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13 Jun

Fatherhood, Health, Parenting

Picking Good Apps

Dear Mr. Dad: A few months ago you talked about limiting screen time for toddlers and the importance of picking good quality games for when we do allow screen time. There seem to be in infinite number of choices out there. How on earth do we know what to pick?

A: There are literally hundreds of thousands of educational smartphone- or tablet-based apps aimed at kids. Product sellers in the various app stores will assure you that their app will make you rich and your child smarter, taller, and more beautiful. However, just because an app is being sold by a big-name company, like Apple, Google, or Amazon, is hardly a guarantee that it’s (a) educational, (b) high quality, and/or (c) appropriate for your child. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind, some of which were suggested by Stamatios Papadakis and Michail Kalogiannakis, from the University of Crete; Heather Kirkorian, from the University of Wisconsin; and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, from Temple University, and her colleagues.

  • The app should have a clearly stated objective and purpose. Will it help your child learn letters? Shapes? Colors? Numbers? Animals? AP calculus?
  • Information and lessons must be meaningful and relevant to the child (otherwise, honestly, what’s the point?). For example, if a game is teaching about shapes, it should go beyond simply identifying a triangle among a bunch of circles and squares. Instead, it should point out how various shapes show up in the real world (square and rectangular windows and books, round balls, holes in toilet-paper tubes and wheels, triangular trees, and so on).

Read the rest of this article here.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Author: Armin Brott

Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men’s health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media:, @mrdad,,,

Credit: Source link

07 Jun


When Communication Breaks Down, Part 2

In last week’s column, we talked about what to do when, despite your best efforts, your relationship with your partner is about to end. Strategies we discussed included getting legal advice, considering alternatives to litigation, and understanding that there’s no such thing as “winning” custody. This week I want to share a few more strategies that are designed to improve your entire family’s communication.

  • Talk to your children. One of the hardest things about a breakup is having to tell your child about it. If possible, you and your partner should do it together. Regardless of your child’s age, what he or she really wants to know is, “How is this going to affect me?” Everything you say should answer that question in age-appropriate terms.

Start with a short explanation of what divorce is: “Mommy and Daddy are going to be living in different houses. But we both love you, and we will always take care of you.” Your child most likely won’t ask many questions, but that doesn’t mean she’s not affected. So try to anticipate—and preemptively answer—as many of her concerns as possible. Tell her, for example, “You’re going to have one room at Daddy’s house and one at Mommy’s”; “You’ll be able to bring your favorite blankie with you wherever you go”; “Mommies and daddies can get divorced from each other, but they never get divorced from their children. We will always love you and take care of you”; “No, this is not happening because of anything you did.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Tags: relationship

Author: Armin Brott

Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men’s health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media:, @mrdad,,,

Credit: Source link

07 Jun

I’ve been in love and I’ve been obsessed with love. I wrote
the book, Looking for
Love in All The Wrong Places: Overcoming Romantic and Sexual Addictions
shared my own experiences as a therapist and recovering sex addict. “Many of us
are addicts, only we don’t know it,” says Dr. Stanton Peele, an authority on
addictions. “We turn to each other out of the same needs that drive some people
to drink and others to heroin. Interpersonal addiction—love addiction—is just
about the most common, yet least recognized, form of addiction we know.” If
you’d like to get a copy of the “21 Differences Between Love and Love
Addiction” email and
put “Love addiction in the subject line.

Many of us have had the experience of falling in love and
over time seeing love turn from warm desire to cold hostility and sometimes to
full out violence. The story is all too familiar these days. The headline in my
local newspaper reads, “Man Kills Estranged Wife, Self.” The story is both
shocking and strangely familiar.

“Upset about the end of his 27-year marriage, a Santa Rosa
man ambushed and killed his wife Monday morning as she sat in her SUV in a
Coddingtown Mall parking lot, then drove away and killed himself outside his
apartment, police said.”

The story goes on to expand on the tragedy and tells us that
the couple, who had four children, had recently split up and were living
separately. The man, age 52, wanted to reunite, but his wife, age 43, wanted to
divorce. After he killed his wife, he drove home, parked his Jeep and shot
himself in the head. Officers found him dead inside the car, with a
semi-automatic handgun in his lap.

