Parental Resources

At my children’s yearly checkup, our thorough and astute pediatrician recommended at least 1 hour of exercise daily. As a family we aim for 2 hours now that the weather is warm and the days are longer. In fact, when I wear the hat of being a psychologist, I advise at least 20 minutes of uninterrupted aerobic exercise in order to aid the body in releasing the natural endorphins for a boost in mood and “ feel good feelings,”clarity of thought and reducing physical ailments. The added bonus of doing exercise outdoors is sunlight, which is a similar mood booster and opportunity to break from the monotonous indoor experience.

With those recommendations in mind, it is astounding how many children and adults have taken to riding bikes since the end of March.  Biking, a sport that naturally provides for socially safe practice of distancing became the number one exercise to people of all ages. Kids and adults alike have been using biking in order to handle the rigors of quarantine. Riding bikes has increased by 140 percent in recent months.  Bike stores are sold out of popular models, equipment and are at capacity with appointments for consultation or purchase.

One significant issue pertaining to biking is helmet safety. According to the University of Michigan study, nearly 1 in 5 parents say their child never wears a helmet while riding a bike. Why are some kids not wearing helmets? There are several issues kids face with regards to wearing a helmet.

PEER PRESSURE: “No one is wearing one so why should I?! People will be making fun of me. I am going to look weird to my friends.”

Discomfort: “I really sweat with the helmet on. And if I sweat too much I don’t want to ride.”

Parents:” If my parents don’t wear one when we bike, why should I? They don’t remind me so I don’t remember.”

Lazy: “It takes some effort to get it on.  Why should I waste my energy?”

Education:” I have no ideas about the consequences of not wearing a helmet.”

Parents need to model for their children safety and caution. Kids learn from what parents do more than from what they say. If parents do not wear helmets themselves, regardless of how big of a deal they make about enforcing the rules about wearing helmets, statistics show that kids will be less likely to wear helmets.  It is not easy to talk about injury or worse. However, a basic education regarding the functions of the body parts and how we take care of those parts shows responsible parenting.  No one said being a parent would be easy. However, there are ways to talk about helmet safety in a way that is manageable.

Peer pressure is a significant factor in why kids don’t wear helmets. It is up to schools, camps and organizations that have authority over kids, to make wearing helmets be part of the cool culture and looked upon as essential rather than voluntary. Awards given, promotions shown and attention drawn to those who not only show excellence in skill but meticulousness in safety would support the cause. It is the job of the media and fashion setters to include the look of a biking helmet as being a cool trend to wear safety gear. Head to toe, inside and out. Lets make it a safe way. SeeBeShop


Facts and figures about necessity of wearing a helmet


Links to helmets for kids: best helmets for children


Work to enter into your child’s world to create a bond and understanding about what is going on. But how? Often a child will not make it easy. She may put up a fight. She may not easily express how she feels. Open ended phrases such as “I see its hard.” “ I see your having a struggle,” allow the child to be left with the important message of empathy. Some kids don’t want too much attention drawn to them or the issue. Avoiding direct eye contact and speaking a little at a time, helps to leave the message with minimal arguing. For some kids hearing that either you or someone you know experienced a similar experience (permission for creative stretching!) takes some of the defensiveness away. Once you have the child’s attention, help your child by asking for clarification about what would be reasons for her to get better. Understand how it is interfering with what she wants to do. Sharing with each other helps in making a bond that helps both you and child to feel part of a team. I don’t know about you, but it is certainly easier to carry a load with another than carry it all myself!!

© MStudioImages / iStock

The coronavirus pandemic has produced a variety of critical challenges for school leaders. On the fourth day of “mom-schooling,” I noticed a shift in my 9-year-old daughter’s typical tenacity. She seemed underwhelmed and uncertain about our new normal and what to do with her time. In response, I emailed some parents from her basketball team and set up a virtual lunch, where the team could connect with one another online, as if they were at recess on the playground.

© Edwin Torres

Around the nation, K–12 schools are frantically trying to adapt to abrupt closures during the coronavirus. But while all teachers are struggling with the new normal, special education teachers in particular are facing unparalleled challenges transitioning both their teaching—and their students and families—to home-based instruction tailored to each student’s needs.

In the 1990s, a small team of researchers compiled and published an unusual list. It was an elaborate taxonomy of the imaginary friends of hundreds of three- and four-year-olds, with accompanying descriptions. Among the fantastical beings—filed into Linnaean categories like ‘Magical Child’ and ‘Ghost, Angel Presence’—were invisible, plaid-colored fleas hunted by space aliens, a chatty green cyclops with a penchant for world travel, and a mercurial creature named Baintor who lived hidden in lamplight.

With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, all youth, high school, college and professional sports seasons have been stopped waiting on government organizations to give permission to return to regular activities. We know that schools have gone to online for academics. Where does that leave youth athletes who are in the middle of sports seasons? On this week’s On Call for All Kids, Patrick Mularoni, M.D., the medical director of the Pediatric Sports Medicine program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, provides parents and students with some tips about getting back into the sports routine.

After just one week in coronavirus quarantine at home with her family of four, 14-year-old Grace from Virginia says she started noticing she felt more relaxed than usual.

“I know I am less stressed because I feel happier, more organized, and I am doing things I enjoy doing,” says Grace, who asked that her real name not be used..

For the Clark family of Tampa, Florida, quarantine means learning a brand new song every morning and performing it for their ever-growing web audience every evening. Of course, it helps that dad Colt Clark is a professional musician!

The entire Clark family is naturally creative. Mom Aubree Clark is a photographer who also homeschools all three kids, and both of their sons already play instruments. When the coronavirus hit, Colt and Aubree suddenly found themselves with a lot more time on their hands — and creative energy to burn!

Is there anything more agonizing than running late for work and watching your 4-year-old try to tie his shoes?

One lace slips out of his hand as he S-L-O-W-L-Y tries to loop the other around. So he starts over again. And again. And again.