Research 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
When 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 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
Over 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
In the past there was no question that you’d send your children to the nearest public school for his or her education. However, that is becoming less of an immediate choice, and instead, parents have more and more options for educating their children, including alternative schools and homeschooling.
In Los Angeles today, there are literally hundreds of options available to parents. There are public, private, and charter schools. There are small independent schools and online schools. And there is always the homeschooling option too. With all of these options, it might be hard to know which one is right for your family and for your child in particular. Continue reading
We all need support when it comes to parenting. And if it’s not support, it’s a place to vent, to express celebrations or get energized when faced with challenge! And what better to find a community of parents with similar passions than in Los Angeles.
It should also be noted that parents need outside help. Although they are the strong foundation for their children, it’s important that they get the help they need especially when they need it. For instance, Laurence Steinberg, psychologist at Temple University found this to be true in his 1994 study. That year, he studied 200 families and explored how parents managed the great transition of their child entering puberty. He found that 40% of parents experienced a decline in their mental health once their first child entered puberty. Parents reported feeling low self-worth, a decline in libido, and increase in physical symptoms due to stress. Continue reading