The story goes on to talk about the tragedy of domestic
violence. The issues are complex, and it starts with asking questions that
often don’t get asked, including the following:

  • What went wrong in this long-term marriage?
  • Why did he want to get back together, while she
    wanted a divorce?
  • How much involvement did he have with the
  • Where did he get the gun?
  • Depression is common, but often under-diagnosed
    and treated in men. Were there symptoms of depression and aggression?
  • The suicide rate for men increases with age. Did
    the man have anyone he could talk to about how he was feeling?
  • Did the woman know she was at risk and had she
    taken precautions to protect herself?

As a therapist, I deal with these issues in my practice. I
often read professional articles and books that can help and sometimes even a
novel offers insights. I’ve been reading the book, Gone Girl by
Gillian Flynn, a book about love, obsession, and what happens when love goes
wrong. The book asks “Who are you? What have we done to each other?” It begins
with a look at the husband, as the obvious perpetrator and his wife as the
victim. But as we learn in the book, life is not that simple. As we learn more
about the wife, we see how wounded and crazy she is and how she is much more
devious and violent than the man. Yet, both are caught up in a web of pain and

What really goes on behind closed doors, in our bedrooms, in
our hearts and souls? We live in difficult times and the difficulties often
have roots in the secret trauma that so many of us have growing up in families
that may look nice on the surface, but underneath is abuse, neglect,
abandonment, shame, and blame.

We must address these issues if we are going to prevent the tragedies related to sex and love addiction. I look forward to your comments.

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

This article first appeared on Jed’s blog.

Credit: Source link

07 Jun

When do we hit our peak? Well that depends on how you define
peak. Peak muscular strength in men occurs around age 26. In terms of
smarts, Nobel Prize winners make
their big discoveries at an average age of 40 years. And, as you might already
know, men peak emotionally even later, at 50 years. But do erections also
have a peak?

Climb Every Mountain

The hard data comes from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. It suggests that men peak quite early in adulthood. The study found that the proportion of men having any form of erectile dysfunction, ranging from mild to severe, is your age minus 10. So, 30% of 40-year-old U.S. men note some form of ED. When it comes to more serious ED (moderate to severe), it also occurs at all ages but at the rate of half of age. So, 20% of 40-year-olds and 40% of 80-year-olds. Unfortunately, it appears that the penis ages just like we do.

There is no precisely defined point when erections change with age, but typically men notice a difference between ages 40-50. In some men, the change is immediate and in others it’s gradual. It may take the form of fewer instances of morning wood, or taking more time to obtain a full erection when desired. Erections that previously occurred with fantasy alone may now require physical touch to achieve. And minor distractions such as voices, a siren or a telephone ringing can lead to a limp member when it never did before. With sex, more time and more stimulation may be needed to complete the act. Yep, along with age, there’s anxiety, alcohol, pot, relationship issues, a long day at work and a big dinner with wine that all come back to haunt you. Life just isn’t as simple in your 40s as it was in your 20s. And the penis is the first organ to let you know.

Ford Every Stream

As a doctor, when do I worry about a patient’s erections? At any age, it’s when it’s not possible to get a full erection either with a partner of by your lonesome. If you simply can’t get it up, then you have my complete attention. That’s because the science is clear that severe ED is correlated with heart disease and is linked to a higher risk of both heart attacks and strokes. The added risk is the same as being a smoker or having a family history of heart disease. When patients with severe ED walk through my door, they get a full-on metabolic and hormonal evaluation. My goal is twofold: to help the erection and extend their lives.

Young or old, what’s critical to normal erections is a healthy lifestyle. The penis, like any other organ, depends on blood flow. It’s just a little more sensitive than most other organs if blood flow is impaired. To maintain good erections in middle age, avoid smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, being overweight, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. And eat as healthy as you possibly can. The good news is that by staying healthy and fit, you can extend your peak sexual performance.

This article first appeared on Dr. Turek’s blog.

Photo by Paula
 on Unsplash

Credit: Source link

07 Jun


We All Have Emotions—Men and Women Just Express Them Differently

Dear Mr. Dad: I’ve noticed that since I became a dad, I’ve been much more emotional. Is that normal?

A: In a word, yes. People often complain that men are “out of touch” with our emotions or that we suppress them. Before I became a dad, I think I might have agreed. But since then, I strongly disagree. Fathers—especially those who are actively involved with their children—feel tremendous joy, anger, affection, fear, and anxiety. The problem is that men in our society don’t generally have places where we can safely express our feelings. We’re supposed to be the tough guy, the stoic provider-protector. It’s hard for most men to talk about their deepest emotions with their male friends. And it’s even harder for us to talk about them—especially the so-called negative ones—with the women in our lives.

