pediatric housecalls Robert R. Jarrett M.D. M.B.A. FAAP

Showing posts from: Parenting

Doctor’s Talking About Puberty and Sex

It seems that talking about puberty and sex is one of most every doctor’s LEAST favorite tasks. I know that because some research projects have studied the subject in patients of all ages with diseases of all types and by doctors of all specialties.

Well, it shouldn’t really surprise any of you because it’s your least favorite talk with your kids too (assuming you’re a parent)—and they’re YOUR kids.
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Julie Lythcott-Haims: How to raise successful kids — without over-parenting

High Expectations and Micromanaging
NOT how to raise an adult

The dean of freshmen at Stanford, Julie Lythcott-Haims, will tell you about her discoveries regarding helicopter parenting based on her experiences with students and her two teenage sons.

“By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren’t actually helping,” she observes with passion and wry humor. She asks parents to “stop defining their children’s success via grades and test scores.” Instead, she says, “they should focus on providing the oldest idea of all: unconditional love.”

We called it “over-coercion” when I studied psychology in school–it’s the same thing with the same results no matter what you call it and when it occurs and often leaves a fledgling adult wondering “Will this life ever turn out to be worth it?”

It’s as if parents are just afraid they (the kids) won’t have a future they can brag about to their friends and put stickers on the car bumpers about. Sort of: “hey kid, I don’t think you can achieve any of this without me.”

From her talk:

When we treat grades and scores and accolades and awards as a purpose of childhood all in furtherance of some hoped for admissions to a tiny number of collages or an entrance to a small number of careers—and even though we might help them achieve some short term wins by over helping—all of this comes at a long term cost of sense of self.

We should be far more concerned that they have the mind-set, the skill-set, the “well”-ness [and I add the “will”-ness] to be successful wherever they go.

Our kids need us to be a little less obsessed with grades and scores and a whole lot more interested in childhood providing a foundation for their success—built on things like: love… and chores.

The longest longitudinal study of humans ever conducted (called the Harvard grant study) found that professional success in life (what we want) comes from having done chores as a kid – and the earlier you started the better. That a roll up your sleeves and pitch in mind-set—a mind set that there’s some unpleasant work, someone’s gotta do it, it might as well be me— a mindset that says I will contribute my effort to the betterment of the whole – is what gets you ahead in the work place.

Happiness in life comes from Love – not from love of work – love of humans. Childhood need to teach our kids love in all aspects. They need to matter to us as humans – not because of their GPAs –

“I was treating my little Saywer and Avery like little Bonsai trees. But I’ve come to realize, after working with 1000s of other peoples kids, that my kids aren’t Bonsai trees, they’re wildflowers—of an unknown genus and species and it’s my job to provide a nourishing environment to strengthen them through chores and to love them so that they can love back — and to support them to become their glorious selves.”


Why Kids Today Don’t Know How Much Fun a Road Trip Can Be 

Give anyone older than about 40 enough of an opening to explain the difference between what kids experience today and what they experienced back then – they’ll NOT be a loss for words. Perhaps about an hours worth, if they’re in a hurry to get somewhere.

In the form of a tennis match, Ms. “Lucky Orange Pants,” as she refers to herself, lists six surprising “sets” of differences – all leading to “game, set match.” [Parental warning: some needless profanity]

Why So Many Illnesses In My Child

I spend a lot of time writing about and explaining illness; while assuming you know about “bugs” and “viruses” and “Immunity” and “baby shots” (in quotation marks because they are “general” vague terms). Kids get sick, get better, get sick, get better and get sick again. How much is too much?
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Yogi Berra’s Tips For Practicing Medicine and Parenthood

I’m going to take a stab at a posting about another doctor’s observations which seem to have struck me strongly enough that they’ve captured much of my mental “wait cycles” over the past week. You know, the “cycles” of your fast mental computer where it’s “waiting” for other things to “catch up” so it can move on.

Some people call it “time-sharing your brain” others just “day dreaming.”
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Parenting: Good Night’s Sleep

I’m afraid that all the things I know about the topic “sleep problems in infants” rattle around in my brain in a fairly “jumbled” manner. Frankly, the topic of infant sleep is probably the most frequently asked group of questions from new parents and in the “top 3” for all parents; but still….

The reason it’s so “jumbled” is FIRST Read more→

Teaching Teens About Healthy Relationships

As I’ve been clearing out my “to do” file of articles, we’ve had a series of posts about parenting teens through puberty and preparing for the skill-set and tasks of adulthood. Pediatricians are in a position to have many opportunities to talk to teens about life issues and I’m thinking that perhaps you’d like to see some “bullet points” of common issues we address.
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Parenting About Sex, Pressure and Promiscuity

“The Talk” isn’t over when your son or daughter says their final “good night” and walks out the door where you’ve been sitting in private discussing the… ahem… “birds and bees” stuff — not, by a long shot!
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Nose Picking In Public a Habit To Break

Dr. Lewis First is chief of pediatrics at Vermont Children’s Hospital and offers down-to-earth advice for parents about how to stop children from picking their noses in public. The nose picking habit – tough to break.

A Good Book is Like A Secret Door

The intro to Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem is merely the tip of Mac’s iceberg: he lectures and he writes books children can get lost in reading. He used to run a free tutoring center for kids in the back of a pirate supply store but now runs the same in a time travel emporium.

The inimitable Mssr. Barnett seems to have a tiny bit of a problem with boundaries – the ones between wishes and reality. Watch how he explains himself in this TED talk describing why a good book is like a secret door, how writing should escape the page, that art is a doorway to wonder… and see if you can spot his plan to send excess Blue Whales to willing kids.