Run Like A Girl

Run Like A Girl

Have you seen the new Always ad campaign? If not, I’ve attached the video to this post. As a mother of two young girls and a doctor to many, this marketing ploy made me stop and really think – how do our girls see themselves? What do they believe they are capable of accomplishing? What facets of their personhood do they believe really matter?

We have all witnessed the change in self-esteem that accompanies puberty in kids, both girls and boys. For many girls though, the pressure to look and act a certain way begins to reign paramount to a once strong interest in academics and sports. For the girls who continue to excel in the classroom and on the field, their success in these realms is often tempered by their physical appeal. Do they successfully emulate the images they see around them constantly?

It is a lot to ask of anyone, much less someone who is still trying to figure out their place in the world, to look beautiful, maintain schoo…

Spanking

Spanking

I have yet to meet a parent that hasn’t experienced the impulse to hit their own child. Perhaps the thought occurs when a 15 month old bites mom and then laughs, an 18 month old slaps his sibling, a 3 year old runs into the street. The impulse of course is normal, but is the act of hitting normal too? And if normal for a great number of parents, is it an effective tool for discipline? Will it harm your child in the long-run?

It is easy to understand the argument that supports an aggressive response by parents to the actions mentioned above – ‘my child will only know that hitting hurts if she experiences it also. My child doesn’t respond to time-outs or is too young to understand loss of privilege as a means of discipline… We only ever hit in an attempt to show the severity of the infraction — running into the street has to be met with a greater punishment – otherwise it is only as bad as everything else we discipline for…’

Exclusivity of Breastfeeding & Pacifier Use

Exclusivity of Breastfeeding & Pacifier Use

After my son was born, and my previously defined OCD ” tendencies” became a clearly engrained part of my person, I spent a lot of time reading about how to change my thinking– how to not react to fleeting thoughts, how to manage my propensity to ruminate and how to end catastrophic thinking. It is so easy to see only the extremes when you are anxious about something- the black and the white, with very little appreciation for the multitudes of grey.

I have found the discussion of breastfeeding often resonates in extremes as well. Exclusivity of breastfeeding is prized and the occasional supplementation with formula deemed a failure. I have had newborn parents tell me that they may as well wean their baby because they had been giving an occasional bottle of formula anyway; as if the formula depleted the breast milk of its many benefits. In my experience, the pressure of all or nothing is rarely conducive to lasting success.