Anybody Home? Parenting Tips for Texting Kids

by Jim Hudziak, MD and David Rettew, MD A few years ago, I was driving my son and three teammates to a hockey tournament in Montreal when I noticed it was oddly quiet in my car. Looking around, I saw four boys, all best pals, texting each other while they sat in the same car. That is […]

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Kids and Chores

The idea of chores may seem a little old fashioned to some, but it remains a useful part of home life.  Apart from any direct benefit of getting certain tasks accomplished, chores can teach kids practical skills, instills valuable lessons about work, and helps children feel like they are contributing to the family.  The following […]

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Helicopter Parenting: Little Study, Big Soundbites

The media has been full lately with discussions and advice about the merits of different types of parenting (see previous blog posting of June 2012: Tiger-Attachment-Ferberization Parenting).  Adding further to the debate is a recent study by Schiffrin and colleagues from the Journal of Child and Family Studies regarding a more intrusive and controlling parenting […]

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Genes for Responsiveness to Parenting Practices?

In classic models of psychiatric risk, particular child characteristics are seen as generally negative things that under the wrong conditions can get amplified  into full-fledged psychiatric disorders.  A newer model, however, holds that some of these characteristics are better understood as related to environmental sensitivity, which means that in positive environments these same traits may convey an actual developmental advantage. A […]

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Can Pacifiers Stunt Emotional Growth?

The debate about pacifiers as useful aides to soothe crying infants versus developmentally stunting crutches has been with us for decades. This group of researchers from the University of Wisconsin and elsewhere set out to test the possibility that pacifier use was associated with a delay in emotional development. Their hypothesis was that increased pacifier […]

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Let them Cry? Pick them Up? Does it Matter?

The practice of letting infants cry it out on their own when they wake up at night versus picking them up and soothing them has been an ageless parenting dilemma, especially since sleep expert Ferber popularized his technique.   While there are many strong opinions on the subject, there is surprisingly little long-term data.  Approximately half […]

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Helping Parents with Preschool Choices – Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf

Parents have a number of options when it comes to daycare and preschool and can wind up anxious and confused trying to find the “right” one.  Primary care clinicians may be asked to weigh in on this important decision but themselves can be unfamiliar with the different approaches now available.  To help, here is a […]

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Tiger-Attachment-Ferberization Parenting

Time Magazine got lots of the attention it wanted with their recent cover (shown).  The photo, however, was much more provocative than the article that provided a fairly balanced view of Attachment Parenting and its main advocate, Dr. William Sears.   That’s not to say that the article won’t stir up confusion all over again among […]

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Sleeping Problems in Children

Chronic sleep problems put kids at increased risk for behavioral problems, attentional difficulties and even obesity.  The amount of sleep a child needs is variable and generally depends on the child’s age.  The National Sleep Foundation reports that, on average, children need to following amount of sleep. Below 12 months of age:  more than 14 […]

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Parenting Books: What to Suggest to Your Families

written by Alisson Richards, MD Recommending books for parents to read is an easy and effective way to initiate and encourage parents to take an active role in parenting and can also provide a guide for parents with challenging children. The books can be particularly useful for motivated parents struggling to find available cognitive-behavioral therapists.  […]

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