Family Time Family Time 11/7/16

Herald Journal Publishing, Inc. PO Box 129 Winsted, MN 55395 PRESORT STANDARD ECRWSS U. S. POSTAGE PAID Herald Journal Publishing Inc. Postal Customer Family Time Nov. 7, 2016 Timely information for today’s busy local families Family Time – pg. 1-2-9-10 Classifieds – pg. 3-7 Going Out – pg. 8 Raising happy, healthy kids Local pediatrician shares tips for successful parenting BY STARRLA CRAY Associate Editor It’s Monday morning, and your 6-yearold is refusing to get dressed for school – again. “I have a stomach ache,” he says, rolling over in bed. You suspect something else is going on, since your son is only “sick” on school days. His teacher agrees to keep watch for anything unusual, and you both discover that another boy is bullying him on the playground. Magically, the stomach aches disappear once the issue is resolved. This scenario happened to Dr. Alexandria Kalina years ago, and she shared the story during a presentation at Glencoe Regional Health Services Oct. 13. Kalina’s three children are now in their 20s, but she hasn’t forgotten the struggles of having toddlers, teens, and everything in between. “This is a tough, tough job, being a parent,” Kalina said, acknowledging that things have gotten even more complicated with increasing technology. With the “explosion” of the internet, Kalina said parents need to exercise balance and caution. “Be very careful about giving your child a smart phone, tablet, or access to the internet when they are young,” she noted. “Be sure they only use these devices in an open space, where you can see them.” Winning at losing Today’s parents also face societal pressure to focus on children’s self-esteem, according to Kalina. “I think we are doing our kids a bit of a disservice,” she said. “If they’re told over and over that they’re a winner, how do they learn to accept losing?” Eventually, everyone will lose at something, Kalina explained, whether its being cut from a sports team, being turned down for a certain college, or not getting the job they wanted. “I’m one who firmly believes that the more they can lose while they’re still with us, the more we can help them cope with losing,” she said. Because of differing personalities, not all parenting strategies will work the same with each child. Some children, for instance, are expressive, while others internalize their feelings. Kalina said her oldest child wanted to do everything perfectly, which is typical for a firstborn. Her second child, in contrast, was more carefree, and was OK with learning from mistakes. Toddlers to teens Children also react differently depending on their age. Toddlers, for example, often have issues with bedtime and mealtimes. “It’s really a battle of wills,” Kalina said. Long-Term Care Close to Home! PERSONALIZED SENIOR LIVING We are here to help with this difficult decision. Before you call a nursing home, see what Cedar Crest can offer at a lower price! � We provide ALL Levels of Care! • All Private Rooms with suites available • Memory Care Unit at no extra cost Dr. Alexandria Kalina, a pediatrician at Glencoe Regional Health Services, gave a practical parenting presentation Oct. 13. SUBMITTED PHOTO As kids enter elementary school, other challenges arise. “They are often tired and cranky after school, and they have to learn how to incorporate homework into their lives,” Kalina said. By middle school, kids are “aching for more independence,” and are “dealing with physical and emotional changes with puberty.” At this stage, Kalina said children are generally “very vulnerable,” but will never admit it. High school students also face pressure, as they try to balance school, extracurricular activities, a social life, part-time work, and distractions with social media. “They think they know everything,” Kalina said, adding that as children enter their 20s, that attitude typically dissipates. “For those in the thick of it, there’s hope.” She encouraged parents to provide compassion and empathy while still providing structure. “It’s all about balance, and balance is very difficult,” she said. At every age, children need love and nurturing, and they understand when someone shows appreciation for their talents, thanks them, admits mistakes, and acknowledges their concerns. “Kids are very perceptive,” Kalina said. “Don’t mistake innocence for ignorance.” Kalina noted that part of nurturing is providing choices – but not too many. Two to three choices of outfits, movies, or books is generally plenty. Consistent, calm, and clear Boundaries are generally love/hate with children. Although they resist them, deep down they crave the security of structure. Rules should have clear consequences, and they should be in written form somewhere easy to see (such as on the refrigerator). They should also be reviewed often. ‘It’s all about balance, and balance is very difficult’ – Dr. Alexandria Kalina • Medicaid Residents Welcome • Personalized 24 Hour Care • 33 Services and Amenities INCLUDED in our LOW Base Rate! “Don’t make a consequence if you’re not going to enforce it,” Kalina said, adding that consequences should be realistic, and be tailored to a child’s age and temperament. Time-outs, for example, could be on minute for every year of age. A 2-year-old would get a two-minute time out, while a 7-year-old would have a seven-minute time-out. Taking away a favorite toy, TV privilege, or activity can also be effective discipline, Kalina added. No matter what, parents need to stay calm. “Yelling won’t help much,” Kalina said. Consistency is a key to successful parenting, she added. 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