"This summer a teen in my community died in a car accident after a drinking party. Can you give tips on how to talk to my kids about alcohol? They're 7 and 11." – Dan
Smart dad! Parents are the most important influence on whether kids drink alcohol, and the earlier you start these conversations, the better. Kids whose parents teach them the risks of using drugs and alcohol are half as likely to use them. Don't wait until your kids are teens before you have these conversations. This is a topic you'll want to revisit over the years as your child reaches new levels of understanding -- and temptation. READ POST
"You always recommend roughhousing,
and my kids do love it, but what do I do when they jump all over and get
too wild? Last week they broke the lamp and there was glass all over.
I was yelling like a crazy woman. I don't know which scared them more -- me or the glass." - Camille
Roughhousing is great for kids. Moving helps work out emotion. Laughter is even more important, since it vents anxiety and creates more oxytocin, the bonding hormone. Roughhousing builds self esteem, especially for kids who are less assertive, or smaller than other kids their age. And like other young mammals, when kids "play" fight, they learn to manage aggression, which makes them less likely to lash out when they're angry.
So when kids wrestle, pillow fight, and roughhouse, it's terrific for them. But it isn't always so good for our houses. And parents often worry that sooner or later, someone will get hurt. READ POST
Did you know that one out of every four girls in middle school today will be date-raped by the time she's 22? That predators try to abduct about 100,000 teenage girls each year, with the risk peaking at age 15? As I consider my 16 year old and her friends, these statistics are shocking, unbearable. READ POST
"Dr. Laura....Your email came right smack on a long day's journey into the evening to bedtime. My daughter, 4 was diagnosed with asthma since 3. Parenting a child who is frequently sick or missing out on school fun or frequently saying her dolls are sick is so tiring, if not painful. She was tired.. demanded things...She was just sick last week and she seemed to be getting sick again... I have done what I can to visit her doctors regularly and wonder what more to do...Maybe all I ask for is the courage to go on and on and maybe the day will come when taking charge of a young child with asthma is less guesswork and more two way communication. Thanks for reminding us that parenting is hard work." -- Linda READ POST
Last Sunday The Washington Post ran a wrenching story by Gene Weingarten about parents who forget their sleeping baby or toddler is still in the car seat, park the car, and leave the baby in a locked, hot or cold car all day to die. READ POST