Facebook Youtube Yelp Instagram
Frontpage Slideshow (version 2.0.0) - Copyright © 2006-2008 by JoomlaWorks
Home > Blog > Tags > Parenting Tips
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Parenting Tips

Posted by on in News

Driving-325Remember how exciting it was to get your driver’s license as a teenager? I do. It was exhilarating. But now, as the parent of two teenage drivers, my excitement for them is often overshadowed by anxiousness and worry.

As parents, we want to protect our kids. When it comes to driving, the best way to do that is to demonstrate how to be safe behind the wheel. Lead by example, and teach your teenage driver these important rules:

1.   Turn off your cell phone. It’s not safe to call or text when you drive.

2.    Always keep your headlights on.

3.    Don’t speed.

4.    Minimize distractions, like eating or changing the radio station.

5.    Practice defensive driving. Have your teen imagine different scenarios and how they would handle them.

6.    Never drive when you are upset.

7.    Never drive with anyone who has been drinking or using drugs. This may seem obvious to your teen, but it’s worth repeating.

8.    Know exactly what to do in the event of an accident, and talk about it with your teen.

Under Oregon law, for the first six months that your teen has their license, they are NOT allowed to drive with passengers under 20 years old unless they are a member of the driver’s immediate family. You can read more on the state’s provisional license requirements and restrictions in the Oregon Parent Guide to Teen Driving. This is a good resource.

In addition, here are some steps you can take as a parent to help protect your young driver:

1.    Delay car ownership. Kids who must ask their parents’ permission to use a vehicle reduce their risk of getting into an accident by half.

2.    Make sure your teen is driving a safe vehicle, one that is easy to maneuver, with airbags and good tires. Bigger, heavier cars are also safer for young drivers.

3.    Discourage driving after 9 pm until your teen is more experienced on the road. Oregon law already bans driving between midnight and 5 am for the first year your teen is licensed (with a few exceptions).

4.    Every time your child leaves the house, remind him or her to drive safely. It’s important for them to hear those words repeatedly.

5.    And my favorite tip: Pray for their safe return! I always do.

Having regular conversations about safety, practicing driving together and leading by example will go a long way in ensuring your teen makes smart decisions behind the wheel.

God bless all of us parents whose kids are new drivers. Emotionally, it may be one of the most difficult phases for moms and dads, as children transition to young adults. It definitely requires a leap of faith!

Posted by on in News
Discipline-325Parenting toddlers and young children is a hard job! Even the most even-tempered mom or dad can lose their cool when a rambunctious three-year-old acts up. What is a parent to do when their young child does something unacceptable? Here are my thoughts as a doctor and a mom:

•    Don’t hit or spank your kids. Hitting children, especially boys, teaches them that violence is OK. There is significant research that supports the concept that physical punishment does NOT work and can cause long-term damage to a child’s self-esteem, behavior and one day, their own parenting.

•    Pick your battles with your toddler. If your 1-, 2- or 3-year-old violates a safety rule or shows aggressive behavior, you must respond. But less serious behavior, albeit annoying or disrespectful, can be fixed when your child is older and he or she can better understand these concepts.

•    Praise good behavior. When a child receives compliments for behaving well, they remember it, just as they remember being disciplined for bad behavior. Once they know how much better praise feels, they will be more likely to behave well in order to receive it.

•    Make time-outs effective. When your toddler is aggressive or acts out dangerously, immediately say in a firm voice, “No hitting (or insert other unacceptable behavior). Time-out.” Then, walk your child to a safe place, like a crib or empty playpen, and leave them there, shutting the door behind you as you go. The rule of thumb is one minute of time-out per year of age, but I suggest that a time-out last as long as it takes for this isolation to bother your child. Kids who are sensitive may cry immediately, which means the point has been made.

•    When time-out is over, don’t make a toddler apologize. They’re too young to grasp this concept. Just say, “OK, time-out is over.” Then move on.

•    Never lock your child in their room or put them in a dark closet or scary place. This is extremely dangerous and it can damage your child’s trust in you and the world.

