Parental guidance is one of the crucial steps in treating children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) symptoms. Without parental training, a child cannot be treated fully. If you are taking a therapeutic treatment for your ADHD child from a clinical psychologist you would be aware of this fact. Because parents are the first institution, a child learns many things from them, which is apparent in their life ahead. If parents treat their child appropriately in initial childhood years there are reduced chances of developing attention deficits and hyperactivity. Even if the child has developed symptoms, appropriate parental handling can create a difference.
Therapists treating children with ADHD give particular instructions to their parents for how to deal with behavioral issues. However, some of the necessary steps parents can take are mentioned here.
Child’s daily functioning would improve if he/she is provided with proper home base training for instance, train the child regarding mannerism and following rules such as how to sit quietly in a classroom or while studying at home, listen attentively to what is being taught, how to behave with other children, refrain from picking up other’s possessions etc.
Develop your child’s friendship skills e.g., teach the child how he/she needs to behave if he/she wants to make a best friend. Involve the child in play activities or games which require sitting quietly and following rules such as, Ludo, Carom board etc. Tell the child clearly about the consequence when he/she doesn’t wait for the turn. Teach the child how to initiate and end conversations with people if he/she wants to get a friendly response.
Parents must help and encourage their child to practice and develop above-mentioned skills and do provide the child various opportunities so that he/she can acquire a better quality of life.
Encourage the child when he/she does well on tasks and give feedback immediately after completion of a task. It will develop your child’s abilities and help him/her understand the link between his/her own efforts and success.
Some of the helpful tactics parents can apply during their home base training are as follows:
- Create a to-do list of homework and household chores for the child so that he/she can follow it.
- Give your child simple and clear instructions. For example, if you want the child to do homework then Instead of saying “Finish your homework”, you can say what specific things you want him to do such as, “Finish your English lesson. Then write down in a paragraph what you have read. Finally, do your maths sums”.
- Organize your child’s clothes and school work so that they are always in the same place and easy to find.
• Get into a routine. Having a sense of order and routine helps inattentive children stay focused. Follow the same schedule every day. Such as wake-up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, get dressed, put on your uniform etc.
- Paste the schedule in a central place, such as the main hallway of your house.
- While doing homework, turn off the TV, computer, radio, video games or other distractions.
- Give the child a reward for finishing his/her homework or other responsibilities. You might offer the child to take a trip to the zoo or may offer a chocolate etc.
Do utilize these strategies in your daily routine if you are dealing a child with ADHD. For expert opinion regarding specific behavioral problems of children and guidance on how to deal the specific issues, you can contact us directly.
Dr. Mehwish Mursaleen
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
Child neglect comes in a form of child abuse, and it is actually a lack of meeting the child’s basic needs, which involves the parental/guardian’s failure to provide sufficient health care, supervision, nutrition, protection, their physical, emotional, social, and educational safety needs. In some child neglect cases, it is difficult to recognize, which makes it hard for the mental health care professionals to take early action in protecting the child.
The signs and symptoms of child neglect can be in terms of emotional, behavioral and physical in nature.
- Emotional symptoms involve; isolation, fear, and an inability to trust which can transfer into lifelong psychological consequences including low self-esteem, depression, and relationship difficulties. Cognitive delay at some level, lower IQ scores, and language difficulties are also related. Individuals who experience parental neglect are more prone to develop antisocial personality traits as they grow up. Parental neglect is often associated with borderline personality disorder, attachment issues, inappropriate modeling of adult behavior, and aggressive temperament.
- Behavioral Consequences: Not all victims of child abuse and child neglect will experience behavioral consequences. However, behavioral problems appear most often in child neglect cases. Child abuse or neglect appears to make the experience difficulties during adolescence. Aggressive behaviors, rebelliousness, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness can be observed.
- Physical health: an individual who experienced abuse or neglect during childhood is more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, lungs disease and liver malfunctioning, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and obesity. Additionally, child maltreatment has been shown to increase adolescent obesity.
