It happens each time one of my children enters the teenage years (sometimes a little bit before). I go from having a lovely child and feeling like a reasonably pleasant parent to having a moody houseguest and becoming a shrew.
You’d think, having gone through this now four times, that I’d figure out how to avoid it. Or that I’d expect it. Or not let it bother me so much. Nope. It happened again, it caught me off guard, and I hate it.
To be fair, it’s only natural to be optimistic each time a child of yours moves out of the sweet years. After all, they are such sweet years: the years after diapers and being woken all night, the years when you begin to have real conversations and real fun with them, when they make you laugh and still love to snuggle with you. Sure, they can be messy and maddening, but overall they are so sweet that you think: how bad could the teenage years be?
Pretty bad, of course. Not just because of how teens act, but also because of how we parents end up acting in response. Here’s why turning into a shrew is inevitable: …
If there’s something we can do to prevent our children from getting cancer, we should do it. Plain and simple. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that youth be vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus, starting as young as 9 years old.
Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, is the leading cause of cervical cancer. It can cause other cancers as well in both men and women, and is the cause of genital warts. The vaccine, which is given as three doses over 6 months, is very effective. And yet, some parents don’t want me to give the vaccine, especially when their children aren’t teenagers yet.
Here’s what seem to be the two biggest reasons:
Flu season is on its way, which means it’s flu shot time.
I see lots of different responses when I talk to families at our clinic about the flu shot. Some are happy to get it. Others are unsure, worried about side effects. Others plain old refuse.
Plain old refusal isn’t an option for me—as a doctor and an employee of Boston Children’s. I need to get it—and I do every year. But even without being told to get it I would have. Because not only do I not want to get the flu (I got it once, and it was no fun), this isn’t just about me. …
Here’s a question for you: Which causes more deaths, motor vehicle traffic accidents or firearms?
I asked a bunch of people that question, including a bunch of doctors, and everyone said that motor vehicles did, by a lot.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013, 33,804 people died from motor vehicle traffic accidents — and 33, 636 died from firearms.
They kill the same number of people.
I was really surprised by this statistic — mostly because of how we differently we think about safety with each.
With cars, we seem to just accept as a society that they are dangerous — and that we should make laws and rules to try to limit injuries. Along with licensing requirements that universally require that you show you know both the laws and how to drive, we have all sorts of rules of the road, we require insurance, regular inspections — not to mention car seats and seat belts.
It’s different with guns.