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Navigating Bergen County Motherhood: Insights from a North Jersey Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist by Mohab Hanna, MD

Navigating Bergen County Motherhood: Insights from a North Jersey Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist by Mohab Hanna, MD, Bergen County Moms

Many moms who we work with will say similar things regarding parenting. “I feel like we’re in a never-ending race and don’t know how to make it stop”. Many feel anxious about not doing enough to help their kids succeed or keeping up with the ever-rising expectations for participation in enrichment, activities, athletics, and other endeavors. They worry about their kids achieving their full potential as they navigate through middle and high school, and wonder if they will be able to get into the college of their aspirations.  

And with that, they are stressed and often exhausted. 

Bergen County is in many ways a wonderful place to raise a family. It offers an abundance of resources, great schools, and supportive communities. And at the same time, this area can be characterized as “go, go, go”. People are on the move. We are surrounded by impressive, high-achieving people.  And that fosters a parenting culture that can be somewhat competitive. The bar keeps going up for what is expected of a young person to do and accomplish to be “high achieving”. Moms (and dads of course) can feel like they carry a weighty burden.  

Now at the same time, we also work with many children and teens of families like these. What are these kids like? They are often highly anxious, stressed, and sometimes deeply depressed. Many deeply desire success and achievement, and work incredibly hard. But, they are often miserable and wonder where it is all going. They feel great pressure to achieve, but they are very worried that they won’t put it all together.  And with the weight of that pressure, many will buckle or tune out or sometimes crash and burn - either now or down the road in college.  

So - what’s to be done? I wish there were easy answers. However, I would like to pose some questions to consider.  

  • Moms, how are you feeling related to parenting, and if anxious/stressed can you pinpoint what’s behind that?  

  • How are your kids feeling? How would you assess their emotional health?

  • What are your dreams and hopes for your child related to their physical health, emotional well-being, and achievement? Currently, are those three elements in balance or is there some imbalance?  

One observation I’ll share. Some of the more dramatic improvements I’ve seen from young people have come when that person’s environment was reset and de-pressurized. Pulling them off the typical “track” helped the child and the family immensely. The child’s emotional health was transformed and they also started achieving in new, remarkable ways. That approach is of course not needed in all cases, but I hope that everyone can appreciate the power that even small changes might make.  

There is no right answer and each situation is unique. The one suggestion I have is to step back and reflect regularly. Know that you can access tools and support to better assess your situation, and to help navigate changes that could be healthy for your child, yourself and your family. 

Join MedPsych for upcoming free live webinars on autism, psychiatric medications, insomnia, and ADHD and learn more about their Teen Anxiety Group meetings on Wednesdays in Ramsey.

Mohab Hanna, MD is Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is the founder of MedPsych Behavioral Health with offices in Ramsey, Old Tappan, Montclair and a NEW LOCATION in Ridgewood/Glen Rock (opening in April). Dr. Hanna specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety, depression and ADHD. MedPsych provides psychiatry, psychotherapy, autism and ADHD testing, and other services with in-person and virtual appointments available. For more information, please visit or email us at

MedPsych Behavioral Health, Bergen County Moms

545 Island Road, Suite 2B & 3D, Ramsey, NJ 07446

180 Old Tappan Road, Building 3, 2nd Floor, Old Tappan, NJ 07675

Ridgewood/Glen Rock (Opening in April)

MedPsych Behavioral Health provides psychiatry, psychotherapy and testing services to children, teens, and adults. MedPsych has offices in Ramsey, Old Tappan and Montclair, and offers in-person and tele-based services. For more information visit, email or call (551) 271-1506.


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