Everyone is Talking
About letting babies cry-it-out as young as two months of age.
Why do I care?
If you’ve been in the throws of trying to get your newborn on a schedule (or toddler for that matter) then all things sleep are likely of interest to you.
Tell me more.
Sleep training, also known as ‘extinction’ (that one was new to us) or the cry-it-out method, has made headlines recently because it is being encouraged as young as two months. Doctors at Tribeca Pediatrics are of the mindset that you can begin to sleep train your child beginning at two months, citing that it’s often easier at the younger age and that studies suggest there are no negative long term effects to the child if they are left to cry-it-out.
Each family has their own perspective and comfort level with sleep training. To each their own, as they say. The good news is, studies are supporting that mantra. We can say from personal experience that each child is different, and there isn’t one ‘right’ way to run this show. Do what feels right for you and for your family and know that kids will be alright.
In the Trenches
Bullying is a ‘serious public health problem’ that one third of our children will face according to a new report. When kids are bullied, it is more than a ‘kids being kids’ experience. It effects their mental and physical health and some experts argue that a simple no tolerance policy is not enough to combat the issues that our kids face. Add in cases of cyberbullying where students are making statements like “I hope she sees this and kills herself” or “The world would be a better place without you” – both instances which ended in suicide – and we can’t afford to look the other way. The effects of bullying are traumatic and lasting for the person on the receiving end, but they are, surprisingly negative for the bully as well. Each person is more likely to be depressed and both are likely to attempt or contemplate suicide.
So what can we do?
Experts argue that the current zero tolerance policies do little to address the problem and that we should be designing well-rounded programs that end their behaviors but help the students get to the core of their behaviors at the same time. One such program at some schools is called PBIS or Positive Behavior Interventions and Support. It focuses on social emotional skills helping kids regulate their emotions and build empathy for their peers.
In addition to school programs, there is a need for early action within the home to discuss bullying behaviors and empathy for their peers. This is an effort that should be seen as a partnership between schools, experts and parents. As parents, we are responsible for tackling this head on, and preemptively, rather than waiting for an incidence of bullying to cause us to act.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Raise your hand if your age doesn’t match how you feel inside? We concur.
So how do we keep the outside matching our youthful inside as long as possible? We have to take care of ourselves and stimulate our minds. Easier said than done with our kids needs trumping our own, jobs to to get to, and homes to manage. We get it. But, you can’t be at your best for long if you don’t put some key best practices into place.
Quora put out a call to those in their 50’s to advise those in their 30’s what they should do to care for themselves best – and there were twenty that the Brightside found to be repetitive truths among those who responded. Many are obvious like don’t smoke, take care of your teeth (healthy gums matter!), and getting sleep. But, some of our favorites that you may not have considered before:
- Be curious: Make time for adventure and exploring the world around you on a regular basis.
- Keep a diary: We know that we forget so many details in the day-to-day busy of life, so having a journal that records the little moments and big milestones would be a great asset for memory keeping. Even if it was simply a bulleted list.
- Collect memories instead of things: Many of us set goals to purchase our homes, a new car or the next big thing, but we’re missing out on life experiences – it certainly begs some attention to balance.
The Kids are Alright
Is there such a thing as ‘fighting well’ with your teen? Apparently, the answer here is yes. According to experts, the way you and your child disagree ultimately shapes your rapport with them over the long run, so understanding their approach and yours is a solid strategy.
Experts describe four ways that teens often approach fighting: attacking, withdrawing, complying and problem solving. They use these methods for us and their peers. Of these four, problem solving is the healthiest. According to new research, when teens can see both sides of a disagreement, that’s when the ‘good fight’ happens. It is equally as important for the parent to see the teen’s side. Parents who are willing to see things from their teen’s perspective are modeling a behavior they would like returned to them, and this can become a reciprocal behavior over the long term. As our kids grow into teens, their inability to reason in those younger years is replaced by a more capable brain that has evolved and can make sense of multiple viewpoints. This all being said, when things have escalated, the ‘good fight’ isn’t likely to happen. So, let things cool off, then discuss both sides of the disagreement to find a solution.
“No parent looks forward to fighting with his or her teenage child. But the friction that comes with raising adolescents might be easier to take when we see it as an opening, not an obstacle.” – Lisa Damour, Psychologist
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