Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Reddit. As a parent, your instinct is always to protect your child. But how do you protect them in the ever-evolving digital landscape? Social media has become a part of our everyday lives and is changing the way we interact with the world around us. According to a study by Common Sense Media, teenagers use an average of nine hours of entertainment media a day and tweens (ages 8-12) use an average of six hours per day. This does not include using media for school or homework.
What is the long-term impact of this amount of media exposure on the developing brain? We don’t yet know. What we do know is that it is impossible to prevent your child from using social media. So, how can you help them use it safely? …
During the fifth grade when Samantha was 10 years old, she was bullied by a male classmate. She remembers walking through the halls of her elementary school and hearing the bully call out these words:
“Why are you on this earth? You don’t deserve to be alive.”
The bullying followed her every day.
“I didn’t want to go to school because I knew he would be there. I was afraid,” says Samantha, now 12.
Weeks into the school year, the harassment and intimidation escalated and turned physical.
“It was usually mental [abuse], but at one point in fifth grade the bully came up to me, and he punched me on the back,” says Samantha quietly. This was the breaking point.
“I had enough,” says Samantha’s mother Karen. “The verbal and physical abuse needed to stop.” …
Did you know 11 percent of school-aged children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Left undiagnosed, ADHD can make it very difficult for kids to reach their full potential — in school and beyond. With the right diagnosis and treatment, kids with ADHD can overcome their challenges and be very successful.
The Experience Journal, a project of the Boston Children’s Hospital psychiatry program, interviewed numerous adolescents and parents about their experiences with ADHD. Here are their stories, in their own words.
Marijuana policy in the United States is changing rapidly, with some states (including every state in New England) legally allowing marijuana to be used for medical reasons. Washington State and Colorado recently voted to allow the recreational use of marijuana, and Massachusetts may hold a similar ballot measure in 2016. It’s no surprise, then, that many parents wonder whether marijuana might have any benefits for certain pediatric conditions, and whether it’s safe for children.
A quick Facebook search shows that a number of groups have cropped up calling for medical marijuana for conditions like autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some of these online groups point to studies showing that medical marijuana is helpful in these conditions. Other groups tell compelling stories about a child who was struggling with autism whose behavior was dramatically better after being treated with marijuana.
Before doctors recommend a new treatment, we always make sure that carefully conducted studies have answered two critical questions. First, does the treatment actually work? And second, is it harmful? In essence, we need to be sure that the benefits outweigh the risks. …