Q. This is my son’s first year to go to camp. Even though he’s 14, I’m worried he’ll be homesick. Advice?
A. As a parent, you instinctively want to protect your son or daughter and make sure he or she is safe and well. However, once you have researched and chosen the summer camp for him or her, remember to have faith in the camp staff to supervise your child. More importantly, have faith in your child’s ability to adapt and cope. You can expect to feel some degree of separation anxiety. Even if there are other siblings in the house, it is perfectly natural to miss your son or daughter. It may hurt a little, but learning to let your child go is actually a good thing for both of you.
Jay Perez | Assistant Admissions Director www.mma-tx.org
Q. My husband is healthy according to his doctor; however, his diet is not, according to me. How can I inspire him to eat healthier foods?
A. You are not alone with this, Jessica. So many women have a hard time getting their husbands to eat more healthfully. He may be inspired by the large body of scientific evidence proving that a good diet and exercise work hand in hand to promote fitness and better physical performance, in all areas of life. Following a regular, and healthy, eating schedule can keep his blood sugar stable without the risk of peaking and crashing, which typically leads to overeating and a poor feeling of sluggishness. If he will not follow your instincts of a healthy diet plan, I suggest finding a local Registered and Licensed Dietitian to work with him.
Mary Ellen Caldwell, RDN | Editor and mom
Q. I’m having a tough time trusting my teenager; I need him to be truthful.
A. Your son lied about completing his homework. This feels awful. How can you address the lie without putting him in a position to deny or defend it? You don’t want a show down. You want to be able to trust him. Gently ask, “Would you like a do-over? It’s important that we trust each other. Would you like to start fresh, son?” “Mom, this is embarrassing!” “I know. We’re in a tight spot. Let’s begin again. Did you complete your homework?” “No. Not the math.” “I know that was hard. I appreciate you being honest. I want to trust you all the time. What can you do, son, to be truthful the in the future?” You’ve just handed him the responsibility for telling the truth.
JoAnn Schauf yourtweenandyou.com
Q. A staff member at my son’s school recommended we get an auditory processing disorder ruled out. What is an auditory processing disorder?
A. Auditory processing is what your brain does with what you hear. Before being able to complete an auditory processing evaluation you need to rule out a hearing issue first. Students experiencing an auditory processing issue often have difficulty hearing in background noise or understanding when there are multiple people speaking. They may have difficulty discriminating between similar words like hat and hit. Auditory processing can be impacted by past chronic ear infections, undiagnosed concussions from contact sports or learning differences. It’s wonderful that your school, and most likely a teacher, recognized that your son was having difficulty listening to sounds, and making sense of what his teacher was saying to him or the class.
Tara Wheeler, Au.D., FAAA, Doctor of Audiology www.grapevineaudiology.com
Q. I’m concerned that my children are becoming addicted to their smartphones and social media.
A. Technology and social media are powerful tools, and recent studies make it clear that children are using too much of both and that it’s making them more anxious, lonely and depressed. What other families have told us is that they are happy when they drop off their kids for overnight camp. Camp is the one place that children will separate from their phone for days at a time and be happy! Almost every other way that parents limit smartphone usage feels like a punishment and makes the phones more appealing. In contrast, a child attending camp makes face-to-face friends, has fun, is active and is completely tech-free, surrounded by adult roles models that are also tech-free.
Steve Baskin, Owner/Executive Director www.campchampions.com