Resources for Families, Individuals and Professionals

Ask the Experts

Because children are not born with an owner’s manual that tells us the best way to care for them, it is often a trial and error process. Ask the Experts is a collection of articles that cover topics of interest to parents and caregivers with children from infancy through adolescence.

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

Positive Discipline Strategies

By David M. Benson, MSW, LMSW, ACSW

Question:  I have such a difficult time punishing my child, what is the most effective method to punish children?

Answer:  First of all, there is a difference between “punishing” and discipline.  When parents look to correct behaviors, positive discipline has been proven to be more effective.  Read more: Positive Discipline Strategies

Are Heavy Backpacks Hurting My Child?

By Gary Trock, M.D., and Debbie Adsit, OTR, Beaumont Hospital

Q: There is so much talk about school backpacks causing long-term health problems. How can I ensure my children are not jeopardizing their health just by carrying their school books and supplies?

A:  “Heavy backpacks can cause many problems for school children, including back pain, neck pain, tingling arms and poor posture,” says Debbie Adsit, O.T.R., pediatric rehabilitation services supervisor at the Beaumont Health Center in Royal Oak.

Read more: Are Heavy Backpacks Hurting My Child?

Preparing for “Back to School” After Summer Vacation

By Gary Trock, M.D., and Debbie Adsit, OTR, Beaumont Hospital

Q: My family has had a fun, busy summer. Now that school is just a few weeks away, how can I best prepare my children for their school routine without cutting short their summer fun?

A:  “You are smart to realize that after a long summer, most students need to reset their biological clocks. A lack of sleep can adversely affect performance, attention span and physical health,” says Gary Trock, M.D., director of pediatric neurology and co-director of Sleep Evaluation Services at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. Read more: Preparing for “Back to School” After Summer Vacation

Maintaining Your Weight During the Holidays

By Andrea Mazanka, clinical dietitian, Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe.

Q: I love the holidays and want to enjoy them, but each year I’m concerned about maintaining my weight. Any ideas how I can do both?

A:  With a busy schedule, parties to attend and many goodies to choose from, it is easy to gain weight during the holiday season. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind as you battle the holiday bulge.
Read more: Maintaining Your Weight During the Holidays

Social Networking Basics for Parents

Question:  What are social networking sites and can they be safe for kids?

Answer:  “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?”  Remember that phrase from your own childhood? It’s still a valid question, but now, it comes with a twist: “Do you know where your kids are – and who they’re talking to online?” Social networking sites are the hippest “meet market” around, especially among tweens, teens, and 20-somethings.

Read more: Social Networking Basics for Parents

Kindergarten: Get Ready!

By Deb Kraft & Dorothy Heitjan

Q. My child will be entering Kindergarten next fall, what can I do to ensure he/she is prepared?

A. It is vital in the preschool years to provide your child with the experiences that will build the foundation for later success in school. One must keep in mind the amazing developmental changes that occur in a child’s body and brain during the preschool years. In order to help your child build these neural connections, parents should provide:

Read more: Kindergarten: Get Ready!