When a partnership fails, the possibility that the family will become poverty-stricken greatly increases. Not only that, research shows that people in failing relationships are less productive at work, and more likely to fall into substance abuse. Children from fragmented homes do not perform as well in school as their peers from stable two-parent homes. And both children and adults with a poor-quality family life experience more emotional distress, anxiety and depression.
Overall brain health is about more than what kids eat. When they sleep, their activity level and how secure they feel are also key contributors to their overall well-being and brain health, experts say. So parents need to help their kids find the right balance of food, activity and sleep—and make sure kids feel secure—so those developing brains function better.
In the short term, having a parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can make a child lose his sense of self. He may be embarrassed to bring friends home. Long term, children with parents who suffer from addiction have an increased incidence of academic problems, mental illness, criminal behavior and early use — and abuse — of the same substances that bind and restrict their parents.
Most brain development in children happens before the age of 3. So parents are encouraged to actively engage in their child’s initial touching, talking, reading and playing experiences, which leads to successful parent-guided parent-child collaborations in the future. That’s right: The molding of good decision makers starts at infancy and grows from there.
PANDAS was first identified and labeled in the mid-1990s by investigators at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Basically, a bacterial infection such as strep prompts the immune system to produce antibodies.
Concussions are an alarmingly commonplace injury, particularly among kids. According to a recent study in Pediatrics, nearly two million kids suffer concussions each year, and one-third of those happen to kids younger than 12.
Parents need to be prepared to answer questions that come up from seeing potentially violent images without minimizing or discounting kids’ concerns or fears, which may include, “Could that happen to you? To me?”