By Harley A. Rotbart, M.D.
The horrific events at the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises struck very close to home. The theater is only a few miles from where my family lives, and we have gone there many times. It is even closer to where I work, on the same medical school campus where the accused gunman was a graduate student and where more than two dozen victims were given medical care. But the Aurora tragedy also touched me deeply as a parent. My wife and I have a son who is 24 years old, the same age as the alleged shooter, and our other kids, 20 and 22 years old, were at the Batman movie screening that same night, sitting in the second row of theater 9, in a different multiplex.
RELATED: How to handle your kids' anxieties after the Aurora massacre
After saying a silent prayer for the victims and their families and another prayer in gratitude for our kids' safety, my thoughts were for the parents of everyone involved. My heart first went out to the parents of those who
Blog Posts by Parents.com
By Harley A. Rotbart, M.D.Read More »from Is Bad Parenting to Blame for the Aurora Tragedy?
- Parents.com | Parenting – Mon, Jul 30, 2012 12:20 PM EDT
By Ellen Seidman
Valentina Guerrero, a 10-month old from Miami who has Down syndrome, is the new face of Dolores Cortés DC kids' swimwear line. The little girl's story has been sweeping the web since Friday, when Cortés strolled down the catwalk of her fashion show holding Valentina in her arms. The little girl is also on the cover of the company's new catalog.
This is all major news, because Valentina is said to be the first child with Down syndrome (and probably any disabilities) chosen to be the face of a major fashion company. Which actually shouldn't be news, given that she has an exceptionally adorable face. It's no surprise that mom Cecilia Elizalde--a TV host and producer--has been flooded with calls from agents.
Here's what Cecilia had to say when I got her on the phone:
So, were you surprised by the reaction to Valentina's modeling gig?
"Well, I did think this could be big, but I didn't know it would spread across the world, to countries whose languages I don't even
- Parents.com | Parenting – Thu, Jul 26, 2012 12:16 PM EDT
By Ellen Seidman
Children with disabilities are at much higher risk for experiencing violence than kids without disabilities, says a new report from the United Nation's World Health Organization (WHO). Kids with disabilities are 3.6 times more likely to be victims of physical violence and 2.9 time more likely to be the victims of sexual violence. Those with mental illness or cognitive impairment are most at risk, noted the report, just published in medical journal The Lancet.
The review examined 17 studies, and covered date on 18,374 children in Finland, France, Israel, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. This may be making headlines but sadly, this is NOT news.
Google around and you'll find this damning report Violence Against Disabled Children from UNICEF, back in 2005. Or the 2009 study from the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, which found that children with disabilities are abused at twice the rate of those without
- Parents.com | Parenting – Tue, Jul 24, 2012 2:09 PM EDT
Our son will turn 5 years old in two weeks and he wants a Batman-themed birthday party. We haven't mentioned the recent shootings in Colorado with him at all and we're not sure what to do. We never announced the birthday theme, but we have invited his class to the party. However, we don't know the other families at all or whether they are connected to the tragedy. Should we proceed with the Batman party as if nothing happened? Or should we steer him toward something else and tell him why?Read More »from After Aurora, Dealing with My Son's Love of Batman
Dr. Elizabeth Berger: Many parents are concerned how to address the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado with their children, even without upcoming birthdays--so let me begin there. There are many serious issues that adults should ponder, and they begin with the question: "How could this have happened?" It is important to recognize that if a young child asks this question, he is really asking, "Am I safe today? Is my family safe today?" Small children can't understand social problems and they need reassurance
By Amy Julia BeckerRead More »from What Summer Camp Has to Do with Obama’s Tax Plan
My memories of summer include bug bites, games of kick-the-can, swimming lessons, and countless hours curled up in a chair reading. My kids have finally reached the age where they experience summer the way I remember it. Penny, who is 6 ½, and William, almost 4, go to camp two days a week. They swim, do arts and crafts, play on the playground, and make new friends. The highlight of camp so far has been Penny receiving her "duck badge" when she swam from one side of the pool to the other and earned the right to swim in the deep end.
