Catholic Pediatrics Blog

US Birth Rate Declines for 6th Consecutive Year: Have we forgotten that children are good for America?

The US birth rate fell to another record low in 2013, marking six straight years of decline in the number of births in America. Experts blame the poor economy, figuring young adults are putting off childbearing until their finances become more stable. Although there may be some truth in this, there is another reality no one is talking about-- lots of young Americans don’t really want to raise a bunch of kids.

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Teaching an Attitude of Gratitude: 12 Tips for Thankful Kids

Tired of bickering, jealousy, and selfishness?  Kids are naturally materialistic and self-serving– but the good news is that gratitude can be taught.  And from gratitude flows joy.  Here are 12 tricks for teaching children gratitude and creating a more joyful home:

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Begin the year with an attitude of gratitude: 12 tips to teach your kids

HeadachesTired of bickering, jealousy, and selfishness?  Kids are naturally materialistic and self-serving– but the good news is that gratitude can be taught.  And from gratitude flows joy.  Here are 12 tricks for teaching children gratitude and creating a more joyful home:

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Embracing the Four Dimensions of Our Being

I awoke to a flickering light. As I sat up, I thought for a moment I had left my head lamp on. But as I listened to the varied sounds of breathing around me, I discerned that the light was coming from the campfire that had stubbornly refused to go out. I stepped out of the tent into the breeze of a perfectly cool night. The stars brilliantly looked down upon me. As I made my way to the bathroom across the gravel road, there was only silence. The day before, Steve and I had taken our four oldest kids for a wilderness adventure. We had hiked up hills together, prayed over meals, and watched them as they joyfully scrambled over rocks and hopped through creek beds. Laughter was never far away.

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Thinking Through the Immersion Dilemma: What if My Teen’s Life is Governed by Media & Technology?

Over the past couple of years, I have spoken and written much about issues related to our youth’s use of media and technology. In addition to this series, further reading is also available in the 2013 January and September edition of Just Thinking. As part of these series, I briefly addressed the question many parents have: What should I do if my teens (or even kids) are immersed in technology in ways that I worry have become unhealthy and intrusive?

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Where’s the village? Children and families need kindness, not criticism

There is something about children that gives everyone a license to hand out unsolicited advice to parents.  I’ve heard it all:

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Top 5 apps neurosurgeons let their kids play

I found myself drinking fine wine with a bunch of neurosurgeons this weekend, and it didn’t take long to realize they’re asking the same question as every modern parent– how much screen time is okay for toddlers, and is there such a thing as good screen time?
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Top 5 apps neurosurgeons let their kids use

kidsandappsI found myself drinking fine wine with a bunch of neurosurgeons this weekend, and it didn’t take long to realize they’re asking the same question as every modern parent– how much screen time is okay for toddlers, and is there such a thing as good screen time?
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CCC: Clarifying Where Mental Health Begins

In 1980, my father started the Can Collector’s Club (CCC).  I was 2 years old.  As the story goes, it was my mother’s brainchild, but dad quickly took ahold of the idea with his entrepreneurial spirit.  Some people thought he had lost his mind.  Some still do.  But the purpose of the CCC was simple.  Convince family and friends to turn aluminum cans into him so that he could use the money from recycling to support our college fund.  And clean up the environment.  Quickly, the CCC turned into an annual contest, with those collecting the most cans awarded prizes at a fiscal (can) year-end par

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Baby Talk – How moms’ and dads’ voices make baby smarter

There is a moment in the delivery room when the new mother first talks to her baby–usually just seconds after birth when the wet, crying infant is placed on mom’s abdomen.  I get the pleasure of watching the joy in the new mom’s eyes, and hearing the words she picks to welcome her baby into the world.  For most moms, this first conversation is spontaneous, unplanned, and natural.  When dad gets a chance to hold baby, he’s often silent.   Usually the words don’t come so easily to new dads. 

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