Q & A with Leah Eckley, Associate Director of Smart Support with SW Human Development: The importance of mental health in early childhood development

National data shows that pre-K children are expelled at three times the rate as K-12 students for challenging behaviors. A child’s early years can be a roller coaster of emotions and behaviors, but when do challenging behaviors cross the line into mental health issues?

What does early childhood mental health look like?

Early childhood mental health refers to the healthy social, emotional and behavioral well-being of young children. Early childhood mental health can look differently depending on the individual child, their family and their community or culture.

Since many children exhibit different behaviors, when should parents be concerned?

Children display numerous behaviors and usually those behaviors are part of normal development. All children act out at times and display troublesome behaviors. However, if behaviors seem too extreme and are present in different environments over a period of time, it might be time to seek assistance from a professional.

Click here to read full article: https://www.firstthingsfirst.org/2018/05/mental-health-early-childhood-developmental/

Source: www.firstthingsfirst.org

Attachment in Adoptive, Fostering, & Blended Families by David Bourne MS, LPC

Families come in all shapes and sizes. Recently I am seeing more created families coming into my office in the form of adoption and fostering as well as blended families. Families are beautiful expressions of love.

That being said, families can require lots of work to help them flow smoothly. One frequent issue I see with blended families, adoptive families, and foster families is attachment. Attachment problems take two primary forms, Reactive Attachment Disorder, RAD, and the lack of attachment.

An easy concept of attachment is to think of attachment as an emotional anchor for a boat. The anchor lets the boat move move around the anchor point but remain grounded, connected and feel safe. The child that is not attached will often appear adrift, anxious, easily angered and moody.

Reactive Attachment Disorder often appears in situations that have allowed a child to form an attachment to a caregiver then have that relationship end. This may be from removal from home, foster care, or another traumatic event. This child may show reluctance, anxiety or even an explosive reaction if they feel a bond begin to get uncomfortably close. While on the surface this appears to make no sense , just imagine how much pain it would be to lose everything and how much easier to simply not form an attachment. These children may form superficially close relationships but will lack a depth to the connection.

The good news is both problem areas is that there is hope. Working with an experienced therapist can help both individuals and families process the contributing factors and develop a functional plan to help provide a cohesive and structured system to work through the behaviors and the emotions to transform toward the families we dream of.

If you and your family are going through a transitioning period and dealing with indications of attachment or RAD, please contact me. It would be an honor to walk with you and your family through this time of change.

Read more about Reactive Attachment Disorder here: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/reactive-attachment-disorder/symptoms-causes

Cyber Safety Nov. 20st & Nov. 22nd

Cyber Safety 4

Ben Storie will be presenting Cyber Safety: Protecting Your Child in the Cyber World on Wednesday, November 20th at Grace Community Church beginning at 7pm. There is no cost to attend this presentation but they do ask that due to the content and subject matter that will be presented and discussed that minors do not attended. If you have any questions feel free to contact Grace Community Church at (479) 646-1177.

Ben will also be presenting this at the 2013 ArCA Conference in Hot Springs, AR on Friday, November 22nd at 9am.

Is my teen using drugs?

An informational article that provides tips for parents regarding teen drug use and insight into these questions: 

  • How do you know whether your teen is using drugs? 
  • And if they get caught using drugs, how do you help them get back on the right track?