Catholic Pediatrics Blog

Beyond time-outs: No-yell, no-spank discipline


I got this email from a colleague: “My son laughs in my face when I put him in time out.  If you don’t spank, and you don’t yell, what do you do?”

I’ve been there and had the exact same thought.  For a long time I looked for a simple, formulaic answer to this problem.  If child does X behavior, then punishment should be Y.  But it’s just not that easy.

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More Parenting, Less Yelling: How to Calm the Storm

Parents have taken to heart the research that shows spanking leads to more aggressive behaviors.  But instead of spanking, most parents yell at our kids.  Yes, I yell at my kids.  I don’t like it, but I do.  Kay Quinn of KSDK News Channel 5 invited me to talk about it:

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Researchers Went to Fast Food Restaurants and Recorded How Parents Acted While on Cell Phones-- Here's What They Found

Having a cell phone is like having a baby that never grows up.  The phone demands immediate attention through various little sounds and you, and only you, understand the meaning.  You keep it by your side wherever you go and get nervous if it is gone for a second.  Like a new baby, phones are exciting and add so much goodness to family life.  They are infatuating and make us all smile.  And there is something about that phone that draws you to it, even when you want a break from it.  

Like a new baby, your other children compete with your phone for attention.

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Do ADHD Medications Make Kids Obese? Surprising new research suggests the answer is, “Yes.”

I didn’t expect this research result—a study published today in the medical journal Pediatrics found that children with ADHD, and especially those treated with stimulant medications, are more likely to become obese.

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Treating ADHD without meds

Finally, some good news for parents of kids with ADHD and ADD—we really can teach our kids to pay attention, and without medication. 

A study  in the medical journal Pediatrics this month showed that two treatments for ADHD –neurofeedback and computer-based cognitive training – really do work.

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Defying the Odds—Two Newborn Deliveries that Changed my Heart

Girl with Down syndrome

There are times when I see things that defy all medical science.  I found myself the attending physician in two such situations this month, both of them deliveries of new babies, both babies with Down syndrome.

It’s rare that I attend deliveries of babies with Down syndrome—I hadn’t been to one in more than five years.  But a few days ago I attended two such deliveries on two consecutive days. 

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Stressed and Depressed– 8 Ways Teens are Hurting Themselves On Purpose

American teens are stressed and depressed.  As a pediatrician, I see the suicide attempts, the overdoses, and all the new methods that teens are finding to intentionally hurt themselves—to somehow dull the pain. 

It’s getting worse.  According to recent results from the Stress in America Study, teens are now more stressed out than adults:

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Our Valentine for parents: 10 ways to love your kids (without words – or candy!)

Forget the candy and spend your Valentine’s day focused on loving your kids.  ValentinesDayYour happiness will last much longer than chocolate.  Here are 10 easy ways to love your children without words.

1.       Make eye contact with your kids

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Bedtime with the iPad: Total Mom Fail

toddler with iPad

It’s 10:15 pm and my 2 1/2 –year-old is still awake, touching my mouse while I try to type.  She took a late nap and now we’re paying the consequences.  A few months ago the same thing happened and I did the unthinkable—I put her back in her bed, with the iPad.

Total mom fail—isn’t that against all the recommendations of all the academies of everything medical?

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Having a dog can help AND hurt your child. Are you pro dog?

Having a dog when you are a baby can actually protect you from developing asthma and allergies later in life.  New research from is helping us understand why.  But “man’s best friend” isn’t always baby’s best friend.  Your baby’s risk of injury from a dog is actually higher than his risk of injury from walkers, cribs, and many recalled products.  Are the benefits of having a dog worth the risks to your child?

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