Part III: How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good

This is the third in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

In this final blog in my series, let’s explore ways that you can maintain your child’s good behavior through positive comments and by making the most of the time you spend with each other.

1. Praising versus rewarding
2. Special time
3. Modeling

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Part II: How to survive and thrive as a parent: De-emphasizing the bad

This is the second in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

In this blog, we will explore how you can focus on positive reinforcement and avoid placing attention on negative behaviors by:

1. Eliminating the “Nos,” the “don’ts,” and the “can’ts”
2. Focusing on what they should do
3. Picking your battles
4. Addressing the emotions not the behavior

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How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good, de-emphasizing the bad, and preventing the ugly

This is the first in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Part 1: Preventing the Ugly

By ugly, I mean the uncontrollable tantrums, the fighting, the hitting, and the angry outbursts. When we can prevent our child’s ugly behavior, we as parents are preserving our own sanity every day. Here are some guidelines to help prevent these episodes; however, this will not eliminate these behaviors completely since your children are human after all.

  1. Bonding
  2. Emotions
  3. Routine
  4. Anticipation
  5. Meeting needs

Bonding.  First you must bond. Establishing a strong connection with your child is an important factor in changing negative behaviors and maintaining positive behaviors. With younger children, maintaining a positive warm tone through play and getting down at eye level can help with building connections. In older children, showing interest in their daily activities and being flexible (listening and negotiating) can serve the same purpose. Sharing in decision-making is helpful for understanding each other and empowering your child at any age.

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Diez razones por las cuales los pediatras dicen: “la leche materna es mejor”

Por Danielle Roberts, M.D.
Residente de Pediatría, PGY2
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

En la vida, darle la bienvenida a un bebé al mundo puede ser una de las experiencias más emocionantes y también aterradoras. Muchos padres planean la llegada de su hijo por meses, desde cómo anunciarán el embarazo a los familiares, cuándo será la licencia materna y paterna, preparar el cuarto del bebé…y la lista continúa. Llegará una boquita más para alimentar y es muy importante pensar en qué va a comer el nuevo bebé. Es posible que usted haya escuchado de los muchos beneficios de la leche materna; ¿sabía que hay docenas de maneras en la cuales la leche materna puede ayudar a los bebés y a sus padres?

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Rare Disease Day: One mother’s journey from despair to acceptance

By Abby Loudermilk
Grace’s Mom

Like many first time mothers, I read articles and books on “What to Expect.” Although Grace was smiling, laughing, nursing, and healthy, I began to grow concerned that she wasn’t hitting her developmental milestones. Wasn’t she supposed to be sitting up by now? Shouldn’t she be trying to crawl? Why were my friends’ babies passing her up developmentally? Around six months, I remember looking up when babies were supposed to be sitting independently. The article said that most babies sit on their own between four to seven months. Ok, maybe she’s a late bloomer. What I didn’t grasp as a first-time mom, with no frame of reference was that not only was she not sitting she wasn’t even close to sitting.

I called Grace’s pediatrician about a month later. The nurse asked me “Well can she sit at all? Like in a highchair?” I responded, “Yeah.” She said it’s probably nothing to worry about — she’ll probably catch up.

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3 reasons why only 2 hours of screen time is best for your 1 child

By Dr. Allison Wells
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
Baylor College of Medicine – Residency Program

Have you ever found yourself at your child’s check up wondering if your child has too much screen time? Have you ever wondered why your pediatrician recommends only two hours of screen time per day for your child? And what exactly does “screen time” mean anyway?

Screen time is defined as the amount of time someone spends in front of any electronic viewing device – this means TV, smart phone, tablet, computer, laptop, and video games. Most children in our society grow up with these devices. In fact, many are tiny experts at using smart phones before they are even potty trained. But is screen time good for them? A lot of research has been done to look for the answer to this question.

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Organic? Hormone-Free? Non-GMO? Get the Facts

By Ruchi Kaushik, MD, MPH, FAAP
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
Director, ComP-CaN (Comprehensive Peds for Complex Needs)
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

For us parents, nourishing your child is one of the most innately primitive experiences. From the wide open baby-bird like mouths of your infant to the look of belly-filled satisfaction on the face of your ever-growing teen, nothing is more rewarding than feeding your child.  But with all of the “healthy” options at the grocery store, how are you to know which choices are truly healthy and worth the extra cost?

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Is your child at risk for lead poisoning?

By Dr. Ruchi Kaushik
General Pediatrics
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Affecting almost 1 million children in the United States, lead poisoning remains the most preventable environmental health problem. Any child may be at risk for lead toxicity. If you are the parent of a child six years and younger, read on to learn about the risks, prevention, screening, and treatment of lead poisoning.

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What is the difference between a sports physical and a wellness checkup?

By Dr. Sky Izaddoost
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Primary Care
Alon Town Centre

Summer camp time. Sports physical time. Every year, parents flood medical offices for a last minute sports physical so their child can participate in team sports at school or go to summer camp. Most walk-in clinics charge about $50 for a sports physical.  Parents gladly pay the money, not realizing that their insurance covers an annual well-child checkup, which would include the sports physical– without a co-pay in most cases.

What is the difference between the two?  A sports physical is an abbreviated well-child checkup.  The physician or practitioner is only looking for reasons that your child would not be able to participate in sports or go away to summer camp. They check old injuries like previously broken bones to make sure they have healed, determine if chronic medical conditions like asthma should limit play, and screen for conditions that could potentially cause death with exercise like heart conditions.  There is no further management.  The physical exam is also shortened, looking only for conditions that would affect play.

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Child life specialists help children cope

Sarah Sims, MS, CCLS
Child Life Specialist, Emergency Department 
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

“Play is the work of the child.” –Maria Montessori

Hospitalization experiences can be scary and overwhelming for children and families. At The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, our goal is to provide excellent, quality care and an overall positive experience. That is why child life specialists are an important and integral part of our health care team. Child life specialists are professionals trained in child development and family theory. The child life team contributes to the patient and families’ plan of care to improve the hospital experience and promote positive coping.

Background Child life specialists have Bachelor’s and/or Master’s level training; this educational background prepares the child life specialist to assess psychosocial coping and provide meaningful and developmentally appropriate support. For example, a child life specialist can prepare you and your child for an MRI and offer coaching to help your child cope with the procedure. A child life specialist can provide developmentally appropriate diagnosis education for child and the whole family when the child has received a new diagnosis. A child life specialist can establish therapeutic relationships with patients and caregivers to support family participation in their child’s care during a prolonged stay for rehabilitation. These are just a few examples of the ways child life specialists work to help children cope with their health care experience.

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