The weather is getting warm and it's time for al of us to start getting outdoors. Before you visit your next playground with the kids, consider these tips. 

Hendersonville Pediatrics cares about your family and the health of our community. Here are some resolutions that can have a major effect on your family's health, as well as happiness. 

1. Have Meals Together

Family meals foster family connectedness and benefit child and family health by:

 enhancing language development  improving nutrition  decreasing risk of drug, alcohol, and nicotine use  improving family relations  decreasing risk of engaging in sexual activity and  decreasing emotional stress.

2. Play Outside as a Family

Reasearch shows that play helps children develop social skills like cooperation and empathy; and for adults, play can help boost energy and vitality and improve resistance to disease.

3. Reach Out to Extended Family

For single parents, extended family members can serve as a support system and can often substitute as role models for children missing a dad or a mom.

4. Work on Family Relationships

Work on your marriage, spend quality time with your spouse and watch the benefits accumulate, not just for you and your spouse but for your children and the family unit as a whole.

5. Replace Screen Time with Family Fun Time

Instead, play board games, listen to music, and talk about your goals and dreams as a family. People often use screen time as a way to de-stress and 'veg-out' after a busy day; but spending quality time with people you love is an even better way to relax and take your mind off the stresses of the day.

6.  Get Adequate Sleep

Adequate sleep on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health.

Any work toward these is great. Ultimately, don't make your resolutions so lofty that you and your family are unable to keep up with them. Keep it simple and make some general decisions that apply to the whole family. If you have questions, contact Hendersonville Pediatrics at 600 Beverly Hanks Centre Hendersonville, NC 28792 at (828) 693-3296. Happy 2019!

 

Has your toddler become really possessive lately? Hearing things like "MINE!" or "I had it first!" a lot? It can be a frustrating time but look at it this way, your child is growing in intelligence!

Hendersonville Pediatrics can help you with questions you may have about your toddler's behavior. When you come in for your next appointment, rest assured that we will listen to your concerns. 

From Parents Magazine:

 “It suggests that she is grasping the abstract concept of a person’s invisible tie to a thing,” says Susan Gelman, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Toddlers are little, so their reasoning is simple: Research has found that children between ages 2 and 4 tend to believe that the person who possesses an object first is the rightful owner, even if someone else gets hold of it later. 

But something important is happening at this stage of your child’s life: Her sense of self is becoming more sophisticated. When a baby sees herself in the mirror, she assumes she’s looking at an oddly two-dimensional new friend. However, a toddler can look at her reflection and understand that she’s seeing herself. In essence, a child’s sense of me emerges alongside her sense of mine. And she may be vocal about what is hers because she is focused on figuring out who she is.

As it happens, decades’ worth of other research in the social sciences has also proposed a link between our stuff and ourselves. In the 1980s, behavioral economists coined the term “endowment effect,” which suggests that we consider our possessions to be more valuable simply because they are ours. Most of the research on this has involved adults, but some studies have found that the endowment effect shows up in toddlers too.

While it’s true that they get confused about what is theirs and what isn’t, if you explicitly tell them what is theirs, they will file that information carefully away. Dr. Gelman, along with Nicholaus Noles, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist at the University of Louisville, in Kentucky, designed experiments in which 2- and 3-year-olds were shown identical toys and told that one was theirs and the other was not. When the toys were shuffled, the kids weren’t fooled; they kept careful watch and they could identify which one was theirs. In another study, the researchers added an additional question after all of the shuffling: “Which toy do you like best? The kids almost always said they liked theirs the best. Once, the kids were shown toys and a block of wood, and told that the block of wood was theirs; a surprisingly large number of kids claimed to love the wood best. “That’s just the way we’re wired,” says Dr. Noles.

Helping Your Child Learn
All of this is fascinating in theory, but your toddler’s iron grip on objects can still be frustrating in daily life. The psychologists who have studied this phase have these two pieces of advice for finessing a surge of possessiveness.

1. Explain the rules.

Toddlers aren’t being selfish or antisocial. “They’re trying to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong, and what the rules are,” says Chuck Kalish, Ph.D., principal investigator at the Study of Children’s Thinking Lab at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

One way to approach a tussle over toys is to clearly say to your child, “This truck is yours and that car isn’t.” Remember the shuffled-around-toys study? He can keep track, even at this young age, of what belongs to whom. Fortunately, as kids get a little older, they also discover that it feels good to make someone else happy by handing him a toy.

2. Then again: You don’t always have to insist on sharing.

You’ve probably learned that it makes sense to put away any very special toys or stuffed animals before another child comes over for a playdate. “After all, if a stranger picked up your purse or your phone, you’d be pretty upset,” says Ori Friedman, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist at the University of Waterloo, in Canada. You’d stick up for yourself, so why do we expect little kids to behave any differently? “When someone else yanks away a toy that your child is attached to, of course he’s going to be a bit aggressive,” Dr. Friedman says.

If you consider the fact that your child relies on her things to help her work out who she is, it becomes easier to see why sharing can be such an explosive concept. Through this lens, the “mine” stage is an exaggerated version of something most of us struggle with on occasion, no matter how old we are. Toddlers just tend to work through these frustrations a little more loudly than grown-ups do.

With the wintery weather in the forecast here in the western North Carolina mountains, there's no doubt the kids will want to be out playing in the snow! Make sure they are safe from the cold with these tips from Hendersonville Pediatrics.

Look for non-itchy fabrics such as fleece. Fleece-lined wool hats are excellent for warmth and comfort (and wool doesn't get stinky like some synthetics).
Get hats with ear flaps to keep little ears cozy.
Chin strap with buckle so the hat will stay on.
Avoid white hats - they are so hard to find in the snow!
Pompoms and ears/antlers etc are not ideal as it's hard to pull a hood over them in extreme weather, but if they make the difference between hat or no hat... get the hat your child will wear (and keep a pompom-less beanie in your pack).


Now that you are prepared, go have some fun! 

Carry some form of illumination at all times.
Trick or treat in groups.
Wear comfortable footwear.
Make sure the mask is comfortable.
Dress according to the weather.
Check suspicious candy.
Avoid unlit houses.
And don't forget that Downtown Hendersonville has Trick or Treat Street on Main Street tonight!