Ranting on Websites May Just Make You Angrier

“The Internet brings out impulsivity problems more than anything else,” said lead author Ryan Martin, an associate professor of human development and psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

via Ranting on Websites May Just Make You Angrier.

Not the normal topic I post about, but I see such horrible impulsivity in kids these days.  I spent the weekend with four adolescents who are in a locked psychiatric facility based almost entirely on their inability to stop and think before they act.  While there is no clear causal link between the internet and a lack of impulse control, research has shown a definite link between internet addiction and ADHD symptoms (Yoo, Cho, Ha, Yune, Kim, Hwang, Lyoo, 2004). Greater amounts of computer gaming, lower social competence, and greater impulsivity have been shown to be  risk factors for depression, anxiety, social phobias, and lower school performance (Gentile, Choo, Liau, Sim, Li, Fung, & Khoo, 2011).  

In Navigating the internet safely: Recommendations for residential programs targeting at-risk adolescents, Pridgen writes:

The internet has altered the landscape of human interaction in a way that may accentuate deficits in the capacity for self-sustaining, reciprocal peer relationships. Adolescents suffering from emotional and behavioral disorders may be especially prone to this influence, as evidenced by our observation of the growing clinical trend of adolescents admitted to inpatient and residential psychiatric units who present with a history of risky cyber-behaviors (2010). 

So while  the internet may not be causing the problem, it may be exacerbating problems that already exist.  

So, why am I writing about this on a Parenting Blog?  Well, I came across some interesting research.  In a study on Impulsivity and inhibitory control, Schachar & Logan found that the development of inhibitory control seems to stop ant around second grade.  If we as parents and educators are not attentive to teaching our young children self control at an early age, we may not get the chance to catch them up.  This makes the work I do with adolescents very challenging, but it speaks to the critical nature of engaged parents.  I’ve used the Stop and Think program with school kids and with my own child.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling with a young child with impulsivity and frankly anyone who works with or has a young child.



Gentile, D. A., Choo, H., Liau, A., Sim, T., Li, D., Fung, D., & Khoo, A. (2011). Pathological video game use among youths: A two-year longitudinal study.Pediatrics, 127(2), e319-e329. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-1353

Pridgen, B. (2010). Navigating the internet safely: Recommendations for residential programs targeting at-risk adolescents. Harvard Review of Psychiatry,18(2), 131-138. doi: 10.3109/10673221003684000

Schachar, R., & Logan, G. D. (1990). Impulsivity and inhibitory control in normal development and childhood psychopathology. Developmental Psychology,26(5), 710-720. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.26.5.710

Yoo, H. J., Cho, S. C., Ha, J., Yune, S. K., Kim, S. J., Hwang, J., . . . Lyoo, I. K. (2004). Attention deficit hyperactivity symptoms and internet addiction.Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 58(5), 487-494. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2004.01290.x



Teaching Self-Control, the American Way – NYTimes.com

Good news!  You don’t have to be a tiger mom — or a French bringer-upper-of-beber to instill self control and initiative in your kido.  Check this article on good old fashion American play as a way to develop your child’s mental and physical strengths.


Teaching Self-Control, the American Way – NYTimes.com.

3 Ways that Kids’ Anger Bites Back | Psychology Today


Signe Whitson is a licensed social worker and co-author of The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools, and Workplaces,

Posted in Psychology today a great article on helping kids with anger.  My experience is we have too many kidos who do not have good strategies to address their feelings of anger and we need to do more to help them out.  Check out the article and see if your seeing any of this in your little one.


3 Ways that Kids’ Anger Bites Back | Psychology Today.

Helping Your Child Finish Their Homework (or what to do when they don’t have your homework gene)

Here are three strategies that can help a parent and child get a better handle on completing homework.

1) The Sandwich.  Always use at least a two to one ratio of positive to negative comments on the child’s homework.  Looking at their math?  If they got 6 out of 10 right, then notice the hard ones they completed.

