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Genetics and Growth - The Inheritance of Stature

Excerpted from The Short Child: A Parents' Guide to the Causes, Consequences, and Treatment of Growth Problems By Paul Kaplowitz, M.D., Ph.D., Jeffrey Baron, M.D. As most people know from their own experience, height has a strong genetic component. Short parents tend to have short children, and tall parents tend to have tall children. Some people wonder if a boy's height is determined primarily by his father's height whereas a girl's height is determined primarily by he

Divorcing Emotions: Riding Alone on the Emotional Roller Coaster of Grief

Excerpted from The Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can Thrive By Robert Emery, Ph.D. When it comes to driving and shaping a divorce, for better or worse, nothing is as powerful as human emotion. No agreement, no lawyer, no judge, not even your levelheaded best friend is any match for your unrecognized, unmanaged, and unprocessed emotions. The feelings stirred up by divorce can be so intense th

Neural Plasticity: Nature's Double-Edged Sword

Excerpted from Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think And What We Can Do About It By Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. The large auditorium is hushed as the lights dim and a statistical chart appears on the screen. I reflect momentarily that I have never heard a large group of educators this quiet. "Now, I'll show you the effects of different environments on our animals' brains." Dr. Marian Diamond wields her laser pointer triumphantly. "We've been worki

The Virtuoso - The Miracle of Saving Children's Lives

Excerpted from Walk on Water; The Miracle of Saving Children's Lives By Michael Ruhlman I'd been hanging out at the Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Diseases at the Cleveland Clinic for two months when the shell-shocked Kasniks arrived. It had been a busy time for the center's staff, filled with all kinds of drama and tragedy, deaths and saves, errors and grace, and mostly a lot of work and stressful nights on call-the routine stuff of intensive-care units, cri

Depression - The Teenage Brain

Excerpted from More Than Moody; Recognizing and Treating Adolescent Depression By Harold S. Koplewicz, M.D. Anna Freud was half right. It would be abnormal-maybe even impossible-for a teenager to breeze through adolescence on an even emotional keel. Being moody and crabby are as much a part of the territory as pimples and proms. To a certain degree, they can't help themselves: it's virtually a biological necessity. Where Freud was wrong was in her assertion that there's

Down Syndrome - Changed by a Child

Excerpted from Changed by a Child By Barbara Gill We brought our baby home and sent out the birth announcements we had already purchased; they read "A star is born!" I remember struggling with whether to say "Amar has Down syndrome" or "Amar is Down syndrome," a puzzle that seems preposterous to me now. Friends and relatives came to visit, bearing gifts, condolences, comfort, and encouragement. We were enrolled almost immediately in an infant-stimulation program, and in

When Being Hyper Is 'Just a Phase'

Excerpted from Is it Just a Phase? How to Tell Common Childhood Phases from More Serious Problems By Susan Anderson Swedo, M.D., Henrietta L. Leonard, M.D. The most frequent question parents ask us is "My son is always so 'hyper.' Do you think he's hyperactive?" When we ask them to define hyper, they say, "He's constantly on the move," "He's always on the go," or "He can't settle down." Sometimes, the parents just say, "You know, 'hyper'!," as the term has been used so

Managing Temperament

Excerpted from The Difficult Child: Expanded and Revised Edition By Stanley Turecki, M.D., Leslie Tonner Rewarding for a Routine: The Star System As already noted, most difficult children do well with routines, especially when large blocks of unplanned time are involved. With some, simply establishing the routine will be enough, but others will need a reward system to help them get started. This method can be applied to

How Children Grieve

Excerpted from Guiding Your Child Through Grief By James P. Emswiler, M.A., M.Ed, Mary Ann Emswiler, M.A., M.P.S. Forty-five-year-old Adam had finally found his dream job: selling heavy machinery internationally. He thrived on the challenge and the opportunity to travel in countries he'd only read about. His e-mails to friends glowed with happiness. Family photographs reflected his renewed zest for life. So his wife, Donna, didn't understand when she received a call two

Family Business: When Money Equals Love

Excerpted from The Love They Lost; Living with the Legacy of Our Parents' Divorce By Stephanie Staal On a hot summer morning, the streets quiet after the early morning commuter rush, I push my way through the double glass doors of the County Circuit Courthouse, where my parents filed for their divorce. The entrance is air-conditioned, cool and cavelike, untouched by the lights farther down the hall. I wait in a line that snakes slowly through the metal detectors, rubbin

In the Best Interest of the Child

Excerpted from In the Best Interest of the Child: How to Protect Your Child from the Pain of Your Divorce By Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D. I've seen parents stop at nothing in their attempts to defeat each other, including using their sons and daughters as pawns. I recall a mother and father referring to the transfer of their daughter from one house to the other as the hostage exchange. I know two other parents who decided one full year after their divorce that the only way

Social Lives of Children

Excerpted from Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children By Michael Thompson, Ph.D., Catherine O'Neill Grace, Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D. Some years ago, when my children were twelve and eight years old, our family returned from a two-week vacation-a good and fun trip. We had barely made it through the kitchen door before my son, Will, headed for the phone to call his friend Mitchell and my daughter, Joanna, disappeared into my wife's home off

The Challenges of Raising an Exceptional Child

Excerpted from The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them By Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. In this chapter you learn why skilled parenting helps HSCs even more than other children, and why the skills are different with HSCs. We discuss the six qualities of HSCs that present the greatest challenges, and you will begin to learn how to respond effectively when they arise. We will also take note of all the joys that come with raising an H

Quirky Kids - Arriving At a Diagnosis

Excerpted from Quirky Kids : Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In- When to Worry and When Not to Worry By Perri Klass, M.D., Eileen Costello, M.D. Once upon a time, most quirk)' children did not get assigned to formal diagnostic categories. They were called eccentric or odd and were humored as odd-balls or tortured as weirdos, coddled as infant geniuses or ostracized as misfits. We all remember such children from our own school days, and chances are,

Is Your Child at Risk For Depression?

Excerpted from Raising Depression-Free Children : A Parent's Guide to Prevention and Early Intervention By Kathleen Panula Hockey When is a child clinically depressed? When is he at risk for depression? When is he simply going through a phase? These are difficult questions to answer. Popular magazines, news articles, television stories, and advertisements all tend to highlight the biological aspects of depression and depression treatment. This c

How Safe Are Children's Vaccines?

Excerpted from What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations By Stephanie Cave, M.D., F. A.A.F.P., Deborah Mitchell When it comes to vaccines, the big question is how safe are they? The answer is both simple and complex. While choosing to refuse all vaccinations for your children may expose them to serious health risks, blindly accepting all vaccines without question and according to the proposed schedule may also result in grave consequences. &#
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