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Tag : parenting

Dad’s mental health effects kids a lot

worry and stress depression

There is not a whole lot of information about Dad’s mental health and its impact on his kids. Far more common is the discussion of mothers well-being and its impact on children.

Previous research has indicated that depressed mothers have altered immune function, are at greater risk for psychological disorders and may react to stress in life in a different way.

Recent Findings suggests that fathers who are in tune with their children’s feelings and supportive of their children rather than critical rear children with better social skills and language abilities independent of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

In addition previous findings have suggested that mental health disorders significantly impacts children’s social and emotional development. most recently research conducted by Parenting Research Center has suggested that one in five dad’s have experience symptoms of anxiety and/or depression since becoming a father. This research consisted of a survey of 2600 parents, 40 of whom were dad’s. The data dound that less confident fathers perceived themselves to be less consistent and more impatient and critical with their child. They also reported engaging in activities with their child less often and were more likely to say they argued. Although it was suggested that the number of fathers reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety were lower than mothers, the fathers surveyed were less likely to identify someone they trusted they could turn to for advice. Many times men do not disclose or seek treatment for illness and especially mental health problems according to The Guardian.

If you or someone you could benefit from counseling or therapy services in Sarasota, FL or Venice, FL Dr. Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D. Licensed Psychologist can help. Please call Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D., LLC. today 941-321-1971

 

Childhood Stress May = Impaired Reward System as Adults

Recent findings published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience by Duke University researchers suggest a potential pathway where childhood stress may increase risk for depression or other mental health problems in adulthood.

This data is not shocking news nor is it as daunting a finding as it may seem. Our mind bases a lot of what we expect in the future on what we have lived through or expect to experince. When, as children, we have been in stressful situations that we cannot control our minds have a choice of either overcoming (fighting), protecting (flight), or freezing. these reactions can be extremely adaptive when we are young however as adults they can exacerbate a sense of being out of control of our own destiny. This tends to be a recipe for both anxiety and depression. The good news is that many of these are misguided protection attempts by our mind and with some redirection frequently we are able to find change. some of the challenge can be, that as children, change was not an option so imagining this third choice does not always come easily. This can sometimes present a certainty that there is no other way to find change. Sometimes beginning counseling can be a powerful part of this process of change and hope.

If you were a caregiver as a child you may have a hard time attending idealy to your kids.

Emerging research by Michigan State University’s Amy K. Nuttall, Ph.D. suggests that mothers who took on burdensome care giving roles as children (parentified children caregivers) and were not allowed to “be kids” tend to be less sensitive to their own children’s needs.

“If your childhood was defined by parents expecting you to perform too much care giving without giving you the chance to develop your own self-identity, that might lead to confusion about appropriate expectations for children and less accurate knowledge of their developmental limitations and needs as infants,” said Amy K. Nuttall.

As we do in many situations, in parenting, we tend to revert to templates of what we know to. Many times these templates come from our experiences interacting with our caregivers and / or parents. As adults, without our awareness, we can wind up recreating situations for our children where there needs are missed much as are our own. If our parents had difficulty empathizing with or attending to our needs and we became parent-like, it can be difficult for us to do for our children what was never done for us… Identifying their needs and attend to them.

A similar process can occur when we feel anger toward people who have an easier life or are coddled when we did not have an opportunity for this in our own life. These feelings of longing can reflexively come out as hostility toward the other. This kind of process is something we can become aware of and impact how it influences our lives through counseling. This is one area where Dr. Davenport has been able to work with many patients to help find change.

More details on this research is due to be published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

 

How to help your children thrive and be happy

Most parents hope to raise children that are self-sufficient and able to contribute to society. Additionally, parents want their children to have a better life and progress.

Helping our children care for themselves, treat themselves with love as we would, could be aided by encouraging healthy lifestyle habits. This includes sleeping well, eating well, and listening to the feedback our body provides. It is hard to maximize your performance when you feel sluggish, anxious, or irritable.

The American Psychological Association suggests that happiness can improve the chance of success. This brings to mind the old saying that money cannot buy happiness… It seems, however, that happiness may help us be more successful and in turn have more financial resources. An additional benefit of happiness is decreased likelihood of disease including cancer according to the cancer center at MD Anderson.

As discussed in several other blog entries, physical activity, on a regular basis and a healthy diet contribute to healthy weight, and better health which sets us up for more opportunity to feel happy and do our best. Connection with others and responsibility for other living things can be powerful and fostering self development. Having a pet to care for or gardening can be a powerful way to connect caring with well-being in the case of gardening healthy food. Additionally caring for something over a continued time can foster patience which is likely to be a powerful life tool.

Dr. Charles R Davenport is a licensed psychologist who provides support for parents and children at Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D., LLC. in Venice, FL and Sarasota, FL.

 

“Helicopter Parenting” it never helps… intention doesn’t matter

helicopter parenting, descriptor frequently used to illustrate the problematic parenting style where parents have difficulty allowing their children to make mistakes or operate independently. Many parents identify their involvement in their children’s life stemming from desire for good things. Recent research at Brigham Young University finds that this parenting style may be detrimental irrespective of parents loving intentions.

In many cases, emotions are triggered in parents that drive them to resolve their children’s difficulty and in turn sooth of their own feelings. In the short run this tends to be very effective in reducing discomfort in both the parent and child. However, in the long run this can create an unhealthy dependence where the child has evidence of being not fully capable in their own world and proof that they need their parent(s) for things to turn out well. Many times Dr. Davenport finds himself discussing parenting as a “proving ground” where children are able to make mistakes and then turn to their parents for support where children over time become more confident in their ability to solve problems. With helicopter parenting, frequently the parents intervene after little or no struggle on their children’s part and wind up having proof of their ability to relieve discomfort. In the long run the likelihood is helicopter parenting will perpetuate the children turning to their parents resulting in increased burden on parents. This can be a tricky dynamic to change especially if parents had helicopter parents of their own or overly absent or dismissive parents. In these situations parents frequently want to ensure their children do not experience the negative things they did in may tend to over correct.

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