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

The Choking Game – Dangers and Prevention

By: Diane Strickler, Founder, The Family Center

Question: What is the choking game?

Answer: The choking game, known by many names including Fainting Game, Space Cowboy and Rising Sun, has been around a long time and is known internationally. It has gained recent attention as public safety officers are reassessing some suicides as being unintended deaths due to asphyxiation, the result of this ‘game’.
Read more: The Choking Game – Dangers and Prevention

Children’s Obesity Rates Growing

Question: What is the biggest health threat for our children?

Answer: You might guess accidents or substance abuse – but think again. According to Angela Collinson, a Certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at the St John Center for Wellness and Family Medicine, obesity is the number one health threat for children in the United States.

Read more: Children’s Obesity Rates Growing

Signs of Stress in Children

Question: My daughter is on the honor roll, participates in several sporting activities, takes piano lessons, and is active with our church. The problem is she is getting grouchy lately and is always tired. I am wondering if she is getting stressed. Is there such a thing as too much stress for a child?

Answer: That’s a great question. We know that parents and adults in general feel stress at times in their life, but kids can actually feel it too.
Read more: Signs of Stress in Children

Myths and Facts on Spanking

Question: My preschooler gets out of control at times and my husband says that he needs to be spanked when he misbehaves. He says he was spanked and learned to behave. What do you say?

Answer: Marianne Vukas, Life Skills teacher at Parcells, Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Pointe South High Schools recently conducted a parenting party for The Family Center on the topic of discipline for preschool children. Part of her presentation focused on the myths and facts about spanking. A brief summary of that information maybe helpful to you. Here are some of the Myths and Facts on Spanking:
Read more: Myths and Facts on Spanking

About Risk-Taking and Cliques

By Susan Fell, Student Assistant Specialist at Brownell Middle School

Question: Do you believe a child sets themselves up to be a victim? If so, how?

Answer: Children and adolescents need to take appropriate risks, fail and practice creative solutions in order to build self esteem. Well meaning parents who regularly come to their children’s rescue with sibling disagreements and friendship issues may unknowingly be taking away important learning experiences that promote healthy self-esteem. Read more: About Risk-Taking and Cliques

Teen Drinking

Question:  My daughter is a freshman at Grosse Pointe North. What is the best way to approach the topic of drinking with her so that she’ll actually listen?

Answer:  For many parents, bringing up the subject of alcohol is no easy matter. Think of this discussion with your child as the first part of an ongoing conversation.  Remember, do make it a conversation, not a lecture!  Here are some topics to help you get started:

Read more: Teen Drinking

Good Parenting Tips

Question:  Do you have some general tips or basic rules you can give on being a good parent?  My kids are fairly happy and healthy, but I want to make sure they stay that way!

Answer:  The answer to that question cannot be answered easily. There is so much that goes into parenting, but it seems that we all like to see things broken down into simple steps or checklists that can remind us of what we should be doing. We’ve probably all heard the saying “Parenting is the most important job you’ll ever have” but the truth is, kids learn from lots of people – not just parents.

Read more: Good Parenting Tips