Observing one of the signs in a child from the above domains doesn’t confirm that a child is being neglected, though ever notice multiple or relentless signs then it could indicate a serious problem.
Together we can prevent child neglect by identifying circumstances which put parents or caregivers under stress and getting them the right help at the right time.
Zohra Batool (M.Phil, Clinical Psychology)
Student Advisor at Institute of Professional Psychology, Bahria University
Mehwish Mursaleen (Ph.D. Clinical Psychology)
Sr. Psychologist (Consult-a-psychologist.com & iCliniq.com)
Family therapy is supposed to be very effective treatment for problems within families such as disturbed communication, criticism, parent-child relational problem, partner related issues, lack of bonding between members, stagnant relationships, interpersonal problems, problems between subsystems of joint or extended families or any kind of problems our families are facing in today’s life. Different types of family therapies are proposed by renowned theorists such as Bowen, Virginia Satir, and Milton Erickson. A practicing family therapist considers all aspects of these theories and designs an eclectic approach to fit family problems. Specific strategies are then formulated to treat their problems in direct or indirect manner.
There are three phases of family therapy. The first is family assessment, secondly, members are prepared for the treatment, and in the third phase, strategies are implemented by the members and their problems are resolved. A family therapist considers the following aspects at the time of family assessment
1. Family Structure (Nuclear, Joint, Step Family system, Single parent-led Family or Remarried family)
2. Family Developmental Stage (Married couples, child bearing, pre-school children, school children, teenagers, launching children, middle-aged parents or aging family)
3. Family Systems (Systems: individual, marital, or dyadic; Interconnected systems: extended family, schools, industry, religious systems)
4. Family Environment (Interpersonal relationships: cohesion, expressiveness, conflict; Personal growth: independence, achievement orientation, intellectual-cultural orientation, active recreational orientation, moral-religious emphasis; System maintenance: organization, control)
5. Family Attachment and Cohesion (Attachment: trust, communication, and alienation within members; Cohesion: emotional bonding members have with each other)
6. Family Adaptability (Morphogenesis: how far family permits change; Morphostasis: how far it is characterized by stability)
7. Family Functioning (current functioning level, views, beliefs, and concerns of family)
8. Family Problem Solving (Instrumental: daily life management of food, clothing, and housing; Affective: handling of emotions such as anger or depression)
9. Family Task Accomplishment (Basic tasks: provision of food, shelter, clothing, and health care; Developmental tasks: members’ needs and adjustment in family developmental stage; Hazardous tasks: dealing with unusual or unexpected events and crisis such as death, illness, job loss, natural disasters etc.)
10. Family Communication (verbal and nonverbal messages; Effective, instrumental or simple expression of opinions; clear vs. masked and direct vs. indirect communication)
11. Family Roles (roles related to Provision of resources; Nurturance and support; Adult sexual gratification/partner satisfaction; Personal development: social and life skills related to school or career; Maintenance and management: decision making, boundary, behavior control, finance and health-related functions; Role allocation and Accountability)
12. Family Affective Responsiveness (manner in which members convey feelings; cultural influence of family responses; quality, quantity, and appropriateness of effective response)
13. Family Affective Involvement (Uninvolved, interest devoid of feelings, narcissistic involvement, empathic involvement, over-involvement, symbiotic involvement)
14. Family Behavior Control (standards and rules for family members: in physically dangerous situations, meeting psychobiological needs, socialization behaviors within and outside family; parental control styles: flexible, Rigid, Laissez-faire or Chaotic)
15. Family Values and Norms (expression of values; judgment of appropriate or inappropriate behaviors; ethnic and cultural value system of family; family myths or secrets)
16. Family Rules and Boundaries (Descriptive, prescriptive, meta-rules; Open, close system boundaries)
17. Family Transnational Patterns (Functional, Dysfunctional patterns; marital schism, skew, pseudo-mutuality and hostility, mystification; Double-bind or Meta-communication; Placator, Blamer, Super-reasonable, irrelevant stance)
18. Family Issues (distressed family: referred for treatment; non-distressed family: with no history of treatment and/ or satisfactory relationships)
During the initial interview, a family therapist assesses the above-mentioned problem areas and clinically observes the behaviors of family members during the interview. Family members may be open, secretive, anxious, relaxed, withdrawn, cooperative, timid, aggressive, compliant, or oppositional, which gives the idea about their family patterns and what things need to be changed in the family to make the members fully functioning. The therapist also considers the strengths of the whole family such as the degree of insight regarding problems, the intellectual level of members, mitigating circumstances of the family, self-differentiated individual(s), and other talents or resources of the family which can help them thrive during the treatment.