•    When you are too upset to deal with your child, give yourself a time-out. Walk away from the situation and give yourself a few minutes to breathe and calm down. Once your raw anger has melted away, return to deal with your child.  

Remember, they’re only toddlers for a few brief years. Keep a sense of humor and know that better days will follow the hard ones. If you need help with your young child’s behavior, please talk with your pediatric team at Eugene Pediatric Associates. We’re here to help.

Posted by on in News
141008EPA foodallergies-smDoes your child have serious food allergies? Here are some steps to ensure they are safe at school:

  1. Submit an updated, written Food Allergy Action Plan. Take one to school to keep it on file there, and share it with your child’s teacher and front office staff.
  2. Discuss the food allergy with the cook at school. Even if you pack lunches for your child, the chef will appreciate knowing students who have a problem with food allergies.
  3. Take a fresh EpiPen to keep at school. Bring the EpiPen Jr., or EpiPen for bigger kids, and be sure multiple staff members are trained in the proper use.
  4. Have a conversation with your child. Talk to your children about the food(s) they must avoid, and review common symptoms of their allergic reaction. Be sure they are not afraid to tell their teacher if they think they ate a dangerous food, or if they are having symptoms of an allergic attack.
  5. Consider buying your child a Medic Alert bracelet to alert others of their serious food allergy.

Every child should feel safe and comfortable at school. Kids with food allergies need an extra level of protection. If you have questions about food allergies and your child, please contact us at Eugene Pediatric Associates.

Posted by on in News
140924EPA domesticviolence-smPrevention of domestic violence starts with how we raise our kids. As parents, we must step up and take this strong stand with our kids: Hitting another human being is wrong. Every time. And if someone hits you, the right thing to do is run the other way and get help to protect yourself from that person. Don’t return and be hit again.

I am a huge football fan, but the recent Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice headlines have made my stomach turn. But they have proven to be a superb teaching moment at our home. If you have teenage children, sit down with them and watch the YouTube video of Ray Rice in the elevator. Let your teens share their reactions while you listen.

Then tell them your own reactions and beliefs. Here is how that exercise went at our house:

Jack, age 16: “There’s nothing manly about that, Mom. It’s disgusting.”
Liesl, age 13: “How did he know he didn’t kill her, and how could he do that if he loved her?”

My responses:
“Jack, the biological fact is that men are generally bigger and stronger than women, which means they have an extra obligation to keep women safe. If you are ever so mad that you cannot find words, your dad and I expect you to walk away. We believe it’s wrong for any human being to hit another. Ever. If I ever hear that you hit a woman, I will tell her to walk away from you and never come back.”

“Liesl, it’s always wrong for women to be hit. They never deserve it. If any guy ever lays a finger on you when he’s angry, walk away and don’t ever go back, no matter what he says after he’s done being angry. And tell your dad, or me, or the cops, or a friend that you trust.”

Thanks, Ray Rice, for giving every parent in America the perfect chance to teach our kids that hitting is always wrong.

Posted by on in News
140916EPA asthma-smDoes your school-aged child have asthma?  If so, now is the time to take steps to be sure the asthma is controlled as the school year gets rolling.

Your pediatricians at Eugene Pediatric Associates urge you to:

  1. Take an updated, written Asthma Action Plan to school and review it with your child’s teacher and front office staff so they know how to handle the asthma. See us if you need an updated written plan.
  2. Take a fresh Ventolin (rescue) inhaler to school for your child.
  3. Be sure your child gets a flu shot this September or October. Influenza illness is especially dangerous for kids with asthma.
  4. Talk to your children and review the symptoms they feel when an asthma attack is starting, and be sure they are comfortable asking their teachers for help when they don’t feel good. 
  5. Watch our instructional video on www.eugenepeds.com about proper technique using asthma wet inhalers.  

Asthma is a chronic and potentially serious health condition. But with proper management, it will not stop your child from living a long, healthy and active life.