Parents and Kids

Divorce with children is a particularly trying experience for many families. Rarely is it ever easy or without its challenges - even in the best of circumstances or when it is the right decision for all parties. Thankfully, there are healthier ways to move through and beyond it that can allow everyone involved to thrive and inevitably blossom.

This is why when bitter custody battles hit the front page it saddens me. Such an extreme scenario was just featured in the New York Post entitled Mom Jailed After Baptizing Her Daughter. The mother violated a judge’s order by having a clandestine baptism for her...

Just like pretty little snowflakes, no babies are alike.  I knew this while I was pregnant, and I sure as heck know it now, as we are enjoying our almost 5-month old infant.

There are countless books on babies: from month-to-month pregnancy guides, to labor and delivery, parenting, behavior issues, sleeping, feeding, and much more. Information overload on what to expect while you're expecting can be overwhelming, so I tried to read what I was curious about, but I mostly avoided all the different parental advice books.

"I don't need a book, we will just figure it out," I would say to my husband. I was confident in my choice.

Until baby came.

I knew I needed help in some areas, beyond what the 3 a.m. guessing game could deliver, so I ate my piece of...

In the era of overthinking everything with an excessive- often paralyzing - preoccupation with fear and perfection, it is quite refreshing to hear 17-year-old gold medalist Red Gerard tell late night television host Jimmy Kimmel about his state of mind for his winning snowboarding slopestyle run on competition day at the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games (see video here):

“Yeah [it was] really relaxed,” he said. “I'm pretty good with nerves before contests. I try to treat it like any other day.”

This is also after he overslept from staying up late watching Netflix, had...

Out of more than 140,000 contestants vying to become the 2018 Gerber Spokesbaby, Lucas Warren from Georgia will be the first with Down Syndrome in the competition’s roughly 90 year history. And, I say, what took so long!

His mother, Cortney Warren, released this in a statement: “We hope this opportunity sheds light on the special needs community and educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world — just like our Lucas.”

Tweets of support saturated social media and the internet: 

...

This week, a six-year-old boy tragically died after contracting rabies. He will be counted as one of only a handful of rabies deaths in the United States each year. As a side note, rabies kills about 60,000 people a year, worldwide. 

The comments sections on the articles regarding his death are chock full of condemnation for the parents.

But, not everyone knows what to do after coming into contact with a bat. And, it's not just these parents who did not understand. Almost every day, I see people feeding the raccoons in Central Park out of their hands. That is an accident waiting to happen.

So, instead of making these parents, who I can imagine already feel badly enough, feel worse, and try to assure this does not happen again, we need to talk about what to do if...

A new wave of concern is surrounding potent laundry pods. Due to a viral social media storm spreading among teenagers as the "Tide Pod Challenge," adolescents are posting their deliberate ingestions of the colorful cleansers and their often violent reactions to its punctured contents.

Yes, you read that right. Teens are intentionally ingesting these chemically toxic pods, filming their adverse response and disseminating it throughout the internet.

It's a big problem 

This has prompted the manufacturer Tide to put out the following video release and get celebrity backing to do the same so as to squash its appeal.

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The past three months of having Thomas John around have been the most exhausting, yet most rewarding days of our lives. Before him, we didn't know what it was like to sleep a total of three hours, interrupted at that, and function pretty darn well during the day. We're avatars, I think. 

Prior to his arrival, I thought I had read every page of the Internet — including the ACSH website of course — on what to expect during the newborn stage. Ask me anything about breastfeeding, poop colors, and milestones, I dare you. But there are a few things on which I missed the memo. Candidly, these are things we never thought would pertain to our "sweet little unborn baby," and boy, were we wrong. Here's what I've since learned.

Colic Happens

Sure, I...

Sex determination, or whether someone has a boy or girl, is not a commonly understood phenomenon. Just ask anyone who has been pregnant after having a string of boys. It's hard to count the number of times that she will hear, "oh - this one must be a girl!" (trust me on this one.) 

Why, exactly, must this one be a girl? 

The sex of each baby is determined independently - and separately from the last - like a coin flip. If a coin is flipped "heads" four times in a row, the next flip does not have to be tails. Each coin flip is done independently of the last one. That means that each one has a 50/50 chance of going one way, even if the flip is done after a string of eight "heads." The chance of getting 8 heads in a row is low, but so is winning...

The jury is not out on infant feeding and what is ideal for the baby, yet the desire to pathologize deviating from exclusive breastfeeding or the so-called “perfect” age to start solids is stronger than ever. Now it is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is doubling down on creating guidelines for already existing guideline’s guidelines and this pediatrician cannot take it anymore!

The framing of these messages do harm as they tend to be dogmatic and insist on solving problems we really don’t have in our society or at least not to the dramatic degrees they suggest. This unnecessarily pressures and adds stress to parents which detracts from the joy of the experience while erroneously insisting there is one right way to feed a baby.

Such are the...

Having children means also having their stuff. For those of us who are organizationally challenged, this stuff tends to pile up. Clothes and toys, shoes, toys, books, toys, oh - and more toys.

This time of year, it's not uncommon for people with children to have "getting rid of old toys" somewhere near the top of the list of New Year's resolutions. This year, there is science to motivate that resolution. 

A new study published in Infant Behavior and Development shows that cleaning out those old toys may actually improve kids' play.

The researchers showed that when children are presented with fewer toys the quality of their play was improved. This means that they had longer durations of play. On top of that, their focus was better and they played more...