Dr. Marvin Berman is the
most visible lecturer on the traditional management of children in the
pediatric dental practice today. His presentation are outstanding,
popular, and well attended. The use of actual videotapes from his office
to demonstrate his methods and success is something that every pediatric
dentist should obverse and enjoy. His lecture style is one of abundant
enthusiasm and his love of the interface of the caring confident
clinician with the young patient is obvious, contagious, and enjoyable.
Dr. Berman is a busy man. He did not have to make time for this submission
but as a friend he did. I treasure this submission and forward it as one
of the reasons that this volume of JSSPD will stay on many people's
shelves for the duration of their career. There is a lot of wisdom here.
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A child is born and the adventure begins. What should I do with this
bundle of joy? When we buy an appliance or a car or a toy, it comes with
instructions and warnings. In the workplace we have signs that say
"hazardous or poisonous". But there are no warning labels or
instruction books that come with a baby because God in his or her
infinite wisdom figured that "if birds do it and bees do it and
even educated fleas do it", we can do it. There was a time when
parents employed their natural instincts, suspect as they were, to raise
children to be responsible adults. Today parents are confused by
plethora of advice spouted by well meaning child "experts" who
are having major problems coping with their own children. Ginott,
Dreikurs, Spock and others have given
birth to a whole new thought process.
Children are people too? He'll outgrow it! Don't spank! Take a
"time out". Spend quality time...quantity doesn't matter.
Don't raise your voice or your child will learn to be loud. Don't say
anything negative...positive reinforcement only. Give your child
choices! Give your child self-esteem. You should be your child's best
friend. As a result, parents have become paralyzed and paranoid, unable
to make basic decisions about the simplest issues.
Children are more self-centered and inflexible, thinking, mistakenly,
that the world revolves around them. Good behavior used to be a moral
and expectation but mow it has become a psychological problem. One thing
leads to another and suddenly we need mind altering drugs and
psychological counseling for the kids and the parents. This confirms the
possibility that something is wrong with you, that you're sick and that
you need medicine and treatment to make you better. In the last ten
years, there has been a 25% increase in the number of children, five
years old and younger, diagnosed with alleged mental problems such as
depression, ADD, obedience deficit disorder and hyperactivity. Ritalin,
Zolof, Prozac and Valium are being used liberally with these kids as a
shotgun diagnosis and treatment. Drugs for a population that can't pay
Do you remember when you were told, "there is NO excuse for that behavior." Now, there are excuses for everything.
Parents justify their child's inappropriate behavior with one excuse
after another. He's tired. She's just a baby. He's got a cold. She's shy
with strangers. Since the child now has an excuse for the screaming and
crying and you as the dentist don't...YOU are to blame for any
unpleasantness during the dental visit.l In days gone by, your mom would
say something like "get in there and behave yourself and don't embarrass
me." You were expected to behave.
Children can sense if you are insecure,
with no courage for the commitment to the time and effort it takes to give proper guidance and nurturing. So they have no respect for
parents, or teachers or police or dentists for that matter. In fact,
they challenge every figure of establishment or authority. Why then are
we surprised when we read about teen violence? There were plenty of
early warning signals before the Columbine High School tragedy. Those
kids did not suddenly become capable of doing harm to their fellow human
being. Everyone ignored or made excuses for inappropriate behavior that
occurred years before. The world doesn't teach true life lessons necessary
for survival. That's the job of the mother and father. I'm reminded of
the cartoon depicting the mother tiger telling her baby "be good
and be strong because it's a jungle out there."
Love is important and necessary and a given, but love is conditional and
sometimes tough. There are strings attached an you should learn that
principle when you're a baby, not when you start school or at your first
visit to the dentist, or as a teenager in court on a drug charge or as
an adult going through your divorce proceedings. Can we make any sense
out of this state of affairs? Let's try.
Heredity Versus Environment
The Case For Heredity.
Are we born that way or do we get that way after our parents do their
thing is an age-old controversy. We know that we can inherit physical
characteristics from our parents, that it's likely that we can inherit
the tendency to be short or tall and to be talented in music or
mathematics or to be good athletes. Is it difficult to believe that we
also can be born with certain personality traits? Those of us that have
had more than one child know for a fact that every child is different.
One likes to be held and cuddled and the other needs to be moving
around. One is so sensitive and cries at the drop of a hat. The other is
stubborn and defiant. Child rearing is not a mathematical equation. Two
plus two does not always equal four. Though all of your children are
living in the same house...(read more)