As a result, we learn to regulate our emotions. But please remember: regulating is not the same as suppressing. “The ability to control one’s own impulses in the service of caring for one’s children and emotionally supporting one’s spouse would seem to be an important marker of maturity,” write family researchers Phil and Carolyn Cowan. Nevertheless, don’t forget that you provide a crucial model for how your child learns to express her own emotions—fear, anger, disappointment, sadness, happiness, and excitement.

Besides regulating our emotions, fathers undergo a variety of other changes in how we experience and react to the world around us. Here are some of the many ways men say that being a dad has broadened their emotional range. It’s drawn from research done independently by Glen Palm, Barbara and Philip Newman, Phil and Carolyn Cowan, and me.

Read the rest of this article here.

Photo by Mark Daynes on Unsplash

Author: Armin Brott

Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men’s health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media:, @mrdad,,,

Credit: Source link

07 Jun

Fatherhood, Health, Parenting, Substance Abuse

Talking to Your Kids About Substance Abuse, Part 1

Drug and alcohol abuse in children is
mostly preventable through education and parental support.  Yet thousands of teenagers, are forced to
enter substance abuse treatment each year. How can you help you child
avoid this? Talking with them about the risks of drug or alcohol abuse can help
inform them on things they may or may not know. Giving them the tools they need
to resist pressure from outside influences is critical to allow them to make up
their own minds. Good communication is key. Make sure you are listening and
allowing them to ask questions.

Choose a time when you’re not likely
to be interrupted, and set phones to silent. If you’re anxious, share those
feelings. The more honest and vulnerable you are with your thoughts and
feelings the more likely your kid will be open and honest with you.

Here are some
suggestions for talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol:

  • Ask
    your teen about their perspective.
    droning on about how them abusing drugs would make you feel. This isn’t about
    you, it’s about them. Learning how they think and feel about drug abuse is a
    great place to start. If they are complacent about how they feel try asking
    questions that will make them think through the experience of substance abuse.
  • Discuss
    why misusing substances can be harmful.
    trying to scare them. Most kids can see right through this. Instead, focus on
    how drug or alcohol use can affect things that are important to them, like participating in sports, their
    appearance, or driving themselves places.
  • Consider
    talking about external messages.
    media messages can glamorize drug or alcohol use and make it seem like a cool
    thing to participate in. Talk to your kids about the messages they see and hear
    how they interpreted them. Teach them to think for themselves and ask, “Is this
    behavior really “cool,” just because it’s on social media?” Offer your own
    opinion if you think it will help.
  • Help
    them plan how to resist peer pressure.
    over how to turn down drugs or alcohol if they are offered. Parents can provide
    teens with an easy way out. Tell them it is okay to use excuses like “I can’t
    smoke because my parent’s drug test me regularly.” In some cases, setting up a
    discreet code so your teen can text or call you when they are in an uncomfortable
    situation can be very helpful in preventing substance abuse.
  • Be
    prepared for questions about your own drug and alcohol use.
    Teens are curious by nature, they will
    want to know what your experience with substance abuse was like at their age.
    While these stories can be helpful, if you aren’t comfortable sharing them,
    then tell them that. Don’t lie to cover things up. Or make up a story that is
    the ideal way you would want them to do. Be honest, and they will respect you
    for it.

The Dangers of
Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Adolescents who experiment with drugs
and alcohol put their health and safety at risk. Teen substance abuse has its
consequences. Consider the following:

  • Driving
    while intoxicated.

    Driving under the influence of any drug can impair a driver’s motor skills,
    putting the driver, passengers, and others on the road at risk.
  • Increased
    and unprotected sexual activity.

    Poor judgment, which can result in unplanned and unsafe sex, is a common side
    effect of teen substance abuse.
  • Drug
    or alcohol dependence and addiction.

    Abusing drugs or alcohol increases the risk of teens developing severe drug or
    alcohol use disorders later in life.
  • Concentration
    and other health problems.
    a still growing and developing. Misusing drugs and alcohol can negatively
    affect teen brain development, and may cause serious memory problems later on.
    Drug and alcohol abuse can cause damage to internal organs such as the liver
    and lungs.

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll talk about how to prevent your child from using drugs and alcohol as well as treatment for kids struggling with addiction.

