Author Archives: NYU Langone Medical Center

About NYU Langone Medical Center

At the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital of New York at NYU Langone, we understand that caring for infants, children, and teenagers is a special privilege. That’s why we partner with our young patients and their families to offer comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services and expertise. Our experts provide the best care possible for children with conditions ranging from minor illnesses to complex, more serious illnesses.

Summer Sun Safety for Kids

Sun protectionWith summer rapidly approaching, everyone is thinking about fun under the sun. Whether it’s a trip to the beach, getting ready for camp, or simply playing in the backyard or park, everyone needs to know how to protect their family from the sun. The simplest solution—staying inside—has obvious drawbacks, but you should do all you can to limit exposure to harmful sunlight. Here are some helpful tips for safe summer fun:

Try to be indoors or in shaded areas between 10am-4pm, when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.

Use sunscreen. Remember, you can get sunburn even on cloudy days. Use enough to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet, hands, and even backs of the knees—and rub it in well. Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outdoors.  This allows it time to absorb into the top layers of the skin. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours, as well as after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel. Also, while we are focused on the summer, be aware that one can get sunburn even in winter.

What is SPF? A sunscreen’s efficacy is measured by its sun protection factor, or SPF. SPF is not an amount of protection, but instead indicates how long it will take for UVB rays to redden skin when using a sunscreen, compared to how long skin would take to redden without any protection. For example, if it takes 10 minutes for skin to redden on its own, it will take 15x longer with a sunscreen of SPF 15 applied.  An SPF 15 sunscreen screens 93 percent of the sun’s UVB rays; SPF 30 protects against 97 percent; and SPF 50, 98 percent. But regardless of an SPF number, sunscreen needs to be reapplied often.

How to choose? The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) recommend that all sunscreen you use should provide broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection, have an SPF of 30 or higher, and be water resistant.

Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight and under shade. If an infant is out in the sun and protective clothing and shade are not available, use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face.  For babies older than 6 months, apply sunscreen to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes.

When possible, dress yourself and your children in cool, dark colored, and loose clothing that covers as much of the body as possible.  Good examples include lightweight cotton pants, long-sleeved shirts, and broad brimmed hats. Select clothes made with a tight weave; they protect better than clothes with a looser weave. If you’re not sure how tight a fabric’s weave is, hold it up to see how much light shines through. The less light, the better. Or you can look for protective clothing labeled with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). The higher the UPF number the better. For a good comparison, a white cotton t-shirt has a UPF rating of 6.

Look for child-sized sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection.

If all your protection efforts fail and your child gets sunburn: most sunburns are mild, but ALL are real burns, if only superficial. Cool compresses, pain relief medication, rehydration (with water or 100% fruit juice), and staying out of the sun are usually all that is needed for care of 1st degree burns. Severe sunburns are classified as 2nd degree, and can be accompanied by severe blistering and pain. Any child who develops fever and severe blistering or cracking of the skin should call their pediatrician and/or seek immediate medical attention.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

David Shipman, MD, is a pediatrician and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone Medical Center. He sees patients at NYU Langone at Trinity.

 

Helping Children with Autism Build Skills as They Grow Up

autismAt its core, autism spectrum disorder (ASD, or autism) is a social disability that is present across one’s lifespan. Areas of difficulty and goals for treatment evolve as the child with ASD grows older and social interactions become more complex.

Social skills are highly nuanced and difficult to measure, but one thing is clear; early diagnosis and treatment help. With an infant or toddler, red flags for ASD can include failure to make eye contact, point to or express interest in objects, engage in social games like peekaboo, or use simple language to request, comment, and make social initiations. Although developmental delays are not always symptoms of ASD, concerned parents should seek guidance from their pediatrician. Treatment for young children typically involves using rewards to motivate and reinforce specific skills and behaviors, such as pointing, vocalizing, or making eye contact.

