fun, memorable event for parents as much as for teens

        

www.DrJohnMayer.com

On Twitter @DrJohnMayer

 

Prom Guidelines for Teens

 

This should be a FUN, MEMORABLE, ONCE-IN-A-LFETIME EVENT !

You have one chance at this—don’t blow it!

Drinking and drugs blur and may erase the memories you will have from this great event.

How sad is it if you feel like you have to GET HIGH to have fun at THIS event. You’re all dressed up, spent a ton of money, looking awesome, have a great date, this is all you should need to feel good. If not, you’re in trouble in life or, as your friends may say, you’re a loser!

 

Let your parents have fun too!

 Sorry, this night is exciting and memories for them too. Put yourself in their shoes. They are proud of you and want to show you off. Relax, let them fuss a bit and act silly. It’s no reflection on you. Even so, it’s Ok to establish Parent Rules by talking to them beforehand. They won’t know something is embarrassing to you unless you tell them. Example: “Dad, only 50 pictures, pleeee…ase!”

You will have fewer hassles from your parents if you: “Let them into the planning” and let them know what’s going on. My golden rule: Keep your parents off your back. You do this by including them.

Be in Control!

 Don’t let others ruin YOUR and your date’s night.

Young ladies: You don’t OWE your date physical favors because he has spent a lot of money, showed you a lot of attention, blah, blah, blah…

Young Men: A real man makes no such demands on a woman. This is not the goal of the night.

Don’t be pushed into anything. (Even by your date!) This is your night. It is not your responsibility to entertain your friends. They might not be having a good time, that’s their business. This is your night!

Be Smart!

 You know what is right and wrong—don’t make a decision that can ruin your life.

Remember this is a school event, even if off school grounds, your actions could spoil graduation and/or lead to other consequences from school. Not to mention from the law and/or physical harm. Arrests, car accidents, STD’s, broken bones and broken minds don’t disappear the next morning.

Historically, the Prom was a celebration that you have become an adult. Act like it. My golden rule #2:

Act like an adult-get treated like an adult.

Act like a child-get treated like a child.

OH, A NOTE ABOUT CELL PHONES~~NOTHING IS MORE RUDE TO YOUR DATE THAN TEXTING, TWITTERING, OR EMAILING SOMEONE ELSE WHILE YOU ARE WITH THEM. KEEP THE CELLPHONE IN YOUR POCKET OR PURSE.

Have the most wonderful time of your life!

 

 

www.DrJohnMayer.com

On Twitter @DrJohnMayer

28

February

2016

0

Dr John Mayer

The Physical Effects of Stress/Depression

The Physical Effects of Stress and Depression on Your Body

 

I just contributed to three excellent resources to consider on how stress, anxiety, depression and sadness can have serious consequences on your body.

Here is a very good article in Prevention:

http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/your-body-on-sadness

And an article I contributed to in Glamour:

http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2016/02/how-to-handle-stress

And, here is a radio interview I did on www.RadioMD.com :

 http://radiomd.com/show/er-101/item/30969-depression-physical-effects-fitness-concerns

And, here is an excellent resource on the latest research findings on treating depression. Techniques I advocate and follow:

 ‪http://dlvr.it/Kfghfq   

 

 

2

August

2015

0

Dr John Mayer

Are Your Kids Emotionally Ready for School This Year?

ARE YOUR KIDS EMOTIONALLY READY FOR SCHOOL THIS YEAR?
Parents leave the ABC’s to School instead implement the 3 A’s in Your Home

Book bag-√
Three Ring Binder-√
Lunch Box-√
Pens and Paper-√
School Shoes-√

Motivation-?
Enthusiasm-?
Work Ethic-?
Organization-?

We often do a great job as parents attending to the material needs of our kids as they prepare for the new school year, but what about their emotional readiness?

Want to build incredible success in your children’s lives this school year? Implement the 3A’s– Attitude, Approach, Atmosphere—in your home this school year. In fact, start to instill these in you home now, before school starts. So here goes, here’s how to apply the 3A’s to your home or school:

Attitude: What are your values and beliefs toward school and education in general? Make school a priority in your household. Frequently EXPRESS these attitudes in the presence of your kids. Don’t assume everyone ‘gets it’ by your actions. It is important to give voice to your attitudes. Your kids are listening. Your attitude should always be positive, enthusiastic, and supportive.

