Predictable days stabilize the lives of children and teens, but planning those days has been made more difficult for parents since the onset of the pandemic. Uncertainty, social isolation and parent distress all have on impact on the mental health of kids and teens. Join Peace At Home Parenting founder Ruth E. Freeman, LCSW and teachers Aaron Weintraub, MS and Denise Parent, LMFT and other concerned parents like yourself for a focused conversation to help you recognize symptoms and find solutions to address your child’s emotional needs as well as your own.
MICHELLE FIRESTONE, Chronicle Staff Writer
MANSFIELD — In today’s world, digital technology can sometimes feel like it has taken over our lives.
Wednesday evening, Aaron Weintraub, a behavior specialist at Holiday Hill Day Camp & Recreation Center in Mansfield, told a group of Mansfield Middle School parents that, while digital devices can be used for educational purposes, use of the devices can also lead to social isolation. He encouraged parents to restrict their child’s use of social media and digital devices and use meal times to “reconnect.” “Establish some rules based on your values,” Weintraub said during a workshop at the middle school.
The workshop was presented by Peace At Home Parenting Solutions, a Storrs-based program that aims to teach good parenting techniques.
Weintraub said parents should consider whether “work time” is separate from “play time” when reviewing their child’s “screen time.” He defined “screen time” as time spent on smart phones, tablets, computers, televisions and video game systems. Weintraub said parents should be “following the rules” they set for their children as much as possible. “I turn my screen off a half-hour before bed because I know it’s going to affect my ability to fall asleep,” he said.
Shannon Sion, the mother of a seventh-grader and a fifth-grader at MMS, said she used to try to get her children to stop watching television. Now, she wants them to watch it, but do so together. “The irony of it to me is not lost,” she said. Sion said she thinks she has stricter rules and stricter time limits for digital device usage than other parents. However, she said she understands her oldest child needs to use digital devices sometimes for school. Sion said, sometimes, her children “call her out” for her social media usage, which she uses to check a recipe or her calendar, for example. She said she tries to limit her social media time when she is with her children. “I’m using it as a resource,” Sion said. “I’m not using it for TV or movies.”
Weintraub said, historically, parents have always worried about new technology. He said before digital media, parents worried about their child’s use of radio and then television. “When I was growing up, I was limited to an hour of TV,” Weintraub said. “I only saw ‘The Golden Girls’ and ‘The Cosby Show.’”
Roxana Mocanu, the mother of a seventh-grader at MMS, said if she asks one of her children to put down their book, they are more likely to do that than shut off their screens. “They feel they are missing out and you wouldn’t get that same fear with a book,” she said.
Weintraub said “screen time” can lead to “disregulated or addictive behavior.” “Some initial studies are showing that it can have negative effects on brain development,” he said. Ultimately, Weintraub said parents shouldn’t blame themselves for their children’s use of digital devices. “These programs are addictive by design,” he said. Weintraub said there aren’t a “lot of great solutions” to monitor content on iPhones, but more are available for Android phones. Weintraub said one alternative to using digital devices is having children play with non-electronic toys. “Discovering older toys can be fun,” he said.
For more information, visit the Peace at Home Parenting Solutions website or call 1-661-PARENT-6.
Follow Michelle Firestone on Twitter – @mfirestonetc.
This article appears in our print edition and in our Chronicle e-edition (available at 4 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. Saturday) complete with all photos and special sections.
Read original article: https://www.thechronicle.com/stories/20190321TECHTALK.php
Exchange conflict for compromise and communication
by Sarah Cody
View at https://www.wtnh.com/on-air/connecticut-families/positive-co-parenting-part-1-exchange-conflict-for-compromise-and-communication/1731905496
BURLINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – Divorce is difficult. Oftentimes, mom and dad need to put aside contentious feelings to make sure their child still feels stable and secure. News 8’s Connecticut Families is taking a two part look at how to co-parent in a positive way.
“There were other times when she wasn’t too happy with me but was still a good co-parent,” says Justin Michaels, of Burlington.
He, and his ex-wife Chantel, divorced when their son, Remi, was a baby.
“It can be really stressful when you’re young, both in college,” says Justin. “We owned a home, had a newborn.”
Chantel adds: “It’s hard. You have this little human being that loves both of you very much and it was hard enough to be split and share my time.”
At first, co-parenting was difficult as Justin and Chantel figured out their new relationship. They worked hard – agreeing on one thing: the didn’t want Remi to feel like he was in the middle.
“I come from a split family, so, I knew exactly what I didn’t want to do,” says Justin.
“Particularly when there’s a romantic relationship that’s broken up, that child becomes a symbol of the loss, a symbol of a lot of things,” says Ruth Freeman, a licensed clinical social worker and founder of Peace at Home Parenting Solutions, a team of educators and child development specialists that offer online classes.
She says don’t make a child take sides.
Thu, Feb 28, 20198:15 PM – 9:00 PM EST
Q&A Sessions are free for all parents and caregivers who participated in one of our live online parenting classes. Participants will have a chance to ask questions about the new approaches they are practicing as well as other issues if time allows. They will have a chance to connect with other parents, share challenges, and celebrate successes.
Presenter: Ruth Freeman
Peace at Home Parenting guidance does not stop when this live online class is over. After class, you will be invited to join our private Facebook group. There, you will have unlimited access to our team of parenting experts, who will share tips and answer parents’ questions. This Facebook community is also a place to connect with other caring parents, like you. We welcome parents to share challenges and celebrate successes.
