WNY Family Magazine July 2018 - Page 40

Welcome Summer ! Purely Pediatrics Monthly membership model of outpatient pediatric medical care – No copays or deductibles required ~ Newborn home visits ~ Dr. Susan Wiepert 110 C North Seventh St., Lewiston, NY 14092 716-205-3282 www.purelypediatrics.com Everyone could use a little help from time to time. At Child & Family Services, our skilled counseling team works to create a safe, comfortable and confidential place for your family to talk about any challenges your child may be facing at school, home, or with friends. Our staff include professionals to help your child in areas including: Depression Suicidal Thoughts or Actions Mood Disorders Anger Management Anxiety If your child is having trouble, we encourage your family to find the counseling and support you all need. Call 716.335.7000 or visit cfscounseling.org to start the conversation. 40 WNY Family July 2018 KIDS WORRIED SICK continued... smartphones became more common- place among teens, depression and un- happiness also began to rise.  “They are on the forefront of the worst mental health crisis in decades,” Twenge writes. Kids today spend about an hour less per day with their friends than teens did in decades past, preferring online inter- actions. But the more time spent online, the less happy they feel.  “Eighth graders who spend 10 or more hours a week on social media sites are 56% more likely to be unhappy than those who spend less time,” Twenge writes. “There’s not a single exception: all screen activities are linked to less happiness and all non-screen activities are linked to more happiness.” Why? Biologically, we are de- signed to spend time with friends face- to-face. When we socialize with friends, our brains release a host of neurochemi- cals and hormones that reward us with an overall sense of well-being, helping us to better manage stress and even buf- fer us from illness. The brain doesn’t respond in the same way to computer- mediated communication.  Over-reliance on screen interac- tions can interfere with a teen’s ability to develop crucial social skills that help them pick up on emotional cues, man- age conflict or build confidence in social situations.  “Without developing interpersonal skills and discipline, kids may experi- ence feelings of anxiety anytime they step out of the house and interact with others,” Dr. Mahmood says. Social media can also give kids the impression that everyone else’s world is hunky-dory and that they’re alone in their struggles. And with unhindered 24-7 social media access and multiple messaging platforms, there’s no break from the rest of the world for quiet re- flection or relaxing time alone. “In days past, you could leave the bully on the bus. Now bullying follows kids into their bedroom when it is time to go to sleep,” Dr. Mahmood says. Foster Resilience We’d all prefer to avoid situations that make us uncomfortable. The trou- ble is if we don’t participate in activi- ties because we’re scared of failing or because they make us nervous, we can’t grow more self-confident and resilient.  According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), when we avoid stressful situ- ations, we reinforce anxiety and end up feeling more demoralized. Knowing how far to push a child can be tricky and depends on the inten- sity of their anxiety.  “If you have an anxious child, what you don’t want to do is push them too far and too fast out of their comfort zone,” Dr. Sosland says. “On the flip side, you don’t want to be overly protective and never expose them to those things that make them anxious. ” Instead, she recommends taking baby steps to increase their self-confi- dence. Also, tap into the activities that your kiddo is already passionate about. Self-confidence in one area can in- crease self-confidence in other areas of a youngster’s life.  “If your child is really anxious in school, but they love to go horseback riding, then, let’s do that horseback riding because they feel really good about that. They can learn lessons from that which they can transfer over into school,” Dr. Sosland says.