It's that time of year…packing up the family and venturing out on a holiday break or on a trip to see the grandparents! It's already a stressful time of year but add the congestion on the highways and in the airports… it's enough to make anyone crazy!
Yesterday was Mothers Day and if youre on Facebook, you had a chance to see pictures of most of your friends mothers. Just about everyone I know - including me - posted either a recent or vintage photo of their mom. It was really quite sweet to see the impact that peoples mothers have had on them and to read the loving posts reaffirming their devotion. There were photos of new mothers, middle-aged mothers and old mothers. Mothers that are no longer with us (like mine) and substitute mothers that have stepped up to the plate when they were needed. It was a social media mother blitz.
When my child was little I didnt have social media to share thoughts and activities and to ask questions about child rearing.
I found myself somewhat isolated and wondering if I was doing everything right. Fortunately, I did have a phone and a mother I could call.
Moms now have the Internet, social media and blogging to help walk them through all the stages of childhood development and its actually proving quite beneficial.
A 2012 study says blogs, in particular, may help mothers feel less alone and more connected with family and friends. According to the studys findings, whether they are readers or writers, moms who are participating in supportive parenting blogs are less stressed.
"It looks like blogging might be helping these women as they transition into motherhood because they may begin to feel more connected to their extended family and friends, which leads them to feel more supported," said Brandon T. McDaniel, graduate student in human development and family studies at Penn State. "That potentially is going to spill out into other aspects of their well being, including their marital relationship with their partner, the ways that they're feeling about their parenting stress, and eventually into their levels of depression."
The Brigham Young University researchers surveyed 157 new mothers about their media use and their well-being. The m
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't find myself talking to a patient or a parent about anxiety. I see patients as young as 4 years old who are anxious about sleep, school or after school activities. I also see plenty of high school students with the same concerns. It doesn't seem to be getting any better either, as I think more and more of my patients visits are often related to stress and anxiety rather than to strep throat or an ear infection.
This begs two questions: How did stress and anxiety become so prevalent and how do we change it?
If I knew the answers to that I could write a best seller!! But I do think I have some ideas. Some of the stress and anxiety that our children feel at an early age may have some roots in genetics. Anxiety seems to have a genetic predisposition but is it all inborn? Can you change some of a child's early reactions to situations by the way a parent reacts? I think that the answer is yes.
Very young children pick up on parental cues. For example, I had a young mother who recently came in and was worried because her 14 month old son was being pushed in play group and he would sometimes even fall down. She was tearful while she was talking about this and at the same time she was guarding his every move in the exam room. No falling in here!
I asked if the other mother's were appropriately talking to their toddlers who had done the pushing and she said they had, but it was just too much to bear. She was not going to go to play group (they might not invite her back) if he was going to get pushed. I could feel her anxiety flowing to her newly walking son.
Another patient recently brought her child in due to recurrent stomach aches. After getting a good history and talking about the tummy aches with the child directly, it seemed as if they might be due to stress and a