#73: Ask Dr. Meg


Thirty plus years. I've seen every type of child grow up instead of giving me what I wanted. She gave me what I needed which was truth down lack emotions win. Let truth, man. Do your very bad. Then you have a lot of fun while you do it in the better, you get at something the more fun. You're gonna have it something you moms and dads are wired with everything you need to be a parent to a great kid. Welcome to parenting. Great kids. This is episode number seventy three I'm your host, Dr Meg meeker. And today, we're going to be doing something a little different. I collected some of the best Email questions that I could find and I'm just going to answer as many as I can during this entire podcast. I won't have any points to ponder for obvious reasons because I'm going to be answering questions and parents remember, please don't just download episodes. Click subscribe when you do that you are going to join my parenting revolution in every new. Episode will automatically show up in your subscribed list. And we'd love for you to write us a review on I tunes, and let us know what you think we're not only on I tunes, but the parenting great kids podcast is now available in the Google play store and on Stitcher. So no matter where you get your podcasts. Subscribe today. My first questions from Abby, dear Dr Meaker, my husband, and I have taken in three children that are friends of our family the youngest to our boys. And my question is about how much they eat. And if it's normal. I try to be careful they don't eat much sugar as they're already energetic, and hyper just an example of what they can eat in one sitting for breakfast, four fried eggs toast in a banana today for lunch. The nine year old had five hotdogs with the buns apple slices and chips. The six year old also had four hotdogs, and I'm not planning on cutting back their food because if they're truly. Hungry. I want them to eat. What can I do? Well, I'll tell you Abby. That's a great question. What I would encourage you to do is try to figure out why these boys are eating so much if they're very thin, and they are in fact, hungry I would just let them eat. If you find that they're beginning to gain weight, and they get a little on the chubby side. I would definitely cut back. The other thing is psychologically, they may want to overeat for several different reasons. One. It could be a compulsion that they learned in their family of origin. The other reason they could be eating so much as because they are not used to having regular meals. If they really were having a hard enough time in their family of origin that you had to take him in chances are they felt very insecure about with where the next meal was coming from. So that may be a reason that they're over eating to basically make sure they get three good meals if they want eat two or three servings as. Long as they're not getting overweight. That's great. I wouldn't encourage you to give them a lot of snacks. You wanna teach them that they wanna fill up and so that they're hungry again for the next meal by next question's from Brittany. Dear doctor Meg my three year old has cystic fibrosis, she's incredibly healthy, which is wonderful. My problem is this. My husband buyers way too many toys because he feels she's been dealt a bad hand. He gets mad at me when I do extra breathing treatments. And when I don't let her play in mud or swim in lakes. He says she's gonna hate me when she gets older because I'm keeping her from being kit. He complains about how inconvenient her treatments are. And how it sucks that? She has to go through all that. He purposely doesn't say most of the stuff in front of her. But I don't know how to handle this. How do we keep her from having a poor me attitude? Well brittany. That's a great question. Cystic fibrosis is a very serious. Disease as you know. And she does need a lot of extra care a lot of extra treatments. Tell your husband. It's really important that she get those extra treatments because she needs to breathe. Well, you know, insisted fibrosis her lungs can get closed up. She doesn't oxygen. Well, and that's gonna make her feel really bad. Also, it can make her more prone to infections. Let's talk about handling her with kid gloves. I would sit down and have an honest talk with your pulmonologist. And I'm sure you have one you wanna make sure that she can live as normal life as possible. So you wanna treat or not like a sick child, but like a healthy child if she has siblings by and large letter, do and her siblings or doing you obviously don't want to put an a situation where she's gonna get an unusual infection because that's very hard for kids with cystic fibrosis. So I would sit down with your pulmonologist and say, what are the things that I really need to keep her from because otherwise I wanna. Her do anything that she can to keep her feeling normal. Parents who I've seen who have chronically ill children that have worked in keeping their kids from having this poor me attitude and feeling that they're that someone's feeling sorry for them. All the time. Our parents who really continued to do everything normally with the child, and when I say that I'm not just talking about activities. I'm talking about discipline. I'm talking about restrictions. I'm talking about you know, she acts up that you have these same expectations for your daughter that you do for any other children. And that's the best thing that you can do to keep her from having a poor me attitude. It really is important that your husband not treat her differently than the other kids. I e not give her too many toys because he is treating her like he really