Although I normally write about dentistry and business management, I just finished a great book that shares unique insights into children – and for every dentist, hygienist, assistant and office manager raising children – I hope this is helpful.
The authors, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, are journalists who realized that over the last 10 years there had been some revolutionary scientific research on children that might affect the way people parent. However, this great research was shared in 5 minute soundbytes on ‘Good Morning America’ and was getting lost between political news and the latest storm update. So, they gathered this research and shared it in this book. Here is some of the most interesting research:
Praise – The more you tell a child she’s smart, the less she chooses advanced work for fear you’ll realize she’s not! Instead if you praise a child’s effort, she will strive for more challenging work – and succeed.
Sleep – The more children and teens sleep at night, the better their school performance. In one study, the kids earning A’s averaged 15 minutes more sleep than kids earning B’s, who averaged 15 minutes more sleep than the kids earning C’s. One high school studied moves its start time from 7:25am to 8:30am – and SAT scores drastically increased. (I know our high school begins at 7:40am – wonder if I should share these studies with them?)
Lying – Almost all kids lie. Even the “good” kids. The primary reason for lying is to protect their relationship with their parents – they don’t want their parents to be angry or disappointed, but they’re doing the things they want with their friends, so lying is how they manage.
Sibling fighting – The key to reducing it is twofold. First, increase the positive, fun interactions between siblings (more playing together) and secondly, teach kids how to work through conflict, that inevitably arises when kids play together. Teaching kids how to deal with conflict among their friends helps them use these same skills when dealing with a sibling.
Teenage rebellion – One study showed that of 36 topics, teens lied to their parents on an average of 12 topics (again with the lying) – 96% of teens lied to their parents. The more permissive or strict a parent’s style, didn’t matter. The key is that teens need to develop their own approach – and having to answer to parents is actually an emasculating experience. One of the most interesting discoveries in the research was the age when this desire for autonomy was the strongest. Traditionally we think of teenage rebellion starting around age 12/13, growing at age 15 and being the strongest at age 18. The research shows instead that it’s strongest at age 14/15 and higher at age 11 than age 18. (Since I have an 11 year old son, this was very interesting to me.)
So, if you’re dealing with any of these parenting issues from lying and teenage rebellion to sibling fighting and dealing with grades, I hope these ideas are helpful. These are just a handful of the topics reviewed in the book – and they do a great job of presenting the research in a way that makes sense so you can incorporate these ideas into your parenting style now. Here’s to more successful children and happier families!
Next week, we’ll get back to ideas to run a successful dental practice. If you’re interested in new ideas on running a dental practice, please subscribe to my weekly blog. One of the biggest challenges to managing a dental practice is managing dental insurance. With dental insurance handled, then dental marketing for new patients becomes a primary focus. In today’s day of online reviews, handling patient complaints well is essential. As your practice grows, hiring dental staff becomes more important. With 16+ years of dental practice management experience, I’m open to your questions to help you run a successful dental office.