Month: June 2016

HOW DO I GET MY 11 YEAR-OLD TO SIT UP STRAIGHT WITHOUT NAGGING HER?

Thanks for this question. First, take heart. Parenting is nagging. I think I asked my 9 year-old to unload the dishwasher 10 times this morning, so you aren’t alone. Here’s my advice, for whatever it’s worth: When your child is sitting, make sure  the thing your child is focused on (the tablet, book, whatever) is being held at shoulder level, not down in her lap. This will correct the hunched “C” posture that kids are in most of the time. Second, make sure where your child sits works for her height. If her feet don’t touch the ground, the weight...

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HELMETS AND THE 5 SECOND HABIT THAT SAVES LIVES

This past weekend, I was driving out of my own neighborhood when I realized I forgot my wallet. In the process of turning my car around, my head turned at the exact moment to witness a young child on a bike collide with a moving car just down the street. The child was thrown into the air before crashing onto the ground. It took my brain a second to process the freakish nature of the accident I just witnessed as I pulled over and yelled to my kids to “stay in the car.” Fortunately, I had been at the...

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RECOGNIZING ANXIETY IN CHILDREN

Recognizing and diagnosing anxiety disorders in children can be really tricky. There is often a lot of overlap between anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other disruptive behavioral disorders. Anxiety disorders is a broad term that encompasses generalized anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, separation anxiety, and phobias (including social anxiety). As you’ll see, so many of the symptoms can fit into lots of different diagnoses. Anxiety Symptoms Must be: Excessively worried and anxious about a number of situations (largely over exaggerated or unrealistic). May have: Guilt Fear Irritability Poor sleep Weight loss Sleep disturbances School problems (including not wanting to go)...

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I HATE POTTY TRAINING

Thanks for your FB suggestions to post today about potty training. (I’ll post about anxiety on Monday.  I’ll also take a look at the other suggestions.) Thanks to everyone who put in requests! I am a pediatrician and mother. I am supposed to love all things kids. But I am here to tell you that I HATE potty training. Everything about it is awful. I hate cleaning up “accidents.” I hate the panic that arises as you hear your child announce: “I need to go potty!” when you’re sitting in traffic or in a store without a bathroom. Knowing that...

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3 EASY CHANGES TO HELP YOU BECOME AN EXPERT PARENT

I’ve spent the last 3 days at a medical conference with hundreds of pediatricians from all over getting educated on the latest scientific evidence from experts in all different fields. One of the experts yesterday had a 2-hour slot on parenting. I cherry-picked 3 of the parenting strategies to share today. I chose them because they have high-yield results, are easy to implement, and likely only require a little tweaking from what you are probably already doing. So here they are: Label praise. Whenever your child is doing something that is good, call it out specifically by name. For...

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Dr. Monica Wonnacott


I'm a pediatrician and a mom. PediatricAnswers.com is my blog where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.

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