Simon’s mom stepped into the hallway so he could talk with me alone. I asked him the usual pediatrician checkup questions. But when we got to the questions about alcohol or smoking, Simon shared that he had been vaping for more than a year.
Simon told me he was scared. At 13 years old he had developed chest pain and a cough he and his friends called vape cough. That was because they vaped too, and they also had the painful cough.
Unfortunately, research shows that it’s tough to get kids to quit vaping, due to how addictive it is. So the key for parents is to try to keep their kids off vape and juul in the first place. New research, which I recently covered for Forbes, has found that what parents and pediatricians have been doing isn’t working.
But the good news is that the research also shows what DOES work. When parents make their kids feel supported and help them set positive goals for their futures, kids are much less likely to vape. In this post, we’ll look at how to actually do that.Continue reading “Practical Parenting Ideas to Keep Your Child From Vaping”
It’s a familiar visit in my pediatric office. The frustrated parent brings their child to see me because they won’t go to school. The young person, usually a pre-teen or adolescent, has been increasingly anxious about school. And now, the child can’t even get up in the morning, so the missed days of school are piling up.Continue reading “Why Your Depressed Kid Won’t Go To School”
What parent doesn’t want a foolproof way to tell when their child is lying? Now researchers have identified distinct sound signatures we use when we are lying or telling the truth.
The folded socks were lined up in an evenly spaced row running down the hallway. Again. It had been happening for days. I’d gather the socks up and before I knew it they were laid out on the floor again. Clearly someone was playing a trick on me, but which of my kids was it? When I asked my son about it he hesitated and looked to the side, and there was something about his voice when he said it wasn’t him that made me feel sure he was lying.
Being able to tell when kids are lying is a skill every parent wants. It’s true that some lies are easy to pick up on: a child whose room has just been designated a disaster area by FEMA is lying when they say they have cleaned it. But other lies are much harder to detect.Continue reading “How To Tell When Your Kids Are Lying To You”
One of the most common questions I get as a pediatrician is how to get a child to poop on the potty. It’s so common that kids will pee on the potty with glee, but absolutely refused to put their poop anywhere near it.Continue reading “How To Get Your Child To Poop On The Potty”
For generations, we have seen depression as an illness, an unnecessary deviation from normal functioning. It’s an idea that makes sense because depression causes suffering and even death. But what if we’ve got it all wrong? What if depression is not an aberration at all, but an important part of our biological defense system?Continue reading “We’ve Misunderstood Depression: It’s Trying to Save Us.”
I am a pediatrician and I am a mom. But I never really understood what parents feel like when their kids get sick until I got a dog. It’s not that pediatricians don’t worry about our kids. We definitely do, but we worry about weird rare stuff you’ve never heard of. But we do have the ability to deal with the basics of our kids’ illnesses.Continue reading “What Happens When A Pediatrician Takes The Dog To The Vet”
Zach’s mom was at her wit’s end. Even after three months of trying, she could not leave Zach alone in the room with his father for even a moment without Zach crying. During the coronavirus pandemic, she’d been alone with Zach most of the time, and her husband’s demanding job kept him from spending much time with them. But he wanted to play with his fifteen-month-old son, and she wanted five minutes to herself. Due to Zach’s crying, his mom couldn’t even get that.
It is normal for kids to be attached to their mothers in the toddler years, but that attachment often comes with separation anxiety. Some kids are so attached, that they won’t even go to other trusted family members without their mothers in the room. This can happen under normal circumstances, but the problem seems more intense for families during the pandemic. Continue reading “Why Your Child Won’t Let You Leave For A Second”
If I had known that Monopoly was never meant to be fun, I wouldn’t have made the disastrous decision to play it with my kids.
It was Labor Day, and we were looking for a way to spend time together as a family. “How about a board game,” my husband suggested. The boys headed to our game cabinet because we’d been having a lot of fun with board games lately.
But then we made a huge mistake! Maybe all those good family experiences made us overconfident, or maybe we just weren’t thinking. Whatever the reason, we decided to play Monopoly.Continue reading “Why You Should Never Play Monopoly With Your Kids! (It Was Never Designed To Be Fun)”
If we weren’t sad right now, something would be wrong.
These are heavy times. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe and has reached unprecedented numbers in America, we are facing the reality that it’s not going anywhere soon. In pandemic life, with all the associated hardships it brings, many of us are feeling a bit down. But are we sad or are we depressed?Continue reading “Feeling Sad During Hard Times Is Not Depression”
New parents feel anxiety for a very good reason. They are suddenly responsible for the life of a fragile infant, so anxiety shows up to help parents pay attention. Anxiety is an adaptive response that provides inexperienced parents with the energy they need to come up a steep learning curve. Postpartum anxiety is valuable, but somehow it gets a bad name, and all too often is pathologized. In fact, researchers have increasingly called into question the way anxiety is labeled a mental disorder when it could be more properly understood as an adaptive response to adversity. Continue reading “Postpartum Anxiety Starts For A Good Reason”