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April 24, 2014

On Center Street

01/13/14

Talking to Kids about Sex

Q: I have a 12-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son. It seems time to discuss sex. This isn’t my favorite subject to talk about. How do I start?   A: The best place to start this somewhat uncomfortable process is with whatever triggered your belief that a conversation needs to happen. Before the talk, think about all the reasons you feel uncomfortable. If one of them includes an expectation that you need to talk about all aspects of male and female sexuality in one discussion, please relax and let go of that notion. In fact, there are many elements and stages in our children’s lives where we can indirectly be involved in a talk about sex. I imagine that you have already had discussions about how boys and girls are similar and different. Younger children...

Posted at 11:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

5 Tips to Prepare Toddlers for a New Sibling

01/13/14

5 Tips to Prepare Toddlers for a New Sibling

It’s a new year! That means new experiences, new adventures and… a new baby? That’s right, my little family will be growing by two feet this summer. And while I’m over the moon with excitement, I’m also super nervous about telling my almost 3-year-old that there’s going to be a new baby in town. Our daughter has been the light of our lives since her first breath. Heck, since her first ultrasound really. She loves mommy and daddy time, snuggling with us in the mornings, reading stories together before bedtime. The idea of the culture shock she is about to experience gives me more than a little morning sickness. My mommy of multiples friends assure me that every parent feels this way about subsequent children. Will my other child resent me, and...

Posted at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments

01/13/14

Exercise for a Healthy Brain

“Our bodies and our brains respond when we challenge them,” said Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark and The User’s Guide to the Brain. (www.Johnratey.com) Dr. Ratey spoke at Holland Hall in October as part of the schools Kistler-Gilliland Center lectures to discuss his research on how exercise affects students. Dr. Ratey, a practicing psychiatrist, credits his dog Jack with his discovery of “The Jack Effect,” wherein after 20 minutes of exercise, Jack could settle down in Ratey’s office. When Jack doesn’t get out to play, Ratey said, he is groggy and listless, unfocused. Not unlike, Ratey suggested, children who are asked to sit in school for long periods of time. As an example of what a little exercise can do for students, Dr. Ratey...

Posted at 11:17 AM | Permalink | Comments

I'm a Tulsa Kid: Abby Darden, Girl Scout

01/13/14

I'm a Tulsa Kid: Abby Darden, Girl Scout

Girl Scout Abby Darden loves Thin Mint cookies. Each fall she and her fellow Monte Cassino 5th Grade Girl Scout Troop 596 go door-to-door selling Thin Mints and nine other delicious cookies. Selling cookies lets Abby get a taste of running her own business. She must convince a person to buy the cookies, take the order, deliver the order and handle the money. Through sales, Abby earns “Cookie Credit Money” that she can use in the Girl Scout Store. Outside of Girl Scouts and school, Abby is a gymnast and plays basketball. TK: How long have you been involved in Girl Scouts? Abby: I have been in Girl Scouts for six years now (since kindergarten). I got involved in it because my sister did it also and my mom was and still is the leader of the troop. TK: How do Girl...

Posted at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

Get Cooking: Busting the Post-Sugarplum Blues

01/13/14

Get Cooking: Busting the Post-Sugarplum Blues

Grownups aren’t the only ones ready to shed the tinsel and fudge for the slower pace of January days. Kids love the fun and festivities, but when it’s been go-go-go from Halloween through New Year’s, children welcome the routine of family life. The parties, fun and even indulgence of sweets and rich food impact the way our kids act. Even when we’re enjoying ourselves, the “positive stress” of an interruption in routine can lead to negative behaviors, particularly for our kids. If you did overindulge, think about how you felt by the year’s end. There’s a reason we don’t eat cake, pies and stockings full of candy every day. So, as we consider our New Year’s resolutions, we should also consider how our healthy...

Posted at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

The HIp Mom: Hip Ways to Exercise

01/13/14

The HIp Mom: Hip Ways to Exercise

UGGGGGH. January. I once saw January and February, those two cold, gray, hangover months after all the holiday revelry – two months where EVERY kid in the USA gets sick with some kind of snotty or pukey awfulness, as SUCKUARY.  There really is no better description of this time of year. Couple that gray gloom with every magazine’s exhortation to “lose weight” and “feel great” and blech – it’s enough to send someone like me for a little roll in a vat of chocolate chip cookie dough until spring break. Alas, what with all the parenting that needs to be done every other minute around here, a sugary, velvety cocoon is out of the question. So how do people find energy at this time of year? I pose this question to some mommy friends,...

Posted at 10:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

Hope and Help for Infertility

01/13/14

Hope and Help for Infertility

“The one thing I wanted in this life was to be a mother, and I couldn’t have it,” said 34-year-old Natalie Heinrich, a physician assistant in Radiation Oncology at St. John Hospital.  “It was completely out of my control —something I just couldn’t fix.” Natalie was 29 when she married Rocky Heinrich, president of Exceptional Health Products. Natalie and Rocky wanted at least four children and, due to Natalie’s age, decided to start their family right away. But when 11 months passed without a positive pregnancy test, Natalie began to worry and made an appointment with her OB-GYN. “She just gave me a prescription and said, ‘See you at your next annual exam.’” Natalie wasn’t happy. “I knew I...

Posted at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments

Your Family Health Made Easy

01/13/14

Your Family Health Made Easy

Welcome to January: The time of new beginnings. Where the slate is clean and anything is possible. Once the last toast has been uttered and the ink is dry on the final resolution, it’s time for action. Conventional wisdom (just Google it if you don’t believe me!) says it takes more than willpower to make, break or change a habit. It takes desire and time.  Exactly how long depends on how strongly you are committed to the change and how deeply ingrained the behavior is you want to change. Ouch. No wonder it seems like we set the same goals year after year.  This year, why not focus on specific goals that can improve your family’s health? Even small changes can equal big results in the overall wellness of your family. Steve Swift, a Tulsan and...

Posted at 10:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

TPS Application Deadline Approaches

01/13/14

TPS Application Deadline Approaches

The pursuit for a slot in a Tulsa Public School (TPS) academic or lottery magnet school is in full swing. With the deadline for applications drawing near, there is a new twist to the enrollment process this year. The schools invite a parent/guardian to attend a tour. A tour not only allows a parent to see the school’s facilities but also observe students and teachers in the classroom during a typical day. Visit individual school websites or call for an appointment. Please do not just “show up.” TPS mom Lisa Schula’s daughter Jackie is in fifth grade at Carnegie Elementary School, so Lisa is exploring school options for fall 2014 when Jackie enters sixth grade. “Naturally, we want the magnet school experience,” Lisa said. “We are...

Posted at 10:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

01/13/14

When Should Your Child See an Orthodontist?

Dr. Clinton Emerson of Emerson Orthodontics in Broken Arrow answers questions regarding the best orthodontic practices for ensuring normal growth patterns in a developing mouth and creating ideally aligned and straight adult teeth. An orthodontist is specifically trained to handle tooth alignment and bite functioning problems.  After four years of dental school, a licensed orthodontist completes another two to three years of specialized orthodontic training at an accredited university. TK: What is orthodonic treatment? Dr. Emerson: Orthodontists use devices to correct the bite, getting all of your upper and bottom teeth to fit together ideally. TK: Why is it important? Dr. Emerson: Research shows the smile is important in making a great first impression. Also,...

Posted at 09:19 AM | Permalink | Comments