feels sorry for her. So I encourage you to sit down and talk to one another and say, what can we do to communicate? Our daughter that we don't feel sorry for her that we feel towards her just like we do all the other kids, and again talked your pulmonologist about real risk and how to avoid very serious risk and let the rest go. Here's another question from Rachel their doctor. Meg I'm in a bind with my sons. They need discipline rules and limits, they often tell me that dad says something and its ally. And I have to be extremely careful not to bad mouth him the courts granted me sole legal custody. But he still has twenty nine percent of their time. My ex husband has contacted people to have me killed any turns everything against me. And the boys believe what he says they only partly obey when they obey me. And my first line of discipline is sending them to bed early. The second line of discipline is with electronics and screens. I need an effective discipline to deter them from getting into arguments with me over things they. Don't need to be a part of. I was told by a psychologist with boys in the room that I can shut them down and teach them to not engage with me. And it's wrong that I don't tell them everything. Their father still has the power of control and knows how much he uses the boys to control me the boys. Tell me I'm selfish for having the majority of their time. But the truth is it would be selfish. I gave them up and disappeared for my safety. I'm the parent that isn't interested in only being their friend and letting them be in charge. The court order parenting class tells you not to talk to your children about certain things we did move over the summer, and I know it's a change, but parents should help their children, not cause more pain. But my ex husband won't stop. And he's trying to take them away. From me. It's heartbreaking that my boys. Just don't wanna be with me. Rachel you're in a very tough situation. First of all, it's your safety and your boy safety is of. Utmost importance now, it's really important that you seek out legal help to the police and your lawyer and the courts about the threats that your husband has made to your physical safety if he's made those threats towards the boys as well. And I wouldn't be surprised if he does because people that make those threats against a previous loved one can easily do them against a child as well. So that's really important, and you need some sound advice from the law and the legal system. Secondly, the fact that your boys don't wanna be with you is a result of their father, really manipulating them. And he's doing this obviously to drive them away from you. There isn't much you can do about his manipulation of the boys. The most important thing is to remain steady and constant presence in their lives. You need to keep healthy discipline going with your boys when they're at your home. It's great that you have. Them. Most of the time seventy percent of the time. I would encourage you to set down some rules and tell them things like this. When you're in my home, you can't speak like this. You can't do this. And if you do those things here's what's going to happen. You are going to have to go to bed early electron IX are taken away. And when you say those things you've really got a follow through. It's going to be hard for you. Because chances are they don't have to follow these these rules dad's house, that's not atypical a divorce situation. But you need to you need to continue steady sound discipline. Here's one thing. I want to encourage you, you can't change your ex husbands manipulation of the boys. And they probably on the surface won't wanna be with you. But deep down your the one that makes them feel safe. So eventually as the boys get older, they're gonna see through the whole situation. They're going to know what's going on. And they will want to be with you. Ultimately because you are the safe person and the real loving person because you offered discipline. Should you? Tell them the whole truth about their dads threat against you know, the boys already know that their dad hates you and feel strongly against you. If however he makes threats towards them, you have to deal with that in an open fashion. But I really don't think that kids need to know everything that's going on between parents. It'll scare them. It'll change their relationship with you and their dad, and I would just keep that private my next question comes from Kim. Hi, Dr Meg I wanted to know if you have any thoughts are suggestions on putting your son into kindergarten at age five instead of six I live in a county where several parents always hold back their children. But I'm torn on the pros and cons. Well, kim. Here's the thing twenty years ago kindergarten kindergarten. But now, man. Many kindergartens are like first grade kids feel a lot of pressure. They have to work really hard to have to concentrate, really hard. And a lot more is expected of young kids in kindergarten than it was several years ago. So if the trend in your area is to hold kids back and not start them in kindergarten until they're six. That's what I would do. I'm not particularly a fan of it. I think that we need to have kindergarten kindergarten. I think the kids are pushed too much, but that's the way life is and many schools. So I would encourage you to hold your son back and start him at if he's six 'cause that's what a lot of the people doing and you don't want him to be behind. My next question is from LA Christian. I have a seventeen year old son who has had ADD since the first grade, my son is seventeen now one of his friends showed him a picture of a naked girl