Tag Archives: video games

The New 6 Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children, by John Rosemond PhD (Book Review Pedcast)

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Here we go again with another edition of DocSmo.com, the pediatric blog that brings parents portable, practical pediatrics on their schedules. For those listeners who are new to my blog, I am Dr. Paul Smolen, a board certified pediatrician with 32 years of practice experience.  Today I am going to continue my book review series with my thoughts on a new parenting book by the (sometimes controversial) psychologist Dr. John Rosemond. I must admit, I never read the old Six Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy, Children by Dr. Rosemond. I assume that the “points” are the same as in the original edition, but that the newer book has more supporting research and anecdotes to validate his recommendations. So, first the basics: this “new” edition is well written with clear, approachable language; it is practical in layout, with part of each chapter including a question and answer format; it is not full of psychological jargon, thank goodness; and even though Dr. Rosemond does not provide footnotes, I have to assume that he is accurately summarizing and paraphrasing the research which he references.

Now to some of the solutions to parenting problems that he stresses in the book. Dr. Rosemond provides what he sees as easy answers to many behavior problems parents may encounter. If you have children who don’t listen and are prone to whining, he thinks it is likely that your discipline is failing and that your child is getting too much attention. If you have a child with ADHD, he believes that the TV and video games are likely the culprit; he recommends getting rid of them and the problem may be solved. If your child is self-centered, Dr. Rosemond thinks you are giving them too many “things.”  He contends that if a child can’t entertain himself, he probably has too many toys and outlets for amusement. All these circumstances may be true for certain children, but certainly not all.

Readers need to be for warned that this book is full of Dr. Rosemond’s own opinions, replete with “in your face” classic Dr.Rosemond style. I am sure his blunt advice will rub many readers the wrong way. I think the reason for this is Dr. Rosemond’s insistence on only paying attention to the limit-setting side of the successful parenting formula and ignoring the leadership-love side. Yes, limits need to be set, I totally agree, and a child needs to provide labor for his or her family, and TV and video games are undoubtedly a negative force in some children’s lives, but equally important to a child’s healthy psychological development are a parents’ ability to provide consistent love and acceptance, making children feel needed, creating an atmosphere where children want to please their parents, and setting a good example for children to model.  I am sure Dr. Rosemond understands how important leadership is to parenting, but I think he needs to articulate it more as he gives parenting advice. Maybe he will do exactly that in the New-New Six Point Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Children… the next edition?  In my opinion, that would make a good book into a great one. I give him four Doc Smo stars on this edition. Until next time.

Does your child walk “Distracted”? (Article)

A recent study done by Safe Kids Worldwide has found drastic increases in teenage injuries and fatalities linked to crossing the street carelessly. Although crossing the road is a part of many teenagers’ everyday routine, few give a second thought as to how risky this seemingly simple task may be. When children are young, parents regularly remind them to look both ways and hold hands before crossing the street.  Unfortunately, when the teenage years arrive, many teens throw all caution to the wind. Many teenagers, with their mindsets of invulnerability, take safety for granted and allow distractions to take priority over basic safety. Almost 80% of teens believe that pedestrian accidents affect mostly younger children, but in reality, older teenagers account for over half of street crossing fatalities in children up to nineteen years of age. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, pedestrian injuries among 16-19 year olds have increased by over 25% in the past five years. One in five high schoolers and one in eight middle schoolers cross the street while distracted.

What has caused this surprising and sudden increase in injuries and fatalities among teen walkers? All signs point to increased distractions by talking, texting, listening to music, and video games.. As technology becomes more prevalent in teenage culture, the danger of being distracted while walking increase greatly. 39% of distractions were attributed to texting, and another 39% were due to listening to music with ear buds in place. Another 20% of distractions occurred while talking on the phone, and the final 2% were linked to the use of hand-held video games. When a teenager becomes distracted by technology, the real world becomes blocked out, sometimes with deadly consequences.

Take time today to begin a conversation with your children about distracted walking, bike riding, or even driving, Convince your teen to put away the phone, put down the videogame, and take out the ear buds while moving. Hearing and seeing oncoming traffic might give them the few seconds they need to avoid disaster. Urge them to use all their senses, look both ways, and pay attention while crossing the street. While it is probably impossible to prevent all pedestrian injuries in children, increasing caution and decreasing distractions is a good place to start. Telling your teen to be careful while crossing the road may seem elementary and cliché, but it could save their life.

Your comments and stories are welcome at my blog, www.docsmo.com.  While you are there, take a few moments to explore the literally hundreds of audio posts, interviews, book reviews, and articles about pediatric topics. Until next time.

Smo Notes:

  1. http://www.safekids.org/infographic/how-does-teen-cross-road

Written collaboratively by Keri Register and Paul Smolen M.D.

Retrospective Thoughts from 2010 (Pedcast)

This week’s podcast is a partial retrospective of the past years pedcasts.  Sometimes, it helps to look back as well as forward.  We at DocSmo appreciate 2010 and are anxious to get into 2011.

 

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