• Q & A: Head Banging

    January 13, 2021

    This week we’re answering a question from one of our subscribers! Q: What information can I give parents about head banging? What can they do about it? At what point does it become a concern of safety or need for further intervention? A: As is true for many aspects of behavior and development, any parental concern…Read More

  • Signs of Readiness around Toilet Training

    January 6, 2021

    One of the most common questions parents may ask you beginning around 18 months of age, is when should a child potty train. Here are a few helpful tips for what you can say to prepare families in these early visits: Most children are physically, cognitively and emotionally ready between the ages of 2 and…Read More

  • High Quality Screen Media

    December 30, 2020

    As we approach the winter season, activity will rapidly move indoors. As a result, families may be turning toward television, apps, games, and other forms of screen media. How can you provide parents with age-appropriate recommendations while remaining sensitive to the realities of how much many parents look to screen time to take a break due to…Read More

  • Facetiming with Family

    December 23, 2020

    As we approach the holiday season in a pandemic, families may come to you with questions about how to connect with loved ones. You can remind parents that even though they may be physically separated from family, their child can maintain connections through technology, like video chatting. Keep reading for tips you can offer to…Read More

  • Q: How Can I Help Parents Respond to Biting?

    December 16, 2020

    This week’s tip comes from a question asked by one of our readers. Check out our answer below! Q: Why do young children bite? What are some strategies I can offer parents? Why: Most young children bite because they have not yet developed inhibitory control. This is particularly common in toddlers, who have very strong emotions but…Read More

  • In the Exam Room – When to Make a Referral to Early Intervention

    December 9, 2020

    What is Early Intervention? Why is it important? When and how should you refer? What? Early intervention provides free, evidence-based physical, cognitive, social, and adaptive therapies for children under 3 years of age with developmental delays. Why? Therapeutic early intervention services have been shown to improve developmental outcomes, mitigate behavioral concerns, and increase caregiver confidence. When?…Read More

  • In the Classroom – The Witching Hour

    December 2, 2020

    Many families will complain about a witching hour – a time in the late afternoon/early evening where their baby is crying, fussy and difficult to soothe. When a baby is overtired, their body – like ours – produces a variety of hormones to stay awake, and once a baby has these elevated levels, they are…Read More

  • The Science Behind Giving Thanks

    November 25, 2020

    This year has been particularly difficult for many families and also for many providers. However, during this time of thanksgiving we want to share the research on the benefits of giving thanks and how this can help not only you, but your patients and their families. Gratitude is the quality of being appreciative or thankful, and research has…Read More

  • In the Exam Room: Being Silly

    November 18, 2020

    It may sound silly to talk about silliness in the exam room, but there is real science that thinking in creative ways helps children to build cognitive flexibility. Making new and surprising connections allows children to develop executive function skills that they need for their overall health and wellness. Something as small as saying you…Read More

  • In the Exam Room – Giving Choices

    November 11, 2020

    Offering children choices in the exam room allows children to feel a sense of control over what is happening to them. This is essential in supporting autonomy. Offering choices also makes it more likely that children will comply with directions. For example, when you ask a child which ear you should look in first, it makes…Read More

  • Please Do Learn About Positive Opposites

    November 4, 2020

    Positive opposites are a concept you can discuss, model or praise in well-child visits. Every unwanted behavior has a positive opposite! By replacing “don’t” with “please do,” you can think of yourself as helping a child learn how to behave – not just tell them what not to do. And, you are giving them the…Read More

  • Highly Sensitive Children

    October 28, 2020

    15-20% of all children have a temperament that makes them more reactive to their environment.  While this is not a diagnosis, these children have a different way of experiencing the world. It can be easier to navigate an office visit if you can recognize which kids need more attention to sensory input and a gentler,…Read More

  • The Power of Affirmations

    October 14, 2020

    Recognizing positive behavior not only makes parents and children feel good, it motivates them to repeat that behavior in the future. At each visit, try and find one specific thing to notice and affirm! Could it be how well a child answered your questions? How well a parent comforted their child in distress? A child’s…Read More

  • Emotional and Behavioral Effects of COVID-19

    October 7, 2020

    This week we are bringing you evidence to support what you may have suspected in the exam room – that emotional and behavioral health difficulties in children have increased significantly due to COVID-19. In the September issue of The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, “Supporting the Mental Health of Parents and Children During and After Coronavirus,” demonstrates…Read More

  • Why “Don’t cry, be brave” Can Backfire

    September 30, 2020

    You may hear parents tell their children not to cry during stressful moments in the visit. Parents are often embarrassed that their child is upset, and feel pressure to get them to stop crying. In those instances, you can label and validate a child’s emotions and let the parents know that it is OK for…Read More