that was one of their classmates, and he told his friend. He didn't wanna look at it. He was called gay by this friend, his friend. Was joking about the comment, and he later apologized to my son. But this sent my son in a whirlwind of emotional struggle. He began questioning his faith thoughts of being afraid that he would turn gay. He struggling with a lot of different things went to accounts and was started on Lexa pro his grades have always been initiate school. Attention has always been an issue and recently, he's become very defiant and disrespectful and lying a lot. He's not bad kid. But he started looking at porn a lot after the gay comment. I was and still am very angry about him looking at it. I've yelled at him. But nothing helps his grades are really bad. And we're only five weeks into the school year. Well, lacrosse jet. You have some serious issues going on first of all Lexa pros a medication that's used for depression and anxiety, and he's old enough to be on it. If you're watching him carefully. And you do feel that it's helping his depression anxiety. It's okay to keep him on it as long as you are working very closely with your physician as far as his bad behavior as defiance and his disrespectful nece and lying around the house. I'm sure that this is tied in with looking at the porn. He feels guilty looking at the porn as well. He should because porn horrible for young boys and men, and it's unfortunately, it's rampant. It's everywhere guarantee. You he has friends that are looking at porn as well. So he feels guilty about this. He's getting defiant with you because he's angry at you for catching him, he's angry at himself so on and so forth. He's also angry himself because he's getting bad grades. He has low self esteem, and he's taking that out on you. So I would continue to work with a counselor with that as far as the pornography. You have to help him. Stop it. It's really hard. Because as I said, it's everywhere. Pornography comes at boys pornography has been shown to lead to some depression to drinking to drug abuse to promiscuity, it takes boys to a very dark and ugly place. I would encourage you to seek out some of the work by Steve Arte, burn. And he wrote a very good book called every man's battle. And he talks a lot about what men and boys go through. And he also has some great advice for how to help boys and men get off of pornography. So look him up. He has a lot of great resources. If dad is in the home, you and dad and your son need to sit down and have a real heart to heart about how dangerous pornography is and how hard you're willing to fight for him to get off of it, you need to put some serious controls on all of his devices, and you need to tell him that you and his dad are going to hold him accountable for everything. He looks at it's hard to find everything he looks at because seventeen year old boys can be very sneaky and hide things from you. But do the best that you can. And if you can't get his pornography use under control, you need to seek some professional help but start with Steve Artem he's wonderful support. For today's show comes from third love using millions of real women's measurements. Third love designs. It's bras with breath size and shape and nine or an impeccable fit and incredible feel just answer. A few simple questions from thirdlove's bind a quiz to find your perfect Thint third. Love offers double the number of sizes that most brands offer cups as through h fans up to forty eight. And with light, great, memory, foam, cups, straps, that won't slip and tag with labels. You'll wanna wear these soft and readable bras and underwear every day. Specially the new cotton. T-shirt vase and underwear, but thanks to the one hundred percent fit guaranteed. Returns and exchanges are free and easy. Ladies if you have not tried a third love bra you need to try one. It's so easy. 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But at the same time, I know deep down she's hurting she's not happy and she stressed out. At at school because of some bullying. Well, Lena, you're a very into mother as far as the discipline of your kids. What I would do is. I would talk to all three at the same time. And I would sit down and have a conversation that goes something like this kids you've all developed bad habits. You don't listen when I tell you to do something, you don't brush your teeth. You don't make your bed, and then you tell them things and you can be disrespectful. So here's the deal. I'm gonna tell you to do these things one time from now on and if you don't do them the first time, I tell you. Here's what the consequence is going to be you won't have your cell phone. You won't get together with friends. You can't go to sports practice. Whatever it is that your kids really want to do is thing you're going to use as the consequence, and they may be different from each of your kids may. Maybe you're thirteen year old daughter loves social media and her phone she take her phone away. Maybe your ten year old boy loves to play soccer. He doesn't play soccer for a week. This sounds harsh. But you've got to communicate to your kids. You're not gonna nag you're not going to yell. You're serious. Basically, you have to nag your kids because your kids aren't listening to you. And they don't take anything you do seriously. So when you get down to business, they'll start listening as far as your daughter, go back through, my blogs and read about depression and girls, I've written a lot about depression. And it's really important to recognize it in your kids. Thirteen is a horrible age for girls, your daughters becoming a woman girls are getting