Stress: How to Shake it Off

Shake Off Teen StressStress. Stress has propelled me through all-night cramming sessions, helped me to create 20-page midterm papers out of nowhere, caused me to miss the game winning goal, made me actually puke when speaking in front of a crowd of people, and propelled me to get off the couch and start taking control of my life. Stress is powerful. It has helped me to do some of my greatest work and yet it is something that at times has made me feel powerless, scared, and incapable of action. Stress is something that I have spent the last 20 years trying to manage and maintain in its most healthy and balanced form. So, I thought I would blog a little about stress: what it is, why we have it, how to best manage it without letting it get the best of you, and how to shake it off.

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10 Habits to Help Your Child Eat Well (Giveaway)

Helping Your Child to Eat WellA recent anti-obesity campaign released a video that has sparked great attention. This PSA, “Rewind the Future,” features a 300-pound man having a heart attack in the ER as his life flashes before his eyes. The viewer gets a sneak peek into the habits that may have led him to that hospital.

Eating well starts at birth and there are a variety of things that parents can do to help their child develop mindful eating habits.

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Safe Use of Contact Lenses

Contact Lens Safety for TeensI’ve been thinking a lot about the eye lately. I’m not sure if it’s due to my recent visit with my sister-in-law (an optometrist), all the news about Ebola living in the eye, or an unfortunate accident which brought my left eye into contact with some hand sanitizer (ouch. I do NOT recommend trying that at home). It could be due to the frequent eye-roll my teen patients give me when discussing risk taking behaviors (“Yeah sure, Dr. Cody, you really know what it’s like to be a teenager.”).

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Slimming Down on Screen Time (Giveaway)

We all know that we should be limiting screen time. Studies find that for a child’s best development, there should be no screens for children under 2 years and less than 2 hours a day for kids over 2 years. Ironically, you may have learned this from a tweet, parenting website or blog post. There’s no question that it’s challenging to cut down on screen time. You may even have received a contradictory message at your pediatrician’s office. I talk about limiting screen time at every well child visit. But, I must confess, I do not object when a smartphone video is used to calm a kid and allow for an easier exam. I wonder about this inconsistency.

So, in writing this post, I hope to give you some tools to make limiting smartphone and screen time a little more attainable.

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Trans/lation: An introduction to gender identity

shutterstock_212663959One of April’s big news stories was Diane Sawyer’s interview with Bruce Jenner, who has come out this year as transgender. Bruce, who noted plans to change name and pronoun in the near future, isn’t the first transgender person in the spotlight. Chaz Bono, born to Cher and Sonny Bono and named Chastity at birth, came out a transgender man in 2009. Laverne Cox is an accomplished actress (most recently on Orange is the New Black) and has been a vocal activist for transgender rights and Lana Wachowski, who directed The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas with her brother, was the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender in 2012.  And while these people have bravely discussed their gender in the spotlight, they are a small fraction of the many people identifying as transgender around the world.  We’re learning more and more about the range of gender identities that exist, and this week we’ll focus on an introduction to gender identity.

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