NURTURE INFORMATION HUB
Prematurity and Its Impact on Psychosocial and Emotional Development in Children
Phyllis Zelkowitz, EdD, McGill University, Canada
Teenagers born at extremely low birth weight
“In general, during late adolescence, ELBW teenagers (born in the mid-1980s) tended to be a bit smaller than their peers, did not have a major impairment and had struggled with some aspects of schooling, but, by determination and application and support of their families, had or would likely achieve high school graduation. They were tentative in seeking work, were averse to physical activity, and seemed less mature socially and emotionally, and more connected to the family than were peers. Although this generalization may be true, the predominant impression of an ELBW teen is that he or she is very much the product of his or her family, reflecting the great importance of genetic, sociodemographic and parenting factors on the ultimate outcome of the highest risk survivors.”
Social development of children born very preterm: a systematic review
‘Children born VPT have poorer social competence. These difficulties emerge early and persist throughout childhood.’
If you are a parent of a shy adolescent, it is common to wonder whether your teenager’s behaviour is holding them back and impacting them negatively. What is the right way to address this issue without making things worse?
Being shy or feeling socially uncomfortable is not uncommon, most teenagers feel shy at least occasionally, but can eventually adjust and enjoy participating in social activities with their peers. But if the teenager’s shyness leads to avoiding new experiences or limiting interactions with new people it’s helpful to look into this before this becomes more than just shyness.
Here are some symptoms to watch for:
Possible Physical Symptoms
If your teenager exhibits the symptoms above and these symptoms are creating impairment in their functioning, there are several ways a parent can help improve the situation.
Some teenagers that are excessively shy or have an ongoing problem with social interactions, for example, teens that are vulnerable to feeling socially awkward can often create a way of life that alleviates their fears, often by using avoidance as their main coping skill. This avoidance strategy can create a lost opportunity to establish healthy social skills that typically develop during the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Some tips you can try with your teenager:
Parent skills to focus on:
If these challenges persists for more than 6 months it might be helpful to talk to the school guidance counsellor, school year advisor or your family doctor.
International Friendship Day July 30th A day to promote friendships in positive ways.
“Whatever emotional state you’re in while you’re parenting, this will convey more to your child than the content of what you're doing with them, no matter how perfect your intervention looks "on paper." In other words, to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, "your emotional state is the message.”
Michael Y. Simon, The Approximate Parent: Discovering the Strategies that Work for Your Teenager