• Tips for Step Parenting

    Step dad hanging out with step son.

    Blending a Family

    After the loss of a spouse, through death or divorce, finding a new partner is exciting! Just as exciting, but more cause for anxiety, is the blending of two different lives. Being a parent is challenging; being a stepparent is even more difficult. Even if you weren’t warring with the established and widespread “evil stepparent” tropes, you would still be stepping into an intimate role with a young person who may not be inclined to accept you unconditionally. Fortunately, there are some guidelines you can follow as a stepparent to help create a positive and healthy relationship between you and your stepchildren.

    Tips for Step Parenting

    • Ease into a relationship. Even if you feel thrown into the role of parent, remember that you are not the primary parent, and shouldn’t pretend to be. Never forget that your partner and stepchild have a bond that was formed long before you came on the scene. This doesn’t mean you will never play an important role in the child’s life, as an important parental figure, but it does mean that you should refrain from coming on too strong, instead letting the child set the pace for getting to know each other. Most of the time, if you are patient, showing interest in them while giving them time to warm up to you, children will give you a chance.
    • Don’t try to be the cool parent. It’s not a competition. You’re not competing with your partner and, more importantly, you’re not competing with the ex. Don’t let your insecurity or ego cause you to overstep and try to ingratiate yourself with the children, making them want or need you more than the original parent. Children see through this sort of thing, and it will cause conflicts between the adults.
    • Don’t let existing familial bonds make you feel threatened. You and your partner are creating a new family, but the old family had a history before you came into the picture. Accept this, integrating the past into the present by asking occasional questions in an interested way. Move forward, while respecting what came before, without trying to upstage it. Additionally, encourage your stepchild to spend one-on-one time with each of their biological parents. This sends a message that you are not in competition, and you just want everyone to be truly happy.
    • Prioritize the needs of the child. We all have big feelings sometimes, but as a parent, it’s important that you focus on the children’s feelings rather than your own. Aim for selflessness in your interactions, setting high standards for your own coping skills. This doesn’t mean that your emotional needs are not important, but it’s up to you to make sure they are met in appropriate ways. Take time for yourself, to socialize, exercise, and generally practice self-care, and when you are interacting with the child it will be easier to put your emotions on the back burner. Don’t take it personally if your stepchild doesn’t seem to be taking to you. Remember that the child needs to mourn the loss of the original family.
    • Know how to respond to hostility. Will your stepchild yell at you that you are not his or her real parent? It is incredibly likely. Knowing this, take the time to prepare your response. Don’t try to argue, but acknowledge the truth of the statement. Tell the children that while you are not their biological parent, you are a stepparent who loves them. Responding to hostility with a calm, loving response is a great way to defuse it. If it doesn’t? Take a deep breath and move on.
    • Get on the same page with the other parents. This means discussing parenting techniques, methods, and philosophies with your spouse, but it also means addressing these things with the other biological parent. When all the parents are in accord on how things should be done, it makes parenting easier for everyone.
    • Talk it out. Regularly touch base with each other as a family, setting aside family time in which everyone can share how they’re feeling. Ask the kids to be honest, sharing positive and negative feedback, so that you can make your family stronger and better.
    • Create routines to build strong family bonds. Spend one-on-one time with your stepchild, doing something together once or twice a week. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, it can be something as simple as cooking together, as long as you have time to share, listen, and bond. Establish routines as a family, too, like game night, special celebrations on birthdays and minor holidays, and regular family meals. Time together can help the family bond and become more united.
    • Keep your expectations in check. You are unlikely to step into a child’s life and immediately have a strong bond, and you can’t force it by trying too hard. By the same token, you are not likely to be accepted as an authority figure if you over-discipline to try to establish your authority. Take it easy, avoid overstepping your bounds, and keep your expectations realistic. It’s ok, you will eventually develop a relationship, and you can have a happy, healthy, blended family.

    Growing into a Family, Together

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Understanding Your Newborn’s Language

    Father talking to his newborn baby.

    Communicating with Your Newborn

    Babies cry, everyone knows that. What you might not realize until you become a parent, though, is that different cries mean different things. Because it’s an ability they’re born with, babies use crying to communicate their needs, and part of your job is to try to figure out exactly what those needs may be. Don’t worry! In any new relationship, it takes a while to get to know the person and understand his or her style of communication. It’s no different with your new little one, and you will get the hang of it before you know it.

    What Does Baby Need?

