Dr. AARON KAWEBLUM, PEDIATRICIAN

Boca Del Mar Pediatric Center, Boca Raton

DR. KAWEBLUM'S BOOK:

CRYSTOPPERS - A PLAY BY PLAY GUIDE FOR WISE PARENTING

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Since the first years of a child's life, wise parents ensure that their children listen to them and do what they are told. Parents should be firm and loving and consistently guide their children to help them develop their individual gifts.
A wise parent follows three very simple rules:

  1. If something is bad for your child DON'T DO IT, regardless of crying, whining, hugs, kisses or blackmail.
  2. If something is good for your child DO IT, regardless of crying, whining, hugs kisses or blackmail.
  3. Never say "I will try". If something needs to be done, DO IT. Like Yoda said: "do or do not, there is no try".
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  • THREE AREAS REQUIRING TOTAL PARENTAL CONTROL

    There are "THREE SPHERES" of control that parents must conquer in order to successfully raise their children. These spheres apply from birth and continue all the way through high school. I will discuss how to deal with the three areas with regards to different age groups in the following chapters.

    SPHERE 1: NOCTURNAL SLEEPING

    Parents should be capable of teaching their children to have an independent, uninterrupted night sleep. Babies should begin to do this in the first few months of their lives. Babies and toddlers should not be roaming around after 8 or 9 p.m. It is distressing to see numerous children and toddlers, and their exhausted, sleep-deprived parents that have not slept through the night since their child's infancy. This is not at all the children's fault; the fault lies with the Crystopper parents. It is heartbreaking to see children that are not capable of sleeping in their own room for the entire night. Many children don't have scheduled sleeping habits and fail to go to bed easily. These children are whiny, moody, temperamental, disobedient, misbehaved, disrespectful and even physically aggressive. As a consequence, sleep problems could continue through adolescence, seriously affecting performance in school, energy levels and athletic abilities. Moreover, when parents are unable to have a restful night, they lack the ability to have private time as a couple, causing tension that may lead to troubled marriages. Additionally, a parent who has not slept is less-equipped to deal with her children during the day, and will, as a result, make poor decisions regarding her child's health and well-being.

    SPHERE 2: BEHAVIORAL & TEMPERAMENTAL

    This is an area that parents find very difficult to control. In order to succeed, you have to believe and be convinced that your children are intelligent and capable of manipulation since the first few days of their lives. From the first few days of a baby's life, parents realize the child has the ability to control them completely. When a baby is happy and relaxed in the parent's arms, and then cries immediately the second he is put down and stops as soon as he is picked up, it's clear he has learned quite a bit. The baby has already discovered that crying will get the results he wants and that parents will hold him for a very long time just to avoid hearing him cry. Later on, he will probably learn that whining and temper tantrums achieve the same result.
    These behavioral problems continue into adolescence, turning an undisciplined child into a troubled teenager. I have seen many cases where the police were required to intervene in order to discipline a young adult.These are the children we see in restaurants, planes, supermarkets and cinemas who scream, throw temper tantrums and are basically out of control. As incredible as it sounds, this is a problem in more than 90% of households. Again, this is not the fault of the children, but the responsibility of the parents who allowed and continue to allow this type of behavior. This is the result of Crystopping.

    SPHERE 3: NUTRITIONAL

    There is a national epidemic of childhood obesity and poor eating habits. It is not rare to see 5 year old children who are 30-40 lbs. overweight. The majority of children acquire 95% of their daily caloric intake from carbohydrates, i.e. sugars. This unhealthy diet leads to serious medical problems, both during early childhood, teenage years and adulthood, with the potential of shortening a life span by as much as 5-15 years.
    Over the last few years I have seen a significant number of children and teenagers with Diabetes Type II; also known as Adult Onset Diabetes. This condition is caused by obesity.
    Every wellness check-up, and even during regular office visits, I try to convince parents how crucial it is to establish a healthy lifestyle during the first few years of life. Unfortunately, very often I notice children that are significantly overweight as early as 2-5 years of age.

    Obviously most parents agree with me that unhealthy eating habits have serious consequences for their child's well-being. They also agree that if the family's lifestyle does not change, the child could develop obesity diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, etc.

    However, as soon as they go back home their Crystopper instinct takes over. Very soon they forget their commitment to change their lifestyles at home. They believe in a healthful life, but are unable to commit to leading one and the consequence is that their child develops serious health issues.

    WHAT TO EXPECT

    One of the biggest obstacles challenging young adults from parenting correctly is the idea that babies and young children are not capable of intelligent, pre-meditated behavior.
    In a study conducted a few years ago, it was proven that a baby can recognize his mother since the first few weeks of life. Also, a child that is only few weeks old will cry hysterically to get the mother's attention, but will immediately stop crying once he is picked up.
    The human brain, especially the brain of a newborn, deserves more credit than we attribute to it.
    If parents learn to value and understand children's intelligence and capabilities from birth, they will begin to expect more from their children and, with the proper reinforcement, their children will expect more from themselves.

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