A holistic approach to pediatric care in Frisco and Plano, Texas

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Take a dictionary and look up the term HABIT.

HABIT, noun, a settled or regular tendency or practice, esp. one that is hard to give up.

As the definition says, habits are hard to give up. It is good idea to foster good habits as kids enter schools. When bad habits are formed they are difficult to break them.

Common annoying habits in children:

  • Nail biting.
  • Sucking
  • Hair twirling
  • Nose picking

These habits may even bother and worry you.

Relax, in most cases, these habits are just a phase in the normal developmental process and is not the cause for alarm.

Habits tend to occur in clusters. For example, usually 30 to 60% of kids and teens chew on one or more fingernails.

What causes a HABIT?

Habits may develop as entertainment for a bored child or more commonly, as a coping mechanism to soothe an anxious one. Next time you see a child doing such gimmicks, try to recall if your child has recently had a stressful experience? If so, the behavior might be your child’s attempt to relieve tension just as you would hit the gym.

Some kids do it when relaxed, listening to music. Some kids imitate you. Some do it to attract attention from mom and dad. Some to manipulate parents when they feel ignored or left out.

Good news is that bad habits such as these will disappear on its own as they age.

Some tips to wean these HABITS

  • Calmly point out that you don’t approve of this behavior. Give them the reason why. This approach will help increase awareness of the problem. You can say, “I don’t like you doing this. It does not looki nice.” Most importantly, next time you see her doing it, don’t scold, lecture or punish. Punishment, ridicule or criticism could cause the behavior to increase.
  • Involve your child in the process of breaking the habit. For example, your kid comes home crying that his classmates make fun of him for sucking his fingers, ask the child how he can leave his habit and how you can help him in that.
  • Suggest alternative behavior. Instead of biting the nails, how about both of you can wiggle your fingers. This will increase awareness.
  • Reward and praise him for self-control. You can give stickers or stars or a favorite cartoon for not sucking his thumb. Every time you see him not doing this habit there should a reward for him.
  • Be consistent in rewarding good behavior. Your child will get motivated. He is trying to leave the habit and it takes time.

When the problem is chronic, physical or psychological then talk to your pediatrician.

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In case you are wondering, “Let me be…” is not a request for privacy. 🙂

It is, in fact, the title of a song performed by a band called The Statler Brothers in 1969.

In my opinion, it is also the perfect prayer for the New Year!

“Let me be a little kinder.
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me;
Let me praise a little more.

Let me be when I am weary
Just a little bit more cheery,
Let me serve a little better
Those that I am striving for.

Let me be a little braver
When my troubles bid me waver;
Let me strive a little harder
To be all that I should be.

Let me be a little meeker,
With a brother who is weaker,
Let me think more of others
And a little less of me.

Let me be a little sweeter,
Make my life a bit completer;
Keep me faithful to my duty
Every minute of the day.

Let me toil without complaining,
Not a humble task disdaining;
Let me think more of my neighbor
And a little less of me.”

Have a very happy New Year!

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BBC had a lovely article on advice for new parents.

Here are some of the other gems that you rarely hear:


Baby will change your life and routine. Social life? Forget it. No parties, movie night outs. No good night rest. Your life for the next two years will feel similar to a constant hangover. Don’t worry, go with it, even try to enjoy it – it will get better.


You may feel lost and wonder what you have traded. Don’t worry and sweat the small stuff.. You will learn to love your kids for who they really are and enjoy them and realize that they really are one of the best things that happened to you.


When you pick up a child hold them side-on. That way they can’t kick you in the groin. J


Keep a box of tissues handy in every room to mop up nasty spills.

Follow your instincts. Everyone, including complete strangers, will give you advice. Never argue – smile and say, "That is very interesting." Then ignore the advice unless you actually agree with it or pay for it (e.g. Doctor).


Love them a lot. No-one on their death bed ever said "I wish I spent more time in the office" – don’t regret placing your children above your career. Secondly, loving your children is not equivalent to letting them do/get whatever they want. Think long-term – the goal is for them to be responsible contributing members of society who know they are loved by their parents.


Children are not your proxy. Don’t use them as competition.


Work the chores together with your husband


When baby sleeps, you sleep. Housework can wait. Never underestimate the power of sleep deprivation. It can turn the most pleasant of persons into a raging psychopath.

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Sibling rivalry is the jealousy, competition and fighting between brothers and/or sisters. Some children are lucky to become best friends with their siblings. And some have a love-hate relationship.

The first thing to realize is that sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up. It certainly drives parents crazy. Children are like little lawyers, always demanding fairness and equality and fighting for what they perceive are their natural-born rights. This kind of rivalry starts even before the second child is born and continues as the kids grow and compete for everything from toys to attention. As kids reach different stages of development, their evolving needs can significantly affect how they relate to one another.


• Each child is competing to define who they are as an individual. As they discover who they are, they try to find their own talents, activities and interests. They want to show that they are separate from their siblings.

• Children feel they are getting unequal amount of your attention and responsiveness. And the need evolves over time.


The key to remember: How parents treat their children and react to conflict can make a big difference in how well siblings get along.

• Be a role model. Children often fight more in families where parents think aggression and fighting between siblings normal and an acceptable way to resolve conflicts.

• Set ground rules for acceptable behavior. Tell the kids to refrain from hitting, cursing, name-calling, yelling, and no door-slamming. Solicit their input on the rules as well as the consequences, when they break them. This teaches kids that they’re responsible for their own actions, regardless of the situation or how provoked they feel and discourages any attempts to negotiate regarding who was right or wrong.

