Stories about: Claire McCarthy MD

Teens and discipline: Too old for time-out

Mother disciplines teen boy on couch

When we think of discipline, we tend to think of young children. We tend to think about tantrums, about teaching them to be polite and tell the truth and not fight with their siblings and other children. We don’t think as much about teens.

But teens need discipline too, just as much. In some ways, they need it more: not only do they need to learn how to behave responsibly as adults, but the stakes are higher. It’s one thing when you fall off a jungle gym, and quite another when you drink and drive.

The kind of discipline teens need is similar to the discipline you’ve (hopefully) used since they were small, but needs to take into account that they are on the cusp of independence. Here are four tips for disciplining teens:

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Retro parenting: Three things we should go back to doing

Children playing in the mud

The world is a different place than it was when I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. Mostly, that’s a good thing. There are so many ways that technology has made life easier and better, the internet has brought knowledge to our fingertips and connections that span the world — and as a physician, I am grateful for all the life-saving discoveries of the past few decades.

However, when it comes to parenting, not all the changes have been good.

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Five things not everyone knows about the flu

Child in bed with the flu

Half of every year, from roughly September to March, is “flu season.” Despite the fact that all of us spend half of our lives in flu season, there are lots of misconceptions about this common and sometimes deadly virus. Here are five important facts about the flu that not everyone knows:

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Three simple ways we can all help prevent gun violence

3 ways to prevent gun violence

We are coming up on the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, in which a young man opened fire on a classroom of first-graders, killing 20 of them and 6 adults — after having killed his mother at home. While nothing can eclipse this tragedy, since then there have been many more tragedies, such as the shooting in Las Vegas, the church shooting in Texas and the recent shooting in Northern California where, thanks to the quick actions of the staff of a local elementary school, the shooter’s attempts to enter the school were foiled. He shot through the windows instead, injuring a child.

In 2014, more than 33 thousand people in the United States died from firearms. For comparison, that’s the same as the amount who died from motor vehicle accidents. Just as we are tirelessly working to keep people from being killed in or by cars, we need to work tirelessly so that fewer people die from guns.

In the wake of Sandy Hook, it looked like we were might have legislation to help prevent gun violence. But quickly we got mired in politics — and a lot of very strong feelings. Clearly, for many people gun ownership is a precious right — and clearly, death from firearms is a complicated problem without easy fixes.

That’s why we need to look for simple ways that we can all work together so that fewer people die. Here are three suggestions.

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