Week in Review…ParentingintheLoop!

Calm before the “Perfect Storm”

As my friends and family on the East coast get ready for yet another “Perfect Storm” now known as “Frankenstorm”, I am concerned for all of them. Here are some helpful tips on how to get ready if you are a mom or mom to be. The March of Dimes has a list for you from News Moms Need.

Halloween is coming and so, apparently, is a storm to match The Perfect Storm. Radio and TV weather reports have hurricane Sandy set to impact millions of lives all along the east coast of the U.S. Are you ready? Are you taking precautions should your basement flood or you lose power for several days?


Kids Apps

This past week I attended a parent meeting at our school which was a discussion on screen time and media time and kids. Since then I have noticed a few bloggers talking about the same topic. Where exactly do you stand on how much is too much screen time for your kids?

Many parents feel that screens have taken over their family’s lives. While few could argue about the benefits digital devices offer, as parents, it’s important that we establish guidelines for their use so they remain tools, rather than a source of endless distraction from real life.

Lisa Belkin, one of my favorite writers at Huffington Post, also wrote about her love of technology this week.
Personally, I do not feel that she has failed her children…in addition, I think that her love of technology has helped so many families with her timely discussions… this post being one that discusses how her work has influenced her family. Thank you Lisa, for sharing yourself as a mom and a writer!

Dilemma: “Halloween and Kids with Food Allergies”

As Halloween excitement heightens so can the anxiety of a parent whose child has a food allergy.

Kids with food allergies can feel left out when it comes to parties and activities such as Trick or Treating. With some simple preparation, parents can ease their own anxiety as well as the anxiety of their kids. Who would not want to lessen their child’s anxiety?

Years ago, when my own children were small…we were concerned about candy containing  pins and razor blades. My husband missed our daughter’s first Halloween because he was ex-raying candy at the local hospital, making sure it had no foreign objects in it.

Now it is a combined worry…tainted candy and candy containing food allergens. For contemporary parents, life has become complicated beyond the lives of their own parents.

Here are a few tips for a safe Halloween for children with food allergies.

Teach your child about allergies and Halloween

Chances are very good, you have already talked to your child about his/her food allergy. It may be a good idea to reinforce this information before Halloween and talk about the plan in place to keep them safe from a reaction to any candy. It might be good to tell them, all kids’ candy should be inspected before eating…it is not just because they have allergies that makes inspection necessary. This could help them feel that they are not being singled out because of their allergies.

Sort candy and treats at home

Set up a special place to sort all candy…one by one inspect it carefully for ingredients.

Have emergency medications handy

Have your meds handy while Trick or Treating,  just in case…better to be safe than sorry.

Switch Witch

You might want to adopt the “Switch Witch” in your home. Children pick out a few pieces of candy and leave the rest out overnight for the “Switch Witch,”  who will take it and leave them a present. This gets rid of all unwanted candy and usually makes kids happy to see it go.






Toast Tuesday….a day late!

I love the blog Weighty Matters written by Yoni Freedhoff…a physician…

About Me

My Photo

Family doc, Assistant Prof. at the University of Ottawa, and founder of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute – a multi-disciplinary, ethical, evidence-based nutrition and weight management centre. Nowadays I’m more likely to stop drugs than start them, and love going to work in the morning.


That’s exactly what I did when I opened the email that contained the photo up above (I think I may have swore too).

It was snapped just a few weeks ago in the London Children’s Museum where for reasons I can’t fathom they have a miniature McDonald’s set up for kids to play in. Here’s another shot that I found online:

via Weighty Matters: WTF? An Insane Parental “No” File from London’s Children’s Museum.


What do you think about having a miniature of McDonald’s for kids in your home or at a Children’s Museum?

Disclosure: We have an old miniature Mc Donald’s stand in our playroom…bought at a garage sale, complete with sounds of milkshake mixer and french fry maker. It is a favorite play toy in our house. Does that tell you anything about us as grandparents?

Week in Review from ParentingintheLoop

It’s Friday, so here are some quick, informative reads that I came across this week.

