Posts Tagged ‘’

Early — Or Late — Puberty May Ramp Up Aggression in Boys

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Editor’s note:‘s Melanie Davis, of the “Buzz on the Birds and the Bees,” and I (I write the “Boo-Boos, Germs & Pap Smears” column) are teaming up to tackle the news about this study on how earlier or later puberty can trigger aggression in boys.

Is your son way ahead of his friends when it comes to his voice getting deeper, his pants getting shorter and his face showing a bit of stubble?

Or is he at the other end of the spectrum — feeling left behind and wondering when he’ll hit puberty like many of his friends already have?

Puberty that arrives earlier or later in boys, compared with their buddies, can trigger chemicals related to antisocial behavior, say Penn State researchers. They add that their findings have important implications for parents with aggressive boys.

“Aggressive behavior can begin very early, even in pre-school, and might be related to poor impulse control, difficulties in the family or just overall general problem behavior,” says Elizabeth J. Susman, a professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State. “We wanted to find out if earlier or later timing of puberty in adolescents has any biological factors related to it.”

She and her colleagues looked at how the timing of puberty affects cortisol (a stress hormone) and salivary alpha amylase (an enzyme in saliva used as an indicator of stress). Their findings appear in the May issue of the medical journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. (OK, that’s a mouthful.)


Mom, It’s OK To Trust Your Gut!

Friday, May 7th, 2010

My buddy Jen Singer over at is offering, in this great video, what might be the best gift we moms can receive on Mother’s Day: A reminder to Trust Your Gut. (Another great gift? Jen’s books. I love her Stop Second-Guessing Yourself series.)

Thanks, Jen! Happy Mother’s Day, and thanks for helping us have a laugh.

Hey Mom, I’m Vlogging! (Now All I Need is a Neck and a Chin…)

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Blog Love:

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Jen Singer, over at, is my hero. The woman has been there, done that:

  • Create blog? Check
  • Write (multiple) books? Check
  • Become a cancer survivor? Yep. And although I’m pretty sure this was one challenge that wasn’t originally on her to-do list, she writes about it with candor — and (because that’s Jen) humor.
  • Become a superhero (with great legs)? Oh, yeah.
  • Oh! And she does stand-up comedy:

Vist and you’ll see what I’m talking about. And be sure to ask her where she got those superhero boots.

Mom’s Health: “Is It An Ulcer, Doc?”

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

10-18-09jpgCheck out my family-health column, “Boo Boos, Germs and Pap Smears,” over at Jen Singer’s for info on a new breath test that can help diagnose ulcers. Sooo much better than having to do the tube-with-a-camera test. Let’s hear it for modern medicine!

Three Things Nobody Tells You About Preschoolers

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Welcome, Jen Singer, who is guest posting today!
Jen is the creator of and the author of presents: Stop Second Guessing Yourself – The Preschool Years (HCI, September 2009). She offers up three things nobody tells you about parenting preschoolers — and how to deal with them…

If you’re just coming out of the exhausting, filled-with-major-milestones toddler years, you may wonder what lies ahead. Preschoolers are like tiny teens in light-up sneakers: increasingly independent and yet in dire need of your supervision and guidance as they spend less and less time with you. A few tips:

1. Their milestones are far more nebulous. Your toddler hit the Grand Slams of Milestones: walking, talking, potty training. But your preschooler’s milestones are a little less concrete. As you parent your three-to-five-year-old, you’ll come to learn about fine and gross motor skills, socialization and kindergarten readiness, among others. They’re a wishy-washy bunch of milestones, but you can learn to deal with them as your child gets ready for preschool and beyond.

What to do. One of the most-important milestones is getting your child get ready for school. Picture a preschool teacher trying to help 20 three-year-olds on with their coats, and you’ll see why these teaching your child these basics are as important as going over counting and colors. The school-readiness three:
a. Teach him to put on his own coat.
b. Teach her how to share with playdates, playgroups and have lots of patience.
c. Teach her how to sit still (or at least more still than usual) with floor time and bedtime reading.

2. Discipline becomes more difficult as your preschooler becomes more verbal.

You’ve decided that your preschooler should wear her pink dress on the first day of school, but she has different plans – and she tells you so. Before you know it, you feel like you’re in mediation with a very skilled lawyer who has compiled compelling reasons why her Cinderella Halloween costume would be more suitable garb for the occasion.

