Have you heard about a new disease that affects almost half of Americans and is lethal if it goes unchecked? It’s called “sitting disease.” It’s real and it’s the new smoking. The Chair as Enemy Sitting is an example of a “sedentary” behavior. Either at work or at home as a couch potato, it is considered a “low fitness” activity. Some might [...]
[amazon asin=0761162410&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Elizabeth Fishel, coauthor of When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up?
Topic: Loving and understanding your emerging adult.
Issues: The zigzagging road to adulthood; the college years; the boomerang kid; the bank of mom and dad; when things go wrong; having–and enforcing–expectations; emerging at last.
[amazon asin=B001G8WQU2&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Jodi Mindell, author of Sleep Deprived No More.
Topic: Helping you and your baby sleep through the night, from pregnancy to early motherhood
Issues: Determining how much sleep your body needs; catching up on lost sleep; getting babies to sleep through the night; understanding sleep problems faced by school-age kids, tweens, and teens.
Dr. Will Courtenay, a psychotherapist and creator of
Topic: Even new dads get the blues.
Issues: What is paternal post partum depression? How big a problem is it? What are the causes? When men can do to prevent and/or treat it?
A recent report on the mental health of young men (ages 16-25) in Australia, is attracting a lot of attention from mental health professionals, parents, politicians, teachers, and, of course, the guys. One of the study’s key discoveries was that a fifth of young men say that life isn’t worth living and one in 10 [...]
Unlike other chores, helping out in the kitchen is something most kids really enjoy. Helping them get a good, basic knowledge of cooking, kitchen skills, and know-how, is a something that will definitely help them later in life. But in the short-term, it’s a great way to create some lifelong memories—and some pretty tasty meals. [...]
A recent report on the mental health of young men (ages 16-25) in Australia, is attracting a lot of attention from mental health professionals, parents, politicians, teachers, and, of course, the guys. One of the study’s key discoveries was that a fifth of young men say that life isn’t worth living and one in 10 has contemplated suicide.
Years ago, I tried to explain to a girlfriend that looking at hot women was good for me—after all, I argued, a few minutes of fast breathing and increased heart rate every day would help lower my risk of having a heart attack or a stroke, just like doing aerobics or jogging would. That relationship [...]
Dear Mr. Dad: My 9-year old son is having some medical tests in a few weeks, some of which involve drawing blood, and he’s already getting nervous. He’s had shots before and did okay, so I don’t think this has anything to do with needles. When I ask him about it, he says he’s worried about how much it’s going to hurt. Honestly, I’m a little nervous about the whole thing too. Is there anything I can do to help him?
A: You have my sympathy. My youngest went through a seemingly endless series of procedures, including some pretty heavy duty blood draws. Fortunately, she’s like me in that she seems to enjoy watching needles go into her arm. Still, like your son (and most other normal human beings), she’s not wild about the pain.
It’s good that you’re thinking about this now. Pain during medical procedures can traumatize kids and may have long-lasting negative effects (just think of how many people are scared of going to the dentist). Before you schedule the lab work, talk to your pediatrician. There are topical anesthetics than can minimize the pain of the needle sticks. And your doctor may be able to order a mild sedative for your son, as long as it won’t interfere with the blood tests.
I also suggest that you talk to the lab tech about bedside manner before the blood draining starts. With my daughter, the phlebotomist laid out 19 vials on the table. I have to admit I was a little freaked out, thinking she’d have no blood left at all. My daughter seemed to take the whole thing in stride, but it would have been somewhat less shocking to take the vials out one at a time.
One of the best ways to help your child is to distract him—something a number of studies have found is very successful at reducing pain and anxiety during medical procedures. You could read him a story, sing a song together, recite a poem, watch a video, let him play a game on your smart phone (as long as he can do it with one hand), or even do breathing exercises. As I’m sure you know, the patterned breathing used in many childbirth prep methods doesn’t actually reduce pain; it just makes it a little easier to get through.
One of the simplest distractions of all is to simply bring your MP3 player and a few of your son’s favorite tunes. A new Canadian study found that children who listened to music while having IV needles inserted into their arms in the Emergency Room were less stressed than those who didn’t listen to music.
Lisa Hartling, a researcher at the University of Alberta and the study’s lead author, found that besides reducing the children’s stress levels, there were also some positive “secondary outcomes,” including lowering the children’s heart rate, reducing the amount of pain they perceived, and making it easier for the provider to actually do the procedure.
Hartling also noted that playing music reduced parents’ anxiety, which leads me to perhaps the most important thing you can do: try to relax. Our kids take cues from us on how to behave, especially in unfamiliar or potentially frightening situations. If you look (and act) nervous, worried, or scared, your son will immediately assume that there is something to be nervous, worried, or scared about, and he’ll behave accordingly.
When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2011, I was told unequivocally that I needed surgery or radiation. I spoke with four experienced prostate surgeons, and they all said that because of my high PSA level and multiple biopsy cores positive for cancer, radical treatment that either removed the entire prostate gland or [...]
[amazon asin=1118228839&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Carl Pickhardt, author of Surviving Your Child’s Adolescence.
Topic: How to understand, and even enjoy, the rocky road to independence.
Issues: Preparing for the inevitable; a road map to early, mid-, and late adolescence; discipline that does–and doesn’t–work; why constant arguing is better than silence.
“Why Me? I take great care of myself.” I often hear this common question from men with low or no sperm counts who are unable to conceive. In fact, they usually are taking great care of themselves. The fact is, many cases of male infertility are actually genetic and have more to do with the cards that they were dealt. “But my brothers, sisters and [...]