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!

 

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! 

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.

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!

Ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat” and not think much of it? Well, it’s a scientifically true statement because “ the nutritional content of what we eat determines the composition of our cell membranes, bone marrow, blood, hormones, tissue, organs, skin, and hair ” and some research has even suggested that what we eat affects our genes.

Clearly, our physical and mental well-being are directly linked to the foods we eat. Unless your children are homeschooled, they’ll probably eat lunch, one of the most important meals of the day, at school almost every weekday for most of the year.

While you may not be able to 100% control what they eat and how much when they are out of sight and away for most of the day at school, there are some practical measures you can take to ensure that they have healthy options to choose from.
If you pack a lunch for your child to bring to school

Plan ahead. It's almost impossible to pack a healthy lunch if you don’t plan ahead. Plan out your child’s meals for the week and make a shopping list of all the things you’ll need. Take that list with you when you go grocery shopping so you can purchase all the necessary items. Then choose a time slot of an hour or 2 during the weekend to set up the lunches.
If you have younger children, it’s important that you pack their lunches for them so that all they have to do is grab it and go.
If you have older children, just provide the options, and they can select what they prefer to eat that day. For example, if you prepped an assortment of salads, sandwiches, and wraps for the week for your tweens and teens in middle and high school, place the items in the fridge, let your kids know where the items are and then every morning before they leave for school, they can reach in the fridge, grab what they want and head out the door.

Choose a sturdy lunch box or lunch bag that will last the entire year. Brown paper bag lunch sacks are great for packing snacks every now and then, but if your child is bringing perishable foods to school for lunch, it’s important that those items stay cool to avoid food poisoning. Find an insulated lunch box that will keep foods cool and make sure to pack an ice pack as well.

Before packing leftovers that may need to be reheated, make sure there is a microwave or toaster oven available for your child to use at school. Nothing is worse than eating cold leftover spaghetti.

Pack a variety of foods. It’s ok to include a cookie or a bag of chips but make sure that’s not the only snack you pack. Make sure the lunches you pack include a protein, a fruit, a vegetable and some water and if you pack a cookie or a bag of chips, make sure that it’s being packed in addition to (and not instead of) the healthy items listed above. Click here for some healthy lunch ideas.

Never pack a soft drink or sugary drink. Always send your child to school with a bottle of water. If you do pack something in addition to water, please make sure the label says 100% juice, otherwise (unless it’s tea or milk), the drink is usually just some artificially flavored, artificially colored liquid filled with ingredients your child is best to do without.
If your child eats a lunch provided by the school

See if you can get a menu of what the school cafeteria will serve for lunch each day. Many elementary schools will send one home with the child every month. Be sure to pay close attention to it by hanging it on the door of your refrigerator. That way, you can know what days you may need to supplement your child’s lunch or send your child to school with a lunch from home (for instance, if they are serving something that you do not want your child to eat). Most middle and high schools serve pretty much the same options every day for your child to choose from. If that’s the case, talk to your tweens and teens about what they’re eating at school and encourage them to always eat a piece of fruit or vegetable if it’s available. Just in case, try to have some fruits and veggies such as oranges, apples, bananas, carrots, sweet peppers, celery and grape tomatoes available at home so they can take it with them to school to eat along with their school lunch.

If you notice that your child is gaining weight or often lacks energy even though you typically serve healthy options at home, your child may be purchasing unhealthy foods at school. Many schools sell cookies, cakes, ice cream, chips, sports drinks, sodas and other sugary drinks in the cafeteria during lunch and it’s possible that your child is spending his lunch money on those unhealthy options. If that is the case, you may want to consider packing their lunches instead.

On the other hand, you might need to start packing something for your child to bring to school to supplement her school lunch if you notice she is always hungry when she comes home because she is not getting enough to eat at school.
Regardless of whether your child eats a school lunch or one brought from home, please always send them to school with water. Kids these days are not getting enough water which is negatively affecting all aspects of their health including their brain health, their physical health, and emotional health . To save money (and to lessen the negative impact on the environment) purchase a water bottle that will last for the entire school year instead of repeatedly buying disposable water bottles. That way, your child can bring that bottle to school with them every day and refill it at water fountains throughout the day.

Obesity is rapidly becoming an epidemic amongst our youth. Preventing it starts at home. In addition, eating unhealthily can wreak havoc on a child’s mental health, physical health, energy levels, ability to focus and academic achievement.

So do your best to encourage and support your children to eat healthily now, and they will continue reaping the benefits throughout their lives .