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Catholic Pediatrics Blog

The Namby Pamby Effect: Are Our Kids Growing Up Soft and Confused?

When Jacob was four years old, he earned his first, shiny trophy, courtesy of participation in a nearby t-ball league. As he grew older, trophies, plaques, and medals for participation started piling up in his closet. One day, he even received a trophy for attending a friend’s birthday party. In 3rd grade, Jacob earned his first trip to the principal’s office for bad behavior, and was given a lower level referral (formerly known as a demerit). Moderate or higher level referrals didn’t exist. By the time he reached middle school, he learned that as long as he kept his referrals under ten for the year, his parents would not be contacted by the school. Meanwhile, despite putting little effort (at home or school) into his schoolwork, he slid by with mostly B’s and C’s courtesy of the well-documented trend of grade inflation. He and his classmates quickly learned that they could get into the online grading system and figure which assignments counted, and which were worth few or no points at all. They quickly became experts on how to slide by.

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Teens and Tattoos: 7 medical risks to talk about before you get inked

Thirty-six percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 have tattoos, according to a 2013 report from the Pew Research Center, and the desire to get inked seems to be rising. Just look around at the pool and you’ll see the body-art show.

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14 Ways to Make Summer Memories that Last a Lifetime

As summer draws near, families can enjoy more time together.  How can this precious time be best spent?  I am reminded of an old Donovan song, “…Do few things, but do them well, simple joys are holy…if you want your dream to be, take your time go slowly…” Choose carefully a good balance of meaningful activities, and allow time for reflection.  That is the key to making and preserving memories in a family.  Here are some ways of moving in that direction.

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Getting your family ready for the summer

School’s out and summer is here– are you excited for fun family time or afraid of the chaos?  For most parents it is both, so my fellow mom-pediatricians and I have put together some tips to help you have a fun-filled summer without so much chaos.

1)     Set household expectations: What are your rules for screen time?  How about bedtime and wake-up time?  You can set clear expectations while still giving your kids plenty of rest and downtime.

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When your child will only poop in a pull up, not the potty…

A parent brought up this common potty-training issue in the live parenting chat I do on STLToday:

“My 3 1/2 year old son will urinate in the toilet but will not poop. We put a pull-up on him and THEN he goes. Is there anything to help speed his toilet training along? Thank you.” 

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Always Believe in Yourself No Matter What Anyone Says: On Second Thought, Know When to Heed Advice and When to Go Alone

The year was 2003. American Idol had just soared to the top of the television charts in just its second season. For eight consecutive years to follow, it would rank number one as complete unknowns suddenly found themselves as household names. By season ten, almost 750 million people would call in to vote on their favorite performer. As Idol producers travelled to different cities looking for new talent, young people would camp out for days at a time just for a shot at Hollywood and superstardom. Soon after, locales and organizations began holding their own version of Idol competitions as everyone seemed to yearn for a chance to show off their hidden talent. Yet beneath all the soulful, harmonious sounds, another storyline soon broke through of a very different nature and captured audiences in its own way. They were the auditions that never should have happened. Although some of the singers were undoubtedly driven by an opportunity for a few moments of fame (or infamy), what made many of the train wreck tryouts so compelling was the singer truly thought he or she had brilliance yet unrealized; even worse, when confronted with the obvious reality, the singer remained defiant to a truth that many others, including the judges, had tried to pass along.

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I Just Want You to Be Happy: No, We Want Much, Much More for You

n the 1950’s, a group of psychologists began promulgating ideas related to the pursuit of happiness and flourishing. Psychology had long been focused on what could go wrong instead of what could go right. As the psychologist Martin Seligman noted decades later in the first sentence of his book, Authentic Happiness, “For the last half century psychology has been consumed with a single topic only—mental illness.”

For millennium, varied traditions have spoken of this pursuit. The Israelites believed t

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Do natural bug repellents work?

Mother Applying Bug Spray To DaughterIt’s hard to feel good about putting synthetic bug repellents on your kids.  They smell like chemicals and the bottles are covered in warnings.  Is there a more natural bug repellent that actually works? 

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Can labor and delivery drugs cause your child to have ADHD?

Good news for moms and babies: pitocin didn’t cause your child’s ADHD.  A large medical research study published this month shows no link between the drug oxytocin (also known as pitocin) and ADHD, despite a smaller study from 2011 that suggested that ADHD could be related to use of this drug during labor.

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