Scribit Veritas

Protecting the Child, Preserving the Family, and Honoring Life

Welcome to the Blog page of the American College of Pediatricians.  Each issue of the Blog is intended to assist parents, encourage children, and enrich the family.  Read our most recent issue below, and scroll to the bottom of this page to read earlier issues.

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How to Talk to Children about a Natural Disaster

Whether someone lives in the path of a natural disaster or is not personally impacted by it’s destruction, it is safe to say that a nation as a whole is affected by natural disasters. This broad awareness extends to children who are also impacted in some way by a natural disaster, even if not directly impacted by loss. Children could be exposed to the events of a natural disaster through the media, their peers, or through overhearing conversations between adults. This could cause children to have feelings of fear or anxiety. Children are unique in that their language is largely through play so children, especially under the age of 12, often do not have the verbal ability to communicate feelings to others. Since it might not always be apparent if a child is facing emotional adversity after a stressful event, it is a good idea to reassure them of their safety and security regardless of their response to a natural disaster. Because children communicate their feelings and thoughts differently than adults, talking to them about a natural disaster could be intimidating. Here are some ideas to consider when it comes to having this conversation.

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Global Obesity, Malnutrition Epidemic: Tips for Reversing the Trend

According to the findings of a recent study, the prevalence of obesity worldwide has risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in the last 40 years and researchers predict that by 2025, 44% of Americans could be obese. Another study reports that 7 states have obesity rates among adults at or above 35 percent and yet another study reports that even child obesity rates are alarmingly high.

What could be contributing to this obesity epidemic?

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How Important Is Family Dinner?

For those who do not already have the habit in place, eating dinner together as a family might be a battle between parents and children or even just one more task to take on. Although it may be difficult to begin this habit or truly ensure that it occurs, recent studies have shed more light on why this particular part of the day is so critical to the development and success of children.

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Reconsidering Divorce

All marriages journey through highs and lows, and many couples who are at a difficult low point may decide that divorce is the best path to take. There is evidence, however, that persevering and giving the relationship time can indeed revive many struggling marriages.

In 2003, Brent A. Barlow, Ph.D., published an article in the Journal of Marriage and Families, entitled Marriage Crossroads: Why Divorce is not Always the Best Option: Rationale, Resources, and References. This research of over a decade ago, certainly still applies today.  

The article explains how many marriages eventually reach a point called “the crossroads,” during which a couple is considering whether or not they should divorce. While these couples may feel concerned about living with the difficulties in their marriages, Barlow points to study findings which indicate that the consequences of divorce may outweigh the benefits of avoiding  most marital difficulties. There are important factors a couple should seriously consider to evaluate if divorce is worth the cost, before making the move to split up. Here are some from Barlow’s article:

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Soothing Crying Infants

For parents, the amount of crying a newborn baby does on a daily, if not hourly, basis can be a source of great stress and anxiety. Both mothers and fathers instinctively respond to the crying of a baby with a strong impulse to help the baby and make the crying stop. Not being able to calm a baby’s tears can cause concerned and exhausted parents to feel very inadequate, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Of great concern to medical professionals is the association between excessive crying and the occurrence of Shaken Baby Syndrome or other forms of infant abuse.

It is important to realize that it is okay and important for babies to cry. The amount of crying usually reaches its peak when the baby is around 6 weeks old. After 3 months old, it is normal for a baby to cry about an hour a day (Lerner & Parlakian, 2016).

“All infants cry as a means of communicating their needs, as self-expression, and as a way to manage and organize stress or “let off steam.” Parents can expect most babies under three months old to cry up to three hours per day” (Bruening, 2002).

A baby who cries at least three hours a day on three or more days a week, and lasting three weeks, has colic. There are no apparent reasons for why the baby with colic begins crying or stops. Colic will eventually go away, usually around 4 months old, but can still be difficult to deal with.

There are some strategies for calming a fussy or colicky baby that many parents have found to be effective. Each baby responds differently to different strategies, and may vary in how they respond from time to time. Here are a few:

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Cyberbullying: Is it Happening to Your Child?

As a parent, you generally have a good idea of when your child is being themselves or being distant or upset. There are usually pretty clear indicators that tell you when something is off or something is right. However, there are the occasions when parents cannot tell if something is wrong, they miss the signs or they are simply doubting the thoughts that something could truly be wrong.

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To Co-sleep or Not to Co-sleep?

 

One of the greatest concerns for new parents is the safety of their newborn babies and a controversial topic along that line is how best to put infants to sleep. As is often the case, modern medicine does not have a definitive answer for these concerned parents.  For decades, the mantra of American pediatricians has been to sleep all infants in a crib and, while the specifics of how and where to accomplish that has been modified over the years (back-sleeping, no pillows/bedding, in the same room as the parent, etc.),  the fact remains that, at least in the Western world, physicians have discouraged co-sleeping (or bed sharing).

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Shooting the Dog

Once upon a time, a trapper lived in a cabin in the forest, far from civilization.  His wife had died, leaving him with his small son to raise.  When food supplies ran low, he usually waited until his son was asleep for his afternoon nap, and leaving his trusty dog to guard the cabin and the boy, he would quickly go out to gather what he could from his traps or to do a little hunting.

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Are you Pro-life? What About Your Pediatrician?

At first, the question of having a pro-life pediatrician might seem inconsequential.  After all, isn’t the doctor just there to give checkups and shots and make sure your child is healthy?  What does it matter if your pediatrician is or isn’t pro-life?

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Parents are Teachers

 

Parents love their children and want to raise them so that they can succeed in life on their own someday. But, most parents lack the training to raise their children. Without formal training parents can revert to coercive, harsh punishments and threats to control their child’s misbehavior. If this is becomes the family environment, though it often happens unintentionally, there are many risks for negative consequences. If children grow up in homes of consistent harsh punishment, the risks of these outcomes increases:

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