Parenting

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    AErik Fisher, Psychology, answered
    Don't expect a friendly passenger to baby-sit your child the entire flight. There are many passengers who enjoy kids and will talk with them and play peek-a-boo for a few minutes, but they don't want to spend their flight with your kids. The hard part is finding the balance. Some parents are almost militant about not letting their kids talk to or play with passengers, because some don't trust others or feel afraid of upsetting fellow passengers. So ask the passenger if they mind your child interacting with them for a few minutes. You can usually glean their feelings from their response or body language. Put a cap on your child's play time with other passengers so as to not over extend their welcome. It also helps your kids learn limits and boundaries. If they want to play later with the passenger, just ask the passenger again.
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    AErik Fisher, Psychology, answered
    To prepare your kids for the flight, start to talk about air travel with your kids and what they should expect days in advance. Don't think your child is too young to understand what you are talking about. Try to point out pictures of planes in books, on television or movies, and let them know where their destination is and what they will be doing there. Children often need to be prepared for new events and/or change, and when they know what to expect, they often adapt to it quicker than if they were not prepared. Add the excitement of the holidays to this, and kids can be off the hook.
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    AErik Fisher, Psychology, answered
    To address the issue of communication of emotion, what does it mean when someone says, "I am angry at you?" If we begin to dissect this phrase, the words I would like to consider are "am" and "at you." The word "am" is a form of the verb "to be" which means "to exist." To demonstrate what I am addressing, think of how we introduce ourselves to others, "Hello, I am John Doe." In this statement, I will always be John Doe, all day, every day, from birth to death. To the literal mind, when I say, "I am angry," it literally means all of me is always angry. In other words, I have become Anger embodied. We could spend time refuting the exactness of this, but the issue being addressed is literal semantics, not colloquial usage.

    The next piece of the phrase is what it means when I say, "I am angry at you." What "at you" means is "all of you," not part of you or your actions. To a child, this phrase can feel very intimidating and overpowering. The child tends to interpret the phrase as them being "bad or wrong," not what they did. The thought to consider is that we are powerless to change who we are, but we do have the power to change our behaviors and choices.

    What we are probably meaning to say when we communicate emotion is, "I feel anger (frustration, confusion, irritation) with what you did." This phrase takes a few more words to state, but I hope you can appreciate the accuracy of what is being stated. The most accurate way to communicate emotions is with the verb "to feel," not the verb "to be."

    Another issue to address is that when we state our emotion with the verb "to feel," we can "feel" more than one emotion at a time, but it is difficult to "be" more than one emotion at a time. The second part of the communication, "at what you did," addresses the issue of the action of the individual, not the individual himself. When we address the action or behavior of the person, it is very clear what they can change.

    In educating children and adults on the "semantics of emotion," I often tell children that their parents will always love them, but they may not like what they do. If we address the action, behaviors and choices of the individual ("at what you did"), it points out what they can change. If we address the individual as the object of our anger ("at you"), it is difficult to know what to change.
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    ATanya Remer Altmann, MD, Pediatrics, answered
    To spank or not to spank

    The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions against spanking your child as a disciplinary method. In this video, Dr. Oz and Dr. Tanya Altmann explain effective disciplinary techniques that don't involve physical punishment.


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    ADawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    Involvement in regular activities keeps the brain and nervous system busy and distracts it. Lack of activity allows teenagers to focus all of their attention on their headaches, which, in turn, increases the severity of their pain. The first step in headache management is not getting rid of the pain, but getting rid of the misery that headaches produce. Following a regular routine is necessary. Function improves first -- pain improves later. When your child is home sick from school, she may feel miserable because of headache symptoms, but also because of missing interacting with friends, concerns about falling behind in schoolwork, and poor self-image. The longer she stays at home, the worse this misery becomes.
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    AMichele Borba, Psychology, answered
    If you fear your child is cheating…

    Breathe. Know that these days most kids admit they do. But how you respond will make a difference if he continues or not. Often the highest achieving kids are the students under the greatest pressure to cut corners.