Building skills as symptoms change
As children grow up, the social demands of the world change and become more complex—we expect different skills from a 12-year old than a three-year old! Verbal skills become increasingly important; the give-and-take of conversation with friends that most of us take for granted is tough for them to master on their own.

Children with ASD may be able to hold a long conversation about a topic that interests them, while friendly chatting and two-way conversations on subjects they find less interesting could be a challenge. Progress can be complicated further by difficulty picking up on more subtle, nonverbal cues, such as recognizing when a friend is bored or annoyed by reading his facial expressions and body language.

The importance of teamwork between children, parents, and clinicians
This is where parents and clinicians can help. As children with ASD grow up and face escalating social demands, they benefit greatly from working with a clinician who can measure progress, assess areas for further development, and establish and adjust individualized, incremental, and achievable goals. Parents are a critical component of progress and can be great social coaches for their children.

The Child Study Center
The Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, offers a number of evidence-based programs that help children with ASD improve their social skills at each stage of development. All of these programs include an equally important parent group.  We know that parents are by far the most important supporters and coaches for their kids, which is why the parental component is the highlight of our group programs. While the children learn skills through lessons, in-class practice, and homework assignments, the concurrent parent programs show parents how they can reinforce their child’s social development at home.

Children learn social skills at different rates, but as with any skill, the more practice, the better and faster the progress. We encourage parents to make sure that their child has an abundance of opportunities to practice and develop these skills in their day-to-day lives.

For more information on the Child Study Center’s social learning programs, email us at csc.sociallearning@nyumc.org or call 646.754.5284.

April is National Autism Awareness Month. Learn more online at the Autism Society.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Rebecca Doggett, Ph.D. is a clinical assistant professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Child Study Center at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone.

 

Effective Parenting: Finding Balance Between Structure and Flexibility

parenting

 

What’s the most effective parenting style—being firm or flexible? Effective parenting actually involves both. Research has shown that a firm yet flexible parenting style has positive outcomes for both parents and children. Too much or too little of either can have unintended consequences.

Structure v. Flexibility
Providing structure can be beneficial.  Predictability provides children with comfort. However, being too rigid and adhering to structure at all costs can result in increased conflict and stress for both parents and children.

Flexibility also has benefits. For example, flexible parenting builds strong parent-child relationships and increases children’s self-esteem and self-regulation skills. However, too much flexibility (e.g. having too few behavioral expectations for your child) can lead to children feeling overwhelmed, insecure and lacking self-discipline.

Tools for Parents
Deciding when to be firm and when to be flexible is difficult. Here are some tools and guidelines to help you strike an appropriate balance:

You can avoid being too rigid—and seeming that way to your children—by involving them in decisions. Where possible, try to trust your child to do things for him/herself, even if the outcome isn’t what you desired (e.g. trusting your child to get to school on time).

• Be mindful of being insistent on “must-do’s”. Instead, reevaluate whether a set approach is working for you and your child and be open to change.

• Set reasonable demands for your child (e.g. curfews, expectations for school). Be consistent and follow through with consequences. However, when your child falls short of expectations or if there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. your child broke curfew after being at a concert that went late), allow your child to explain what happened and adjust your response accordingly.

When it comes to providing the appropriate amount of flexibility and structure, you should plan ahead to avoid conflict.  It’s easy to fall back on routine in stressful situations. However, by anticipating obstacles, you can give yourself the opportunity to avoid stress and the rigidity that may accompany it.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Amy DiBernardo, LMSW, JD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Child Study Center.

 

Talking to Your Child’s Peers and Classmates about Celiac Disease

gluten-free

 

Having celiac disease can often cause children to feel self-conscious or embarrassed. As children grow and their social skills develop, they may become more aware and concerned about the opinions of their peers.

