icholas was a normal, happy, healthy, 15-month-old boy, whose mother was at a loss when, during a temper tantrum, he bit her. Should she discipline her baby? If so, how? Was there something wrong with Nicholas? Was he destined to become an overly aggressive child?
A conversation with her pediatrician put her concerns to rest and provided her with the tools (in this case, a firm "no" when the behavior was repeated) to begin the discipline process. However, Nicholas' mother is not alone. Many parents have questions about
normal childhood development. Winthrop-University Hospital's Parenting Center has stepped in with a
workshop series to provide answers to these common concerns.
"As pediatricians, we find that parents ask us about the same issues...nutrition, sleep, development, toilet training, tantrums...again and again," said Ronald Marino, DO, MPH, Director of General Pediatrics at Winthrop. "Pediatricians have a tremendous amount of information and expertise, but so do other parents."
The Parenting Center will capitalize on that expertise by offering workshops facilitated by a pediatrician, where parents can share information and techniques that have worked for them. Each workshop series will consist of four weekly, hour-and-a-half long sessions. There is a nominal fee to attend.
"Our primary goal is to help parents welcome the changes that come with their children's normal development and to appreciate the best their children have to offer," said Sudha Prasad, MD, Attending Pediatrician with Winthrop Pediatric Associates, who will facilitate the workshops. "We hope that by developing strategies
to manage target behavior problems, parents will create a foundation for solving future problems."
Parenting Center workshops will be offered as an adjunct to Winthrop's monthly "Parenting Today" lecture series, in which a variety of experts present topics geared to parents of children ranging from toddlers through adolescence.
"Our 'Parenting Today' lectures have met with a tremendous response," stated Warren Rosenfeld, MD, Chairman of Pediatrics at Winthrop. "However, the doctors who present these lectures note that there are always parents who remain after the formal program to ask specific questions. The Parenting Center workshops will provide a forum where parents can discuss issues that are important to them in a smaller group setting."
"Parenting young children can be challenging," commented Dr. Prasad, herself the mother of three young children. "Our workshops will provide an opportunity for parents to share common concerns in a supportive atmosphere."
"As an open venue for talking about issues, the Parenting Center will be a helpful resource for parents as well as pediatricians and family practitioners in the community," said Dr. Marino.
"It demystifies the whole process of raising children when parents come together and share what works," Dr. Rosenfeld concluded.
For additional information on the Winthrop Parenting Center, please call Children's Health Services, part of the Institute for Family Care, at 1-877-559-KIDS.