Author: Brooke Powell

Brooke Powell is an independent writer who frequently writes on substance use disorder. She has a passion for breaking the stigma around addiction and mental health issues with informative and reliably sourced content. When she isn’t creating content, she loves to get lost in a good book or puzzle.

Read more by Brooke Powell

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06 Jun

The other day the journalists asked ‘Game of
Thrones’ star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to reveal the secret to his happy marriage.
In HBO show he plays the role of seducer Jaime Lannister. In real life, he has
been married for more than twenty years to a singer Nukaaka Coster-Waldau. GoT
star said that laughing and staying physically together can help a lot.

The actor has a point here: partners need to
enjoy the company of each other, and sex is one of the greatest ways to do so.
The only problem is that physical intimacy gets boring in a long-term
relationship. There is no room for mysteries and fantasies when you see each
other every day. You have probably seen the worse moments of your partner over
the past few years. Let’s face it, knowing your partner so well can kill the
sexual desire.

However, sexual intercourse is considered one of
the most important elements in the relationship. Great sex is an indicator of
trust and passion. Also, it is the way to show each other that everything is
going well between you two. If things in the bedroom began to fizzle out, it’s
time to restart your relationship.

Is It Even Possible?

We do want to believe that finding your second
half is possible and that the concept of ‘happily ever after’ is real. The
scientists are not as romantic as Nicholas Sparks though. Case studies prove
that the levels of oxytocin (widely known as the ‘love hormone’) decrease with
time. A lot of couples break up after their passion faded. However, long-term
relationships are real (you prove it!). You know that relationship is just
something you need to work for; the same applies to your sex life. Surveys
indicate that people in long-term loving relationships have the most frequent
and satisfying sex. It can be explained by the fact that after a few years,
partners get used to each other and don’t feel anxious about their bodies or
performances in bed.

secrets of long sex life

There is no need to break up or cheat on your
partner in order to achieve a fantastic orgasm. There are a lot of great ways
to spice up your sex life in a long-term relationship.

Open Conversation

The first and most important step is to admit
that you are not completely satisfied in bed. Bring up this conversation and
tell your partner what you want to improve. Try to stay positive and avoid blaming
your sweetheart. If you lost your sex drive because your partner gained some
weight, be honest, and say that you are always there to help.

At this point of the relationship, you think you
know how to turn on your partner. However, there might be something else as
well, so don’t hesitate to get this straight. If your partner doesn’t want to
speak about their fantasies, you can tell yours first. That’s how you can show
trust in the relationship. Whether it is something really spicy such as
threesome or using realistic
sex doll
accept it and don’t be judgemental. It might sound weird at the very beginning,
but give yourself some time. There is a chance that at least a part of your
partner’s fantasy might interest you as well. Your bedroom should be like Las
Vegas, ‘what happens in there, stays in there.’

Once you stop keeping your fantasies locked away,
your sex life will be more exciting. Also, it is a way to connect and bring
your relationship on a whole new level. If you feel ashamed because of your
secret dreams or your partner doesn’t want to open up, consider making an
appointment with a sex therapist.

Take a Break

Not like Rachel and Ross did though. You don’t
need to date other people to understand that your partner is the best. However,
do take some time for yourself. For instance, you can go on vacation with your
friends or go to the parents’ house at the weekend. Feel free to spoil yourself
and finally do something you’ve wanted for a long time. You can get new
impressions and then share them with your partner. It always feels nice to be
around someone who’s happy and full of energy. Being apart can benefit both of
you since your partner will also have time to do their thing, meet with friends
and relatives.

Taking a break is healthier than forcing yourself
to have sex with your partner when you don’t feel like it. Also, it is a proven
way to build sexual tension and refresh your focus.

Go on a Date

If you want to spice up your sex life, connect on
an emotional level first. To do so, you need to create memories together; going
on dates can help with that. Also, it will cut off scheduled quickies and
present sex as something you both need to work for.

Fun dating that includes engaging in activities
and exploring new places can reinvigorate dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline.
The human’s brain associates these chemicals with passionate love, according to
the latest study. Quality time together will make you want to jump into bed
with your partner. Another great idea is to take a few days off to go to an
unknown place and pretend that you’ve met just recently. Sex therapists
recommend changing locations from time to time.

