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School: Motivate Your Child to Embrace Learning

This article is part 5 of 5 in the column Two Peds in a Pod®

“What will happen if your grade drops from an “A” to a “C”?” I sometimes ask during a check-up.

Many kids shrug and say, “Try harder next time, I suppose.” Others look shocked and anxious about the possibility and are speechless.

Still others will point at their parents and say,”THEY would kill me.”

Observe a toddler learning a new skill. You will see him repeatedly try to fit a ball into a hole until he is either successful or wanders way. He is not anxious or afraid of failure. He is not “stressed” about trying to learn. Although all children start this way, too often toddlers become big kids who end up in my office discouraged and worried about school performance. Today’s guest writers, based on the work of Dr. Carol Dweck, discuss ways parents can influence their children so that they embrace learning.

– Drs. Lai and Kardos

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Raise a Well-Behaved Child, Part 3: How to Halt the Endless Tantrum

Hault Tantrum
This article is part 4 of 5 in the column Two Peds in a Pod®

Time-out is over and your 18-month-old is still flailing on the floor, pig-tails flying and tears streaming down her face. “Time out is over,” you say, trying to console her, but she continues to cry. She cries so long she forgets why she started.

Here are ways to help your heated up, frustrated toddler “cool off”:

Offer a favorite stuffed animal or “blankie.” Gripping his familiar Read more

Raise Well-Behaved Children, Part 2: Discipline Without Spanking

This article is part 3 of 5 in the column Two Peds in a Pod®

Questions: Why does that child run into the road? Why does that child hit other kids?

Answer: Because no one ever taught him not to.

Toddlers need lots of teaching, so where do you start? To help teach your on-the-move, act-first-and-ignore-the-consequences toddler how to become more civilized, first make sure BOTH parents agree on the rules. Teach your toddler that you mean what you say. When you call your toddler and he does not come right away, GO TO HIM AND  LEAD HIM BY THE HAND OR PICK HIM UP no matter what the situation. Also remember that civilizing a toddler is a work in progress, not an afternoon project. Read more

Raise Well-Behaved Children: Set the Stage While They Are Toddlers

This article is part 1 of 5 in the column Two Peds in a Pod®

When your baby turns 1, you’ll realize he has a much stronger will. My oldest threw his first tantrum the day he turned 1. At first, we puzzled: why was he suddenly lying face down on the kitchen floor? The indignant crying that followed clued us to his anger. “Oh, it’s a tantrum,” my husband and I laughed, relieved he wasn’t sick.

Parenting toddlers requires the recognition that your child innately desires to become independent of you. Eat, drink, sleep, pee, poop: eventually your child will learn to control these basics of life by himself. We want our children to feed themselves, go to sleep when they feel tired, and pee and poop on the potty. Of course, there’s more to life, such as playing, forming relationships, succeeding in school, etc., but we all need the basics. The challenge comes in recognizing when to allow your child more independence and when to reinforce your authority. Read more

Before the Zika Virus: A Look Back at Rubella and Microcephaly

This article is part 2 of 5 in the column Two Peds in a Pod®

The Zika virus in the news these days reminds us of another microcephaly-causing virus which scourged our world in the not-so-distant past. In the years right before the Two Peds doctors were born (late 1960s), the virus rubella routinely swept through the United States and the rest of the world. The airborne germ rubella, just like the mosquito-spread Zika virus, caused most people just a mild illness that they usually never even knew that they had. After they were sick, they became immune to the virus. But when pregnant women contracted rubella early in pregnancy, their unborn children sometimes ended up with microcephaly.

Microcephaly is a condition where a small, underdeveloped, or abnormal brain leads to a small head at birth. Many children with microcephaly have significant mental disabilities. Read more

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