`Dr. Mom’ to offer tips on parenting | AspenTimes.com
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`Dr. Mom’ to offer tips on parenting

Tim Mutrie

“Dr. Mom,” a nationally-renowned speaker and author on parenting, will give a presentation Wednesday from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Aspen School District Theater.

Dr. Marianne Neifert, also known as “Dr. Mom,” a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and also the mother of five grown children, will lecture on “Parenting for a New Century.” Her presentation is part of the Aspen Youth Center/Aspen Education Foundation’s fall education series.

“I predict everyone will go home with a few new techniques that they can use,” Neifert said in an interview last week. “I feel best when people leave saying, `I can’t wait to go home and hug my kid.’ “

While Neifert’s medical speciality focuses on younger children, her personal and professional experiences have exposed her to parenting techniques to use with kids of all ages.

“I try to keep my comments somewhat general, principles for any age, and some of the things I like to focus on are the pressures of being a parent today – the growing number of single parents, the super-parent myth, the fast pace, and the new gender roles for men and women, and how all these things divert our attention from the priority, our children,” she said.

Neifert, who is also a columnist for parenting magazines, has authored three popular child-rearing books – “Dr. Mom: A Guide to Baby and Child Care,” “Dr. Mom’s Parenting Guide,” and “Dr. Mom’s Guide to Breastfeeding.”

Neifert said her remarks will cover a variety of issues facing parents, including tips on how to strengthen your “parenting team,” how to foster your child’s self-esteem, how to minimize sibling rivalry, how to apply consistent, age-appropriate discipline, and how parents can maintain their sense of humor and spontaneity.

“Make parenting a high priority,” said Neifert, who references to her own parenting experiences in her presentations. “Kids like to have our presence, and so often we just give them things, instead of our time.

“Parents need to think seriously about their kids’ self esteem,” she said. “One of the best ways to buffer your child from all the scary things out there, is bolstering his or her self-esteem. Those kids are confident, they are kids of worth, and they generally make good decisions.

“We can lay the ground work early in life to give them a chance to be confident in the world, but it takes time, it takes connection,” Neifert continued, “and that challenge is compounded when you have more than one child. Parents really have a job to do to make each child feel unique and cherished.”

Discipline ties into everything, Neifert added. “It can either strengthen the relationship and build self-esteem or it can weaken the relationship … we need to catch them being good and bad, and reinforce both behaviors,” she said.

Neifert said she would distribute a handout at Wednesday’s presentation, listing several different approaches to discipline.

“I like to whet their appetite for the different parenting schemes,” she explained.

The final speaker in the series will be Omar Aleman. He will give a presentation on “Parents and Children: A Joint Agreement” at the Aspen School District Theater on Dec. 9, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.


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