The other three weekdays vary. They've gone with their babysitter to the playground and the library. We've taken trips to the beach with plastic buckets and water shoes, and they've scraped their knees and thrown rocks and collected as many varieties of seaweed as they can find. We've created obstacle courses in the front yard. Most days they wander next door to visit their great-grandmother. They know the afternoons hold "quiet times"
Your baby may have a lot of weird symptoms in the first few months. We'll tell you whether you need to worry about any of them.
By Madonna Behen
When my twins were newborns, I couldn't help getting anxious about every little change in their health or behavior. Like the time my son's eye filled with yellow goop. "Does he have an eye infection?" I wondered. Even though the doctor said this was nothing to worry about, I was a bit freaked until it disappeared a week later. Babies tend to have odd symptoms during their first six months. "In most cases they're perfectly normal," says Loraine Stern, M.D., clinical professor of pediatrics at UCLA School of Medicine. Check out these quirks that you don't need to worry about.
The Quirk: Eye Discharge
Why it's fine: A newborn's tear ducts are very narrow and susceptible to clogging, which causes white or yellowish gunk to collect. The discharge may look like pus, but it's not a sign of an infection unless the white of the eye starts to turn
"I love school." Few phrases sound sweeter. Because when your child thrives in his educational setting, he tends to thrive outside it too. That's why initial signs of trouble (complaints about the teacher, behavior write-ups) can press your panic button. We'll help you handle the toughest start-of-school challenges.
By Mindy Walker
Your child insists his teacher hates him.
If class has been in session for a few days, put a watch on the comment and emphasize the positive. After school, ask, "What was the best thing about class today?" not "Did you like Ms. Gray more?" If the objections continue beyond Week 1, set up an appointment with the teacher to discuss your child's concerns, says Sara Leef, an elementary-school counselor in Brookline, Massachusetts. Yes, this can be a hard topic to broach with an educator because it feels so personal, but left unaddressed, "these feelings tend to grow into bigger issues, which can be harder to resolve down the line," Leef explains. Before you
Do you know that neighborhood kid who never seems to come down with anything? Do his parents know something you don't? Probably not, experts say, but put these six habits of healthy kids to use to avoid illness this year.
By Michelle Crouch for Parents Magazine.
- Parents.com | Parenting – Fri, Jun 29, 2012 11:28 AM EDT
By Sharon LernerRead More »from Supreme Court Decision ObamaCare: We Should Rejoice
Let's call today family day, since all families should be rejoicing about the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Obama's health care law. I know I am. The law increases coverage for more than 30 million uninsured Americans, including children who were legally denied because they had preexisting conditions. It provides billions of dollars of prescription drug benefits for seniors. It ends lifetime limits on coverage. And it lets us keep our adult kids on our insurance plans til they're 26.
The only hitch seems to be that the court gave states some wiggle room to not expand their Medicaid programs, which the law had said should include people with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level. We'll undoubtedly soon see what that will mean for low-income families.
Still, to every American who has, is, or was a child: congratulations!
But as we're breathing a collective sigh of relief (and Republicans are vowing to repeal), we also need to be thinking about why the
Your kid is the perfect age to start building grit so he won't quit.Read More »from Teaching Kids to Stick with It
By Hagar Scher
One minute your preschooler is drawing a portrait of the cat, when suddenly he throws his crayon to the floor, "I can't draw paws!" he tearfully explains.
Obviously, giving up rather than persevering is not something you want to encourage. "The ability to focus and finish a job is a real challenge for a preschooler because he's still learning how to stick with a task," says Susan Newman, Ph.D., a psychologist in Metuchen, New Jersey. Kids this age are just beginning to learn how to rely on themselves. Your job as a parent is to nurture the skills that will help your child transition from helpless to tenacious.
Encourage Can-Do Spirit
At this age, skills and abilities vary greatly from child to child, and your preschooler may be feeling the kiddie version of not being able to keep up with the Joneses. "Preschool can be a rude awakening," says Parents advisor Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of The Big