One of the more difficult aspects of being a parent is dealing with our children's negative feelings. There are a number of reasons why this is so, some of which come from our own experiences with parents and some out of a need to see our children happy. If you come from the old school of parenting, then you learned as a child that expressing your negative feelings such as anger, disappointment, sadness, frustration, and so forth, was a sign of weakness, or perhaps it signified that you were just being ill-mannered or self-centered.
Attention Deficit Disorder has become a household word over the last several decades garnering the attention of parents, educators, physicians, and child care workers not to mention talk show hosts, TV programs, magazines, newspapers, and other such venues of public discussion. Is it new? Not really. Most researchers agree that Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) has always been around, but not necessarily diagnosed, or perhaps was recognized as some other syndrome.
Next to questions about adolescent issues, sibling rivalry ranks right up at the top of the list of parenting concerns. I often hear things like "Why can't my two boys play together for more than five minutes without getting into an argument?" Or "How can my daughter be so cruel to her brother." Then there are those rosy myths that parents have about having a second child. They usually go something along the lines of "I thought that when I had a second child, she would keep my older child company. I thought they would play together, be pals, protect each other, be loyal," and so forth.
The occurrence of children's nightmares is a problem that comes up rather often in my work with parents. This is especially true for parents of children ages four to six. Usually the nightmares are similar and include monsters or other fantastic creatures that are threatening the child's demise. Sometimes they awaken the child in the middle of the night requiring the parents to comfort and reassure them.
Parents, teachers, daycare workers, pediatricians, camp counselors, scout leaders, coaches, playground monitors, and anyone who has any regular interaction with children are all acutely aware of the growing prevalence in our culture of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Certainly the recognition of ADD and ADHD as real psycho-biological disorders has positively impacted those children and parents who were suffering helplessly with highly disruptive behavior and symptoms that hampered learning, damaged relationships, and stressed families to their breaking points.