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Growing Up Healthy At Every Stage

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Expert Advice

If you've got kids, you've got questions. From bright-eyed toddlers to "big kids" transitioning to school, our experts give you the inside scoop as well as tips and trends to help every step of the way.

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What Our Experts Are Saying About Kindergartners
My son has a hard time paying attention in school. He gets distracted very easily by other kids and doesn't listen to the teacher. Is there anything I can do with him to work on focusing in on the teacher and paying attention? Chantel, Castle Rock, CO
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when discussing attention span. First, you want to make sure that your child is getting enough sleep and eating whole foods before they start their day.... See More Details
User Comments: (3) View Comments | Was this advice Helpful? (3 votes) (0 vote)
My daughter has always been shy and introverted, but is very sweet and doesn't seem to have any problem making friends. However, I am concerned that her unassuming nature will prevent her from raising her hand, interacting and asking questions in class. What can I do to make sure she is getting the most out of school and not being impeded by her quieter personality? Jasmine, Santa Fe, NM
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

Remember that every child is different and that even though, she may not be raising her hand or participating in class, it does not necessarily mean she is not learning. With that being said, you... See More Details
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My son is 6 years and out of nowhere he has stopped all his activities - church, sleepovers at grandparents, going to friends' houses, etc. He now cries whenever he is not with me. I can't even go to the bathroom without him. He says he doesn't know why he cries, but that he just misses me. What might have caused this? And what can I do to get him participating in fun activities without me again? Linda, Huntington, WV
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

At this point it may be difficult to figure out what triggered these behaviors, but we can work towards helping him enjoy his activities again. You will likely need to start by building his trust... See More Details
User Comments: (1) View Comments | Was this advice Helpful? (1 votes) (0 vote)
My son started kindergarten this year and no longer takes naps. By late afternoon, he becomes difficult, loud and sometimes destructive. He is now six and believes he no longer needs naps. What can I do to help him? Christina, Winterset, IA
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

Typically, by the time a child reaches kindergarten they no longer need naps. The difficult times in the afternoon could be just an adjustment to his new situation. This difficult time should pass... See More Details
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My 6 year old is in kindergarten, but I am having serious trouble getting him to do his homework, he refuses to do it. I try sitting there with him, but it doesn't seem to help. I only allow him to either watch TV or play video games for 1 hour a day, but even so he still won't do his homework without it becoming a power struggle. What can I do to engage him in the assignments? Angela, Caldwell, ID
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

It sounds like he may need more motivation - possibly having him finish his work prior to the start of the video games and television. At this age, a little bribing is not out of the picture. See More Details
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My daughter started Kindergarten this year and has been in daycare for the last 4 years. She loves her daycare, but hates Kindergarten. This is her second week and she cries every day before school. She cries at school too. As soon as I pick her up from Kindergarten, she begins to tell me how she doesn't want tomorrow to come and asks why she can't be two years old again so she doesn't have to go to Kindergarten. I need tips and advice on how to help her become more excited about school. Jennifer, Longmont, CO
Jeff Winckler

Jeff Winckler, Educator, Father, says:

Off hand, I'd venture to guess that her behavior is either a transitional matter in going from one setting, a familiar one, to another, a new one, or it's in response to the structure of a... See More Details
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My daughter started Kindergarten this year and has been in daycare for the last 4 years. She loves her daycare, but hates Kindergarten. This is her second week and she cries every day before school. She cries at school too. As soon as I pick her up from Kindergarten, she begins to tell me how she doesn't want tomorrow to come and asks why she can't be two years old again so she doesn't have to go to Kindergarten. I need tips and advice on how to help her become more excited about school. Jennifer, Longmont, CO
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

Kindergarten is a big step and can be very tough initially! Your daughter will eventually adjust. You may need to solicit some additional help from her teacher explaining her reservations on coming... See More Details
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How do I get my 5 year old to stop sucking his thumb? I have tried many different things and he still does it. Heather, Erie, PA
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

Most children stop sucking their thumb between 3 to 6 years of age. Although there are many commercial products on the market to help deter your young one from sucking his thumb I always feels we can... See More Details
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How do I get my 5 year old to stop sucking his thumb? I have tried many different things and he still does it. Heather, Erie, PA
Debbie Drown

Debbie Drown, Educator, Principal, says:

Thumb-sucking may be just a comforting habit, or it may be stress or anxiety related. First try to determine if there are certain times that your child sucks his thumb. For example, does it... See More Details

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My daughter is 6 years old and will not stop following me around the house. Now that school is out, she calls me every 20-30 minutes and when I'm home, she sits under me and is literally walking on my heels. I love her so much but it's driving me crazy. She won't stay with anyone because she said she misses me too much. How should I handle this situation? Tabitha, Lake Mary, FL
Debbie Drown

Debbie Drown, Educator, Principal, says:

You daughter sounds like she is going through a little bit of separation anxiety. I would try to establish a daily routine when you are both home that is written out on a schedule, preferably in... See More Details

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