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Study Shows 4 Traits that Put Kids at Risk for Addiction

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No parent imagines that their child will grow up to become an addict. And every parent would do anything to make sure that didn’t happen.

A recent study addresses four traits that put kids at risk for addiction. By addressing each problematic trait and helping your child learn to manage them, you may be able to prevent them from having major struggles in the future. At risk children portray four traits.

Here are the four traits that put kids at risk for addiction and how to help them:

1. Sensation seeking.

Does your child take excessive risks without much regard to safety? Are they always fidgety? Are they constantly moving, biting, touching or putting their mouth on objects? If they are hyperactive and also exhibit some of these other signs, they may be characterized as sensation-seeking. When they’re teenagers, alcohol, reckless driving speed, and high-risk sexual behavior like having multiple partners are all sensation-seeking behaviors.

How to help: Athletics and sports competition are safe places for teens to push boundaries and take healthy risks. For younger children, quiet time and a quiet space are essential for children. They can use this quiet space when they are feeling overloaded. Another helpful thing for sensation-seekers is using heavy blankets for bedtime.

2. Impulsiveness.

Children are impulsive by nature, but if you feel like their impulsiveness is getting them into trouble, it might be more than just a normal childhood trait.

How to help: Help your child with impulse issues through practicing self-control by reminding them to use their words. You can also teach them to say “I’m getting really frustrated right now. I need to walk away and cool off.” This strategy can prevent an outburst and will help them even as an adult.

3. Anxiety sensitivity.

Are they emotionally reactive or resistant to change? Do they need structure and rigid rituals? Are they hyper-vigilant and always scanning the environment? Do they withdraw from touch and cuddles? Are they aggressive and demanding? When children show some of these signs, they may be sensitive to anxiety.

How to help:  Some things that can calm them are deep, firm touch; rhythmic movement like dance; swimming; soft colors and soft lighting; warm, smooth and sweet tastes; and lavender and chamomile smells.

4. Hopelessness.

Children are usually full of hope and excitement for the future. If you notice your child withdrawing and showing signs of hopelessness and depression, it is good to seek professional counseling help sooner rather than later.

Here are some great ways to teach your children to overcome obstacles. And if you need some tough love strategies, we have those for you too!

What other strategies would you recommend for helping your child manage these traits that put kids at risk for addiction?


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