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Why do young children dawdle?

Why do young children dawdle?

Tips on dealing with dawdlers - hint: no yelling. 

December 06, 2014 7:30 amLoading…
Divorce hurts kids and the pain can last a lifetime

Divorce hurts kids and the pain can last a lifetime

Many divorcing parents are in denial when it come to the effects of the divorce on the children.

November 22, 2014 12:45 pmLoading…
Learning new tricks means being aware of what's important

Learning new tricks means being aware of what's important

Celebrate the end of each day. Stop whatever you are doing and watch the sun set. 

November 08, 2014 3:00 pmLoading…
Real life is better for kids than a small screen

Real life is better for kids than a small screen

One way to raise happier children: Put down that iPad and cellphone and pay attention to them.

October 25, 2014 8:15 amLoading…
Four types of child-speak do not include yelling or repeating

Four types of child-speak do not include yelling or repeating

It's easy for parents to say too much and talk too loud.

October 11, 2014 1:00 pmLoading…
Spanking as a chicken-or-egg conundrum

Spanking as a chicken-or-egg conundrum

Spankings promote aggression; unruly kids get more spankings.

September 06, 2014 4:00 pmLoading…
The hardest type of parenting on the planet

The hardest type of parenting on the planet

What is “Reverse parenting”? This upside-down family configuration occurs when an adult child must assume care for a parent because the parent can no longer care for himself or herself. To my way of thinking, this is the hardest type of parenting on the planet.

August 02, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Parents can learn to care for terrifying newborn

Parents can learn to care for terrifying newborn

Prospective mother worries about care for her newborn.

July 20, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Let your child solve his own play problems

Let your child solve his own play problems

It's hard to watch your kid get teased, but step back and let him handle it.

June 22, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: Don't rush preschool children into giving up pacifiers

“My daughter is 22 months old and is attached to her pacifier when she sleeps. My husband and I have weaned her from it during waking hours a few months back. The problem is she uses it to fall asleep at naptime and at night when she goes to bed. She is very attached to it when she tries to …

May 25, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Part of parenting is learning to respect adult children's decisions, tattoos and all

“My daughter is 25. She graduated from college and is employed in a good job she likes. She has worked hard and is a great kid I am very proud of.

May 04, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Tiny tyrants drive parents nuts, but the children also lose

Tiny tyrants are made, not born, as you can see from my answers to the following two questions.

March 23, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

A few observations from a doting grandmother

This column is based on my observations of a 20-month-old little boy who lives in California. Joshua is an adorable, happy, bright, talkative, curious, friendly little guy. Both his parents are loving, devoted and dedicated to being the best parents they can be. Mom works during the day so D…

March 09, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Telling children about euthanasia and death

A recent question: “We recently had to put our dog down because she bit a repairman. I’m not sure how to tell our 3-year-old what happened to the dog. What should we say?

February 23, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Dumb parenting mistakes

My readers know I am a pediatrician, mother, stepmother and grandmother. I acknowledge that I have learned a lot about parenting over the years. But I well remember how I felt during my own parenting days: the struggles to do the right thing, the confusion about what the right thing was, the…

January 26, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Meltdown at the Park

‘Hey, Mom, what do I do when Joshua has a meltdown in the park because we have to go home? He was screaming and crying and made himself so rigid I could hardly pick him up and strap him in the stroller. What is the best way to handle this?”

January 12, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Heins risks being a scold and a Grinch: 'Go easy on the toy shopping.'

Almost every year at this time I write a holiday column about holiday stress (avoid it) or holiday manners (promote them). I have also written about toy overload so often it can seem I’m nagging.

December 15, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: No matter the age, hurting others isn't OK

"I have two girls, 4 and 11. My brother has a 2-year-old daughter who ALWAYS hits, scratches, bites, pulls hair and pokes my younger daughter's eye. This happens at every family event and even on a trip when our families shared a suite. My daughter had bite marks after the trip. I baby-sat m…

August 04, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Kids need to hear the rules on behavior

What really bugs parents of young children? The public display of embarrassing behaviors that arise from egocentricity.

July 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: 'The talk' guidelines for our role models in chief

Parents are the first teachers. They have strong influence because of the special parent-child bond and the fact that they spend more time with their child than any single teacher.

July 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Anxious parents take wind out of kids' sails, so learn to back away

How come parenting advice sometimes seems contradictory?

May 26, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Parents should buy 'naked' foods that roll around in the cart

Author Michael Pollan has taught us a very simple way to eat healthy. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." He also cautioned that it is far better to eat food that grows rather than the packaged stuff made of many ingredients processed in a factory.

May 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Remove toddler who bites, pulls hair from situation; swoop in as trouble brews

A recent question in my inbox: "My 19-month-old toddler is becoming very aggressive … biting, pulling hair. She has picked up this behavior at her day-care center, where it seems to be rampant. I am quite concerned about transferring her to another day care where she might be a primary aggre…

April 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Too many toys, and the wrong kind, can short-circuit a baby's education

Can a baby have too many toys? Absolutely. Can parents and grandparents be conned into buying the wrong kinds of toys? You bet.

April 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: He's trying hard to love his stepdaughter but just can't

A recent question of importance: I do not recall being asked this before as a columnist, although when I was in practice occasionally a new mother or father would be greatly troubled about the same issue: I try to but I don't like my child, doctor.