    Work out what’s really going on. Why is your child resorting to using this behavior? Are expectations too high? Is he overscheduled? Is he not capable of the work? Does he lack good study habits? Is everyone else in the class cheating? Is peer pressure too high?

    Work out a solution. The key is for your child to know that you understand he’s under pressure but cheating is not the answer. Take time to work together and figure out how to remedy the problem so cheating isn’t the solution. (i.e. If there is no time to do homework so he copies, then cut one of those darn activities. If he is lazy and doesn’t want to do the work, then eliminate those extra privileges such as television). Create a solution so the cheating problem doesn’t escalate.

    Speak with the teacher if needed. If you need to approach your child’s teacher, do so cautiously. You want to keep her as an ally. First, get the facts about the cheating incident from your child. After you hear your son or daughter out, talk to the teacher about your concerns. Listen and gather information. Is your child turning in assignments? When are test days? Are the tests cooperative or is each child expected to do his or her own work? Is your child capable of the work? Also, ask the teacher to clarify her test and homework expectations to your child so your son or daughter is clear as to what constitutes cheating.
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    AMichele Borba, Psychology, answered

    If you want to know if your child is cheating, look for a few signs that might indicate he or she may not be doing a 100% honest effort:

    • Ask about the resources. A quick test is see if your child did the work himself (or used the cut and paste model) is to ask about the sources he used. Does he know the source? Did he read the source? Is your child able to give you a quick review of the concept without relying on his paper? If not, it could be using the “cut and paste” study technique.
    • Ask about the test. Ask your child: “What were some of the questions on your test today?” If he doesn’t know, it’s usually a red flag.
    • Read his papers. Is the reading or vocabulary at your child’s level of understanding or could he possibly be relying too much on the Internet for information and not doing the work himself? Ask your child for the definition of a term he’s written. Can he define it?
    • Glance over homework: Is he bringing home no homework or too little? Did he do or borrow his work from a pal?
    • Know your child’s homework, test days and grades. Is he acing tests without studying? Is he really that brilliant?
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    AMichele Borba, Psychology, answered

    Though there are a number of reasons kids cheat, the key to stopping it is to determine why your child is resorting to using this behavior. Here are a few:

    • Weak honest quotient: Character is taking a backseat; conscience is under-developed or under-nurtured; or honesty isn’t stressed in the child’s home or school environment.
    • Stress: Push to excel is huge; pressure to get those grades (and maybe secure that needed college scholarship) is higher than ever in today’s economic crunch.
    • Dishonest examples: Expectation to be honest not emphasized by the family or school; the coach pushes the “score” at any cost, the teacher looks the other way; the parent who stresses the “grade” at any cost.
    • No time: The kid is so darn overscheduled that there is no time to study.
    • Fear of failing YOU: Fear of letting down or disappointing a parent is strong.
    • Pressure: It’s a hyper-competitive or high stakes learning environment.
    • Low skill level: Academic expectations are too high; expectations are too high or the child is incapable of work (due to lacking the skills or ability).
    • Peer pressure: Your child is in with a group that eggs him on; the other kids cheat; he’s in an environment where everyone else cheats.
    • Laziness or ease: The child has been allowed to get away with cheating; the Internet makes it so much easier just to cut and paste; Cheating is the shortcut to success.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    One of the best ways to let your child's creative juices flow is to let her create all kinds of art, whether it's scribbling on a piece of paper or playing with paints and crayons. Besides allowing her to expand her imagination, this helps her develop those fine motor skills (holding a pencil or crayon, squeezing a bottle of glue). We suggest that you make art a regular part of your weekly routine, and try not to set too many rules (besides keeping the art on the paper, not the walls). The rug is going to be ruined by   milk-soaked Rice Krispies anyway, so what's a little glue or paint to go with it? That way, your child will feel most free to express herself.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Besides serving as wonderful one-on-one time, reading to your child will do amazing things for her future vocabulary. In fact, the vocab that a child has at the age of two is proportional to the number of words he's heard spoken to him before that time. Kids might not be able to respond verbally to you when they're little, but they're processing. Remember those neurons: With every sentence, you're building stronger language connections.
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