1. Empower your child with knowledge. Help her to gain the best possible understanding of celiac by presenting infor­mation in an age-appropriate way, providing opportunities for her to ask questions, and encouraging an open dialogue.
2. Support healthy self-esteem. Your child may not be able to eat all of the same foods as his peers, but celiac disease does not make him any less capable and does not need to get in the way of a normal, healthy, happy childhood.
3. Meet other kids and families with celiac disease. Make new friends and share tips and ideas.
4. Talk to teachers, coaches, parents of your child’s friends, and other trusted adults. It can be very useful to have a well-informed authority figure to support your child when you can’t be there. Plus, they can help to ensure that activities they facilitate are inclusive for all children participating.
5. Help your child to educate others in a fun way. Have a party and teach your child’s friends how to make some favorite gluten-free treats. Encourage your child to use opportunities like “show and tell” to teach classmates (and teachers!) about celiac.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Janis Atty Meadow, MA, CCLS, ATR-BC, LCAT is a child life specialist and creative arts therapist at NYU Langone’s Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center, and is part of the Pediatric Celiac Disease and Gluten Related Disorders Program. She helps pediatric patients and their families understand and cope with medical illnesses and experiences. By providing education, preparation, emotional support, and guidance, she promotes positive development and well-being in patients facing a wide range of challenging life events.

 

The Truth About Baby-Friendly Hospitals

baby

 

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was launched by the World Health Organization and UNICEF in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer high-quality, evidence-based care for infant feeding and bonding between mother and baby.  Some of the parents we see at NYU Langone Medical Center have misunderstandings about what being “baby friendly” really means for moms and babies. Let’s look at some of these misconceptions and get to the truth about Baby-Friendly practices:

1. “Baby-Friendly hospitals force moms to breastfeed.” Not at all! The aim of the Baby-Friendly Initiative is to provide women with the best information that they need to make their own choices about how to feed their babies. In fact, Baby-Friendly designated hospitals have committed to providing better information about formula feeding and safe formula preparation to women who choose to formula feed.

2. “Baby-Friendly hospitals have no nursery.” While Baby-Friendly hospitals encourage babies sleeping in the same room with mom, most do provide an area for babies who temporarily require observation. NYU Langone provides a newborn observation area for this purpose. Rooming in is encouraged because research shows that mothers sleep better when their babies are rooming in with them. Rooming in has the added benefit of helping new moms learn their babies feeding cues, while the babies are comforted by being close to their mothers—they cry less and are easier to calm.

3. “Baby-Friendly hospitals don’t have formula.” They do! The difference is that, in Baby-Friendly hospitals, care is taken to provide formula only to those babies whose mothers have chosen to formula feed, and to those for whom it is deemed medically necessary by the baby’s provider. This strategy helps to stop the “casual” use of formula, which may undermine breast feeding for nursing babies.

4. “Baby-Friendly hospitals don’t give babies pacifiers.” This is mostly true, since the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages pacifier use in breastfeeding babies until at least 4 weeks of age.

Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding moms both benefit from choosing a Baby-Friendly hospital, where each can be sure that that her plan for optimal feeding and bonding is fully supported.  In an environment where staff receives consistent training in the best practices, all moms can be empowered.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Elizabeth Moore, BSN, RN, is the coordinator for Parent Education and Community Outreach in NYU Langone’s Parent Education Program. As a doula and childbirth educator, she has worked as a maternal-child health nurse and educator for over 20 years.

 

Tips for a Healthy Diet for Kids with Type 1 Diabetes

diabetes2

 

Parents and children alike worry that with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes their diet will forever change. In reality, kids can continue to eat a regular diet with an emphasis on healthy food choices and variety. Along with these healthy choices, a regular diet can also include desserts and other treats in moderation. The only foods that we ask kids with diabetes to avoid are liquid carbohydrates, such as fruit juice and regular soda.

A healthy diet includes:

Vegetables. Encourage your kid to eat vegetables with every meal. They also make for great snacks. Try to eat as many colors from the rainbow as you can. Always have a variety and different colors to make sure your child is getting a mix of nutrients. You can never eat too many vegetables—except potatoes and french fries, which count as a starch.

Fruits. Keep a variety of fruits in your home. Fruits are a delicious and nutritious snack option. Like vegetables, kids should eat fruits of all colors. Choose whole fruits and avoid juice unless your child has a low blood sugar.

