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Is cold weather play okay?

Q. My preschool-age twins love to be outside no matter what the weather may be including the freezing cold temperatures we’ve recently experienced. Is it okay to let them play outdoors in the winter weather? Do you have any suggestions for outdoor, cold-weather activities that we should do? Would it be better if I chose to keep the boys indoors instead? A. I hear you on this one! It can be so tempting to try and entertain children indoors when the weather outside is less than desirable, ...

How do I make the most of my child’s therapy sessions?

Q. My four-year-old daughter just started receiving private weekly speech therapy to address some articulation issues. Our weekly co-pay is expensive and a bit of a financial investment for us, so I want to make sure that my husband and I are doing all we can to make the most of her sessions. What are some ways that we can help her progress? A. Kudos to you for wanting to play an active role in your daughter’s progress during speech therapy. In my practice, I see the value that parent ...

Home Again, Home Again Zip-A-Di-Da

She came in on a train direct from Union Station.  It was Friday night, the week before Christmas.  I was so joyful.  DJ, my college sophomore, was returning for an entire month! I was committed to our performance in the Christmas Carol play so her grandmother picked her up.  DJ was in a hurry because she had agreed to bar tend at a neighbor’s Christmas party for cash.  I’m so proud – my daughter, a barmaid. I was amazed that she got her suitcase into the house.  It was ...

A Single Parent Morning

It was one of those days that being a single parent hurts. It was 7:20: Stephanie had an exam at 8.  I was about to take Michelle to school.  The older headed out the door in a rush to meet a friend for some final cramming. 7:21 AM:  “Dad, my car won’t start!  HELP!” Indeed, we had a dead battery.  I was buttoning my white, starched, dress shirt but my flannels and bedroom shoes were still on my bottom half.  I grabbed my keys knowing I’d be late to work. 7:22 ...

Hands-on Giving

I fully buy into Christmas being about giving. As a kid, Christmas presents were a big, big deal.  My parents went over the top with Santa followed by gifts from them.  In addition, my brother and I were the only grandchildren on both sides of the family.  They ensured that any potential gaps in our want list were fully covered. My parents also didn’t buy us anything the other 11 months of the year.  December not only brought in the toys we desired, but it also stocked us up on ...

Toothy Drama

We've had trouble with our son being a picky eater for years. While he's been picky, until recently he ate enough healthy foods to get by. About three weeks ago he started rejecting some of his long-time staples and we had a series of serious talks to get him back on track. My husband and I thought all was fine, until he got a loose tooth. We noticed it a few weeks ago when we were helping him brush his teeth, but he acted like he didn't hear us. Then last week, he "discovered it" again ...

Why is my child more clumsy than his friends?

Q. My 8-year-old son just told me that he does not want to go to PE class because he can’t keep up with his friends. He was born early at 30 weeks and struggled to meet gross motor milestones like sitting and walking. He is still a bit awkward with his movements and needs help to dress, bathe, and write. I’ve also recently noticed that he is clumsier than his peers, frequently falling and tripping over things. What may be going on and how can I help him? A. I know it can be frustrating ...

How can I make Halloween more enjoyable for my child?

Q. My 4-year-old daughter has autism and Halloween is a difficult time for her. She seems to be on sensory overload with all of the activities, costumes, and candy. What are some ways that I can help her enjoy this day? A. Halloween is certainly a busy day that can put any child on overload. While it is an exciting day for many children, it can be overwhelming and difficult for children with special needs. The holiday is full of new sights, sounds, tastes, and activities for children to ...

Ooops Dad

On Tuesday I received this text from DJ, my oldest daughter, who is away at college: So I brought this dress for our next two sorority events and I accidentally put it on your credit card I’m wondering how that happened… Did the card fall out of her wallet and accidentally get lodged in the chip reader??? You accidentally spill your lemonade.  You accidentally break a vase, like when Greg and Peter Brady tossed the basketball inside the house and then didn’t tell their ...

Why won’t my child try new foods?

Q. My two-year-old son seems to be stuck in an eating rut. He only eats a handful of items each day and refuses to try new foods. I’ve tried bribing, punishing, ignoring his actions, and letting him go hungry, but none of these approaches seem to be working. He continues to request chicken nuggets, chips, grapes, yogurt, and raw carrots. What may be the problem and what can I do about it? I’m so frustrated! A. Oh mama, I feel your pain! I have been there as a mother and often see ...