Mayo Clinic study: You can’t shield children from all risks

17 Mar

Moi wrote in No one is perfect: People sometimes fail:

There are no perfect people, no one has a perfect life and everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, children do not come with instruction manuals, which give specific instructions about how to relate to that particular child. Further, for many situations there is no one and only way to resolve a problem. What people can do is learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. Craig Playstead has assembled a top ten list of mistakes made by parents and they should be used as a starting point in thinking about your parenting style and your family’s dynamic.

1)            Spoiling kids 

2)            Inadequate discipline

3)            Failing to get involved at school

4)            Praising mediocrity

5)            Not giving kids enough responsibility

6)            Not being a good spouse

7)            Setting unreal expectations

8)            Not teaching kids to fend for themselves

9)            Pushing trends on kids

10)           Not following through

Playstead also has some comments about stage parents.

Let kids be kids. Parents shouldn’t push their trends or adult outlook on life on their kids. Just because it was your life’s dream to marry a rich guy doesn’t mean we need to see your 4-year-old daughter in a “Future Trophy Wife” t-shirt. The same goes for the double ear piercing—that’s what you want, not them. Teaching kids about your passions is great, but let them grow up to be who they are. And yes, this goes for you pathetic stage parents as well. It’s hard enough for kids to figure out who they are in the world without you trying to turn them into what you couldn’t be.

Paul Tough has written a very thoughtful New York Times piece about the importance of failure in developing character, not characters.

In What If the Secret to Success Is Failure? Tough writes:

Dominic Randolph can seem a little out of place at Riverdale Country School — which is odd, because he’s the headmaster. Riverdale is one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools, with a 104-year-old campus that looks down grandly on Van Cortlandt Park from the top of a steep hill in the richest part of the Bronx. On the discussion boards of UrbanBaby.com, worked-up moms from the Upper East Side argue over whether Riverdale sends enough seniors to Harvard, Yale and Princeton to be considered truly “TT” (top-tier, in UrbanBabyese), or whether it is more accurately labeled “2T” (second-tier), but it is, certainly, part of the city’s private-school elite, a place members of the establishment send their kids to learn to be members of the establishment. Tuition starts at $38,500 a year, and that’s for prekindergarten.

Randolph, by contrast, comes across as an iconoclast, a disrupter, even a bit of an eccentric. He dresses for work every day in a black suit with a narrow tie, and the outfit, plus his cool demeanor and sweep of graying hair, makes you wonder, when you first meet him, if he might have played sax in a ska band in the ’80s. (The English accent helps.) He is a big thinker, always chasing new ideas, and a conversation with him can feel like a one-man TED conference, dotted with references to the latest work by behavioral psychologists and management gurus and design theorists. When he became headmaster in 2007, he swapped offices with his secretary, giving her the reclusive inner sanctum where previous headmasters sat and remodeling the small outer reception area into his own open-concept work space, its walls covered with whiteboard paint on which he sketches ideas and slogans. One day when I visited, one wall was bare except for a white sheet of paper. On it was printed a single black question mark.

For the headmaster of an intensely competitive school, Randolph, who is 49, is surprisingly skeptical about many of the basic elements of a contemporary high-stakes American education. He did away with Advanced Placement classes in the high school soon after he arrived at Riverdale; he encourages his teachers to limit the homework they assign; and he says that the standardized tests that Riverdale and other private schools require for admission to kindergarten and to middle school are “a patently unfair system” because they evaluate students almost entirely by I.Q. “This push on tests,” he told me, “is missing out on some serious parts of what it means to be a successful human.”

The most critical missing piece, Randolph explained as we sat in his office last fall, is characterthose essential traits of mind and habit that were drilled into him at boarding school in England and that also have deep roots in American history. “Whether it’s the pioneer in the Conestoga wagon or someone coming here in the 1920s from southern Italy, there was this idea in America that if you worked hard and you showed real grit, that you could be successful,” he said. “Strangely, we’ve now forgotten that. People who have an easy time of things, who get 800s on their SAT’s, I worry that those people get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, then I think they’re screwed, to be honest. I don’t think they’ve grown the capacities to be able to handle that….”

Whatever the dream you feel you didn’t realize, remember that was your dream, it may not be your child’s dream. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/06/no-one-is-perfect-people-sometimes-fail/

U.S. News reports on a recent Mayo Clinic study in Avoiding Scary Situations May Leave Kids More Anxious: Study:

– Children who avoid scary situations are more likely to have anxiety, according to researchers who developed a new way to assess avoidance behavior in youngsters.

The Mayo Clinic study included more than 800 children, aged 7 to 18, and used two eight-question surveys, one for parents and one for children.

The parents’ survey asks about their children’s tendencies to avoid scary situations. For example: “When your child is scared or worried about something, does he or she ask to do it later?”

The children’s survey asks them to describe their avoidance habits. For example: “When I feel scared or worried about something, I try not to go near it.”

