Children and Youth
[CROSS-POST] Put Aside What We Don’t Know and Support Justice-Involved Youth with Mental Health Needs
We need to be careful about the language we use to discuss mental health and juvenile justice—and even more careful about how we meet the mental health needs of justice-involved youth.
The child welfare system is charged with promoting the wellbeing of children by ensuring their safety and strengthening their families, so they may successfully care for children. While the child welfare system is comprised of a complex set of procedures that vary by state, finding solutions to combat the collateral effects some children face when placed into the child welfare system may be just as complex, if not illusive.
To mark Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (May 4), we posed a series of questions to the authors of two titles from APA’s Magination Press, which publishes innovative books that help children deal with the many challenges and problems they face as they grow up.
The phenomenon of grandparents serving as custodial parents is a persistent reality given the record numbers of children entering into the foster care system. Evidence suggests that children who cannot live with their biological parents fare better overall when living with extended family than with non-related foster parents.
They say, “Black boys turn blue in the moonlight”. In the Oscar winning movie Moonlight, the story follows character Chiron as he develops into a man. What’s interesting about Chiron’s story is that it mirrors that of countless other African American men. Chiron is simply not allowed to “be” – he’s bullied for being “Little,” beaten because of his demeanor, and denied the opportunity to safely and freely explore his sexuality. It is indeed under this distress that Black boys turn blue.
Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child? The Unexpected Way Religious Beliefs Influence Parents’ Views of Discipline
How do religious beliefs impact parents’ views of physical discipline? Parents’ support for using physical punishment with their children varies, to some degree, by religious affiliation. For Christian parents in particular, various factors influence approaches to physical discipline.
No person has a “right” to strike another, no matter how close the relationship. I remember fifty years ago seeing a mother chase her child with a stick, shouting “I brought you into this world and I can put you in the cemetery!” Luckily, the child was faster than his mother. But the idea of a “right” to hit a child is no laughing matter.
Discipline has a significant role to play in what is arguably the world’s most important job—raising children to be moral and responsible members of society. And, not surprisingly, there’s no shortage of advice about how to do it. Unfortunately, a lot of it is contradictory.
Even in the best of circumstances, parenting is super hard work and takes tremendous patience. When we have so many other concerns in life and then we add in a child who is misbehaving, it is tempting to give the child a smack. But let me tell you what the research shows: Spanking does not achieve our parenting goals.
When we talk about discipline, we usually refer to the efforts by parents and teachers to reduce or eliminate annoying or inappropriate child behaviors. Punishment is designed to suppress or reduce behavior and may appear like the perfect match for these goals. The term “discipline” includes the notions of instruction but also of punishment.