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Nexus Parenting Blog Articles


Sensory Rooms

Sensory Rooms

Fidget spinners are one of the most well-known sensory tools on the market today, even though most people don’t know their purpose. The spinner is seen as a nuisance in the classroom and a way for children to not pay attention, when it was designed to do the exact opposite.

Self-harm

Self-harm

Self-harm is a way that some people express feelings of distress and emotional pain by intentionally hurting themselves. The lack of understanding about self-harm can lead to insensitivity about the topic as most people could never imagine hurting themselves on purpose.

Respite- Where you fit in

Respite- Where you fit in

If you or your family have been thinking about opening your home to a foster child but are unsure, consider respite care to test the waters.

Stopping Medication

Stopping Medication

For some people struggling with mental health, medication can be a lifesaver. When prescribed by a doctor and taken appropriately, medication can make a real difference in people’s lives. For some, medication isn’t the answer for them or they may decide to stop taking the pills. When taking medication, it is important to stop taking the prescription with the guidance of your healthcare professional

Chores and Your Child’s Development

Chores and Your Child’s Development

 “My kids talk back when I ask them to do their chores!”

“I feel like all I ever do is nag my kids!”

“My kids take too much time doing their chores.  It would be faster if I did them myself, and at least then they would be done right!”

Prepare for Foster Parenting: Questions to Consider

Prepare for Foster Parenting: Questions to Consider

Foster parents share the amazing characteristic of selflessness. But, not all foster parents share the same lifestyle, family dynamic, or beliefs. Welcoming a child into your home is a big decision and one that needs to be thoroughly analyzed.

How to make bad news feel better

How to make bad news feel better

Bad news can come in a variety of forms, from job loss, a relationship breakup, a surprising diagnosis, or even to the death of a loved one. Receiving bad news can affect your body and life in a multitude of ways, even triggering your fight or flight response.

“I’m having a nervous breakdown.”

“I’m having a nervous breakdown.”

The phrase isn’t uncommon. It is used so much that most people don’t know exactly what it means or if there is truly a cause for concern. According to Medical News Today, a “nervous breakdown and mental breakdown are dated terms describing emotional or physical stress that temporarily makes someone unable to function in day-to-day life.”

Are you getting enough sleep?

Are you getting enough sleep?

We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping. It may feel like a waste of time, but it may be helpful to think of sleep as an investment in your physical and emotional energy. Sleep gives your brain and body a chance to recover from the day and get ready for tomorrow.

Depression: Where to start

Depression: Where to start

Clinical depression is a very common condition. In fact, “approximately one in five Americans experience an episode in their lifetime. However, despite its prevalence, only about 50 percent of people who suffer from depression actually receive treatment.”

Facing off with anxiety

Facing off with anxiety

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between being anxious and having an anxiety disorder?

Dr. Simon from the N.Y.U School of Medicine explains that “anxiety is a natural reaction to stress–it’s not necessarily pathological or dangerous. There’s the point where it becomes a condition, and the way we separate those has to do with the level of persistence, severity, distress, and if it’s impacting day-to-day function.”

Caution: Social Media

Caution: Social Media

Social media is a large part of our society today, but is the everyday use of social platforms harming our young kids and teens? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, families should be aware of the potential negative effects of social media. Here are six key points about how social media may be impacting your child’s mental health.

Recognizing when Your Child has been the Victim of Sexual Assault

Recognizing when Your Child has been the Victim of Sexual Assault

You can’t avoid the headlines about sexual assault, these days. Many women and men are coming forward to make their abuse known. But sexual assault is just as likely to happen to a child or adolescent.

Hygiene and Mental Health

Hygiene and Mental Health

When thinking about mental health, personal hygiene isn’t one of the first things to come to mind. For most people, hygiene means everyday tasks like brushing teeth, washing hair, and changing clothes. These tasks are often second nature, but for those struggling with certain mental or emotional disorders, these tasks are some of the most difficult things to do.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Many people think Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) shows itself in non-intrusive behaviors like washing their hands constantly or turning lights on and off a certain number of times.

Suicide Prevention with Mental Health First Aid

Suicide Prevention with Mental Health First Aid

Psychology isn’t only for the afflicted or differently abled.  It is for anyone who wishes to feel happier and find fulfillment in life. The World Health Organization1 defines mental and emotional well-being in four capacities

What is “13 Reasons Why?”  Should I allow my child to watch it?

What is “13 Reasons Why?” Should I allow my child to watch it?

“13 Reasons Why” is a show created by Netflix depicting a high-school student who commits suicide and leaves behind a set of pre-recorded cassette tapes that describe her painful experiences with peer pressure, bullying, and sexual assault. Jay Asher, the author of the book released in 2007, shared in a recent interview, “When we do or say things, we can never know exactly how another person is going to take it because we don’t know what they’ve already dealt with.”

7 Relief Strategies for Parents

7 Relief Strategies for Parents

Caring for a child is challenging and stressful, and becomes even more taxing when that child struggles with emotional and/or behavioral issues. When this is the case, your family will be working through many worries, fears, and concerns about your child’s future and general wellbeing.

Initial Tools For Reaching Out

Initial Tools For Reaching Out

As an adult, we want to look after our youth. We find it our duty to keep them safe and out of harms way. When that harm is not from an outside source, it’s hard to know when you need to reach out. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness,1 “one in five young people ages 13-18 have, or will have, a serious mental illness in their life. Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness start by age 14.” 2

I Had A Black Dog…

I Had A Black Dog…

Dealing with negative emotions is a learned exercise, one that needs to be practiced. The video “I had a black dog, his name was depression” allows children to learn about mental illness in an easy and low-stress setting. “Just like a real dog, it needs to be embraced, understood, taught new tricks, and ultimately brought to heel.”3 The video opens up the world of mental health for them in a way that is accessible. It can be a visual aid in understanding that they are not alone in feeling this way, and that it does get better with help.

Preparing your Biological Child for a Foster or Adoptive Sibling

Preparing your Biological Child for a Foster or Adoptive Sibling

Bringing a new member into the family, whether through foster care or adoption, can be an adjustment for your children.  Your child is most likely used to having his or her parents all to themselves. To help your child adapt to having a new family member, you can discuss their concerns and involve them in the foster/adoption process. Here are some tips to begin preparing your child for the transition.

Reaching out for a helping hand

Reaching out for a helping hand

As a parent, you want what is best for your children, and you will always put their needs before your own, but that can be difficult when you’re trying to manage your own “high levels of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression.”

The Invisible Bully

The Invisible Bully

Children live in a new age of technology. Communication is mostly done through texting, Facebook messaging, and Snapchat. Cyberbullying can and does exist through each and every one of these platforms. Whether it’s a rumor, mean or degrading comments, embarrassing pictures, or fake profiles, children are experiencing the brunt of this bullying on their cellphones, computers, and tablets. With the Internet, sometimes it’s hard to tell who the source is, making it even harder to shut down the bullying.

Welcoming A New Friend

Welcoming A New Friend

When a child struggles with socializing, branching out into their school community, stress, and anxiety, it can be hard to know what can help. Recent studies show that a furry friend may be just the right thing. Whether they walk on four legs with a silky coat, fly around on colorful wings, or run on a wheel with tiny feet, welcoming a new friend to the family can make a child come out of their shell.

When to Worry about Worry

When to Worry about Worry

Anxiety can be present in your child’s life in a multitude of ways: preparing for a test, learning to drive, etc. , so it can be difficult to distinguish whether your child’s anxiety is normal part of growing up and having more responsibilities, or if it’s becoming a serious struggle.

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic Cigarettes
A Guide for Parents and Educators

Being a parent is a huge blessing, but it’s also a huge responsibility. One of your key responsibilities as a parent is to keep your children healthy, and away from tobacco, drugs, and other harmful addictions. But raising kids isn’t easy…

Beyond Home

Beyond Home
How to Help Foster Children Build a Solid Foundation for Educational Growth

Youth in foster care often have traumatic histories that put them at greater risk for anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues throughout their lives.

Opening the Lines of Communication with Your Child

Opening the Lines of Communication with Your Child

Many parents think open communication with a child should come naturally, but the truth is, open communication must be encouraged and developed by both you and your child throughout every stage of life.

How to Know When Your Child Needs Professional Mental Health Care

How to Know When Your Child Needs Professional Mental Health Care

It’s safe to say that adolescents experience a wide range of emotions and behaviors. So how do you know when those emotions or behaviors have strayed beyond the range of “normal”? Just what is considered “normal” behavior? And, more importantly, how can a parent know when a child’s emotions or behaviors require attention by a mental health professional?

When Does Discipline Cross the Line to Abuse?

When Does Discipline Cross the Line to Abuse?

It can be a confusing distinction for parents: when does disciple become abuse? Even star athletes fall victim to the confusion. Just look at the recent case involving NFL star Adrienne Peterson and his son.

Mental Health Issues & Problems at School

Mental Health Issues & Problems at School
What Parents Need to Know

Mental health issues in youth and teens often present themselves as difficulties in school, and, if left untreated, can result in school drop out. The U.S. Department of Education reports that approximately 50% of students, ages 14 and older, with mental health problems eventually drop out of high school

A Parent's Shame

A Parent's Shame
— Having a Child with a Mental Health Issue

You've probably seen failed exams and missed curfews, yelling and tears, tickets and fines, community service and jail time. But you've also likely seen the sideways looks of accusatory blame, sighs of exhaustion, curled lips of exasperation, and backs – lots and lots of turned backs.

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help Your Child

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help Your Child

Chances are, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is part of your child's treatment, but what exactly is CBT and what does it mean for your child?

Responding to Your Child's Anger

Responding to Your Child's Anger

All humans experience anger, and your child is no different. A child's brain often cannot process their emotions, especially during a stressful time. That can result in an emotional or behavioral outburst. Parents typically resort to one of two reactions when their child is acting out. A parent might “bring down the hammer” as Kim Abraham, LMSW and Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW, puts it, trying to stop the anger/outburst through intimidation and punishment. Or, a parent may do everything in their power to change the situation and get rid of the child's adverse behavior.

Understanding Self-Harm

Understanding Self-Harm
Helping Your Child Deal with Emotions

Intentional self-injury is one of the leading reasons American teens and young adults end up in the emergency room.

Talking to Your Kid about Their Drug or Alcohol Problem

Talking to Your Kid about Their Drug or Alcohol Problem

Do you suspect your child is abusing drugs or alcohol, but don't know how to address the topic? Maybe you've noticed a rapid weight change, odd sleeping patterns, falling grades, or a change in the group of friends he/she hangs out with. Maybe your child's mood or energy level has changed. Perhaps your child has become secretive, or just seems off.

Teen Angst or Something More?

Teen Angst or Something More?

The teen years can be a challenge for both teens and parents. The moodiness that often accompanies teens' hormone changes, power struggles, school and peer stress, and emerging independence can be difficult to navigate.


IN THE NEWS @ NEXUS
Nexus Names Dr. Michelle K. Murray President, Chief Executive Officer
Corey is looking for a permanent home

Corey is looking for a permanent home

Nexus Names Paula Minske Vice President of Clinical Services

Nexus Names Paula Minske Vice President of Clinical Services

Nexus Names Dr. Michelle K. Murray President, Chief Executive Officer

Nexus Names Dr. Michelle K. Murray President, Chief Executive Officer

9th Annual Turkey Trot 5K

Kindred Family Focus' 9th Annual Turkey Trot 5K

25th Annual Golf Outing

Onarga Academy 25th Annual Golf Outing

Gerard Academy 18th Annual Golf Tournament

Gerard Academy 18th Annual Golf Tournament

The 2nd Annual Great Steak Out

Join Onarga Academy for The 2nd Annual Great Steak Out

MN Department of Human Services Crisis Line

MN Department of Human Services Crisis Line
Help is available now!

Mille Lacs Academy 23rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Come enjoy a day of golf in support of the youth at Mille Lacs Academy!

The Library
The Library
A list of resources for parents
Parenting Partner
Parenting Partner
Helpful articles for parents
Family Matters
Family Matters
(Q&A with Dr. Michelle Murray, Ph.D.)