meaner, boys. Make fun of them. There's a lot going on in school. So what I encourage you to do. And I think you're really pretty in tune with already I would try to spend some one on one time with your daughter once or twice a week taker out to dinner or take her out to breakfast or take her out shopping alone. On ask her some questions about what our friends are doing. And then listen to her these aren't teaching times these aren't times when you're going to try to change your mind the times, you're spending with your daughter are to show her you really enjoy her company, and you wanna listen to what's going on in her life. You wanna hear her heart? If you find out some things in your daughter's life that are very concerning. Like, she is very depressed. She's thought about dying. She feels that her friends don't like her, and she is very depressed over that. You need some professional help best thing to do go to your pediatrician alone talk to him or her and say, I'm worried about my daughter being depressed. What can you do to help me and any good pediatricians going to give you a lot of help? That's where I encourage you to go my next questions from Sheni. Dear doctor Meg I'm a mother of four boys. Thirteen ten six and three. I feel that I have very well rounded boys with one exception. My thirteen year old is so. Mean to his brothers from name calling to hitting shoving to being very demeaning. It's a constant struggle. My husband's a pastor, and I'm an educator, and we work really hard to be good examples to him we work on being respectful to our children, and we have high expectations. What are some strategies we can do to encourage him to be kind with his words and actions to those that he lives with I don't want the younger boys to resent him when they get older. And I want him to learn to use self control even when others annoy him or aggravate him. Well, Shunyi you're not in an unusual situation. It isn't uncommon at all for one sibling out of two or three or four to be meaner than the others. But here's the bottom line. Your thirteen year old son is a bully now. I know you're trying to be understanding encouraging and you're trying to give him positive reinforcement. And that's very very important you need to keep your standards high. You need to teach. Him to be respectful, but he needs some serious rules this kid needs raining in. He can't be mean to his brothers because they will resent them. They will pick up his bad behavior and their self confidence will suffer because he's the oldest. And it's just hard to be picked on all the time by anybody. Even if it's a sibling. So you need to treat them like you would treat any other bully that wasn't your son. You know that bullies bully because deep down something's really bothering them. They have low self esteem. They're jealous. Maybe he's jealous of his other brothers. So you and your husband need to get to the bottom of what's bugging your thirteen year old. I would even sit down and talk to him and say, here's why we think you're bullying your brothers. What's going on? How do you really feel is this something that you really want to do? How does it make you feel when you're mean to them? Does it make you feel better? Or does it make you feel worse? Your husband if he can needs to take. Him out alone and spend some time with him and do a little bit of digging to find out what could be eating at him. Maybe he's always had low self esteem. Maybe he's always had the personality where he just his fuses short, and he just gets mad easier. But he's at the age where he really needs to learn as you said some self control, you really need to go through my discipline with courage, and kindness because this is exactly what I address one of the principal reasons that we discipline our kids, we don't do it to be mean or to be controlling one of the reasons that we do it is to teach kids self control because no one in life can be successful at anything unless they have self control. You can't be good at your job. You can't have a healthy marriage. You can't have healthy friendships or relationships if you don't have self control. And right now, your son is really out of control. He's not gonna gain self control over. Tonight, and the way kids learn it is that their parents have to I impose it that's why we make kids do things when they're young and out of control. We teach them what it feels like to live with rules to live with restrictions to live with laws you and I live with them every day. And as they learn to live with those restrictions as they get older, they begin to impose the restrictions on themselves. They learn how to discipline themselves. They learn how to talk to people so modeling at tier son is really important. But you've gotta make him do it as well. So here's what I encourage you to do you. I need to figure out what's eating at him. And why he such a bully, and I would treat him just like bullying, you can eve- even use that language with him not in front of his brothers. But you can talk to him about that in private. So you figure out what's going on? If you can second you sit down and say. Here's what you can no longer. Do you've been doing it for five years. Two years, however, long you've been mean to your brothers and you give him some specifics. You say this this is your tone of voice, and you hit. So we're going to pick you find the three things that he does that are most offensive to his brothers. And you say for now on you can no longer do this. And this and this do you understand? Yes, I understand and he'll get mad. Here's what's going to happen to you. If data I find you doing any of those three things for one