Archive for the 'parenting' Category

teaching your kids about boundaries and bad touches

Monday, April 6th, 2009

l.jpg

I recognize that as parents one of the last things we ever want to think about when it comes to our children is someone touching them inappropriately, or worse.  As a former counselor in a program for children and teen sexual abuse survivors, I remember the horror well.  Jill Starishevsky, a mother and former prosecutor for victims of child abuse and sex crimes has published a children’s book, “My Body Belongs to Me” that allows us parents to have an age-appropriate conversation with our children about their bodies, boundaries and what to do when someone violates them (heaven forbid) – tell!  In my experience, this is one of those subjects that we don’t want to think about, which means we often avoid talking about it and giving our children a clear message that this is wrong and should not be kept a secret.  If ever there was a must-have book for our children, this would seem to be it.  It is written for youngsters ages 3-10.

Pattie Fitzgerald, founder of Safely Ever After, a safety program for parents and kids, proclaims, “I have been teaching child safety classes for nearly ten years, and this is the first children’s book I’ve seen that really addresses the issues in a way that kids can understand and that doesn’t seem scary or heavy-handed.”

daylight savings sleep tips – spring ahead!

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Wohoo!  It’s time for more day light!  I know this means one less hour of sleep on Saturday night, BUT it could mean little junior sleeps in an “extra” hour too!  Here are my tips on handling this transition (which is MUCH easier than the fall time change).

1. Put your child to bed on Saturday night at the usual bedtime.

2. Change your clocks so they are one hour ahead.

3. Set your alarm to get you up at the usual wake up time and wake your child up to start the day (this means one less hour of sleep for your child).  OR, for those early risers, let them sleep in and take this opportunity to get them on a slightly later schedule.

4. Put your child down for naps and bedtime according to the time on the clock.

daylight savings sleep tips

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

I know, I know.  Daylight savings time again.  It always comes too soon.  Fret not, these simple tips for babies (6 months and older) and toddlers will help you stay on track with your good sleep habits.  Give your children a few days to settle in to the new time.  After they adjust to the new clock, the only thing left to dread is the sun setting at 4 p.m.  Ugh.

1. Put your child(ren) to bed on Saturday night (11/1) at the regular time.

2. Wake up with your child(ren) at the normal wake up time on Sunday morning (11/2).

3. Set your clocks back one hour.  This is where you stretch.

4. Put your child(ren) down for the first nap at the regular time per the clock.**  This will mean that s/he has been awake a full hour longer during this window and may need some help to stretch.  Going outside and getting lots of sunlight and fresh air is a great way to keep kids awake when you’re stretching them.

5. Follow the clock for naps and bedtime from here forward. It can take a few days for your child to fully adjust, so be patient and consistent.

**Younger children may have a harder time stretching a full hour without becoming overtired.  In this case it may be better to stretch them 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon or to stretch them slowly over several days.

spanking doesn’t work!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Parents must know that while spanking may work in the very near term to stop a child from misbehaving, it ultimately backfires.  For starters, spanking teaches your child that the bigger, stronger person in a disagreement always wins.  And that in order to make your point, you must strike another person.  The irony is that children are often spanked for hitting or kicking another child.

An article by Lisa Belkin in this morning’s New York Times Magazine Blog, “When Is Spanking Chid Abuse?” shares the findings of Alan E, Kazdin research.  Mr. Kazdin is the Director of the Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic at Yale and reports that 63 percent of parents physically discipline their 1-to 2-year-olds.  I find this statistic staggering and alarming.  In a piece Mr Kazdin wrote for Slate, he says there’s “a strong natural tendency to escalate the frequency and severity of punishment.”  Here is the part of what he says that I wish every parent would understand.

“The negative effects on children include increased aggression and noncompliance—the very misbehaviors that most often inspire parents to hit in the first place—as well as poor academic achievement, poor quality of parent-child relationships, and increased risk of a mental-health problem (depression or anxiety, for instance). High levels of corporal punishment are also associated with problems that crop up later in life, including diminished ability to control one’s impulses and poor physical-health outcomes (cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease). Plus, there’s the effect of increasing parents’ aggression, and don’t forget the consistent finding that physical punishment is a weak strategy for permanently changing behavior.”