What to do: Step up the sophistication of your discipline plan as your three-to-five-year-old gets more and more savvy. Preschoolers have great verbal skills and a frighteningly proficient ability to push your buttons. The Time-Outs that worked for your toddler need to be amped up now. Here’s how:
a. Choose which behaviors are misdemeanors and which are felonies beforehand, so you know what to correct as they come.
b. Be as emotionless as possible when you dole out consequences, because preschoolers love to get your goat.
c. Don’t set up a Time-Out in a fun spot, like the middle of the playroom.
d. A Time-Out should equal one minute for each year of age.
e. Revisit the infraction after the Time-Out ends by talking about it.
f. Stick to your guns. If you skip a Time-Out now, your preschooler will make note of it for later.

3. Preschoolers can be far more independent than we give them credit for.
Your preschooler just got up from the kitchen table, leaving behind his empty plate and cup. You think nothing of it. After all, you’ve been waiting on him since he was born. But now that your child is more dexterous and able to focus better than when he was a toddler, he’s ready to take on more tasks around the house.

What to do: Anybody who actually likes to sing the Barney ‘Clean-Up’ song ought to be put to work. I’m not talking about scrubbing floors while singing songs from ‘Oliver,’ but preschoolers can do a variety of chores – and they may actually enjoy them. Get started by:
a. Making it easy. Stick to simple tasks, like putting toys in the toy box or putting cups in the dishwasher.
b. Giving guidance. Break out tasks with simple steps, such as “Put your doll in the toy box… Good! Now put your socks in the hamper… Good!”
c. Set a deadline. She’ll be more likely to clean her stuff off the coffee table now if you tell her to finish it by the time the egg timer rings.
d. Praise, praise, praise. Who doesn’t want some positive feedback when they help out around the house?

Tag - I’m It!

Monday, January 5th, 2009

I was tagged in an online game of tag by Jen Singer over at her terrific MommaBlog at That means I'm now part of a huge Internet-wide game of posting
"Seven Things You Didn't Know About Me."

Here goes:

  1. When I was a teenager, I worked for a restaurant with this oh-so-imaginative name: "The Beef and Turkey." The head cook occasionally burned the turkey when he didn't keep an eye on it because he was sneaking off to smoke a joint outside.
  2. The first time I tried to impress a boy, by going all out on that game where you swing really high on the swings and then jump off and see how far you can jump, my top got caught on the swing and ripped and I accidentally put on a show for the neighborhood kids. King crab legs(Not that there was anything to see at that point.)
  3. I grew up with a Labrador Retriever that I tried like heck to turn into a horse at one point. Built her a stable out of a wooden shipping crate. Made a halter. "Taught" her to jump over things. Hey, she loved the attention. At least I never tried to ride her!
  4. I hate black licorice and anything related to black licorice, including the green version of NyQuil. Phhht.
  5. The only athletic activity that I can beat my husband at is water skiing. (Or at least that was the case 15 years ago at Club Med on our honeymoon…)
  6. I love John Cusack movies, especially "Say Anything."
  7. One of my favorite meals on the planet is a whole pile of Costco's crab legs. Steam those babies, melt a little butter and I'm in heaven.

Tag, you're it to Jill Grace at Creative Grace. Go for it, Jill! (Only you have to do yours as a scrapbook page and use stamps!)

This Time of Year, Not All Flakes Are Snow Flakes

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Today it's all about you, Mom. You deserve to take five minutes to read some great tips about taking care of your (dry? flaky?) winter skin…

And then you deserve to take 10 minutes to slather yourself with some sexy, soothing body cream!

(Yes, it's OK to lock the kids out of the bathroom for a few minutes — assuming no one's bleeding.)

Check out my family-health column, "Boo Boos, Germs & Pap Smears," over at You'll find everything you need for silky winter skin.

You know you deserve it!

Hey Corporate Sponsors! How About a Little Halloween $$$ Help This Year?

Friday, October 24th, 2008

trick or treating in the marina district of sa...Jen Singer has the right idea. As the owner of the first house on a VERY popular street for trick-or-treaters, Jen is looking for a little “Halloween bailout” from corporate America to help sponsor the huge pile of candy she’ll be buying soon. In fact, I’ll let her make her pitch right here.

OK, all you companies out there. I’m betting that if you stop by and agree to add an extra zero or two to that check, Jen will even let you put up a few yard signs. So be generous. After all, have you priced a bag of Mars bars lately?

Time to Fess Up, Mom!

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Over at, it's time to enter the "You Deserve a Day Off" TrueMom Confessays™ contest. The deadline is June 22nd at noon ET, so start writing or videotaping! You just might win a $250 spa gift basket or a gift certificate from has teamed up with to celebrate "Please Take My Children to Work Day" with a contest designed to make moms laugh. Share your stories of the craziest thing you've ever done in the name of motherhood!

P.S. Check out this great video Confessay from Jen Singer of