Ask the Edge Expert: October 2017

This month’s blog is about “Being With” your child and not trying to save them from feeling uncomfortable. “Connecting before Redirecting”.

October 2017

Featured Expert: Carly Schrimpl, LCSW

“Being With” Learn ways to flourish your Child’s Self-Worth

Parents are on frontlines of developing self-worth for the children they care about. It is often underestimated the power and importance of a parent’s connectedness to their child. According to the attachment gurus in the field like Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. Dan Siegel, and Dr. Bruce Perry, secure attachments build self-esteem and worth. Having a strong foundation that your child is precious, giving them voice, and sharing fun experiences with them is just the beginning of creating a foundation for self- esteem. It is important to understand that as children develop they continue to test parents who desperately need attunement and a safe adult that is emotionally present.

With high advances in technology, it is often difficult to be emotionally present, especially when we are connected to five different devices. But, setting electronics aside and just “being with” is an important element of creating self-worth for children because the message is “You are worth it.”

Parents juggle so many activities, finances, navigation, scheduling, cooking, cleaning, and teaching children that it is often easy to dismiss or deny a child from feeling a certain feeling without even realizing that you are doing it.

As parents it is often easy to try to “save” children we care about. When they come to an adult with a difficult feeling about themselves such as “I am stupid.” it is almost an instant reaction to proclaim “No, you are not. You are smart!” Unfortunately, adults may feel uncomfortable hearing this and want their child to feel worthy, so they respond in a more matter of fact way. However, just by saying this statement does not mean that the child stops believing that they are stupid.   When a parent responds this way they are denying that the child has that feeling, which can be counter-productive to building self-worth.

So what do you do when a child comes to you with a statement like this?

The first recommendation is to explore the feeling with empathy. For instance, by saying “ Oh hunny, you think you are stupid?” This validation shows that you are willing to “be with” the child in their hard feeling.  As Dr. Siegel suggests, connecting before redirecting. Then it is really important for the parent to be able to help them explore “why” they feel that way.  Parents can respond with “Can you tell me reasons why you feel stupid?”

After the child explains reasons, the second recommendation is for the parent to challenge the child reach to a difficult conclusion. You can use experiences with other people or yourself such as by saying “ Well, I sometimes forget does that make me stupid?” When your child says “No” then you can offer evidence as to why you might feel the child is not stupid. “I noticed you are smart when, or I was proud of you when…” to help support that you see the strengths your child has even when they are stuck in a feeling.

Another recommendation to consider is that parents do not always have to offer solutions. Sometimes, the simple act of “being with” the child and not offering solutions can be more powerful because of the message becomes “I hear you. You are worth it to me.”

This approach is more time consuming than saying “No, you are not. You are smart.” However, shutting down a feeling or thought does not mean the thought won’t come back the next time a child experiences a challenge such as homework, an embarrassing event, or comparing themselves to other children.

It is also important for parents to model appropriate self-talk in situations where mistakes are made on their part. So instead of shouting at yourself or mumbling under your breath in the target parking lot because you forgot something to buy, you can model positive self-talk. This modeling will help your child integrate brain development with positive self-worth. For instance, “I am angry right now because I forgot something on the list. I feel forgetful and having a hard time with this feeling, but I know that I won’t always remember everything and it is okay.”

The importance of “being with” helps develop secure attachment that builds positive self-worth in children. Parents are individuals that help their children become strong and confident through their attunement and relationship. Children deserve full attention, deserve to be validated (wherever they may be), have safe adults modeling positive self-talk, and have loving parents that will challenge them to believe that they are worth it.

 

 

Donate to Hurricane Victims

The City of Naperville is working to get needed items to victims in an organized way. If you would like to donate, please use the following reputable links below:

https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation

http://www.salvationarmy.org

https://catholiccharitiesusa.org/donate-to-hurricane-harvey-relief

 

Ongoing and up to date information can be found at the City of Naperville website.

http://www.naperville.il.us/hurricane-harvey-relief-resources

Ask an Edge Expert: September 2017 Edition

School is back in session and so is athletics. This is a great blog on what parents can look for and the professionals that can help!

September 2017

Featured Expert: Kelsey Ruffing, LPC

Title: Assessing Mental Health in Athletes & Seeking Help When Needed

Athletes are a tricky bunch when it comes to receiving mental health services for psychological distress. Although the field of sport psychology is growing and becoming more acceptable within the professional sports realm, there is a difference between utilizing a sport psychologist to achieve personal greatness and utilizing a sport psychologist for help with anxiety or depression. One example looks at the positive side of athletics, using performance enhancement skills in order to move towards a performance goal. The other example is personal, focusing on an issue, triggering emotion and creating vulnerability. Ask any athlete if they want to discuss emotions and be vulnerable and they will most likely tell you no way. According to research, some of the barriers to seeking help for athletes are:

  1. Athletes are more prone to see counseling as a weakness
  2. Athletes are accustomed to working through pain and strife, therefore they have difficulty admitting or identifying they need help
  3. The stigma assigned to counseling/therapy/psychology, “I’m crazy if I go to therapy”

 

Mental health factors most certainly impact an athlete’s ability to perform at their best and if they truly want to reach peak performance, they may have to confront their underlying issues (anxiety, depression family issues) first in order to accomplish their personal goals.