Healthy proteins. Pick lean proteins such as poultry, fish and eggs. Encourage your kids to increase their intake of plant-based proteins – beans, nuts, seeds and tofu. Avoid processed meats like sandwich meats, hot dogs, and bacon, and try to limit intake of red meat to only a couple of times per month.

Whole grains. Try to pick whole grains more often than refined grains like white bread and rice. Some great whole grain options include quinoa, farro, buckwheat, whole grain bread, brown rice and chickpea pasta.

Healthy oils. Healthy fats are an important part of a well-rounded diet. Use plant-based oils such as olive oil, avocado oil and sunflower oil when cooking and for salad dressings.

Water. Water is the best way to stay hydrated. Get your children in the habit of drinking water early in life. Kids should drink water with every meal and snack.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Vanessa Wissing, RD, CDE, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Robert I. Grossman, MD, and Elisabeth J. Cohen, MD, Pediatric Diabetes Center at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital of New York at NYU Langone. She provides education and guidance to help children and their families better manage diabetes and overall health. 

A New Approach to Tackling Your Kid’s Disorganization

disorg

It’s halfway into the school year, and for many parents of chronically disorganized kids, it’s a time of mounting frustration. Your child may have started the year strong, with a brand new planner and a great system of color-coded folders, only to slowly fall back into a pattern of missed assignments, coats left in lockers, and last-minute scrambles on long-term assignments. He may have even gotten back on the wagon a few times, clearing out his bag, and starting with a fresh system, only to stumble again. And when mid-year report cards come home with grades that show a lot less than you know your child to be capable of, things can start to feel hopeless. There is hope, though—oftentimes, it just requires a shift in how we look at organizational skills problems. Below are five tips to help you do just that.

1. Resist the blame game. Oftentimes kids who are disorganized are labeled as lazy or lacking in work ethic. But research at NYU Langone over the past decade tells us that organizational skills deficits are real deficits, in the same vein as a math or reading disorder. And just like with a math or reading disorder, kids with organizational deficits need extra support. Framing the problem as a character flaw is demotivating. Instead, frame it as a challenge you and your child can overcome together.

2. Take it one step at a time. Getting organized requires a lot of sub-skills—writing down assignments, keeping paper organized, managing homework time, and planning for long-term assignments, to name a few. Asking your child to make changes in all of these areas at once is setting her up for failure. Make a list of all the specific skills your child needs to work on. Choose one skill to start with (such as filling out her planner every day), and don’t move on to the next skill until she has it mastered.

3. Step it down. For kids who struggle with organizational skills, the best organizational tools are usually the ones that involve the least number of steps to use. If filing a paper means punching that paper with a three-hole punch, pulling out a binder, opening the rings, putting the paper in, and closing the rings, that paper isn’t as likely to get filed. A better solution might be an accordion file, which allows your child to just drop the paper right in. Work with your child to find organizational systems that use the least number of steps possible.

4. Make long-term rewards short-term rewards. Many kids who struggle with organization have a learning style that favors short-terms rewards (like getting out of class quickly) over long-term rewards (like knowing all the details of your assignment, so you get a good grade at the end of the semester). You can boost organization by providing short-term rewards for use of organizational skills. Give your child a small daily prize for things like coming home with all his books, having his planner filled out completely, and having all papers filed correctly.

5. Know when to ask for help. If your child has persistent organizational problems and your efforts to help her have failed, it may be time to consider a psychological evaluation. Several psychological issues, including ADHD, can lead to problems with organization. The good news is there are empirically validated treatments to help. At the NYU Langone Child Study Center, we offer Organizational Skills Training, a program developed and researched by our doctors, at our Manhattan, Westchester, New Jersey, and Long Island locations.

