“Anyone who will barge into the room while you are on the commode is the boss of you. And when you explain to them that you’re on the commode and that they should leave but they don’t? That’s a high-level boss.”
Sister Fey speaks the truth here. Children have no privacy boundaries. There is also something, perhaps related to the way going to bathroom disturbs the Earth’s magnetic fields, that makes a child need something urgently the second trou has been dropped.
That all said, the fact that a child has no understanding of his parent’s privacy does not mean that said child does not demand privacy for himself. Little Isis is going through a period where he is not to be seen doing the deed. Even the thought that someone might be observing him elicits a scream somewhere in the G6 range.
Diagnosis of any mental disorder at this young age is subject to debate. No one wants to pathologize a typical preschooler’s tantrums, mood swings and torrent of developmental stages. Grandparents are highly suspicious; parents often don’t want to know. “How many times have you heard, ‘They’ll grow out of it’ or ‘That’s just how he is’?” says Melissa Nishawala, a child psychiatrist at the New York University Child Study Center.
And some in the field have reservations, too. Classifying preschool depression as a medical disorder carries a risk of disease-mongering. “Given the influence of Big Pharma, we have to be sure that every time a child’s ice cream falls off the cone and he cries, we don’t label him depressed,” cautions Rahil Briggs, an infant-toddler psychologist at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York. Though research does not support the use of antidepressants in children this young, medication of preschoolers, often off label, is on the rise. One child psychologist told me about a conference he attended where he met frustrated drug-industry representatives. “They want to give these kids medicines, but we can’t figure out the diagnoses.” As Daniel Klein warns, “Right now the problem may be underdiagnosis, but these things can flip completely.”
FilmAid International provides the children of Haiti what many doctors can’t bring earthquake survivors — a moment to forget about the pain and suffering the last six months has brought. Dr. Jon LaPook reports.
Spring and standardized school testing become synonymous in many areas of the country for many public school students, including for my own children attending schools in Massachusetts.
As this annual rite of passage rolls around, I’m reminded of how important it is to help our kids remember that they’re so much more than the sum of their grades, test scores, and project results. Think back on your childhood: What do you remember? Is it the grades, the teachers, the homework amount? Did you have standardized tests and, if so, do you remember the results?
I recall blips of taking tests and filling out scantron sheets for all sorts of tests throughout my educational life. I recall being in class when graded papers, projects and tests were handed back to us. But the moments I recall the most were the times I overcame a challenge or a hurdle that seemed insurmountable at the time — and grew from it in unimaginable ways. Read more »
The guy is Henry House, the title character of my friend Lisa Grunwald’s latest novel, “The Irresistible Henry House,” and in addition to the fact that he’s fictional, he’s not a good bet. Henry knows how to please women — how to talk to them, react to them, how and when to touch them.
The problem is that he is — or at any rate seems to be — utterly incapable of making a true connection with any of them.
Though pure fiction, Henry is based on pure fact: From the 1920s until the end of the 1960s, college home economic classes around the country borrowed infants from orphanages to be used as “practice babies.” I kid you not.
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