March 31, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: The right way, and wrong way, to praise

I have written a good deal on the subjects of praise (the right way to do it) and self-esteem (how it is misunderstood and overrated by parents and teachers).

March 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Mother's behavior destructive for her small children

Recent question in my Inbox: "I am the grandmother of three beautiful children (ages 4, 6, and 10) with whom I live and help raise. Their single mother, my daughter, has been involved in about six relationships over the past 3 years, with a 2-3 week interval in between relationships. I am wo…

March 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: This 19-year-old needs a firm push to develop a plan

Recent question: "I have a 19-year-old boy who acts more like he is a 14-year old.

February 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: There are better strategies than lying

Should parents deliberately lie to their children to get them to behave? Of course not! Trust is the basis of all human relationships.

February 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Try 5 simple steps to fend off the flu and germs naturally

Because 48 states, including Arizona, report epidemic levels of flu and because this season's flu is hitting children hard, we are reprinting a column originally published in this newspaper on Dec. 25, 2011.

January 27, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Work with child to accept new sibling

"Hello, I love your advice. Do you have any new ideas about bringing a new baby into the family? I have a daughter who just turned 2 and a new daughter who is 1 month old. As one would expect, some days are good and others are not. I'm just wondering how I can make it easier for my 2-year-ol…

January 20, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Take time to teach children the art of conversation

Have you noticed that people are constantly communicating by gadget but don't talk to each other as much as they used to?

January 06, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Dad must give young daughter time to adjust

Q: My partner has just found out he has a 4 1/2-year-old daughter and wants to be part of her life. He wants to see her once a week, but I believe this is too much too soon. Is there a best practice to introduce him into her life?

December 23, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Guest Column: Let's be rational: Kids can't be 'collateral damage'

My job is providing advice to parents. On the day I write this, Dec.15, every American is a parent. We are all grieving parents to the 20 innocent children who were slaughtered in their elementary school classroom and to the many other children who were traumatized by being at the school that day.

December 18, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Introspection can help tame adult's childish behavior

Q: I read your column, "To be a good role model, be a grown-up parent" (Arizona Daily Star, Sunday, Nov. 4). Wow, did it ever hit home with me. I adopted my 13-year-old granddaughter several years ago. I completely agree with your reasoning 100 percent. My question is how does a person grow …

December 09, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Observe your child's behaviors, ask his doctor about them

Numbers can help us understand the world. If fewer than 9 percent of a group of children exhibit a certain behavior, we understand that the behavior is not common.

November 11, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: To be a good role model, be a grown-up parent

I once received this email: "I read that Dr. Heins was a mother and I would like to know if she has ever had strong-willed or stubborn kids and not felt the need to spank them which it so lays out at least three times in the book of Proverbs in the Bible. I would also like to know if she has…

November 04, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Attach traditions, manners, less hoopla to holiday meal

Even before you order your Thanksgiving turkey, I suggest you take a deep breath and resolve to diminish holiday stress at your house this season.

October 28, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Kids need to organize all their stuff

I get a lot of parent complaints about the state of the child's bedroom. As parenting issues go this is pretty trivial, but this kind of triviality can drive parents nuts.

October 21, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Divorce happens to kids, too; here's how to help them through it

What are "divorce vows" and why should divorcing parents take them??

October 14, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Growing 'opportunity gap' should be worrisome

Why should we care about other people's children, people we don't even know?

October 07, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Mom needs to calmly discuss sex with daughter

Right after I finished last week's column on cellphones for children, I received this email from a frantic mother:

September 30, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Parents must teach, model appropriate, safe cellphone use

Five years ago I wrote a column on cellphone use by parents. Grandmothers like me were beginning to notice stroller moms in markets or restaurants talking nonstop on their cellphone while ignoring their child.

September 23, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: This tot is asking for more special time with Mom

A recent question: "We added twin girls to our family three months ago. Over the past month or so, my 3-year-old son has been joking a lot with the words 'potty' and 'bottom.' He likes to kiss his sisters and get in their personal space. A couple of weeks ago, he started kissing their diaper…

September 16, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Don't nag, interfere as you teach children to be responsible

You can't tell a new baby to be responsible. But you can have high expectations for a child from birth. Expectations that the child will grow up to become an adult who is a loving, caring human being and a responsible citizen. This is a tall order for new parents, but it's our job.

September 09, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Resisting advertising is cure for 'too much stuff'

Last week's column dealt with some possible reasons many parents give their children too much stuff and fail to give their children enough responsibility. Here are some suggestions for parents who realize they may be doing this and want to change tactics. These are mostly from a talk I have …

September 02, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Fear of discipline plagues parents, monsterlike kids

More than 10 years ago, I wrote about an "epidemic" of parents so afraid to discipline their kids that they turned their offspring into unhappy monsters whom no one likes to be with, not even the parents.

August 26, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Marilyn Heins: ParenTip of the week: Busy moms need to set aside quality time with each kid

A question I just received from a frazzled mother: "How can a working mother trying to go to nursing school at the same time manage the stress of not being with my kids? How do I avoid feeling guilty, overwhelmed and impatient with them, and how can I recoup the time I miss with them?"

August 19, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

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