Approach: This ‘A’ is all about modeling, the most powerful tool adults can use to influence young people. Student needs a piece of poster board at 10:00pm on Sunday night? Drop everything and run out and get it. That’s what the kids might call, ‘Walk-the-Walk.’ But also, ‘Talk-the-Talk.’ Be careful how you talk about school. How many of us sound like this: “The party is over, school starts in two weeks.” Listen to the subtle, yet powerful anti-school message in that statement. Or, here’s my favorite hidden anti-school message: “Hooray, you have a day off (Or, half-day or late start.) no school today!” Are we supposed to be so happy to miss something that is positive and fun in our (their) lives? You wouldn’t say, “Hooray, Disneyland is closed today. So, we are cancelling our vacation! Yipee!”

Atmosphere: It is one thing for YOU to change your attitude and approach and this will make a huge difference, but you can become even a more powerful results by standing up and making sure young people are surrounded by a healthy, positive academic environment in the home. Buy all that chotsky that school sells (Your welcome school bookstores.) pennants, banners, hats, T-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. and have them in your house and on your person. These are AFFIRMATIONS and affirmations work! Yea, put good papers on that refrigerator. Never mind that teens will think it’s ‘dumb.’ They still see your pride.

One last point about the 3A’s for this post: All three of these efforts work together for great effect. There is a synergy between these 3A’s. Implementing one is good, but using all three is great! More specific tips next time.

22

April

2015

0

Dr John Mayer

Prom Fantasies

Prom Fantasies

Ok, I’m going to offend a large percentage of people here. It’s the time of the year when I cringe over the one of the biggest wastes of resources in schools. I’m speaking here of these pre-prom demonstrations/assemblies, videos and various lectures, especially those by police officers that ‘warn’ teenagers of drinking/drugging on prom night, sexual acting out, and other illegal behaviors.

I’ve seen it all in my years of consulting for schools. The wrecked car parked on the lawn outside of the main entrance to school, simulated driving ranges in the school parking lot, dance performances decrying the need for sexual abstinence and the horror of date rape, alcohol awareness weeks cleverly timed during prom week. You name it. And, you bet, the vast majority of these efforts are incredible wastes of school resources. Yet they proliferate. Why?

They appear to be a win-win-win experience for all involved that’s why. Schools love them because they give the illusion that the school is being proactive about teenage acting out. And schools believe the students love them because of the feedback. But, students love them mainly because it gets them out of class and these festivals sardonically entertain teens. Parents love them because, like schools, “We are addressing the problems with our kids.” And of course those who provide such services love them because they get nice fat fees. Oh and such participants as the police or local mental health services love them because it fulfills their community outreach mandates. So everybody wins, right?

 

Wrong! The lose, lose, lose in this situation is that teens still will get drunk or high on prom night, they will have sex, they will damage property and some will get expelled from school as a result of their prom night revelry. These efforts of the ‘feel good events’ although entertaining and paradoxical are not effective prevention.

So, what does work? The answer is in the question, WORK. Wouldn’t it be nice if these one-shot, dog-and-pony shows prevented our kids from hurting themselves and others? But, they don’t and can’t. What works is a direct, strong orientation of the students on what we expect at proms and how they should act. Second, do the same type of orientation to the parents so that they are not paying for hotel rooms, buying alcohol for their kids or supporting acting out. These are actually the easier parts of what works. Now the work: Schools need to build a year round culture of prevention with every staff person and parent on board, with every activity on board, with the atmosphere of the school on board and with the very environment of the school on board to model and instill healthy lifestyle prevention every moment of every day at the school. Contact me, I’ll show you how.

This is not a fantasy and it is doable. And this is less of a fantasy than thinking these sad efforts mentioned above are actually making a difference.

Parents, influence your school to do away with these wasteful practices. Maybe I’m  a bit late for this year’s planning—but please remember this for next year.

More inside here at: www.DrJohnMayer.com   and   www.jemayerbooks.com

 

18

March

2015

0

Dr John Mayer

Parent & Teen Guidelines for Dances,Socials & Proms

Prom Guidelines for Parents

From Dr. John Mayer…expert on teens & families.

Two incontrovertible facts should guide parents’ actions toward Proms:

 Fact #1: Young people do not know how to “do” a prom unless they are shown. So many parents don’t help with this event, they simply allow the teen’s to handle everything on their own—this is not being a good or cool parent—kids have never done this before even if they went to someone else’s prom last year.

 Fact #2: It is WRONG—DANGEROUS—ILLEGAL to allow your underage children and other’s underage children to behave illegally and immorally either in your home or with your knowledge outside of your home.(Note: The new spirit of the courts is to make parents responsible for their children’s behavior!) This is not a time to give “kids” permission to act like adult, unless they earned it.

HOT Tips:

 

Help with plans.

Know the schedule of events-This isn’t just any date!