Most importantly, don’t lose hope! Just because it is more difficult for some kids to develop organizational skills, doesn’t mean that they can’t do it. Providing some extra support and maintaining a can-do attitude goes a long way towards setting your child on the path to organizational success.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Jennifer L. Rosenblatt, PhD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center, and sees patients through the Child Study Center’s home- and school-based service in Westchester County, New York. 

Take a Sick Day or Stick It Out? Knowing When Your Child Should Stay Home Sick

faver

With winter germs flying around and busy family schedules, it can be difficult to know when your child is too sick to go to school or be around other kids. Here are some tips to help you make the call:

Determine what is “too sick” for school: In general, if your child has a fever, severe respiratory symptoms, vomiting or diarrhea, “pink eye,” or is just not feeling well enough to participate in normal activities, it’s usually a good idea for him or her to stay home to rest and recover. If you have any questions or concerns about whether your child is well enough to be around other people, you should always ask your child’s doctor.

Know what’s contagious and what’s not: There are some common illnesses or conditions that children may get that aren’t contagious, such as eczema, asthma, allergies, etc. As for those illnesses, like cold and flu, that are contagious, a good rule of thumb is that most common viral upper respiratory illnesses are generally most contagious in the few days prior to and the few days after onset of symptoms. If you are not sure if your child’s specific illness is contagious, ask your pediatrician.

Go on the defensive: One of the best things that you can do to help protect your child’s health is to teach your child to practice good hand hygiene with frequent and thorough hand washing. Additionally, children 6 months and older are also recommended to receive the flu vaccine to help protect them against influenza. If your infant is too young to receive the flu vaccine, you can help protect them by getting the flu vaccine yourself and encouraging anyone who will be in close contact with your child to also get vaccinated.

When in doubt, trust your instincts (and your pediatrician). The question of whether or not to keep your child home from school or another activity can sometimes be a tricky one to answer. The most important things to keep in mind are to trust your parental instincts and always ask your pediatrician if you are ever in doubt. Additionally, many daycares, preschools, and grade schools have set guidelines about when your child should stay home. For example, schools usually require that a child be free of fever for at least 24 hours (without receiving fever-reducing medications) before returning to school. Check in with your child’s school for more details.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Madhavi Kapoor, MD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center and a pediatrician at NYU Langone’s Trinity Center.

Tips to Keep Your Children Safe and Warm This Winter

winter

The winter season is a fun time of year for children of all ages, and keeping your child safe and warm is a priority. Here are some helpful tips to meet that challenge:

1) Layer Up!
The key to staying warm while outdoors in the winter is to wear layers. Dress your child in several thin layers and remember warm, waterproof boots, gloves or mittens, scarves, and hats. A good general rule of thumb for infants and children is to dress them in one more layer than what you would wear as an adult in the same weather conditions. Avoid bulky layers such as thick coats or blankets when your infant or toddler is in a car seat—it can make the harness too loose and reduce its effectiveness.

Avoid using blankets or other loose bedding in cribs for infants under the age of 1 year due to the increased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Instead, put your infant to sleep in a warm one-piece sleeper or wearable blanket.

Keep in mind that hypothermia and frostbite can occur quicker in children than adults. Shivering and slurred speech may be signs of hypothermia. Pale or gray skin color and numbness or burning pain to the extremities may be signs of frostbite. If you suspect hypothermia or frostbite, bring your child indoors, remove cold and wet clothing, dry the skin, and cover your child in warm, dry blankets or clothing. If you are concerned about frostbite, soak any affected body parts in warm water prior to drying your child off and covering up with dry blankets or clothing. In addition to taking those initial steps, call your child’s doctor.

2) Stay safe while playing winter sports.
Winter sports are a great way to stay active and healthy during the winter season. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind while enjoying these activities.

In general:
-Make sure children are supervised when playing outdoors.
-Have younger children take frequent breaks while playing to come indoors, drink warm beverages, and to warm up before going outside again.

Ice Skating:
-Allow children to skate on approved surfaces only. Make sure ice skates fit comfortably with good ankle support to help prevent injuries.
-Consider having your child wear protective gear such as a helmet and knee pads, especially when he or she is still learning how to skate.

