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One parent criticized my book, and she has a point

When Ashley on Goodreads left a review of my book, she shared a challenge she was having applying the SIGH, SEE, START parenting method in practice. She noticed that her kids were acting up in unison or picking on each other, she struggled to parent with SIGH, SEE, START. Her problem was one I had never anticipated when I wrote the book, and I learned a lot.

Ashley thought her job as a parent was to stay calm, not just sometimes, but all the time. And even while her kids were acting up together, Ashley felt that she should intuit her children’s emotional needs and meet them right then, while they were still acting up together. And no surprise, Ashley discovered that SIGH, SEE, START did not work for her when she tried to use it that way.

As a Gen X author, parent and pediatrician, it never occured to me that parents would not START by separating warring children. I had no idea that Millenial and Gen Z parents had not grown up hearing the phrase, “Do I have to separate you two?” Because for anyone my age, it’s a given that the first step in parenting wild groups of children is to separate them. The first step in parenting, especially when we use SIGH, SEE, START, is to reduce chaos.

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Secure Attachment: How Often Should Parents Attune To Kids’ Emotions?

One of the most powerful myths in parenting started in the 1990s and has been dominant ever since. This myth starts with the truth: that when children form a secure attachment to their parents they have better mental health as adults. But then it goes to far by telling parents to attune to their children’s emotions all the time. Only by staying in sync with their children at all times can parents guarantee their kids’ will turn out okay, says the myth. New research I covered for Forbes finds that this is simply not true. Instead, more parental attunement happens when something is not working in the relationship. Higher parent-child synchrony may reflect interaction problems between parent and child.

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Screen Time Addiction in Your Child: How To Tell

Have you ever worried that your child has a screen time addiction? Screens are everywhere now and have become harder and harder for parents to control. In this post we’ll review how to determine whether your child is addicted to screen time. Then we’ll look at next steps to help.

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Kids with ADHD have Unusual Brain Wiring, New Study Finds

Despite decades of false claims and persistent parent-shaming, “bad parenting” does not cause ADHD. A recent study from the NIH has found more evidence that ADHD symptoms are related to structural differences in the ADHD brain. Children with ADHD have differences on MRI in the number of neural connections in their brains.

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I am Sick and Tired of Living with Long COVID

Today is International Long Covid Awareness Day, which is why I wrote the article “Long Covid is a disabling disease, and it’s not rare” for Psychology Today. There are millions of people like me, living with the shattering symptoms of Long Covid.  Many have been sick and disabled for almost four years now.  For me, it’s been over two years since Long Covid stole my career as a pediatric doctor from me. 

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Should Parents Take Expert Advice or Follow Their Instincts?

As parents, we love our kids and we try so hard to be the best parents we can. We know that the people historically raised kids, often with physical punishment or shaming words, was not good for them. So we look for good, expert parenting advice we can use to give our kids what they need.

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You Are the Expert on Your Child

Parents are under intense pressure to get their parenting just right for their child or risk “messing up their child for life.” Then parents doubt they know enough to truly be an expert. It’s a situation that affects everyone, even the super rich like Paris Hilton.

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Parenting When You are Sick or Tired, Part 1

I have a pet peeve. So much parenting advice assumes that parents are at 100%: they aren’t overly stressed about their job, they have lots of energy, they’re getting enough sleep, they’re not sick themselves or overwhelmed by a child’s needs. Because that’s the amount of energy it takes to apply a lot of that advice. Of course, that just makes parents feel bad.

How do you parent when you are sick or exhausted? What kind of parenting advice actually works at those times? For the last two and half months, I’ve had the opportunity to find out.

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How to Help Kids with the Sunday Scaries and School Dread

Helping kids who worry about the upcoming school week with a simple method.

Key Points:

  1. Kids get the Sunday Scaries when they dread school on Monday.
  2. School dread can prompt anxious or defiant behavior in kids.
  3. Use mindfulness with the Sigh, See, and Start method to explore that dread and help you connect with your child.

The Sunday Scaries

Who has not felt dread before work or school? Our kids feel it before school, and as adults, we can relate because we may feel it before work.

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