“Your long division is really great and your hand writing is so neat on this one.  You only have a few that aren’t right.  All your fractions are correct!, Way to go!” Focus as much as possible on developing a Growth Mind-Set — that is, reinforce effort and hard work over natural intelligence.  Of course your little darling is a genius, you know it, just don’t tell her.  Convince her instead, to always give 100% effort.

2) The Rough Check  Dr. Phelan (Author of 1,2,3, Magic, makes a compelling case for 8:00 pm being no time to try to find perfection.  His protocol for the rough check is to see if the work is 80% correct, neat, and complete.  If so, call it good.  We want kids to complete their assignments, not perfect them. You can find Dr. Phelan’s materials here.

3) Contingency Rewards  — Lastly, set up a contingency system where you reward the child for a week of completed homework.  The trick here is to not make it all or nothing.  Think in terms of a sliding scale.  Each day, if there is homework, your child can earn up to ten points:

1 for neatness if they exceed the 80% neatness criteria of the Rough Check

1 – for completeness — f they exceed the 80% completeness criteria of the Rough Check

1- for correctness — f they exceed the 80% correct criteria of the Rough Check

1 – for not complaining about doing the homework, or your evaluation

6 – for starting on their own with out you having to remind them

If at the end of the week your student has averaged an 8 — they get the special reward or privilege, if not, well, there is always next week. If they score a 10 each day, throw a party!

The idea here is you are valuing self starting and removing the arguing from the equation.  As a warning you do have to be prepared to let your child miss a few assignments, for the contingency plan to work.  Just be sure the privilege or reward is something they won’t want to pass up on (skiing with dad).

Combined these strategies can be a very powerful tool to get a homework adverse child “retrained” and prevent a perfectionist child from becoming bogged down in the habit of procrastination because the work isn’t good enough.

Helping Kids Lean from Mistakes

Mistakes Improve Children’s Learning


Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., writes about the new psychology of success.  She lists:

Ten Parenting Guidelines that Help Kids Learn from Mistakes


  • Acknowledge that you don’t expect your children to be perfect.
  • Let them know your love is unconditional, regardless of their mistakes or lapses in judgment.
  • Don’t rescue children from their mistakes. Instead, help them focus on the solution.
  • Provide examples of your own mistakes, the consequences, and how you learned from them.
  • Encourage them to take responsibility for their mistakes and not blame others.
  • Avoid pointing out their past mistakes. Instead, focus on the one at hand.
  • Praise them for their ability to admit their mistakes.
  • Praise them for their efforts and courage to overcome setbacks.
  • Mentor them on how to apologize when their mistakes have hurt others.
  • Help them look at the good side of getting things wrong!

LEGO Build Together

LEGO Build Together.


Dads (and Moms),

Check out this site for some great ideas about building a relationship while you build with legos.  Henry and I have amazing times building together.  He asked me the other day if I played legos with my dad when I was his age.  It made me really sad to think that I don’t think I ever did.  I remember a very few specific times tossing a football, and a handful of times that we roped him into playing monopoly, but there was very little time spent playing together.

Change How You Praise Your Children to Assure They Reach Their Potential

Change How You Praise Your Children to Assure They Reach Their Potential.


A very nice summary of how to apply the new psychology of success to children struggling with homework.  The idea of fostering on a “growth mindset” rather than a “fixed mindset” in our kids is an excellent way to use their struggles to build the resiliency they will need to be successful in life.

Raising Emotionally Healthy Children

Excerpt:  People who are emotionally unhealthy and without good coping mechanisms can make bad choices, choices that can harm, whether it’s self-medication with drugs and alcohol or choosing bad relationships. I know I can’t control what my kids do when they grow up, but I feel I have an important role to play.  I can model good coping skills to the best of my ability.  I can share my own feelings and how I deal with them.  I can talk about the times I’ve made mistakes, or when I’ve been afraid or anxious and how I handled it.  I can teach them about boundaries.

Read the rest