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The Challenges of Parenting Adopted Children

Adopted Children | LoveParentingLA.comResearch shows that many adopted children tend to develop a mental health diagnosis. In fact, a 2008 study compared about 500 adopted and non-adopted children and found that the odds of having an ADHD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) diagnosis were approximately twice as high in adoptees compared with non-adoptees.

This can be even more problematic when adoption agencies hide information and mislead parents who are leaning towards adopting. Then, when adopted children begin to exhibit mental health symptoms, parents may not know how to respond. Furthermore, they may not have made the decision to adopt if they knew that their child might develop a mental illness.

The mental health of adopted children is becoming more and more significant, particularly because the number of adoptions in the United States continues to rise. According to the National Council For Adoption,there were 130,269 domestic adoptions in 2002, whereas in 1996 there were 108,463 domestic adoptions. Continue reading

Co-Parenting Etiquette for LA Divorced Parents

Divorce | LoveParentingLA.comWhen there are children involved in a divorce, parental care for those children must continue despite the marital split. If individuals cannot agree on when and how their children will be cared for, it is sometimes agreed upon during the legal proceedings. For instance, a parent who is working full time may only be able to care for his or her children on the weekends and on holidays. Perhaps the other parent has the children during the week.

If you’re not involved in a legal situation with your partner but you have children together, likely you’re trying to figure out between the two of you how to meet the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of your children even through the divorce. Whether you’re in a legal situation or not, there are going to have to be conversations, communication, and contact with the other parent for the sake of the children. Knowing how to do that in a way that keeps the children’s best interest in mind is at the heart of a gentle divorce. Continue reading

The Risky Behaviors of Los Angeles Children and Where To Take Them If They Get Hurt

Children's Hospital | LoveParentingLA.comThe Center for Disease Control (CDC) is an organization that protects America from healthy, safety, and security threats. Among their many tasks and large-scale projects, they maintain research and health statistics on children. For instance, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System monitors six priority health-risk behaviors that play a role in the causes of death, disability, and injury in children and teens. Three of the six dangerous behaviors are listed below:

Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence – According to the CDC, there are risky behaviors that lead to unintentional injury, such as riding a bicycle without wearing a helmet, not wearing a seatbelt when riding as a passenger in a car, riding in cars with drivers who had been drinking, and texting or emailing someone while driving a vehicle. The CDC also recognizes behaviors among older children and teens that specifically lead to violence such as carrying a weapon, carrying a gun specifically versus other weapons, being in a physical fight, experiencing being hit, slapped, or physically hurt intentionally by a boyfriend or girlfriend (dating violence), avoiding school because of its lack of safety, experiencing bullying, or considering and/or attempting suicide.

Unhealthy dietary behaviors – Dangerous behavior that leads to unhealthy diets include not eating the right amounts of fruit or drinking fruit juices, not eating any vegetables, not drinking milk, drinking sugar based drinks such as sodas, and not eating breakfast. Continue reading

Grieving the Loss of Your Child in Los Angeles

Grieving | LoveParentingLA.comIf you’re a parent and you’ve lost a child to suicide or injury, you’re likely in need of support.  There’s no question that there will be a range of emotions that you’re going to go through including guilt, depression, denial, and anger. For instance, one mother living in the suburbs of Los Angeles recently lost her daughter. Her co-workers were concerned because she returned to work a week after her daughter’s funeral with the same smile and cheery personality she had prior to her daughter’s death. It was as though nothing had happened. She gave no indication that she had just experienced a major loss.

However, if you’re aware of the stages of grieving or if you’ve experienced grief yourself, you might expect this sort of reaction. For this 38-year-old mother, she was exhibiting the classic first stage of denial. The psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kubler Ross, developed the stages of grieving described below. Initially, she formulated these stages as a result of observing adults suffering from a terminal illness. Later, she found that her theory also applied to anyone who has experienced a major loss, such as a death of a loved one, loss of a job or income, divorce, drug addiction, incarceration, or other losses, even minor ones. Continue reading

Healing the Effects of Violence on Los Angeles Children

Child Development | LoveParentingLA.comIn Los Angeles, children witness 10-20% of homicides. At least one third of American children and teens have witnessed domestic violence between their parents, and most have witnessed multiple occasions of violence.

