Skip to content

    Health & Parenting

    Select An Article
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    7 Mistakes Parents Make With Grade-Schoolers

    You may not be able to avoid all parenting pitfalls, but looking before you leap may help you miss the big ones.
    (continued)

    4. Waiting Too Long to Have “the Talk”

    "Puberty is happening as early as nine, and it is really important to talk about body changes so your kids know what to expect," says Children's National Medical Center pediatrician Yolandra Hancock. "Some parents have been hesitant to start this conversation during this age range," she says.

    Volin agrees: "In girls, we see the age of menarche or first period creeping up earlier and earlier. So ages 10 and 11 are really an ideal time to be sitting down with your daughters and sons and starting the conversation about puberty and body changes."

    With girls, this may mean talking about menstruation, underarm hair, and breast buds. In boys, it can mean bringing up pubic hair and voice changes. "It is a difficult conversation to start, and some parents assume that the school will have health education classes on puberty so they don't have to discuss it," Volin says. "That is a really big mistake."

    5. Skipping Annual Well Visits to the Doctor

    These routine checkups are not just recommended for tiny tots. "You should still come in every year, and sit down with a pediatrician who is monitoring your child's growth and development," Volin says.

    "These are the appropriate times for children to be educated about the norms for height and weight and body mass index," she says. "We also start conversations about good nutrition and adequate physical activity." That includes making sure grade-schoolers are getting the calcium they need to support healthy growth.

    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Girl holding up card with BMI written
    Is your child at a healthy weight?
    toddler climbing
    What happens in your child’s second year.
     
    father and son with laundry basket
    Get your kids to help around the house.
    boy frowning at brocolli
    Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
     
    mother and daughter talking
    Tool
    child brushing his teeth
    Slideshow
     
    Sipping hot tea
    Article
    boy drinking from cereal bowl
    Article
     
    hand holding a cell phone
    Article
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
     
    girl being bullied
    Article
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow