When we are helping little ones (or grown-ups) to learn to regulate their emotions, we are teaching them to label and safely express how they feel. We aim to help them to match their behaviour to certain situations, to turn their energy levels up and down – a little like we might adjust the volume of a stereo or the temperature of an oven.
Sometimes we need to build our energy up – like when we need to get going for the day or when we are about to play sport. Sometimes we need to turn it down, like when we are getting ready for bed or ready to concentrate and learn at school or at work.
With Fathers’ Day upon us this weekend, perhaps it’s time to think about what fathers need – not in the underwear, socks, and new fishing gear department, but more in terms of what really makes them happy. What do fathers need to be happy, mentally healthy and to be well?
Proudly, a lot of recent useful research into the mental health of our Dads has been completed here in Australia. When we go searching through the research on psychology and Dads there are a few themes that emerge:
Stalking is a crime. Regardless of your reasons, it is wrong to repeatedly do something that harasses someone, invades their privacy, invades their space, repeatedly intrudes on their life or continually degrades them to the point where they are fearful.
The concept of stalking as we know it is a very new concept. Often seen as just infatuation or unrequited love, stalking was in the past seen as almost something flattering. Before the late 1980s it was unusual to hear or people stalking others, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the word, stalker, started to hit the press and usually in relation to those that obsessively followed certain celebrities.
I remember learning about intelligence during my under-grad psychology course at uni back in the 80s. The definition of intelligence in my text book was something like “intelligence is the thing that intelligence tests measure”. And, well, despite having used or looked at an IQ test most weeks of my working life, that is still pretty much my understanding of them.
Intelligence is one of those things that you can’t really hold or visualise. We all kind of have a sense of what it means, but is it really even a thing?
It’s clear. Children who “lose” a parent can suffer from a range of social disadvantages including poverty. Children who lose contact with one parent can have fewer resources (financial or otherwise) available to them and this is one of many reasons why the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child speaks to the right of a child to have meaningful access to both parents and why it is important that the best interest of the child are considered when a family separates.
Thankfully, most parents who separate in Australia have their children’s best interests at heart. They are able to maintain a “civil enough” relationship so that both parents can maintain an ongoing relationship with the child and be sure that the children, or other family members, are not put at risk. This is no mean feat if you are struggling with issues about hurt and trust arsing from the end of an intimate relationship, but most parents can achieve this emotional work by themselves or perhaps with the help of supportive family, friends and advisors.
Homelessness is a problem that we normally associate with far away people in far away countries. Sadly, though, homelessness is a significant issue in Australia and if we let ourselves imagine homeless people in Australia, we probably visualise a dirty and unwell looking man asleep on a park bench.
Unfortunately, it’s even sadder than that.
From time to time, we all fancy ourselves at being expert in how other people think, feel and behave. Human behaviour has fascinated people for years and the quest to know more about what makes people tick leads many to consider studying psychology. Undergraduate psychology courses are amongst the most popular university courses chosen by high school graduates as well as mature age students every year.
The pathway to becoming a registered psychologist in Australia is long and windy. There are a number of challenges or obstacles and there are various key players or gate keepers that are involved.
Gone are the days when a child’s access to pornographic material was about finding Dad’s Playboy magazine in his bottom drawer or even stumbling across a National Geographic in the library.
Gone, too, are the video cassettes delivered to a mate’s dad’s friend’s places from our Nation’s capital city in a brown paper bag.
My newest information session for parents, teachers, carers, medical and welfare professionals.
A bio-psychosocial look at mental health during the adolescent years including:
There are many different reasons why a child or teen might not want to go to school. For some, the desire to avoid going to school can become so troubling that it can become associated with family conflict and significant mental health issues.
There are lots of words in the psychological research that are used to describe the problems faced by students who should be, but aren’t, going to school. When you take a close look at the child that is not going to school, you can usually see factors in the child, factors in the family, and factors in the school that are not quite aligned so that the child is getting the most of their schooling years. In fact, the words that are used to describe the different types of school non-attendance give some insight into which factors might be in play the children, the parents/carers and the school.