All Ages

These Ask the Experts articles are of interest to all parents, with topics that include self esteem, stress, healthy eating, homework, divorce, adoption and more.

Articles are organized by age in the categories below.
Early Years 0-6
Middle Years 6-12
Teen Years 13-19
All Ages

Checklist for Aging

Ask the Experts by Dana Constand and Carolyn Van Dorn

Q: My husband and I are getting older. We realize that there are healthcare, financial and lifestyle plans that we should put in place now as a protective measure for our future. Where do we start?

A: There are many things to consider as we age. Will you stay in our home or do we want to downsize? Who will make healthcare decisions if you are both unable? Who will manage your money? How will your bills be paid? What happens when one of you is gone— perhaps one spouse handled the finances and the other cooked, one handled car maintenance, the other plumbing snafus, etc. Will you be able to take care of the things your spouse/partner handled? Who will show you? It is best to think about what you may need and put plans in place while you are healthy and have the time to carefully consider your options for these important life decisions. 

There are legal solutions to address healthcare and financial decision making.

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Helping Your Child After an ADHD Diagnosis

Ask the Experts by Gary and Janice Abud and Amanda Be

Q: My 8-year-old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD. Besides following up with his doctor, what else can I do to help him?

A: ADHD is a neuro-behavioral condition that, while it is chronic, is treatable. While working with your doctor is always the first approach to treatment, there are other things that should be considered to make sure your son is managing the behavioral side of ADHD. Here are three important areas to consider: Read more: Helping Your Child After an ADHD Diagnosis

Holiday stress can result in physical pain

Ask the Experts by David Gilboe

Q: My body gets really sore during the holidays and I feel a lot of stress.  What do you suggest I do to help reduce the pain?

A: While there is definitely more bending, lifting, reaching and standing during the holidays (which can result in physical pain), many of us forget the toll that stress can place on our bodies and how this by itself creates or increases pain.

More times than not, we aren’t aware of the tension we are holding in our bodies. For example, when traffic is backed up or you are standing in a long line at the store, do you make time to notice your feelings?  If you are feeling frustrated or anxious this will often create tightness in your muscles and rigidity in your posture.  The first step towards easing the stress, begins with you making the decision to pay attention to what you are feeling in your muscles.

Read more: Holiday stress can result in physical pain

Why buy permanent insurance

Ask the Experts by Dan H. Tripp CLU

Q: I’m 35 and looking to buy my first life insurance policy. Why would I ever buy permanent insurance when term is so much cheaper?

A: My first thought is buy insurance that you can afford, in an amount that makes sense for your situation. And yes, term is much more affordable in terms of premium dollars. But in the words of a wise sage “price is only an issue in the absence of value.” What value would you get from each?

It helps to think about the difference between the two as the difference between renting and buying a home. Both provide shelter; require payment of utilities, maintenance, upkeep, etc. But here the similarities end. When renting, your rent may go up over time. Your landlord can refuse to renew your lease for any reason at the end of the term (notice that word?). Ownership comes with a mortgage payment that is fixed unless you change it. Ownership builds an equity position in your home, which could be leveraged at a future date. Unless you stop paying your mortgage, you can live

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Spread the Message of Suicide Prevention

Ask the Experts by Amelia Lehto

Q: With what seems to be a rise in teen suicide, both across the country and locally, what should we know as parents, friends, community members, to help change this frightening trend?

A: In the past year suicide has made headlines many times, for not only the losses of iconic rock stars but also the tragic losses of our friends, neighbors and loved ones. Suicide also made headlines as the focal point of rap artist, Logic’s, record-breaking hit “1-800-273-8255” featuring Khalid and Alessia Cara. What inspired a telephone number to be the title of a rap song, you may ask? It happens to be the 24/7 direct phone number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Read more: Spread the Message of Suicide Prevention

Gardening Without Back Pain

Ask the Experts by David Gilboe

Q: Since spring is almost here, I’m wondering if you can provide some tips on how I can prevent my back from hurting when I get my garden and flower beds ready for planting?

A: Good body mechanics is the key to being able to garden without creating back pain. Here are several tips that will help you:

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Recovery is about the family, not just the individual

Ask the Expert by Jeff & Debra Jay

Q: We have an addicted loved one and don’t know what to do as a family to intervene and help him. Are there things we can do as a unit to make a difference in his potential recovery?

A: For most families, the recovery process feels unmanageable, with too many things left to chance. The whole process of getting an addicted loved one into treatment, getting them into aftercare, and getting them into a stable recovery – even getting them to admit they have a problem in the first place, seems almost impossible. In the past, most of these things have been left to chance, and as a result, most people haven’t gotten better, and far too many have died. If alcoholism and drug addiction are real diseases (and they are), we can’t let the treatment and recovery process be subject to luck.

There are old myths that get in the way. “You have to let them hit bottom” and “they have to want to get better” are commonplace. But since addiction is characterized by denial, how long will we have to wait? And how many children will have to suffer in silence?

Read more: Recovery is about the family, not just the individual

Technology in the Classroom: Is it the Best Fit for Your Child?

Ask the Exerts by Tommy Adams

Q: My child has been telling me a lot about the devices they have been using in their classroom lately. I don’t understand what they are doing with the technology and how is it helping them learn? We hear so much about limiting screen time, so what is best?

A: All over the country, schools of all sizes and varieties embrace the use of technological devices in classrooms. One-to-one tablet programs, apps and virtual learning are now curricular hallmarks from pre-kindergarten through high school. Is this healthy for our children?

Those of us in education and administration are constantly concerned with finding the right balance while using technology to enhance learning. In an online survey of 2,462 advanced placement and writing teachers, the Pew Research Center found that 77% of teachers polled say that the internet Is a useful search tool that positively impacts student research, while 87% say that overuse of technology is creating an easily distracted generation with a short-term attention span.

Read more: Technology in the Classroom: Is it the Best Fit for Your Child?

Know the signs and symptoms of heart disease in women

Ask the Experts by Dr. Joan Crawford, DO

Q: I was surprised to learn that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. How are the signs and symptoms different for women than men?

A: You’re not alone. According to an American Heart Association survey, only 45% of U.S. women know that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer. About 400,000 women died from cardiovascular disease in 2016.

The signs and symptoms of coronary heart disease are different in women than in men. While the average man experiences extreme pain in the center of his chest when having a heart attack, 60% of women have vague symptoms that are often ignored or attributed to something else.

Read more: Know the signs and symptoms of heart disease in women

Caring for a Parent with Dementia

Ask the Exerts by Barbara Roden

Q: My mom was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s -type dementia. She lives alone, so when I visit she is always very excited to see me. Over the course of my visits, she keeps repeating herself over and over. I tell her she’s already told me that, but then a little while later, she tells me again! How can I help her memory so she doesn’t keep repeating everything?

A: Unfortunately, you won’t be able to “help” her memory. It is a physical change, and currently there is no cure.

What you can change is how you react to her repetitive statements and questions. Repetitive behaviors are often caused by stress, anxiety, frustration, or fear. Your mom may be unsure of what’s happening, where she is, or what time of day it is. You can imagine how unsettling that might be.

Read more: Caring for a Parent with Dementia