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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When Children Lie

My son and a friend of his were playing in our backyard one day.  Suddenly, the two of them threw open the back door and came racing up to me, yelling at each other, “Did not!”  “Did too!”  My son’s friend, Michael, stated very adamantly, “Joey said the ‘s’ word!”  Joey looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “No I didn’t! I promise I didn’t!”  They continued to argue as I watched them and listened to them, trying to decide which of the two was lying.

Lying is something that almost every child will do, whether to get attention, gain power, or to get out of trouble. 

Very young children do not recognize that lying is wrong and will make up pretend stories and situations, often just for fun.  As they come to understand that lying is wrong, they will still lie, usually to avoid punishment for a wrongdoing.  This is understandable.  No one wants to be punished and even as adults it is difficult to tell the truth when we are caught doing something we shouldn’t.  There are a few important things to remember about lying and teaching our children to tell the truth:

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Down Syndrome: Understanding Differences #TrisomyAwarenessMonth

As a teenager, I was always self-conscious about my unusually hairy arms. To make matters worse, one day when I was babysitting, a little girl asked me, “Why are your arms so hairy?”

The question took me off guard at first. Most people my age knew better than to point out such differences. But this child simply wanted to know, “Why are you different?”

I tried to explain to her that my mom had hairy arms, her mom did too, and so forth. I’m not sure the answer satisfied her, but she didn’t ask again.

Children in particular can have a hard time understanding why some people are different from them. This is even more evident when those differences are physical. If someone looks or talks differently, your child may want to understand why.

In honor of Trisomy Awareness Month, we want to help you and your children understand some of the differences about those with Down syndrome, the most commonly known trisomy condition, Trisomy 21.

Then when your kids want to know, “Why are they so different?” you can help them understand that people with Down syndrome aren’t really that different after all.

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Marriage is a “Benefit to Society”

The establishment of marriage is no longer an unquestioned, fundamental part of society. Many regard marriage only as a temporary agreement for the satisfaction of adults; others question the value of marriage altogether. Still, in a study from Rutledge University called “The National Marriage Study,” polls of high school seniors from across the U.S. showed that a happy marriage was their top goal for the future (2009). In the realm of psychotherapy, marriage is a basic topic for study, because of its involvement in most patients’s lives. Sylvia R. Karasu, M.D., asserts that there are three general perspectives when it comes to marriage: psychodynamic, relational, and institutional. The psychodynamic approach examines the conscious and unconscious motives, fears, and ideas that influence a marriage. The relational approach focuses on maintaining marriage as a personal function. Thirdly, the institutional approach examines how marriage encircles public and private relationships that serves an irreplaceable function in human lives.

“Marriage as an institution then implies certain obligations and grants rights and privileges. It becomes something that is as much a benefit to society as it is to the individual, and this view raises the question of whether marriage as an institution is terminable,” says Karasu.

How Marriage is a “Benefit to Society”

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Helping Your Preschooler Love to Read

 

As parents and child educators, we understand that reading is important for children. Early reading and comprehension skills are linked to later success in adult life. Children who have plenty of experiences with books and reading before kindergarten are more likely to be successful readers. But even some of these children struggle with reading. One five-year-old I know is bright and a quick-learner, but he views reading as a chore that doesn’t seem fun at all.

If reading is so essential to our children’s success, what can we do as parents to help our children not only be successful readers but also to really enjoy reading?

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Discipline: Knowing the Facts

Discipline is never the fun part of parenting. In fact, many parents dread the moment when they’ll need to discipline their child in hopes of teaching him or her to behave in a better manner. Oftentimes, parents are influenced on discipline by their culture, society, friends and family. Parents look to who they know and what worked for others. However, it is very important that parents look to childlife experts who dedicate their lives, time and money to understanding children and how it is that we can all help them grow and succeed in life. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that not all childlife experts agree on the role of various disciplinary methods.

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Child Nutrition: Dividing the Responsibility between You and Your Child

Trying to keep your children eating a balanced and nutritious diet can start to feel like a battle sometimes! Around age 1 ½ they might learn the power of saying “no”, and especially enjoy practicing this new-found power at the dinner table. Sometimes it just seems easier to let them have another cookie instead of their apple to avoid a tantrum, right? Many parents find themselves continuously having to use bribes to get their children to eat some of their vegetables. Others attempt other bribing methods like not letting a child leave the table until their vegetables are eaten, which often ends up with everyone feeling exhausted and frustrated.

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How to Talk to Your Kids about Tragedies in the World

Whether it’s the recent shootings in Las Vegas, Texas, or Florida, or natural disasters like the California wildfires and Hurricane Irma, there are some troubling things going on in the world today. These and other tragedies in the world can be really hard for a child to digest. In fact, they can even “cause short- and long-term effects on the psychological functioning, emotional adjustment, health, and developmental trajectory of children” if left unaddressed (1).

When these kinds of tragedies come up, how can we help our kids cope? Research provides the following recommendations (2)(3): (more…)

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Emotion Coaching

We often spend a lot of effort teaching our children about a myriad of life and behavior skills: how to dress properly, how to use appropriate manners, how to read, to be healthy, to be active, develop their talents, to get their homework done on time, etc. According to John Gottman, Ph.D., one of the most influential therapists in America, children also need to be taught to understand their emotions, and to accept and manage them appropriately. The parental strategy of emotion coaching that Gottman developed has been since backed up by years of research and the experience of hundreds of parents. Perhaps you have heard about emotion coaching before.

Some main ideas behind emotion coaching are: (more…)

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3 Ways to Calm a Fussy Baby

Your little baby is crying for the zillionth time today, and you’re not sure what to do. It seems like whatever you try just isn’t working!

While you won’t always be able to calm your fussy baby, it’s important to try. Research shows that responding to your infant’s cries is key to building a secure attachment (1).

Here are a few things you can try, along with their limitations. Ultimately, figure out what works best for you and your baby!

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3 Benefits of Family Routines and Rituals

I don’t know when it became a part of everyday life, but somehow it did. It happened one day, maybe on accident, but then it happened again. Soon it became a pattern.

At the end of each day when we both were home from work and school, my spouse and I walked to the mailbox together to check the mail.

It was a simple little thing, something that didn’t take much time or effort. But somehow I came to look forward to those little walks together, chatting casually about our days and hoping for something exciting in the mailbox. This little daily routine brought us closer together as a couple and gave us a sense of stability.

While you may not walk to the mailbox together, every family has their own set of routines and rituals. What do these family rituals and routines look like, and how can they help your family?

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