week, you're grounded you'll come home after school, and you will be with me or dad, you won't go to soccer practice. You won't talk to your friends. You won't be allowed on the television on your computer anything. You can do your homework in the kitchen in front of me other than that, you cannot use a computer. In other words, you get serious about this. And if you need to do it for two weeks, you do it too for two weeks when my? My daughter was thirteen. She told me to shut up once she was grounded for a month. She didn't go to basketball practice. She couldn't go to friends houses. She couldn't get on the phone. We didn't have cell phone sent it was a miserable first week of the month. But I'll tell you something after that at the end of that month, my daughter in law got along so well because she learned to respect me, she talked while to me she never said shut up again. And today, she's thirty five and she's one of my fairy closest friends when you crack down your kids out of love, and you're serious about rules and discipline. They respect you. They draw closer to you and your son who's thirteen. The bully will be so much happier when he stops bullying. So you can do this you and your husband just have changed tactic. I really strongly encourage you to look at my discipline with courage, and kindness course, it'll really help you. I'll take one more. And this is. Is from Ashley dear doctor. Meg. I haven't amazing son. Who's in second grade? He's going to be eight this month. We had a situation where all of a sudden he started noticing girls and having all kinds of feelings that I don't think our normal for a seven year old he noticed breasts, and he began having dreams were girls aren't always dressed came out of nowhere. We don't watch any movies with him where he would see this is it normal for a child of seven to be thinking about this. We've told them that his feelings are normal. But that we don't talk about them with friends at school, but he could always share his feelings with mom and dad he's been very open which has been surprising. He feels guilty when he looks at girls breasts, and then he tells us he's just seeing them with skirts on and we tried to explain that all girls have breasts. Thank you. Ashley, actually, your son is at an age second grade ish. Seven eight nine where they're starting to question. Male female relationships. They're starting to question what sex is all about. They don't have sexual feelings there prepubertal, but they're very curious about what sex is about. How girls are built? How boys are built? And it's not even unusual for boys to pull their pants down in front of another boy and for them to look at each other's penises, or for them to wanna take a peek at a girl under her shirt dec- what breasts are so as curiosity is normal. You're handling it beautifully. You say to him Honey, your feelings and your curiosity are totally normal. But we talk about these with mom and dad in private so you don't necessarily wanna make him feel guilty. His curiosity about girls doesn't sing that. He's had any kind of abuse at all kids have been sexually abused her imitating sexual behavior. Your your son's not doing that? So the fact that his imagination is going and these wondering pearls look like is perfectly normal. You're doing a great job keep talking to him about it. Help him not feel guilty. But just answer his questions, and it's really important, Ashley and doing all this. You're setting the stage for some really important conversations that are up ahead, and that is how to talk to him about sex. I have a whole course in that too. Which is because parents wanted to know how to talk to their kids about sex keep the conversation going and you say to him. Thank you for coming and telling me your concerns and asking questions when ever you have a question about boys and girls or relationships or moms and dads anything that you wonder about don't go to your friends because they may not have the right answers. Always come to me because I had the right answers. And I will answer any question. You have at any time. Because dad, and I know all the right answers to any questions that you're gonna have. And that's the way you set yourself up if you will as being the go-to person when it comes to questions about sex now and later on well, parents I wish we had more time. I love love. Love your questions. I'm a little long winded. I apologize for that. But I want you to continue to keep writing to me. No question is out of bounds. No question is too hard. And no question is embarrassing. I will talk to you about anything at any time. And I really want you to have the medically correct? Answers to any of the questions that you may have about medical issues or behavioral issues, psychological issues, anything that you have questions about please write them into me. So parents you could Email me any of your questions to ask Mak at Magny Cours. I m d dot com. Again, that's best make at Magny Cours, m B dot com. So until next time parents always remember that great kids are raised not born. Hey, this is Bobby producer beg meakers parenting. Great kids podcast. We hope you've been listening to episode Seventy-three ask Dr Meg thanks to you. Dr makes parenting revolution has grown to over two million downloads. You can like Dr Meaker on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at Meg meeker MD as a reminder, go to Meg meeker, MD dot com. Sign up for her newsletter for giveaway opportunities and updates and don't forget to share the podcast Rattus review and click subscribe. So you won't miss an episode.

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