Talk with the date’s parents.

Talk with Limo drivers. So they know you are involved.

Cell phones are now your best friend. You can contact your teen throughout the night.

 

What to do for your teen:

 

ü  Don’t just take pictures. Help with the event. Eagerly help with flowers, tux, and restaurant reservations. This has the great side-effect of informing you of all that’s happening.

~~ Talk to your teen before the event. Tell positive stories about your time. It’s never too late for this! Your stories should be real and not meant to impress them. Your aim is to teach and share.

~~  Don’t try and be a COOL PARENT. By this time you either are one or not. Being cool is not obtained by letting your child and their friends drink or act sexual. (How sad is your life if you have to strain to get this acclaim from your teen and their friends–grow up.)

~~  Talk with the other parents involved. And certainly with the date’s parents. Even if it is to say hello and let them know you exist.

~~ Help with the planning. Sure that’s time out of your life and work, but again, if you’re involved then you know what’s going on and you’re more in control. Help arrange ‘after Prom’ events.

~~  HAVE CONTROL OVER THE EVENT. After all, you are probably paying for it, so you have a right to say how your money is spent.

~~  SET RULES—IF APPROPRIATE. If your teen has been a “knucklehead” all year (or since 12) then all of the sudden they are not waking up boy/girl scouts on Prom day. If you can’t trust them—then don’t— and set a curfew and other rules. Give only a set amount of money or don’t give out credit cards to those teens that haven’t deserved it. Conversely, be generous if they have earned it! This is a great time to reward them for good behavior.

~~  Do not support negative behaviors: Hotels, drinking/drugs, sexual acting out. Remember parents are now being held legally (criminally) responsible.

~~  WATCH YOUR MOUTH! Talk positively—don’t tease or be sarcastic (Dads!)—no put downs of the date, the event, the school, etc. This should be a fun, memorable event, not a stage for you to look good or be a comedian. It’s your child’s event.

 

This should be a fun, memorable event for parents as much as for teens

On Twitter @DrJohnMayer

 

Prom Guidelines for Teens

 

This should be a FUN, MEMORABLE, ONCE-IN-A-LFETIME EVENT !

 BTW~~You have one chance at this—don’t blow it!

 Drinking and drugs blur and may erase the memories you will have from this great event.

How sad is it if you feel like you have to GET HIGH to have fun at THIS event. You’re all dressed up, spent a ton of money, looking awesome, have a great date, this is all you should need to feel good. If not, you’re in trouble in life or, as your friends may say, you’re a loser!

 Let your parents have fun too!

 Sorry, this night is exciting and memories for them too. Put yourself in their shoes. They are proud of you and want to show you off. Relax, let them fuss a bit and act silly. It’s no reflection on you. Even so, it’s Ok to establish Parent Rules by talking to them beforehand. They won’t know something is embarrassing to you unless you tell them. Example: “Dad, only 50 pictures, pleeee…ase!”

You will have fewer hassles from your parents if you: “Let them into the planning” and let them know what’s going on. My golden rule: Keep your parents off your back. You do this by including them.

 Be in Control!

 Don’t let others ruin YOUR and your date’s night.

Young ladies: You don’t OWE your date physical favors because he has spent a lot of money, showed you a lot of attention, blah, blah, blah…

Young Men: A real man makes no such demands on a woman. This is not the goal of the night.

Don’t be pushed into anything. (Even by your date!) This is your night. It is not your responsibility to entertain your friends. They might not be having a good time, that’s their business. This is your night!

 Be Smart!

 You know what is right and wrong—don’t make a decision that can ruin your life.

Remember this is a school event, even if off school grounds, your actions could spoil graduation and/or lead to other consequences from school. Not to mention from the law and/or physical harm. Arrests, car accidents, STD’s, broken bones and broken minds don’t disappear the next morning.

Historically, the Prom was a celebration that you have become an adult. Act like it. My golden rule #2:

Act like an adult-get treated like an adult.

Act like a child-get treated like a child.

OH, A NOTE ABOUT CELL PHONES~~NOTHING IS MORE RUDE TO YOUR DATE THAN TEXTING, TWITTERING, OR EMAILING SOMEONE ELSE WHILE YOU ARE WITH THEM. KEEP THE CELLPHONE IN YOUR POCKET OR PURSE.

Have the most wonderful time of your life!

 On Twitter @DrJohnMayer

4

March

2015

0

Dr John Mayer

More on a Student’s Return from Treatment

In the last issue I presented a document that schools could use to properly address the needs of students that have missed school days because of being in a hospital, mental health treatment center, substance abuse treatment or other care.