Be Sexy

Great sex isn’t only about the mechanical
movement that you’ve been practicing for years. To satisfy your partner and
achieve orgasms, you need to get into the mood and bring the sexual spark back.
That’s where a good old playing is needed. If you want to impress your partner
and boost their desire, start flirting and sending naughty text messages. Start
talking dirty and try to role-play in your bedroom. Whether you want to be a
school girl, dominatrix or Iron Man, find an outfit and some prop. Don’t be
afraid to explore your craziest fantasies with your partner. Stretching your
boundaries in the bedroom can diversify sex.

The lack of physical intimacy can indicate deeper
issues in the relationship. When partners enjoy each other’s company, they want
to keep trying new things in the bedroom and outside of it, listen carefully
and surprise each other. Living with someone under the same roof is always
challenging, let it be fun and pleasant at least in your bedroom.

Credit: Source link

06 Jun

Believe it or not, we know a lot about vaginal lubricants.
Here are two statistics: 2 of 3 U.S. women use vaginal lubricants to help with
dryness. And, among couples trying to conceive, 1 in 4 use lubricants. But
aren’t lubricants bad for making babies?

Toxic Lubes

It’s quite clear that in the laboratory setting some
lubricants can kill
which is bad for fertility. Lubricants can also damage sperm DNA, also
not a great thing for baby-making. Studies have led some infertility
specialists to advise patients to avoid using common vaginal lubricants during
times of conception.

Real World Lubes

But petri dishes are not the real world. In a study of actual
trying to conceive and who used lubricants during intercourse,
fertility was not impaired. Could this be because sperm land way up inside and
never see the lubricants that remain nearer to the outside world? Or do sperm
move so quickly into the cervix after being deposited that they never see the
stuff? Third, could it be that lubricants improve fertility by enabling users
to have more sex? Who knows? What is clear is that Petri dishes and real-world
behavior are two entirely different worlds.

Fertility-Friendly Lubes

So, what’s a couple to do? Play it safe. Use known fertility-friendly lubricants. Funny, you’d think that hospital-based lubricants (Surgilube, KY Jelly) would be clean and gentle to sperm. But lo and behold, they are not as they contain antiseptics like iodine and soaps like chlorhexidine, which kill sperm in a heartbeat.

One of the best places to find conception-friendly lubricants is around the house. Some vegetable oils (i.e. canola and mustard) and egg whites have been shown to be sperm-friendly. And just around the corner in the bathroom, it appears that baby oil is also safe. But not all oils gel well with sperm: olive oil is not great choice for sperm. And saliva is a terrible lubricant, as are skin lotions. If you look at what’s offered to men for semen collection at most fertility centers (including mine), you’ll find unscented mineral oil is the preferred lubricant. There are also safe, non-spermicidal lubricants available on-line and in stores, but they cost you a lot more than if you scrounge around the house.

But if you can, it’s really best to avoid lubricants entirely. Although Woody Allen appropriately claims that he is “at two with nature,” you might be “at three with nature” before you know it by going all natural

This article first appeared on Dr. Turek’s blog.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Credit: Source link

06 Jun

The following is adapted from The Search for the
Perfect Protein.

Have you ever done work around the yard and been
sore for weeks afterwards? While it’s easy to dismiss this soreness as just
being out of shape or overextending yourself, there may be something else going
on that is worth your attention.

Protein malnourishment might be to blame if your
soreness lasts longer than it should. But to understand why protein
malnourishment would lead to such symptoms, you first need to understand a few
basic protein principles and how it helps our bodies. That’s what we’ll explore
in this article, then see other effects of protein malnourishment.

Why is Protein So Important?

The anatomy of a protein consists of a long
string of linked amino acids, which are molecules made of carbon, hydrogen,
oxygen, and nitrogen. There are 22 different ways that amino acids are
configured for use in our body. Imagine 22 different colored and shaped beads,
all put together in an exact order—that’s what a protein looks like.

When this chain hits the stomach, the acid level
secreted by the stomach cells produces a chemical reaction that uncoils the
protein. Then, an enzyme called pepsin starts breaking the bonds between
the amino acids, and the chains split apart.

There is a lot of breaking apart required in the
process of digestion—it’s the splitting of longer complex molecules into
simpler ones by chemical means. After the partially digested proteins leave the
stomach, they enter the small intestine where enzymes from the pancreas break
the chains down further into individual amino acids.