After the assessment is done, members are introduced to the effective strategies they can use to handle their problems. Various strategies are used by family therapists such as effective communication patterns, role plays, sculpturing, family stories, metaphors, contracts, and other direct or indirect methods of behavior change.
When a therapist observes that family members are skilled in effective communication and problem solving, various tasks are assigned to them regarding their roles in family and community. At this stage, the confidence of family members is enhanced and they are encouraged to solve their problem on their own so that little facilitation is provided by the therapist. In the end, the family becomes equipped with all the necessary tools and strategies to resolve their daily life issues.
When the family is able to handle life problems without the support of a family therapist, it is a stage where therapy is bilaterally terminated with the consent of therapist and all the family members.
Hence, it is ensured that family therapy proves to be effective for struggling families who want support and help. Get help from our expert therapists if you have one of those families struggling hard in life.
Mehwish Mursaleen (Ph.D., Clinical Psychology)
Online Psychotherapist (Consult-a-psychologist.com & iCliniq.com)
Healthy Relationship Tips: Healthy relationships are the part of a successful life. When your relationships are at a stake, you can’t focus effectively on other areas of your life such as studies, career, work, and your own personality. Therefore, healthy relationships are considered associated with positive adjustment and psychological well-being.
When your relationship is suffering, you always have a choice i.e., put it out of its misery or nurse it back to health. If the love that you share is worth saving, act quickly to reverse and repair the damage that’s already been done to your relationship. Here are some areas to notice when you try to save a broken relationship.
Seek first to understand, then be understood. When you put yourself in shoes of others, you are better able to analyze the situation rationally and understand other’s feelings.
Express yourself. There is no harm in expressing your feelings either positive or negative. But when you express negative feelings, what matters is: how you express it. If you try to blame another person, show aggression and use harsh tone then definitely, the next person is not going to listen to you and all your energy and efforts will go in vein. So be careful about your words, tone of voice, and the situation when you express your negative feelings. However, when you express your positive feelings, try to harmonize your body language. Your words and body language should give a similar message. For instance, you are encouraging the person, but your way of saying it is sarcastic. Off course, this will not give a positive message, instead, the person in front of you will get offended by your act. So, express yourself but tactfully.
Healthy adjustment. When you adjust a broken relationship, it is not a compromise, but it is a healthy option which is only chosen by a healthy mind. If you consider your mind a strong and healthy one, always chose to adjust with relationship problems at first.
Soften your heart. You always like people who are soft-hearted. So why not you choose to be the liked one by your loved ones?
Assume the best. Every relationship goes through thick and thins. Problems are the part of every relationship but you need to understand that problems are temporary and there is a solution to every problem. Once you solve the current issues, your relationship will be just like you wished it to be.
Embrace change. Always welcome change in your relationship. Some people feel so fixed within a relationship that even a minor change is so frustrating for them. If you are one of those, you need to understand that change is the part of life stages. Everyone changes with age and according to the life situation. So if this is the normal process so you can feel normal about it.
Be persistent. If at first, you don’t succeed, don’t give up. If you have resolved to make it work, keep trying. Persistence is the key to ultimate success.
If it doesn’t seem that you can fix the broken relationship on your own, then seek the help of a professional. You can contact our psychologist/ family therapist/ relationship counselor to learn about how to deal with relationship problems.
Mehwish Mursaleen (Ph.D., Clinical Psychology)
Clinical Psychologist & Online Psychotherapist
(Consult-a-psychologist.com & iCliniq.com)