When students are absent from school and they receive healthcare, particularly mental healthcare and the school has no communication this is a potentially dangerous situation for that student and for the entire school.

We can understand when parents forget to provide communication to the student’s school because of the trauma of the circumstances. These traumatic circumstances don’t occur in a family’s life frequently. But, no such understanding can be granted to treatment facilities or hospitals when it is their duty to care for whatever trauma the student suffers from. Further, all these care facilities are mandated by their accreditation to provide such communication to the school. Still, an executed Release of Information Form needs to be filled out to give permission for the treatment facility to share information with the student’s school. But, schools, I caution you that not having a Release of Information Form should not be an excuse to allow the student back into school without knowing the full nature of the student’s condition and their needs for the future.

Hospitals and treatment centers are obligated to formulate a thorough set of recommendations for the needs of the student after they leave the treatment facility. These are often called: Discharge Summary, Discharge Plan, Discharge Report, After-Care Plan, Home Care Action Plan, etc. The treatment person in charge of the student’s care should complete these recommendations. The parents and the student are given these reports upon discharge from the facility and they are supposed to be reviewed together before leaving. A frequent problem is that these reports are scribbled, incomplete, not reviewed or otherwise a sham. Please do not accept incomplete, illegible communications. It was for this reason that I suggested the seven straightforward pieces of information that the school should insist upon before that student retakes their seat in the classroom.

I would ultimately make the parents responsible for getting you this information or if the treatment center has been one of those rare facilities that have established a close communication with you, I would give your form directly to them. Just remember, even though that contact person from the facility has been friendly and communicative, this doesn’t insure that you (school) will get the discharge information you need to continue to safely educate this student. Use the form I suggested in every circumstance.

27

January

2015

0

Dr John Mayer

Essential Info Needed When a Student Returns From A Hospitalization

Here are specific recommendations for information I believe a school should have before accepting a student back from a hospitalization (physical or mental) treatment program, or other such absence from school.

 

An age-old concern of mine is that a student is absent from school, receives some type of services and then, voila, all of a sudden they are sitting in their seat as if nothing happened. Is the student safe? Are the other students safe? Is there anything we (school) need to know? Attend to?

 

By a treatment facility’s accreditation they are obligated to formulate a “Discharge Summary” or similar document, but in my experience this is seldom done or if so it is done poorly and certainly it is not shared with schools. Please don’t accept such poor care.

 

Not having these 7 questions answered before a student returns to school is a potentially dangerous situation for that student, all your students and your entire school.

 

Final Note: What I also often see is that a school contacts a treatment facility or provider and asks for information and then never receives the requested data.

Tip: Place the responsibility for submitting the information on the parents—it will get done. Advise them that they are the customers of this facility and by law this information must exist.

 

REQUIRED INFORMATION FOR A STUDENT’S RETURN TO THIS SCHOOL AFTER A HOSPITALIZATION OR OTHER ABSENCE AT A PROGRAM, FACILITY OR TREATMENT CENTER.

Note: An executed Release of Information Form is on file at our school.

 

1-    Please provide this school a copy of both your initial intake form and your discharge summary. (Note: To adopt this form for use as is, leave generous spaces between numbered items.)

2-    If this student received academic assistance at your program/facility, please detail your current academic status of this student. Please attach transcripts, but also detail here the specific subjects, proficiency level, and areas covered while in your program. Please inform this school of any deficits you have seen in this student.

3-    Please detail what services your facility will continue to provide to this student. List days and times of continuing contacts.

4-    If your facility’s assistance to this student has ended, what follow-up is or should be taking place elsewhere? Did you set-up this follow-up with the student? Please provide the time and place of the first appointment.

5-    What are your specific and detailed recommendations for this school to assist this student moving forward? (Please have the person who delivered service to the student fill this section out.)

6-    If this student is on medications, please list those here and outline any side effects or other concerns this school should be aware of throughout the student’s school day.

7-    When will your assistance to this student end? If it has already terminated, please provide that date.

Initial Report___________             Update___________

Signed_______________________________________Date____________

 

Printed Name_________________________________

 

Agency/Hospital/Program________________________________________

 

 

7

January

2015

0

Dr John Mayer

When your teen or child seems angry: 7 to look for and 7 to do.

When your teen or child seems Angry

7 things to look for and 7 things to do

Dr. John E. Mayer

 

LOOK FOR:

1-  look for a cause of the anger. Did an event, a trauma, a conflict with peers, a change in the family cause your child to be angry.

2-  Did a specific cause make your child angry or is this a long standing part of their personality?