  •  Do you ever wonder what your pediatrician would like you to do for your preschooler?
  •  Below is a quick highlight of a post from one of my favorite sites Baby Center.

Top 5 things doctors wish you’d do for your preschooler | BabyCenter.

1. Don’t make potty training a battle

2. Have two-way conversations

3. Stop germs at the sink

4. Enforce the helmet law, even at home

5. Don’t use the doctor as punishment


  • How do you raise children without using punishment when their behavior gets out of line?
  • I found a blogger, who does just that…read her tips for a punishment free home!

What does a punishment-free home look like?.

What we have in our home is a lot of love, a lot of respect, a lot of empathy, and a lot of communication.


  • We are a tech savvy home and we have books everywhere including on e-readers.
  • In particular I have a series from the Smithsonian Institution about T-Rex, Penguins and Polar Bears, my 4 year old grandchild loves these books on my i-Phone…you can read them yourself or you can listen to them being read to you. They are delightful.

Should Your Child Be Using an E-Reader? | CSH Greenwich Middle School Parent Blog

Adults with e-readers and tablets continue to report that they’re reading more, a trend that we can hope trickles down to younger readers. After all, we should always be happy seeing children reading, no matter the format.




Preventing Sports Concussions Among Children…Some Ways To Help

I see those positives. Yet if it were my call, those millions would be playing touch football instead. Many would be learning the fundamentals of tackling and other football skills. But they would not be playing tackle football until they turned 14.

via Preventing Sports Concussions Among Children | CSH Greenwich Middle School Parent Blog.


This is a statement made by

Robert C. Cantu, a clinical professor in the department of neurosurgery and a co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at the Boston University School of Medicine, is a co-author with Mark Hyman of the new book “Concussions and Our Kids.”

After reading this blog post from a parent blog at Greenwhich Middle School, I could not help but agree with Dr. Cantu from a medical point of view.

It seems to me, many parents do not realize, their children are not just small versions of adults. Fact: children are still growing and their bodies are not strong enough for contact sports until around age 14.

So why do I see so many “little” kids playing soccer all over our town…where many of the parents are in fact doctors…shouldn’t they know better??? I would think so!

Why is it that sports play such an important role in our lives even when the statistics show that injuries in childhood can have long lasting effects later on in life?

Shouldn’t parents be advocating for stricter playing rules for contact sports that are played by children younger than fourteen years old?

How do we as parents and grandparents call for rule changes for contact sports,  given all we now know about sports injuries in childhood?

Concussions are serious and traumatic encephalopathy is not something to be taken lightly.

Even broke bones can be much more serious in childhood because the growth plates can be injured causing a much more complicated healing process.

Schools, sports groups and parents should be aware of the seriousness of contact sports injuries.

Maybe when insurance companies and sports groups realize this is as a new area of  culpability, things will change and kids will not be put at risk. Risks that children, themselves are unaware of…after all if kid’s  parents encourage these sports, they should be safe to play…right???

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Toast Tuesday…

As a grandparent, I personally enjoy Grandparents.com. It provides some solid information from a grandparent perspective.

In my opinion, being a grandparent is one of the joys of life. Just when empty nesting is getting really boring along comes a “little one” to liven things up once again.

Empty nest was not something that I enjoyed…don’t get me wrong, I do like down time,,, but my home was always full, so when it was just me and my husband…well it was too quiet.

For more years of our marriage than not, we were a three generation home and we are somewhat that way again. I grew up in a three generation home, so history repeats itself. I never really knew any other life but my husband was from more of an Ozzie and Harriet home so it took some adjustment for him.

Looking back, I would not change anything. Although in the midst of it all, there were definitely some “Calgon” moments…for those of you who remember back in the day, …”Calgon” bath salts promised to “take women away” from the daily household turmoil.

If you are a grandparent…or not, you might enjoy the Grandparents.com website.

Take a look and let me know what you think!

Gail Saltz Q&A: “My Granddaughter Told Me She’s Gay. What Should I Say to Her? –Grandparents.com.

Should your nanny homeschool your kids?