Sledding:
-Do not allow your child to sled near motor vehicles or open roadways.
-Head injuries may be prevented by avoiding sledding head-first and by wearing a helmet. Avoid sledding on slopes with obstacles such as trees or fences.

Skiing and Snowboarding:
-Children should be taught to ski or snowboard by a qualified instructor. All skiers and snowboarders should wear helmets and other appropriate protective gear that fits correctly.
-Only allow children to ski or snowboard on slopes that are appropriate for their maturity level and skill level.

3) Trying to avoid the winter cold and flu season? Practice good hand hygiene!
Cold weather itself does not cause illness, but viruses that cause the common cold or flu tend to be more easily spread during this time of year, especially when people are spending more time together indoors in close quarters. Help keep your family healthy by washing hands frequently. Another way to help prevent the spread of germs is to teach your child to cough or sneeze into the crease of their elbow. If you or your child is sick, one of the best things you can do to help prevent the spread of illness is to stay home and rest!

Children 6 months and older are also recommended to receive the flu vaccine to help protect them against influenza. If your infant is too young to receive the flu vaccine, you can help protect them by getting the flu vaccine yourself and encouraging anyone who will be in close contact with your child to also get vaccinated.

4) Skin care: moisturizer and sunscreen!
Along with the frequent hand washing and cold weather comes dry, chapped skin. One of the best ways to treat dry skin at home is to use an unscented moisturizer at least one to two times daily. Use lip balm to help prevent chapped lips.

It is often overlooked, but sun exposure can still cause sunburn even in the winter. Beginning at the age of 6 months and older, you can protect your child’s skin by applying sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher to exposed areas of skin.

For more information, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) “Winter Safety Tips” online or ask your child’s physician. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and safe winter season!

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Madhavi Kapoor, MD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center and a pediatrician at NYU Langone’s Trinity Center.

Helping Your Children Make Resolutions That Stick

resolutions

We all know the story: make a New Year’s resolution in January, and by mid-March you’ll be asking yourself, “What happened to that diet?” Now that it’s December, children in classrooms around the country are hearing about New Year’s resolutions. Your child might be thinking about what she wants hers to be for 2017. Unfortunately for students excited to make resolutions, research bears out the common wisdom that setting a large goal is unlikely to result in any meaningful change. That’s because our desire to change only accounts for a percentage of our ability to follow through with it. So if research shows that grand, sweeping goals do not make effective resolutions, then why set our kids up for failure? Rather than give up on resolutions altogether, follow these four steps to help your children devise plans that create real results!

1. First, find out what your child thinks a good resolution would be. If he’s like most people, he’ll probably pick something that sounds wonderful and is hard to quantify, like, “Be a better friend.” Allow your child to imagine how he’ll feel if he pursues this resolution. This step is all about your child identifying the goal and feeling motivated to achieve it.

2. Next, ask her what that resolution would look like. In other words, if she told a story or drew a picture about her resolution, what would it be? A resolution to help out more around the house might be a picture of a child putting her dinner plate in the dishwasher. This step is all about identifying the behavior behind the resolution.

3. After that, brainstorm with your child to find out when that behavior should happen. Being nicer to a younger sibling might happen during homework time or on a Saturday morning before parents are awake. The key here is for your child to identify a specific situation when the behavior should occur. It is clear and concrete; not “someday” or “all the time.”

4. Finally, have your child create an “If-Then” statement for using the new behavior. “If-Then” statements combine the situation with the desired behavioral response. Psychologists call this an “implementation intention.” A teenager who wants to procrastinate less might create the statement, “If I feel like procrastinating during homework time, then I will set the timer on my phone to at least work for two minutes before taking a break.”

And that’s it! Follow these steps for effective goal setting and behavior change, and give your kids the chance to make their resolutions a reality.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Christina Di Bartolo, LMSW, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the program supervisor for the Institute for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Behavior Disorder Centers at the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center