When this long chain of amino acids is broken
down into single amino acids, protein digestion is complete, and the second
phase can begin: amino acids can then be absorbed by the intestinal cells and enter
the bloodstream.

Those individual amino acids are carried to our
cells—they are actively brought into the cell where the process of protein
synthesis can begin. For a muscle cell, it must put the amino acids back
together one-by-one into a human muscle fiber called myosin, with 6,100
amino acids per single fiber, and 374 amino acids in the other portion of the
muscle cell, actin. As you can see this process is unbelievably

This process occurs in every cell, every
minute of the day
in the 100 trillion cells of the body, for the 50,000
different proteins that make up the body. However, the process can stall
at any point. If someone lacks quality protein in their diet, has an imbalance
of essential amino acids, or has no stomach acid, they will have poor protein
digestion. Pepsin only works when the acidity of the stomach is very low, with
a pH of 1 to 2.

The Detrimental Effects of Protein Malnourishment

My definition of protein malnourishment is
having inadequate levels of serum essential amino acids to accomplish
normalization of the body’s protein requirements.

A former patient of mine was very protein
malnourished, and if she so much as lifted a book from a table, her arm would
be sore for weeks! She had to be extremely careful with everything she did
because her body broke down, wouldn’t repair itself, or repaired very slowly.
Hers was a rare and interesting case, because it wasn’t like she was living in
Africa—she lived in the United States and ate what appeared to be a good diet.

Here are a few of the other conditions linked to
protein malnourishment:

  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Fibromyalgia and chronic
    fatigue syndrome
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune diseases like Lupus
    and Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sleep disorders
  • Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia

Protein malnourishment is pervasive and is
rarely looked for by medical doctors. It is treatable and can facilitate
improvement in any of the above conditions.

Keep in mind that essential amino acids are not
the only nutrients the body needs; vitamins, minerals and essential fats at
optimum levels are also necessary. When we treat a patient, we look for all deficiencies
and work to replenish them.

This is the first step of the secret to helping
the chronically ill recover.

The second step is dependent on the first; we
must fix the deficiencies before we can get the accumulated toxins out of the
body and complete the recovery process.

So Much of Our Health Depends on Protein

As you can see, keeping our protein intake
levels where they need to be is incredibly important for our overall health.
It’s not about being sore for weeks on end.

It’s about avoiding illnesses and chronic
conditions that plague us as we age.

If you mind your protein intake and supplement
your diet with essential amino acids, you’ll be far more likely to enjoy
radiant health well into your 90s.

For more advice on avoiding protein malnourishment, you can find The Search for the Perfect Protein on Amazon.

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06 Jun

Fatherhood, Health, Parenting

Hey, Dad, Look at Me!

Dear Mr. Dad: My two-year-old daughter constantly wants me to stop what I’m doing and look at her—especially if I’m in the middle of doing something. I try to be encouraging, but it seems to me that a lot of what she’s doing isn’t terribly special. I’m concerned that if I get excited about every little thing she does, I’ll be inflating her ego. Sometimes I ignore her, but that just makes her more insistent and, frankly, obnoxious. I have two questions: Why is she doing this? And how should I respond to her incessant pleas for attention?

A: Like it or not, you’re going to be hearing the phrase, “Look at me!” quite a bit for the next few years. Most of the time, your child is trying to attract your attention either because she wants to get your approval for something she’s doing or because she wants to get you to look at something she finds interesting. In both situations, it’s important that you respond quickly and positively—even if, as you say, what she wants you to look at doesn’t seem terribly noteworthy.

The reason for this is that the more you respond to her, the more cooperative she’ll be when you want her to do something later, according to researcher Marie-Pierre Gosselin. In addition, the way you respond to her will influence the way she tries to get your attention in the first place.

As you’ve already noticed, the fastest way to get your child to want to interact with you is to ignore her, either deliberately or simply by turning your attention to something else, whether that’s a phone call, a crossword puzzle, a TV show, or any other activity. Toddlers whose parents respond positively to their child’s requests to “Look at me!” tend to employ what Gosselin calls “high-quality attention-seeking behaviors,” such as laughing, smiling, and saying “excuse me.” Toddlers whose parents are slower to respond or less attentive use “negative attention-seeking behaviors,” like crying, screaming, or grabbing the remote out of Mom’s or Dad’s hands and throwing it across the room.

Read the rest of this article here.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

Author: Armin Brott

Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men’s health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media:, @mrdad,,,

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