Mothers today juggle more tasks, work longer hours, and sleep less than
their own mothers did. Yet the self-healing revolution has overlooked
the most significant issue in the lives of some twenty million women:
how to cope with the relentless, sometimes overwhelming, stresses of
raising young children in the twenty-first century.
Rick Hanson, Ph.D and Jan Hanson, L.Ac.
, have written many column to help a mom take care of herself while she takes care of her family. Be sure to visit often as this area will be expanding to offer more than 100 column that will be searchable by keyword for easy navigation.
Parenting Tips: Children, Hyperactivity, and Nutrition
Inattention, Restlessness, and Impulsive
- When Kids Are Distractible or "Hyper"
Our preschooler's teacher has been
hinting that he might be "hyperactive." She says it's hard for him
to sit still, he talks a lot without raising his hand, and he's
distracted by any little thing. At home, I have to constantly remind
him to do things; he says he just forgets. He can play Nintendo for
hours, but if he is supposed to practice his letters with me, it
seems like it is torture for him to sit in the chair. Everyone is
distractible, restless, or impulsive some of the time. And for a
preschooler in particular, it's normal to be sometimes forgetful,
lost in the clouds, wild, jumpy, disinterested in routines,
super-playful, silly, or fidgety. The question is, are these
behaviors a problem for the child or for people around him or
Our third-grader"s teacher has been hinting that he might be
"hyperactive." She says it's hard for him to sit still, he talks a
lot without raising his hand, and he's distracted by any little
thing. At home, I have to constantly remind him to do things; he
says he just forgets. He can play Nintendo for hours, but if he is
supposed to write something for school, it seems like it is torture
for him to sit in the chair.
Working with Challenging Child Temperaments
Some kids are naturally easy-going, adaptable, and cheerful.
Sure, they'll still cry if the ice cream falls off their cone, but
in general, they have the sort of temperament that makes a parent's
job considerably easier: they trot into preschool with no clinging
to mom or dad at the door, and if their favorite sweatshirt is in
the wash, it's no big deal to put on a different one. They can sit
quietly for fairly long periods and settle down quickly if they get
excited or mad, and if they can't build their block structure just
right, they don't knock it over out of frustration..
Parenting Tips: Skills and Health For Children and Teens
- Teaching Kids Psychological Skills
In our last column, we discussed how
to create a nurturing and structured environment for spirited or
cautious/rigid children. In this column, we're broadening our focus
to explore how to teach basic, essential psychological skills that
all children need, like being able to let go of upsetting
experiences or take in positive ones.
- Optimizing a Child's Health
In our last column, we discussed how to teach several fundamental
psychological skills to children, including letting go of upsetting
experiences and taking in positive ones. These skills will help
anyone, but they're especially useful for spirited or cautious/rigid
children. In this column, we'll explore how to optimize a child's
health - certainly worth doing in its own right, but also a real aid
to any child with a challenging temperament. We'll also discuss
Parenting Tips: Raising Teenagers
- Our oldest is just in fifth grade, but we're already worried about
middle school and the "terrible teens." Some of his friends already
have earrings, and he kids us (sometimes I'm not sure he's joking)
about getting green hair. We're scared about drugs and alcohol, who
his friends will be, and whether he will stay on track with school and
his life. Right now we can still talk together, but how long will that
- Our twelve-year-old daughter is still talking to us, but we're worried
how long that's going to last. Her friends all seem to hate their own
parents. They talk about them like they are overbearing idiots, to be
avoided at all costs, barely worth a glance, let alone a conversation.
The contempt these kids have for adults is mind-boggling. We've
always been able to talk about things with Jesse, and I'd hate to see
- Our fourteen-year-old son either sits in his room listening to violent
rap music or slouching toward school with his slacker buddies. He
was a good student until 7th grade, and then it's been all downhill.
He just doesn't care any more. He either ignores me or sneers when I
ask what he wants to do with his life: his latest comment is that
we're all going to be dead of genetically engineered viruses by the
time he's twenty-five, so why bother? From his point of view, he
might as well do drugs and cut school because it's the best thing he
can do with life right now. Yikes! There's no light in his eyes.
In this column we will explore how parents can solve problems, resolve conflicts
and stay out of unnecessary fights with their teenagers. That is a large subject, so
what follows is a brief summary of ideas that have worked with other families
which you should adapt to your own unique situation and values.
Parenting Tips: Skillful Responding to the Wants of a Child
Parenting Tips: Stress, Moods, and Anger
The Real Gift of Parenting
Last year, the holidays were crazy! I seemed to spend most of my time
standing in line or carrying bags. We spent a small fortune on assorted
complicated gizmos -- which got opened and then ignored as my daughter
and son spent most of the day playing with $2.99 worth of stickers. We
got stressed out in order to relax and suffered in order to have fun.
My husband and I stared at each other across the the flotsam and jetsam
of wrapping paper and various pieces of who-knows-what, and you could
see the look in each of our eyes: Say what?!
Dealing with Summertime Stress
Summertime means long, sunny days, no school, lazy weekends, family vacations - and lot's more time with the kids.
What To Do So Your Kids Don't Stress You Out
We've got a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old and I love them to pieces, but
they're always getting into things or having tantrums or squabbling with
each other or getting sick or throwing a ruckus when my husband and I
are trying to talk to each other. Or all the above! It's probably
normal, but it's a chaotic swirl day to day that I can't seem to see a
clear way out of . . . .
Dealing With Your Anger
Sometimes I get so mad at my kids! Yes, they were misbehaving but I feel
bad about getting angry with them.
Self-Awareness for Kids and Grownups
Sometimes I'm with my kids (or driving in
traffic or talking to my husband or . . . ) and suddenly I'll start
feeling angry or frustrated or sad -- and I don't understand where
that came from. Other times, our preschooler will just start lashing
out but he can't say what's bothering him. Any ideas?
Reducing Sibling Rivalry
If our two-year-old sees me hugging her four-year-old big brother, she'll rush over - saying loudly, "No! My mommy! Go away!" - and try to push him away. He's getting more and more frustrated with her and starting to push back pretty hard. Their squabbles are already probably the biggest single source of stress in my life -- and it's getting worse.
Helping "Moody" Kids
Sometimes our 3-year-old is cheerful, but little things can always set
him off, and then he seems grumpy and "blue" for longer than it seems
like he should. Not to get paranoid, but depression runs in my husband's
family, and I'm already starting to wonder about our son.