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Articles > Answers to the most vexing parenting dilemmas

Answers to the most vexing parenting dilemmas

Provided by HealthMonitor

'She won't take her medicine'
Kids have different preferences'some like chewable tablets, while others favor liquid. If your child refuses to take the medication or spits it out, ask her pediatrician if it can be ordered in another form, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics. If the doctor prescribes a liquid, ask your pediatrician or pharmacist if it's safe to mix with juice or pudding. Or find out if your pharmacy can add a flavor such as apple, banana, cherry, citrus or vanilla. Regardless of how good it tastes, never tell your child a medicine is "candy''you don't want her reaching for it to satisfy a sweet tooth!

'My daughter just doesn't listen!'
It may be you're not giving her enough choices to make'and that can lead to rebellious behavior. Try giving her choices about small things that are important to her, whether it's deciding which healthy snack to eat or what color sneaker she wants to buy. She will feel better about herself, respected by you and more likely to follow your rules.

'There's a lice outbreak at school!"
These tiny, wingless insects are very contagious, and they can spread quickly at schools, slumber parties and sports activities. They're a common problem for kids ages 3 through 12, who tend to have close physical contact'and they strike girls more often than boys. Lice aren't dangerous, but their bites can cause your child's scalp to become itchy and inflamed. Frequent scratching can lead to skin irritation and infection. The best way to keep these bugs at bay is to tell your child not to share clothing, bed linens, combs, brushes and hats with others.

'My kids fight and scratch!'
Sometimes sibs lash out at each other because they're not getting enough individual attention. The good news: Just 10 minutes of "special time" every day can make a difference. Hold your daughter's hand as she goes roller-skating around the block. Play a hand of gin rummy with your son. Another strategy: Help bickering kids come up with ways to defuse their anger. Tell them to go out and shoot some baskets or count backward from 10 to one. And whatever you do, keep hungry, tired kids apart!

'My sons are screen junkies'
You're not alone. Kids as young as 8 spend nearly 7.5 hours per day with media, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Menlo Park, CA. That's not surprising, since playing video games, surfing the Web and watching TV are much more intriguing than crunching numbers or studying spelling words. Still, just as kids shouldn't eat too much candy, they shouldn't spend too much time parked in front of a screen, says Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that focuses on kids and media exposure. Here's how to stay on top of their media "diet':
" Set a good example. Don't spend an excessive amount of time texting, checking emails or watching TV. Your kids are always watching you.
" Know what screens are most interesting to your child. Play your sons" favorite Wii game with them and explore the websites they are drawn to. The more involved you
are with their digital life, the better you'll be able to guide them'and enforce limits.
" Create a schedule. Have your children help you come up with a list of what they need to do after school. Homework and outdoor play should come before video games and TV. Experts say it's good for kids to be bored, because it forces them to find creative ways to entertain themselves.
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