3-  Could something physical they are experiencing be a cause? Pain? Illness?

4-  For teens-could their anger be a result of some growth changes? Hormonal changes? Have an exam from your pediatrician.

5-  Does everyone see/experience the anger in your child? Friends? School? Relatives? Coaches? Etc?

6-  Have there been any life changes in their life in the last few years, months? Death in family? Economic conditions in family? Losses?

7-  Be honest-is anger modeled in the home? Is a parent or family member angry?

 

More troubled teens and children’s anger is long term and not tied to a specific event. It is displayed throughout their life, not just at home. Further, physical pain and hormonal/growth changes in your child should always be considered as a possible cause.

DO:

 1-  Observe your teen/child in other settings to see if their anger is present then.

2-  Provide outlets for your child/teens emotions. Clubs, hobbies, sports, arts, etc.

3-  Structure their behavior-give consequences for displaying aggressive behaviors or inappropriate behaviors.

4-  Model happiness, love, affection, caring, empathy, kindness and positivity in your home.

5-  Don’t fight fire with fire. Getting angry with an angry child just builds a bonfire.

6-  Don’t panic—use all these techniques to get to the root of the problem(s).

7-  Get help. Get an assessment from a professional that is an expert with this age group and with anger issues. Even if it is a one time evaluation session.

 

For an in-depth look at angry/violent teens read An Anger at Birth by J.E. Mayer. More at: www.jemayerbooks.com and www.DrJohnMayer.com

23

November

2014

0

Dr John Mayer

A Parents’ & Therapist’s Nightmare

Parents’ and Therapist’s Nightmare

 

HERE IS THE TRANSCRIPT OF AN EMAIL I RECEIVED TODAY AND MY RESPONSE:

Dear Dr. Mayer, several years ago you greatly helped our son with therapy. I am writing to you because I am concerned about the therapy he is now receiving in XXXXXXXXX from a therapist as well as from a psychiatrist who has prescribed him Adderol and Clonazepam medicines which I believe to be harming him. Since he has been on these medicines he has not been able to sleep, has lost a lot of weight and his behaviors are not right. He fought with his younger brother and almost bit his ear and when confronted with this behavior he stated that he was snorting the adderol given to him because he felt so broken now inside since being on meds and was not able to sleep for days. Another incident involved a posting on his xxxxxxxxxxx page which was worrisome to say the least. I know that since he is an adult legally I have no right to confront the doctors down in xxxxxxx but I believe they are doing him a great disservice with the medicines they are giving him. It’s like these pills have changed him and he still uses alcohol while on them which I know is making these symptoms worse. Any information as to what action I could take to inform the doctors of what I perceive to be a scary situation would help tremendously. If you cannot answer my concerns, I will understand. Your counseling helped xxxxxxx very much as a teenager, but now he is getting worse and I believe it to be the medicine that he is being given. Very Truly, xxxxxxxxxx

 

Dear Mrs. XXXXXXX

I remember xxxxxx fondly. He was a very bright, intellectual young man with a tremendous future. I recall he went to xxxxxxx for college and he was excited about his studies.

Here’s what often occurs in cases such as xxxxxxxxx. He may be seeing a therapist who doesn’t understand young people and xxxxxxxx can be intense in his intellectual fervor and passion for causes and ideas. When I was treating him he was very passionate about making a positive change in society and he aspired to a career in politics-all done the “right” socially appropriate way. That’s why he went to Xxxxxxxx University and majored in xxxxxxxx. That zeal and his great abilities both intellectually and persuasively can make him seem scary to a novice therapist. What happens is that the therapist gets uncomfortable with the intensity of the young person’s emotions and automatically refers the patient to a physician/psychiatrist to get medications to calm the intensity. But, both providers seem to be incapable of understanding and coping with the intensity of xxxxxxx expression of emotion. What happens is that the medications place controls on xxxxxxxx’s emotions and therefore his thoughts and actions, so the young person’s spirit is broken, those qualities that so made xxxxxxx who he is are now inaccessible-his intellect, his zeal, his passion to help others.

I realize that because he is legally an adult and you feel helpless, but there are things you can do. Try and contact the psychiatrist and the therapist and give them the data, the facts on how xxxxxxxx is acting on the meds. I would both email this and send it in a certified letter to emphasize the seriousness of what the family is witnessing. I would also look for other mental health providers in that area who may be more expert on the care of an intellectual, passionate young adult. I can help you search for them. If there is any other way I can help, I would be glad to do so. I can also offer a phone consult with you and dad and xxxxxx and/or with xxxxxxx privately.

Dr. John Mayer

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