I have to believe that if parents really knew what was at risk with corporal punishment, they would work harder to seek an effective solution.  Stay posted for a seminar on this very topic.

fans dramatically reduce SIDS risk

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The New York Times Well Blog posted about a new research finding, published today in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, has found having a fan in baby’s room reduces the risk for SIDS by as much as 72 %!  The proposed theory is that the fan prevents the baby from re-breathing in exhaled carbon dioxide.  And while the fan doesn’t make the baby’s room cooler, it is important to keep the sleeping environment cool as this also reduces the risk for SIDS.

IMPORTANT: Bassinet Linked to Infant Deaths

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

simplicity-bassinet.jpg

An article in today’s Chicago Tribune reports that the Simplicity 4-in-1 and 3-in-1 co-sleepers have been implicated in two infant deaths, the most recent was last Thursday in Kansas. Though these bassinets have not yet been recalled, any parent with one should stop using it and discard it immediately.  There appears to be a design flaw that allows the baby to slip through and become trapped.

parent-child attachment study recruiting in nyc

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

A team of psychologists and graduate students at the New School are running a study about mother-infant attachment. The aim of this study is to learn more about children’s early relationship to their parents and their later psychological adjustment. They are interested in understanding parental care, child temperament, early child-parent communication, emotional bonding, and other factors associated with later adjustment.They are inviting 200 parent-child dyads into the study and will follow the children from early infancy through to age 5.  You can find out more information about the New School University’s Mother-Child Attachment Research Project on their website. It appears that they are seeking expecting mothers and new mothers of 0-4 month olds.

important product warning – mommy’s bliss nipple cream

Friday, June 13th, 2008

If you have this product – throw it away. If you are using it, stop immediately. A friend and new mother shared the May 29, 2008 post from the FDA informing consumers to neither use nor purchase Mommy’s Bliss Nipple Cream.  Here is what the FDA said:

The product contains potentially harmful ingredients that may cause respiratory distress or vomiting and diarrhea in infants. The product is promoted to nursing mothers to help soothe and heal dry or cracked nipples. Potentially harmful ingredients in the product are chlorphenesin and phenoxyethanol. Chlorphenesin relaxes skeletal muscle and can depress the central nervous system and cause slow or shallow breathing in infants. Phenoxyenthanol, a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications, can also depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants. Mothers and caregivers should seek immediate medical attention if their child shows signs and symptoms of decreases in appetite, difficulty in awakening, limpness of extremities or a decrease in an infant’s strength of grip and a change in skin color.

the vaccine book

Friday, June 13th, 2008

inside-header.jpg

I recently attended a talk given by Dr. Robert Sears, author of The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child. He is part of the Sears family and has made vaccines his area of pediatric specialty. What I liked about his presentation is that he spoke from a place of balance, neither overstating nor understanding the importance of vaccines. He gave parents all the latitude necessary to make informed decisions for their child and family. He was clear about what science has learned and where there are shortcomings. In his book, he offers information about each vaccination, children’s risks for each disease and a vaccine schedule that he follows in his practice. A good, comprehensive read if you are searching for information to help you make a vaccination choice.

mr yuk – poison prevention

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

 

mr_yuk.jpg

I have no idea what prompted me to do a search for Mr Yuk earlier today, but I’m so glad I did. In so doing, I reached way back into my childhood and connected with an icon that was plastered around our house (on the phone and toilet seat for starters). Created in 1971 (by the Pittsburg Poisen Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg), and selected for being the most “loathed” by children in testing, Mr Yuk continues to be the face of danger some 37 years later!!

Mr. Yuk now bears the national, toll-free number to call in a poisoning emergency, 1-800-222-1222. Dialing the number routes the caller to the nearest poison control center anywhere in the United States.

To request a free sheet of Mr. Yuk stickers, send a self-addressed stamped business size envelope to:

Mr. Yuk
Pittsburgh Poison Center
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
3705 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2583