A recent question: “We recently had to put our dog down because she bit a repairman. I’m not sure how to tell our 3-year-old what happened to the dog. What should we say?
My readers know I am a pediatrician, mother, stepmother and grandmother. I acknowledge that I have learned a lot about parenting over the years. But I well remember how I felt during my own parenting days: the struggles to do the right thing, the confusion about what the right thing was, the…
‘Hey, Mom, what do I do when Joshua has a meltdown in the park because we have to go home? He was screaming and crying and made himself so rigid I could hardly pick him up and strap him in the stroller. What is the best way to handle this?”
Almost every year at this time I write a holiday column about holiday stress (avoid it) or holiday manners (promote them). I have also written about toy overload so often it can seem I’m nagging.
‘I am a grandmother raising my 8½ year-old granddaughter who came to live with me when she just turned 3. Both her parents have been incarcerated for most of this time. Both parents have an extensive criminal and drug history.
"I have two girls, 4 and 11. My brother has a 2-year-old daughter who ALWAYS hits, scratches, bites, pulls hair and pokes my younger daughter's eye. This happens at every family event and even on a trip when our families shared a suite. My daughter had bite marks after the trip. I baby-sat m…
What really bugs parents of young children? The public display of embarrassing behaviors that arise from egocentricity.
Parents are the first teachers. They have strong influence because of the special parent-child bond and the fact that they spend more time with their child than any single teacher.
Let's revisit maternal employment.
How come parenting advice sometimes seems contradictory?
Author Michael Pollan has taught us a very simple way to eat healthy. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." He also cautioned that it is far better to eat food that grows rather than the packaged stuff made of many ingredients processed in a factory.
A recent question in my inbox: "My 19-month-old toddler is becoming very aggressive … biting, pulling hair. She has picked up this behavior at her day-care center, where it seems to be rampant. I am quite concerned about transferring her to another day care where she might be a primary aggre…
Can a baby have too many toys? Absolutely. Can parents and grandparents be conned into buying the wrong kinds of toys? You bet.
A recent question of importance: I do not recall being asked this before as a columnist, although when I was in practice occasionally a new mother or father would be greatly troubled about the same issue: I try to but I don't like my child, doctor.
I have written a good deal on the subjects of praise (the right way to do it) and self-esteem (how it is misunderstood and overrated by parents and teachers).
Recent question in my Inbox: "I am the grandmother of three beautiful children (ages 4, 6, and 10) with whom I live and help raise. Their single mother, my daughter, has been involved in about six relationships over the past 3 years, with a 2-3 week interval in between relationships. I am wo…
Recent question: "I have a 19-year-old boy who acts more like he is a 14-year old.
Should parents deliberately lie to their children to get them to behave? Of course not! Trust is the basis of all human relationships.
Because 48 states, including Arizona, report epidemic levels of flu and because this season's flu is hitting children hard, we are reprinting a column originally published in this newspaper on Dec. 25, 2011.
"Hello, I love your advice. Do you have any new ideas about bringing a new baby into the family? I have a daughter who just turned 2 and a new daughter who is 1 month old. As one would expect, some days are good and others are not. I'm just wondering how I can make it easier for my 2-year-ol…
Have you noticed that people are constantly communicating by gadget but don't talk to each other as much as they used to?
Q: My partner has just found out he has a 4 1/2-year-old daughter and wants to be part of her life. He wants to see her once a week, but I believe this is too much too soon. Is there a best practice to introduce him into her life?
My job is providing advice to parents. On the day I write this, Dec.15, every American is a parent. We are all grieving parents to the 20 innocent children who were slaughtered in their elementary school classroom and to the many other children who were traumatized by being at the school that day.
Q: I read your column, "To be a good role model, be a grown-up parent" (Arizona Daily Star, Sunday, Nov. 4). Wow, did it ever hit home with me. I adopted my 13-year-old granddaughter several years ago. I completely agree with your reasoning 100 percent. My question is how does a person grow …
Numbers can help us understand the world. If fewer than 9 percent of a group of children exhibit a certain behavior, we understand that the behavior is not common.
I once received this email: "I read that Dr. Heins was a mother and I would like to know if she has ever had strong-willed or stubborn kids and not felt the need to spank them which it so lays out at least three times in the book of Proverbs in the Bible. I would also like to know if she has…
Even before you order your Thanksgiving turkey, I suggest you take a deep breath and resolve to diminish holiday stress at your house this season.
I get a lot of parent complaints about the state of the child's bedroom. As parenting issues go this is pretty trivial, but this kind of triviality can drive parents nuts.
What are "divorce vows" and why should divorcing parents take them??
Why should we care about other people's children, people we don't even know?
Right after I finished last week's column on cellphones for children, I received this email from a frantic mother:
Five years ago I wrote a column on cellphone use by parents. Grandmothers like me were beginning to notice stroller moms in markets or restaurants talking nonstop on their cellphone while ignoring their child.
A recent question: "We added twin girls to our family three months ago. Over the past month or so, my 3-year-old son has been joking a lot with the words 'potty' and 'bottom.' He likes to kiss his sisters and get in their personal space. A couple of weeks ago, he started kissing their diaper…
You can't tell a new baby to be responsible. But you can have high expectations for a child from birth. Expectations that the child will grow up to become an adult who is a loving, caring human being and a responsible citizen. This is a tall order for new parents, but it's our job.
Last week's column dealt with some possible reasons many parents give their children too much stuff and fail to give their children enough responsibility. Here are some suggestions for parents who realize they may be doing this and want to change tactics. These are mostly from a talk I have …
More than 10 years ago, I wrote about an "epidemic" of parents so afraid to discipline their kids that they turned their offspring into unhappy monsters whom no one likes to be with, not even the parents.
A question I just received from a frazzled mother: "How can a working mother trying to go to nursing school at the same time manage the stress of not being with my kids? How do I avoid feeling guilty, overwhelmed and impatient with them, and how can I recoup the time I miss with them?"
All children need poetry in their lives. The rhymes in songs and poems like "The Alphabet Song" or "Thirty Days Hath September" help children learn. It would be difficult for a young child to learn the 26 letters or the number of days in the 12 months by rote.
If you knew as a parent that a person or institution had a profound negative effect on your child's body and brain, what would you do? You'd very quickly make sure that your child had no further contact with that person or institution.
Not long ago in Los Angeles I overheard two Stroller Moms (one with twins about 2 years old) talking.
How does a parent bring up a child to talk nice when it seems that every person in the whole world has a potty mouth?
From the time I was a small child I loved stories. I was an early and avid reader and to this day am a devotee of "good" fiction. (Don't care much for junk fiction.)
Ihave said this before, but it's worth repeating: Almost 40 percent of the questions I get from parents deal with a broken family. They deal with divorce, custody, a father who has never met the child or left when the child was very young and now wants re-entry into the child's life, plus va…
Let me weigh in on the controversial issue of sugary drinks. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York has proposed a ban on the sale of sugar-containing drinks of more that 16 ounces.
Adoption means giving a child a permanent home, a family, stability, love. If a child has been in foster care, adoption means all of the above plus giving the child remedial parenting to try to make up for the lack of permanent parenting in the past.
Every child needs and deserves a father. Participatory fatherhood is good for kids, families and fathers themselves.
As a grandparent, I wondered whether twins could share an automobile. That is, twins who furiously tore toys out of each other's hands even though each had the identical toy.
Pointing has a purpose. Many parents do this instinctively. They point out pictures and words or letters on the page when they read to Baby.
There is no question in my mind that grandmas and grandpas are the perfect people to baby-sit when both parents are away traveling.