Below are some helpful Internet resources and books for children and families on a variety of psychological topics, including parenting, ADHD, anxiety, depression, early childhood development, and media consumption. For your convenience, you can click on the links below to visit referenced websites, or on the photos of the books to purchase them from Amazon. If you find that behavioral or emotional concerns persist after you've implemented some of the approaches outlined in the resources below, or if you would prefer to receive expert guidance on applying evidence-based principles to your own situation, please contact Dr. Behling to schedule an appointment.
Most of the current evidence-based approaches to successful parenting are informed by behavior theory; in other words, the behaviors you choose to reinforce or attend to are those that subsequently occur more often. Although it is developmentally typical for young children to throw tantrums as they explore which aspects of daily life can be influenced by their actions and desires, even a typical amount of tantruming can be quite frustrating and exhausting for parents to handle. Likewise, testing limits and pushing boundaries is an expected part of adolescence as children seek increasing amounts of independence and privacy. In some families, a unintentional pattern emerges where a parent is either responding intensely to negative behavior, giving in due to feelings of exhaustion or hopelessness, or spending time away from the child to avoid the unpleasantness of arguing and nagging.
If you are currently struggling with or frustrated by your child or adolescent's behavior, the books below may help you develop or restore a more peaceful, respectful, and enjoyable balance between discipline and positive time together. Individual or family therapy is also an excellent way to feel supported, decrease stress, and get help navigating difficult child and adolescent behaviors, particularly given that commitment to and accountability for implementing effective parenting strategies is increased through face-to-face therapy.
Dr. Russell Barkley's Your Defiant Child, now in its second edition, is a helpful resource for parents of oppositional and defiant children ages 5-12.
Your Defiant Teen details the effective application of behavioral parenting principles to reduced efiance in adolescents and increase respectful autonomy.
Seattle psychologist and author Dr. Laura Kastner's Getting to Calm is an invaluable guide for parents of tweens and teens.
In The Launching Years, Dr. Kastner discusses how to help your adolescent successfully transition into the young adult world of increased independence and responsibility.
INATTENTION, HYPERACTIVITY & IMPULSIVE BEHAVIORS
When inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsive behavior occurs in more than one setting (home, school, work, etc.) and cause significant distress or disruption, the person struggling with these issues may be eligible for a diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Most people are familiar with the use of medication to treat symptoms of ADHD. These medications have been well-researched and prescribed effectively for decades, with some individuals and families embracing this approach and others choosing to make some changes in the person's environment before considering medication. These changes, detailed in the books below, might include changing parenting strategies, increasing routine and organization, reducing distractions, and increasing physical exercise as a healthy way to relieve excess energy. You can also schedule a meeting with Dr. Behling to explore whether a diagnosis of ADHD is appropriate for you or your child and, if so, to begin successfully implementing strategies to reduce the impact of symptoms on daily life.
Taking Charge of ADHD helps parents understand ADHD and make changes at home and school to increase success. There is also a segment on medication for those interested in exploring this solution.
Sparky's Excellent Misadventures provides a kid-friendly explanation of ADHD and can serve to help kids struggling with inattention or hyperactivity feel more open to trying useful strategies.
Experiencing significant worries about a particular outcome (e.g., getting sick or being rejected by others), object (e.g., spiders, vomit, or blood), or situation (e.g., natural disaster or being separated from a trusted adult) can be stressful for both parent and child. Sometimes, the things we do to avoid feeling anxious can limit the activities we engage in or places we travel, making our world smaller than it needs to be. The books below are a good place to begin understanding how anxiety impacts a person's life and what can be done to help that person feel more confident and relaxed. You may also consider meeting with Dr. Behling to develop and implement a plan to reduce your or your child's anxiety.
Helping Your Anxious Child is a wonderful, evidence-based resource for parents wishing to reduce symptoms of anxiety in their child.
Growing Up Brave uses the parent-child relationship to reduce symptoms of childhood anxiety. Dr. Behling is certified in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), a practice discussed in the book.
What to Do When You Worry Too Much is a child-friendly book for ages 6-12 designed to give kids insight into how to make worries go away for good.
Talking Back to OCD outlines an eight-step program to help children and teens reduce the impact of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.
Symptoms of depression include fatigue, changes in appetite and sleep, lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy, sadness, feelings of guilt and hopelessness, irritability, and possibly thoughts of suicide. Depression can take everything from you, including your life. When someone is struggling with depression, it can feel like things will never get better. The truth is that there are things you can do, including increasing your level of physical activity, spending time in social settings, and changing negative thoughts and expectations. If your symptoms of depression persist, please contact Dr. Behling to set up an appointment. If you or someone you know is actively considering suicide, please visit your nearest emergency room or call 911. If you live in King County, you may also choose to call the King County Crisis Line at 1-866-4-CRISIS.
The author of Living with a Black Dog: His Name is Depression struggled with depression in the past, and was written to give the reader comfort, hope, and support. A companion text, Living with a Black Dog, is available for family members of individuals struggling with depression.
Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking is designed to help parents and caregivers work with children to change negative thoughts and increase emotional resilience.
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
The adjustment to parenting can be rewarding, unpredictable, exhausting, and stressful. This adjustment is not limited to your first child, as each brings his or her own set of strengths and challenges. Healthy Steps is a helpful website containing a series of brief, 1-2 page informative handouts on a variety of issues encountered by parents of infants and toddlers, including toilet training. With regard to toilet training, if your child continues to struggle with accidents and soiling beyond five years of age, or if you have concerns about your child's development, please don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Behling to get support and discuss helpful strategies.
The American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Toilet Training extends beyond the basics to discussion of factors to consider and offers solutions to potential barriers.
Explaining the arrival of a new sibling to a young child can be difficult. Babies Don't Eat Pizza is one of many quality picture books designed to help parents prepare for an upcoming addition to the family.
Hands are Not for Hitting is part of the Best Behavior Series, a set of board books parents and caregivers can read with toddlers to support development of respectful, age-appropriate behaviors. Other topics in the series include toilet training, getting rid of pacifiers, and eliminating aggressive behaviors.
Parents and caregivers often express frustration with the amount and type of media consumed by children and adolescents. Likewise, children and adolescents often express frustration with the amount and type of media they are allowed to consume, typically complaining that it is not enough. As the modern world continues to move in a digital direction, conversations about and conflict surrounding the appropriate use of screens are likely to increase. Although each family varies in its level of comfort with screen time, including entertainment and social media, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 1-2 hours of entertainment media per day. A valuable resource for parents is Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that provides parents with reviews for television shows, movies, and video games, complete with information about the amount and type of content in each. Content areas include violence and scariness, language, substance use, educational value, positive messages or characters, and whether or not the media advertises products to children. Their website also provides curriculum for helping children and adolescents become responsible users of digital media.
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