• Don’t get involved, unless it is absolutely necessary. Step in only if there’s a danger of physical harm. If you always intervene, you risk creating other problems. The kids may expect you to rescue all the time. They will be waiting for you to solve every time, rather than solving the problems themselves. You inadvertently will become the savior of one and the other will feel neglected. That would foster much resentment. By the same token, rescued kids may feel they can get away with anything because they’re protected. Always encourage the kids to resolve the crisis themselves.

• If the language or name calling is a problem, you’ve to talk and coach the child when they are calm. This is different from intervening or stepping in and separating the kids.

• Let not the children force you to think that everything has to be “fair” and “equal”. Life is not fair. Sometimes one kid needs more than the other.

• Be proactive in giving your kids one on one attention directed to their interests and needs. Stress in your Childs’ lives can shorten their fuses and decrease their ability to tolerate frustration, leading to more conflict.

• Make sure kids have their own space and time to do their stuffs without sibling tagging along.

• Have fun together as a family. This can help ease tensions between siblings. Parental attention is something many fights spring from. Also Stress in your lives can decrease the amount of time and attention parents can give the children and that increases the sibling rivalry.

• Don’t play favorites.

• Don’t compare your children.

• Let each child be who they are. Don’t try to pigeon hole or label them.

• Enjoy each of your children’s individual talents and successes.

• Set you kids to cooperate rather than compete.

• Teach your children positive ways to get attention from each other. Show them how to approach another child and ask them to play and share their belongings and toys.

• Celebrate your children’s differences.

• Let each child know they are special in their own way.

• Listen really listen to how your children feel about what’s going on in the family. They may not be so demanding if they know you at least care how they feel.


Seek help for sibling conflict if it,

• Is so severe that it’s leading to marital problems.

• Creates a real danger of physical harm to any family member

• Is damaging to the self-esteem or psychological well-being of any family member.

• May be related to other significant concerns, such as depression.

If something is bothering about the fights always talk to your doctor. Doctor may be able to guide you.

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Cigarette has fire at one end and a fool at the other. Whenever you light a cigarette you actually are putting your health, your life expectancy and your money on fire. Cigarette industries earn about $400 billion a year as cigarette is the most traded item in the world. It is a sad truth that initially people start smoking to look cool, stylish and sexy and gradually they become dependent on smoking both physically and psychologically because nicotine is a highly addictive substance.

Something you perhaps didn’t know about Cigarettes, Cigars or Other Tobacco products.

· The American cigarette manufacturers sell less cigarettes to Americans as compared to the number that they sell to non-Americans.

· 70 % of the cigarette market is owned by major brands like Marlboro, Camel, Kent and kool.

· Out of total cigarettes sold all over the world, 25 % are smuggled.

· Legally tobacco cannot be sold to people younger than 18 years in most of countries except Japan where legal age for the purpose is 20 years.

· Within 10 seconds of inhalation of cigarette smoke, nicotine reaches every part of body including brain.

· Cigs are now added with flavors with toppings of substances like, clove, licorice, orange oil, apricot stone, lime oil, lavender oil, cocoa and many others.

· Sometimes, Urea, which is excreted in urine is used to flavor the cigarettes.

· There is a myth that smoking helps in digestion. In fact smoking slows digestion by diverting the blood towards other organs, away from intestine where it is required for digestion.


It has been proven by research that smokers’ life expectancy is reduced by 14 years.

Following is a short account of the most horrible diseases caused by smoking.

1. Respiratory disease: Smoking over a longer period of time can lead to development of breathing problems, commonly known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). During first phase of the disease patient develops chronic bronchitis, which means longstanding inflammation of airways, followed by bronchiectesis, which means destruction of airways, and eventually emphysema, which means destruction of alveoli (small balloons where oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange takes place). Hence one shouldn’t smoke in the first place and if you have already started smoking quit it as soon as possible.

2. Gum Disease: Smoking can inflict serious damage and disease to oral mucosa and gums because it leads to deposition of toxins over gums and mucosa causing their staining.

3. Blindness: Recent research has revealed that smoking also contributes towards blindness by atrophy of muscles leading to degeneration of macula and by reducing blood supply leading to degeneration of retina.

4. Diabetes Mellitus: Not only the risk of developing diabetes is increased manifold by smoking but also that of developing secondary complications of diabetes like heart disease, vascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease and foot problems.

5. High BP: Smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels resulting in increased blood pressure, which leads to increased risk of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and stroke.

6. Peripheral Vascular Disease: Smoking causes atherosclerosis, which means deposition of fat on the inner side of the walls of the blood vessels and stiffening of these walls resulting in loss of their elasticity. These changes not only result in rise in blood pressure but also reduction in blood flow through the blood vessels. This impairment in blood flow can lead to tissue ischemia, which means death of tissues due to lack of blood supply, especially in legs. This ischemia can eventually lead to amputation of lower limbs, hence it is said that either you can have your cigarettes or your legs.

7. Stroke – Smoking causes vascular disease resulting in reduced blood supply to brain and weakness of walls of blood vessels. Hence stroke can result either from obstruction in blood supply to brain or from rupture of weak blood vessel wall resulting in bleeding into brain.

8. CANCER – Most common cancer caused by smoking is lung cancer. Other types of cancer that are caused by smoking include blood cancer, mouth, tongue, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney, stomach, pancreas and cervix.

9. HEART DISEASE – Smoking causes atherosclerosis of the blood vessels, which means deposition of fat on the inner side of blood vessels and hardening of walls of blood vessels resulting in loss of their elasticity. Atherosclerosis of coronary arteries (arteries that supply blood to the heart itself) results in reduced blood supply to heart hence reduced work capacity of the heart while atherosclerosis of peripheral arteries results in increased resistance to blood flow and consequently putting increased work load over the heart. This imbalance in work load over the heart and blood supply to the heart results in extra stress and strain over the heart causing angina and myocardial infarction.


TALK to your child about the dangers of smoking.