10 Reasons to Consider Having Your Nanny Homeschool Your Children | Nanny Jobs.

Did you ever consider “homeschooling ” your children?

I never did but my girls are older now and well out of high school and college.

Back in the day…homeschooling in our little town was mostly done by moms that were a little “weird” when it came to their kids. I cannot even explain what a “little weird” means since I admit, I never got to really know any of these moms or their ideas about education.

In hindsight, perhaps I should have…but, I never was that patient to even consider “homeschooling”.

However as a grandmother, I am realizing that there are definitely some reasons and benefits to homeschooling your kids.

Today while reading, I came across this article which touts some reasons to actually consider having your “nanny” homeschool your kids. Now, that is a concept that I could have grasped when my kids were school age, since it would not have been me doing all the work 24/7 with my girls.

What about you?

Would you consider hiring a nanny who could also homeschool your children if you could afford the costs?

There are some good reasons why homeschooling might be appropriate for your child…do you have a child that fits into one of these categories where homeschooling would be beneficial?

  • victim of bullying
  • special needs
  • behavior problems

I would love to hear your opinions even if you don’t have kids…what do you think about this concept?

Teaching Your Kids to Fight …another look!

I recently wrote a post about teaching kids to fight…I was not referring to “roughhousing”.

But since writing that post…one of my readers sent me a link http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/6-benefits-of-roughhousing-for-kids/, which is very interesting information about “roughhousing” and its importance in a child’s growth and development.

I do not think that what I witnessed in the park was “roughhousing”, which is why I chose to intervene. I am also not convinced that if it was just “roughhousing” that the park was the proper venue, given all the younger children that were witnessing these two boys “fighting” and kicking each other.

Again….what do you think?

Do you encourage roughhousing?

Whooping Cough…A Tragic Story… Shot by Shot


In early January, we noticed Brady was coming down with a cold.  But when his fever spiked to 104, we had to rush to the ER for a whole bunch of tests.  But after a while, they sent us all back home. After a scare like that, I started to send out Facebook posts to keep our friends and family updated on how Brady was doing.

via Brady’s Story | Shot by Shot.

If you have read this blog for awhile you then know that I recommend giving the full complement of vaccines to your children.

This story is something you, as a  parent, should read if you are thinking about not vaccinating your children.

The reason there has been so little incidence of pertussis is that the last generation has been vaccinated against this deadly illness. But currently children who are not vaccinated are at risk of contracting pertussis…”whooping cough”.

Whooping cough” is a horrible disease and death from pertussis is equally horrible and uncomfortable since it seems that a child dies from suffocation or not being able to breathe and get enough oxygen into their tiny body.

I have witnessed children dying…it is one of the most emotionally painful things that I have done in my career as a nurse. To stand by and know that there is nothing more that medicine can do to prevent a child from dying is excruciatingly frustrating and sad.  To watch a family witness the death of their child is more painful than words can ever describe.

If you are questioning whether or not to vaccinate your children, please read Brady’s story. Do legitimate research and stay away from celebrity opinions because they are just that opinions…find a doctor that you trust and listen to him/her.


Infections, Immunization, Vaccines 

Vaccinations for Children, Why and When.

Related Posts:

Vaccine Controversy….History Repeats Itself

Whooping Cough

Toast Tuesday…


Fostering Self-Directed Play: ten tips to help pre-schoolers entertain themselves “| Loving Earth, Mama!.

It is Tuesday…and I like to recommend a blog once a week. Today, I found “Loving Earth, Mama”.

Motherhood is a journey, a fun if challenging ride – won’t you join me on mine?

I never considered myself an “earth” mother but as a grandmother I am reading more and more about parenting styles…there are so many styles and the differences are sometimes so slight that at this point they are all melding together in my head. This melding is not a bad thing. In fact, I rather think that it is the way it should be. I find when I get fanatic about any one thing I soon get tired of it and close myself off to so many other good things. For me balance is key. It isn’t easy but I prefer it.

I hope you enjoy “Loving Earth Mama” and don’t let the name push you away…it is like judging a book by its cover but in the age of technology we often do not even see the book cover any more.