Children who tried to avoid scary situations at the start of the study were more likely than other children to have anxiety a year later, according to the study published online March 4 in the journal Behavior Therapy. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/03/15/avoiding-scary-situations-may-leave-kids-more-anxious-study

Here is the Mayo Clinic press release:

Children Who Avoid Scary Situations Likelier to Have Anxiety, Mayo Clinic Research Finds

Monday, March 11, 2013

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Children who avoid situations they find scary are likely to have anxiety a Mayo Clinic study of more than 800 children ages 7 to 18 found. The study published this month in Behavior Therapy presents a new method of measuring avoidance behavior in young children.

The researchers developed two eight-question surveys: the Children’s Avoidance Measure Parent Report and the Children’s Avoidance Measure Self Report. The questionnaires ask details about children’s avoidance tendencies, for instance, in addressing parents, “When your child is scared or worried about something, does he or she ask to do it later?” It also asks children to describe their passive avoidance habits. For example: “When I feel scared or worried about something, I try not to go near it.”

One of the most surprising findings was that measuring avoidance could also predict children’s development of anxiety. Children who participated in the study showed stable anxiety scores after a year had passed, but those who described avoidance behaviors at the onset tended to be more anxious a year later.

“This new approach may enable us to identify kids who are at risk for an anxiety disorder,” says lead author Stephen Whiteside, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist with the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. “And further, because cognitive behavior therapy focuses on decreasing avoidance behaviors, our approach may also provide a means to evaluate whether current treatment strategies work they we think they do.”

In 25 anxious children surveyed following cognitive behavior therapy that slowly exposed children to the situations that caused fear, the avoidance scores from surveys of their parents declined by half. This likely indicates that part of the reason they’re getting better is that they’re no longer avoiding things, Dr. Whiteside says.

“Even after controlling for their baseline anxiety, those who avoided had more anxiety than kids who didn’t avoid,” Dr. Whiteside says. “That was consistent with the model of how anxiety disorders develop. Kids who avoid fearful situations don’t have the opportunity to face their fears and don’t learn that their fears are manageable.”

Most children experience fears of one kind or another, but for some children those fears become heightened as part of an anxiety disorder. When children begin to avoid scary situations, anxiety disorders can become particularly disabling, preventing participation in everyday activities. Even though several methods exist to gauge children’s fearful thinking and symptoms like feeling nervous, clinicians have had few tools until now to measure avoidance behaviors.

Dr. Whiteside is the developer of the Mayo Clinic Anxiety Coach, an iPhone app that helps individuals learn about anxiety, gauge and manage their symptoms, and make lists of activities to help them face their fears. The study was funded by Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology.

###

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit MayoClinic.com or MayoClinic.org/news.

Journalists can become a member of the Mayo Clinic News Network for the latest health, science and research news and access to video, audio, text and graphic elements that can be downloaded or embedded.

Citation:

Behavior Therapy

Available online 4 March 2013

In Press, Accepted ManuscriptNote to users

Development of child- and parent-report measures of behavioral avoidance related to childhood anxiety disorders

  • a Mayo Clinic
  • b University of Missouri, Kansas City
  • c University of Missouri

Purchase $31.50

Abstract

The current report describes three studies conducted to develop 8-item child- and parent-report measures to further the understanding of the role of behavioral avoidance in the development, maintenance and treatment of childhood anxiety disorders. Participants included both clinical (N=463; ages 8 to 12) and community (N=421; ages 7 to 18) samples of children and their parents from primarily Caucasian intact families. Follow-up data were collected from 104 families in the community sample. Overall, the measures were internally consistent and related to anxiety, distress, and alternative measures of avoidance in both samples. Parent report of children’s behavioral avoidance evidenced the strongest psychometric properties, differentiated among clinical and community populations, and most importantly, predicted children’s anxiety at least eight months later over and above initial anxiety ratings. Moreover, decreases in avoidance were associated with successful exposure therapy. These results are consistent with the role of behavioral avoidance in the development of anxiety and provide a efficient tool for assessing the role avoidance in clinical and research settings.

Highlights

Avoidance is theorized to contribute to childhood anxiety disorders. ► We developed child- and parent-report measures of behavioral avoidance. ► Both measures demonstrated good psychometric properties. ► Parent-report predicted changes in child anxiety over a one-year period. ► Avoidance decreased with successful treatment.

Moi wrote in You call your kid prince or princess, society calls them ‘brat’:

Here is today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Urban Dictionary defines brat:

1.A really annoying person.
2.A person that is spoiled rotten.
3.An annoying child that wants something that no one will get for him/her. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=brat

Most folks have had the experience of shopping in a store like Target and observing a child acting out or screaming at the top of his or her lungs. Another chance for observation of family interaction is dining out at a restaurant when children may act out. Without knowing the history, it is difficult to assess the root cause. Still, an observation of how the parent(s) deal with the tantrum is instructive about who is in control and where the power resides in a family. It appears that in many families the parents are reluctant to be parents and to teach their children appropriate behavior, boundaries, and manners.

http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/you-call-your-kid-prince-or-princess-society-calls-them-brat/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                 Dr. Wilda.com

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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                           http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

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