 

As a parent of an athlete, there are signs and symptoms to look out for if you suspect your child may be struggling with psychological distress. Maybe you have noticed their performance has not been as good as it usually is, or they avoid going to practices now. Maybe the coach has approached you about some concerns or your athlete is saying “they just are not as into it as they used to be”. These are all red flags that there is more going on inside the brain that may need the help of a mental health professional like a therapist, counselor, or sport psychologist. The most common mental health issues among athletes are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Disordered Eating
  • Obsessive Compulsive tendencies

It is also important to know there is an increased risk of mental health concerns when an athlete becomes injured. Research shows injured athletes are more likely to experience thoughts of suicide than athletes who is not injured. There are five factors of suicidality in athletes after injury:

  1. Their success prior to injury
  2. Serious injury (requiring surgery)
  3. Length of rehabilitation (long, restricted play)
  4. Inability to return to sport
  5. Replaced by teammate

 

The greatest factor of the 5, to impact the likelihood of suicidal tendencies, was the seriousness of the injury. The more serious the injury, the more likely it would be for that athlete to be depressed and have thoughts of suicide.

 

Warning Signs of Depression

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, irritability lasting longer than 2 weeks
  • Impaired function in social, occupational, educational settings
  • Decreased interest or pleasure in daily activities
  • Significant weight change or loss of appetite
  • Change is sleep patters
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Diminished ability to concentrate, indecisiveness
  • Suicidality- Thoughts of suicide, plan or intent

 

Who can help?

A licensed professional such as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Psychologist, or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) are all individuals who are trained to help individuals with depression, anxiety and several other mental health concerns. There are also mental health professionals that specialize in the field of Sport Psychology and have extended training working with athletes. These professionals usually have a Master’s or Doctorate within Sport Psychology or a Master’s or Doctorate in Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology with a special emphasis in Sport Psychology.

Ask the Edge Expert: August 2017

The Back to School Bells are ringing!! Our Blog this month will focus on preparing our children and ourselves for the transition back to school.

August 2017

Featured Expert: Dr. Donna Marino, Psy.D

Back to School Time

I can’t believe it is August already and the kids are getting ready to go back to school! My house is a mixture of emotions: excitement, anticipation, nerves, apprehension, some of us are looking forward to having more structure and others of us are sad at the loss of lazy summer days. So many emotions! But it’s important to recognize that we all respond differently to these changes. So, how can we prepare our children and ourselves for the transition back to school?

Start transitioning to a more regular schedule. Slowly begin going to bed earlier and getting up earlier until you have transitioned back to a regular school schedule. Try to plan more regular meal times in order to foster this schedule.

Start talking to your kids about their feelings about returning to school and even share your own. Are they excited to see their friends and meet their new teachers? Or do they dread the thought of homework and meeting new people? Talk about it and get to know your children’s wishes, dreams and fears for the upcoming year.

Plan some goals for the year together. Maybe your child has difficulty with meeting new people.        Perhaps you set a goal to make on new friend this year or to join a club or activity at school. Maybe your child struggles academically, perhaps you make a goal to ask the teacher for help. Set a reasonable goal together that your child can look forward to accomplishing and identify the ways you can support your child in reaching his/her goals.

Create an end of summer ritual; a way to mark the transition, to say goodbye to summer and prepare for the next adventure. Maybe go out for ice cream and talk about the best parts of this summer and what they are looking forward to in the new school year; maybe have an end of summer bonfire with friends and family or maybe create a craft from the memories of this summer. Get your children involved in the planning of the ritual and make a new tradition out of it.

Most of all, enjoy the time together, slow down, and be present to the final moments of summer together in order to begin the new school year recharged and rejuvenated.

Adam Russo to speak at “INNOVATION” through DuPage Children’s Museum.

How failure is viewed and handled can be a key determining factor in driving innovation and breakthrough thinking or stopping a project dead in its tracks. Reframing and rethinking what it means to fail can pave a path to fuel innovation. Join DuPage Children’s Museum for an evening of inspiring and stimulating discussion centered around ways to leverage risk taking and how it can inform our perspectives on failure.

When Failure Fuels Innovation
Risk, Resilience, Reward

Wednesday, September 27
Hotel Arista | Naperville, Illinois

Get your tickets here:  DuPage Children’s Museum 

 

Recent News

Our Local Schools

Our Local Schools

We have a formal business partnership with Naperville CUSD 203 and professional relationships with Indian Prairie School District 204 and Plainfield School District 202.

Naperville Chamber of Commerce

Naperville Chamber of Commerce

Adam Russo, Edgewood’s Chairman & CEO, will Chair the Chamber Board of Directors in 2016, and is paneled with the Chamber’s Speakers Bureau.

Advanced Health of Naperville and the Naperville Moms Network

Our relationship with respected Chiropractor Dr. Cathy Subber of Advanced Health Naperville provides us with a great referral for families who are looking for an alternative to medications. The Naperville Moms Network provides a place for local moms to go to meet other moms with similar interests and who may have a difficult time forming a social network.

ATI Physical Therapy Women Serving Women & Premier Care for Women

ATI Physical Therapy Women Serving Women & Premier Care For Women

Partnering to create a unique focus on women’s wellness with the understanding that a healthy woman will share her wellness with her children, husband and her community.