In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

Archive for May, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg, banning sodas will only make the obesity problem worse!

Posted by Dr. Susan on May 31, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg of NYC wants to ban sugary soda larger than sixteen ounces…

Really! How about if Mayor Bloomberg and all the other local, state and national politicians focus their attention to issues that are actually their business. We do NOT live in a dictatorship, we are allowed to drink and eat whatever we want.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that we or our kids should be downing large quantitites of sugar (or fat), in fact I’ve written a bunch of books about being healthy.That being said, if the politicians stopped fighting with each other and spent their time focusing on education, real economic improvements and other issues that crucial to the welfare of the United States, maybe people–adults, teens kids–would be more likely to become healthy.

So you’re asking…how  exactly are politics and health related? Actually, very much so…

If you tell a child over and over again that he isn’t as smart or successful as the other kids, then you throw in a dysfunctional family life, with parents fighting all the time, and then you don’t even give him the tools to improve things, I guarantee you that this child is MUCH more likely to feel depressed, hopeless and worthless. As we all know, when someone feels really bad, he’s less likely to care about how he looks, he’s more likely to eat emotionally and he’s less likely to be motivatefd to make healthy changes.

Sound like anyone you know? Perhaps our WHOLE country!! Our education systems throughout the entire U.S. are embarassing compared to so many other countries, we are struggling economically, and our ‘parents’ (the politicians) are constantly bickering and outright fighting.

No wonder we are overeating sugar and fat–talk about needing to self-soothe!

So this brings me back to Bloomberg and his suggested ban on super-sized sodas….

Mr. Bloomberg and ALL the other politicians who think that controlling our calories is going to make a difference. The obesity rate in this country is a SYMPTOM, not the underlying problem. We need you to make changes that will actually make us feel valued, valuable, safe and secure. Then we’ll stop binge-eating junk food!

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Is TWhining the new whining?

Posted by Dr. Susan on May 25, 2012

I thought that once my kids were older I’d be done with having to listen to them whine, but I seem to have entered a new, unfortunate phase…TWHINING… whining via text.

Below, a few examples–my intention is to garner support of other parents experiencing this particular type of torture, and terrify those who are not there yet and were hoping a cell phone would free them of having to endure whining–because after all, preteens and teens don’t really talk to you anymore other than through texting…hah! behold…

“Mommmyyy, I reeeeellllly don’t want to…”

“Ik, ik, ik, oookkkkk I’ll dooo it…i proommiisse”

“Omg, I sooooo do not wnt to, plzzzz dnt make me!”

“I’m begggiiingg u, plzzz l promis, i will”

“heeelp me plzzz”



It’s almost impossible to escape twhining because it can find you anywhere and if you ignore it, it simply ramps up, attacking your phone during meetings, lunches, phonecalls and even as you’re falling asleep at night (yes, I keep my phone next to my bed. I use the alarm to wake up…and I’m probably one of those addicted PDA users you keep hearing about–aren’t you!)

But, I digress…I’ve begun to twhine right back at my three teens, I find its the only way to survive!…

“Omg, really…noooooo u can’t stay out til midnight”

“Ik, ik, I’m THE wooorst mother EVER!!!”

I have to admit that twhining is a bit better than whining because I can put it on vibrate…or even, when I’m feeling really brave, on silent…aaahhh!

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A Teachable Moment: Make the most of moving up

Posted by Dr. Susan on May 6, 2012

The month of May is all about graduations, moving up ceremonies and commencements. It is a time to feel a little sad about “how fast they grow up”, and to feel joyous about the wonderful milestones and accomplishments. This year I have, a child graduating from high school, another from middle school, and two nieces leaving elementary school!

Whether your child is facing a significant graduation, or simply moving from one grade to the next, this time of year is filled with mixed feelings, not only for you, but for your child as well. You might be surprised to learn, that not all kids are excited or happy about leaving a school, grade or teacher. Many are sad to leave the classroom in which they have accomplished so much, or the routine to which they have become accustomed. They may miss a teacher with whom they have formed a strong relationship, and they often worry that they won’t have friends in their class next year. Of course, some kids make the transition easily and are excited to move on and up! Never the less, just about every child feels some small worry and ambivalence about transitioning. In order to help your child face the transition in a positive and optimistic manner, it is important to be aware of the feelings that he or she may be experiencing. Here are a few ideas that will help you and your child say goodbye to this school year in a positive and optimistic way:

Focus on facts: Remind your child about all that he learned during this school year, and point out that next year will be just as productive. For example, this year he may have read his first chapter book, but next year, he’ll read a whole series! This year he learned how to play basketball, but next year he’ll be a comfortable part of the team. The more you focus on positive milestones to reach in the upcoming year, the easier it will be for your child to be excited, rather than ambivalent.

Make memories: Saying goodbye to people and places is a natural part of life, and one that your child will confront many, many times over the course of a lifetime. It is important to validate your child’s sad feelings and help her cope with them. Give her a camera and encourage her to take it to school and take pictures and video that will document the building, classroom, teachers and classmates. Help her create an album or scrapbook with the pictures that she can keep as a positive reminder of this school year.

Encourage emotion: Most kids have been socialized (by the media and their peers) to believe that they should be thrilled that school is ending. However, many children and teens enjoy the learning, the structure, and the time with friends, much more than they value a long vacation. However, they keep these feelings hidden because they don’t think it is ‘normal’ or ‘cool’ to feel sad about school ending. You can help your child understand his feelings, but reminding him that all feelings are normal and that it is okay to be upset about school ending. The more opportunities your child has to talk about his feelings, the more easily he will make the transition.

You should not be embarrassed to talk about your feelings as your child grows up. It can be beneficial to talk to other parents in order to share feelings about your child (and you) reaching these milestones. Remember that all feelings are ‘normal’!

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