Recently, a family in my practice decided to move out of state, back to where they had lived before. When we said goodbye, the mother said that she was sad to change pediatricians. The pediatrician they would be returning to, she said, “only takes care of strictly medical things.” Clearly, she meant that I take care of more than the strictly medical things. I was flattered, especially since this was something ...

Read more...

The other day, my 8-year-old son asked if he could have an allowance. I told him no. I don’t think Liam needs one, and I don’t really want him to have one yet. But there are plenty of parents who do give their 8-year-olds an allowance. When I Googled “allowance in kids,” I found various sites advocating starting in kindergarten. They argued that it helps them learn about money, and starts ...

Read more...

Flu season has begun, which means that it’s flu shot time. I see lots of different responses when I talk to families at our clinic about the flu shot. Some are happy to get it. Others are unsure, worried about side effects. Others plain old refuse. Plain old refusal isn’t an option for me -- as a doctor and an employee of Boston Children’s. I need to get it -- and I ...

Read more...

When you reach for ibuprofen for your sore back or a pill to help you sleep, are you sending a bad message to your kid? Yes, says Bryant Gumbel in his video commentary about the drug charges against ball player Alex Rodriguez. While he thinks that Rodriguez should be punished for being a liar and a cheat, he doesn’t think that people should be shocked by the fact that Rodriguez was ...

Read more...

Online dating is a bad idea for teens -- especially young teens. That’s why it wasn’t particularly responsible of Seventeen Magazine to publish a blog in which “dating blogger” Isabelle Furth floated the idea of using sites like Match.com to find dates. To be fair, she had concerns about the idea, and she’s in college, so theoretically old enough to make these decisions. But college kids don’t read Seventeen. Middle school ...

Read more...

We have got to stop talking about stay-at-home vs. working mothers as if it were some sort of debate, as if it were the central issue of parenting and families. It’s not. I am really annoyed by an installment in The Debate, a blog on Huffington Post in which Lisa Heffernan says that she regrets being a stay-at-home mom. She laments her loss of income (which she clearly didn’t need), and that ...

Read more...

Should we call obesity a disease—or a condition? This is a question that has become really controversial. This week, the Council on Science and Public Health of the American Medical Association (AMA) put out a report saying that obesity shouldn’t be classified as a disease. The next day, the AMA’s House of Delegates disagreed, saying it should be. You know what I think? I don’t care. It’s not that I don’t care about obesity. ...

Read more...

I'm not big on spying on teens generally. I think that privacy is important. And by the time they are teens, in most cases we need to trust that at least some of the stuff we've said for years has stuck--and we need to let them learn to be independent and make choices without us. That said, if you have a teen who drives, there's some spying I suggest, assuming you ...

Read more...

Repeated bumps to the head are bad for children. This sounds incredibly obvious, yet as a society, we don't particularly act like we get it at all. When the Bruins made it into the Stanley Cup finals, I thought about all the young hockey players who would be inspired to practice harder and play harder in the hope of one day doing the same. And I wondered: if they bumped their ...

Read more...

If you believe in vaccines, please speak up If you believe in vaccines, can you speak up? When we are unsure about decisions, we want to know what our friends and loved ones think. This is normal and understandable; after all, these are people who are important to us, people whose opinions we value and trust. We also turn to these people when making medical decisions--including ones about immunizations. While what ...

Read more...

Most Popular