In addition, you will receive access to free monthly “Question and Answer” sessions. During these sessions, you will be coached in applying the skills you learned in Peace at Home classes and again you will connect with other parents working to improve skills.
¿Deseas que tus hijos tengan confianza y cooperen? ¿Sueñas con un hogar más calmado?
A veces logras que tu hijo siga instrucciones mediante la intimidación o el miedo. Tal vez has llegado a creer que estas son las únicas maneras de hacer que tu hijo…
Parents are less stressed when their kids cooperate. Children are more cooperative when they feel positively connected with their parents. This live online class will help you understand and apply:
• Communication skills that build strong parent-chi…
- TUE, FEB 5, 2019 8:15 PM – 9:00 PM EST
When parents understand the basics of brain development they are not surprised at the creative ways their children learn and explore. Brain development basics help parents understand what they want to promote and what they may want to avoid in respon…
¿Tu hijo pasa mucho tiempo castigado?
¿Te preocupa ser demasiado estricto o demasiado débil?
¿Frecuentemente piensas si hay una mejor manera?
Los niños criados con disciplina positiva tienen mayor confianza y cooperan más. Descubrirás que existen …
Family meals are associated with school success, lower rates of teen problems and an assortment of positive outcomes. Yet, parents find it hard to keep consistent mealtimes and often mistakenly use feeding and mealtimes to try to enforce healthy eati…
Does any of this sound like your child?
• Clinging, crying and/or tantrums when you separate
• Excessive shyness, avoiding social situations
• Constant worry
• Avoiding situations or places because of fears
• Complaints of frequent stomacha…
Learn how to make mindfulness a habit for your family with easy tips you can use to reduce stress and strengthen the bond of love.
Presenters: Dana Asby, M.A., M.Ed.
and Melanie Laguna, M.S.
Peace at Home Parenting guidance does not stop when th…
- WED, FEB 13, 2019 8:15 PM – 9:00 PM EST
- Reduce Family Stress
- Get Kids to Listen and Cooperate
- Build Strong Connections
- Without Raising Your Voice!
Register at: PeaceAtHomeParenting.com
Use FREE Discount Code: SummerPeace
Sign up for one or all of these classes to Get Ready for Summer
Understand Feelings: Raise Caring Kids 12 noon, Thursday, May 31st
- Are you sometimes overwhelmed by your child’s emotions?
- Does your child have trouble verbalizing his feelings?
- Do her displays of emotion seem like misbehavior sometimes?
A better relationship with your child starts with emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is associated with stronger self-worth, more cooperation, better communication skills, stronger parent-child connection and less family conflict. Learn tools to strengthen your own emotional intelligence and that of your children.
Positive Discipline that Works 8:15 PM, Monday, June 11th
- Is your child spending too much time in “time out?”
- Are you concerned you are too strict or too easy?
- Do you sometimes this there must be a better way?
You are not alone. Parents report they want to stop yelling and stop giving in. This live online class will provide simple steps to discipline that works. Win more cooperation and strengthen your child’s self-worth.
Routines, Chores & Family Meetings 8:15 PM, Monday, June 18th
- Morning routine drive you a little crazy?
- Trash only gets taken out after a zillion reminders?
- Worried that summer will just increase your stress?
Parents who spend time nagging, complaining and punishing tend to have less time to meaningfully connect with their children. Consider Family Meetings and other practical ways to create smoother family routines and support children to be responsible. Plan your summer routine as a family. More connection and more fun!
ALL CLASSES INCLUDE ONGOING SUPPORT: You can get questions answered immediately during live classes. After class, participants are invited to join a private Facebook group to connect with other parents working on similar issues. Teachers are available to comment and answer questions. You will also receive a recording of the class to listen to again and with others.
By Brittnie Stoy.
Is your child suddenly sullen, withdrawn, or seeming to avoid contact with you?
Have you observed marked changes in his behaviors and personality?
Is she afraid to ride the school bus or reluctant to go to school?
These are just a few of the possible warning signs that your child is being bullied. (Bullying is defined as any unwanted, aggressive behavior that is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.)
Repeated bullying may cause significant emotional harm and can erode a child’s self-worth and mental health. Whether bullying is verbal, physical or relational, the long-term effects can be equally harmful. Continue reading “Bullying in School: Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied & How You Can Help”
The mind is a social entity. Children’s brains grow and thrive through interactions with their parents and other caregivers.
Want to raise a happy, lifelong learner?
Keep these ideas in mind… Continue reading “Early Childhood Development: Help Baby’s Brain to Grow”
Neuroscience of Early Childhood: Brain Development & Why Parents Matter So Much
By Ruth E. Freeman, LCSW.
How often do you worry about your kids’ struggles and give lots of advice about how to handle their problems?
Have you found yourself wishing your child was more independent and capable of solving problems?
Do you know which problems belong to you to solve and which ones belong to your children?
Parents often have strong emotions about problems that belong to their children. Maybe your daughter is being ignored by her former best friend. Maybe your son is having difficulty with his math teacher. Maybe your teen hates doing homework. The fact that these struggles cause you to feel emotions should not be misunderstood as a reason to solve your child’s problems. Continue reading “Raise Your Child to Be a Problem Solver”