The presence of violence among children is a growing concern, particularly with the frequency of school shootings across America. Most children and teens that witness violence will experience emotional or psychological symptoms. Those symptoms can affect a child’s ability to learn, focus, and concentrate in school. Children and teens that witness violence can be more aggressive and become violent themselves. Also, the fear associated with experiencing violence thwarts a child’s ability to explore the world and causes them to feel unsafe in following their curiosity. Continue reading

Reflective Parenting for Los Angeles Moms and Dads

Attachment Theory | LoveParentingLA.comThe Center for Reflective Parenting, located in Los Angeles, is an organization that uses a significant psychological theory as its foundation. In the last 40 years, attachment theory has become a major contributor to the way that mental health professionals explore the functioning and the well being (or lack of well being) in their clients.

The theory’s main premise is that an infant must develop a strong bond with at least one primary caregiver in order to appropriately develop socially and emotionally. In order for this bond to become secure between infant and caregiver, the following must happen:

  • The caregiver must be responsive and sensitive in the way that he or she responds to the infant.
  • The child must be able to consistently rely on the caregiver for soothing in times of stress.
  • The caregiver must remain a constant in the child’s life from the 6 months to approximately 2 years of age.

As children develop they will begin to use the attachment with their caregiver as a secure base from which they will move away to explore their environment and then later return. The way that caregivers respond to their children during this process can lead to distinct patterns of attachment, which in turn, lead to an internal model for that child, which he or she will unconsciously use in later relationships. Continue reading

The Role of Being a Father in Los Angeles

Father | LoveParentingLA.comOver the last 100 years, there have been many resources that support mothers and their children. Typically, mothers have been the caregivers while fathers are the breadwinners. However, more and more experts in the field of psychology are recognizing that the father plays a significant role in the development of children.

Although fathers have been out of the parental picture as far as resources go, there are a number of organizations, both in Los Angeles, as well as throughout the country that are focusing on men and their role as parents. Part of this initiative was prompted by the need to curb domestic violence as well as abuse of children. However, studies are also that children without fathers are more likely to live in poverty, participate in substance abuse, experience truancy from school or drop out, develop emotional or behavioral problems, or be incarcerated. With the presence of participating fathers who are nurturing and loving in a family structure, children have more of a chance of thriving and living in health. For this reason, community resources are looking at ways to strengthen the relationships within families, both between parents as well as the relationship parents have with their children. Continue reading

Parents: Provide Consistent and Loving Care

Loving Care | LoveParentingLA.comAlright, perhaps it’s obvious. Most parents want to provide consistent and loving care to their children. However, this article is meant to give you some of the psychological and emotional background on why it’s necessary for children to consistently feel loved and provided for.

In the last 40 years, there has been significant attention given to the early years of an individual’s life, noting that the type of attachment that an infant has with his or her primary caregiver will have a significant effect on later life.

In the 1960’s, psychiatrist John Bowlby developed the attachment theory based on his study of the difficulties that homeless and orphaned children experience. The theory’s main premise is that an infant must develop a strong bond with at least one primary caregiver in order to appropriately develop socially and emotionally. In order for this bond to become secure between infant and caregiver, the following must happen: Continue reading

How to Lighten Family Stress When It’s High

Sometimes, families feel the stress of everyday life building and building. Parents, you’re working a lot; you’re trying to find the time to spend with your children and spouse. Children and teens, you’ve got responsibilities too and at the same time you might be feeling your needs for attention, love, and care from your parents. When emotional needs are being met and when the demands of everyday life are weighing on the family mood, it might be necessary to take a break from everything. It could be time to lighten the family stress and try out the following suggestions. Continue reading

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