    Babies cry because they are hungry, need a diaper change, are uncomfortable, or are in pain. They also cry when they’re overwhelmed by all the stimuli in this brand-new world, so be a little bit patient when you are trying to figure out the issue. Paying attention to other signals, like facial expressions and body movements, can help you get to know your baby better and understand what he or she is trying to say. Some people also find it helpful to begin teaching baby sign language around six months old, just to provide another communication tool.

    Connecting with Your Baby

    As you try to determine what your little one is communicating, use it as an opportunity to bond. Don’t just communicate when little one is fussy, either. Watch how your baby responds to your voice, your touch, and your body language. Talk to your baby as much as you can, while you are playing, during diaper changes and feedings, and when you are just relaxing and getting to know each other. Talking to babies is important, because it makes them feel safe and helps them develop language skills. Always respond to your baby’s cries, to offer reassurance as well as comfort. Knowing that you will meet their needs helps babies grow into secure people.

    When Will Your Baby Talk?

    Of course, communication becomes easier when children learn to talk. This will happen in stages, as baby begins to babble and coo, then make sounds that sound like words, before they actually begin to engage in coherent speech. They understand earlier than they can talk, though, and most babies know what the word “no” means by about six months of age. You can reasonably expect your child to say his or her first work around the first birthday.

    Should I Be Worried?

    Like every other element of a baby’s development, speech evolves differently for different babies. If your little one isn’t hitting every milestone “by the book,” don’t be alarmed. However, talk to your doctor if your baby won’t stop crying, or the crying seems strange, or it is accompanied by other signs that something could be wrong. If your baby doesn’t react to loud sounds by five months of age or isn’t making different sounds by that time, talk to your pediatrician. It may not be anything to worry about, but it’s always good to make sure everything is proceeding normally as you learn to communicate with your baby.

    Happy Families Start at Center for Vasectomy Reversal

    Communication is the key to any successful relationship, and learning to communicate with your children is a big part of building a happy family! At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Why it’s Important to Foster Family Bonds

    Family spending time together.

    The Strength of Familial Bonds

    Our family is the first support system we ever experience, and the connections we have with our family members are fundamental in shaping who we are. Strong family bonds matter, whether our family members are linked by biology, marriage, or adoption. These strong relationships don’t always just happen, though. Here, we discuss why these bonds are so important, and how you can foster and strengthen them.

    Why Do Strong Family Bonds Matter?

    When family members connect with each other, it teaches the children important social skills and boosts their self-esteem. These bonds also encourage better behavior, improve academic performance, and strengthen communication between parents and children. Every member of the family benefits from strong family bonds, because they provide a sense of belonging, support and emotional security. What’s more, being securely bonded to your family helps you become more resilient, encourages you to trust, and helps you build essential life skills you will need for success in your personal and professional life. As a parent, you must put in the effort to cultivate and protect the bonds within your family, but this can be tricky in our hectic daily lives. It is well worth the effort, though, and can be achieved by following a few simple tips.

    Fostering Family Bonds

    How will you create and strengthen these crucial bonds?

    • Put family time on the calendar. Scheduling regular family time, whether that’s having dinner together or planning a monthly game night, offers family members the chance to connect with each other and spend quality time together.
    • Prioritize communication. Communicating effectively means taking the time to really listen to your family members, speaking in a kind and respectful way, and avoiding criticism or negative comments. It is also important for family members to make a point to express gratitude and appreciation to each other.
    • Share experiences and create traditions. Whether its an annual family vacation, a special meal you share each week, or a holiday tradition, shared experiences are building blocks that help create strong relationships. Creating lasting memories by sharing these experiences can build a sense of continuity and connection. When you pass your unique family traditions down through generations, they help to strengthen your family’s legacy.
    • Work together. Sometimes, even doing chores together builds a bond. Working together to care for your home and your yard can foster a sense of teamwork and shared responsibility. Take it a step further and volunteer together, and you not only help your community, but you help your children build empathy and become less self-centered.
    • Support and encourage each other. This is critical for building connection and fostering bonds. When you are there for each other in difficult times, celebrate achievements and successes together, and offer advice and help when it’s needed, you help to create a sense of belonging, connection, and trust that will serve each family member well in the world outside the family.

    Support for Your Family as it Grows

    Strengthening bonds between family members helps you grow into a healthy, happy family. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Why it’s Important to Teach your Children Good Manners

    Little girl with good manners helping her sister put a bicycle helmet on.

    Are Manners Outdated?

    You’ve probably heard older people lament the manners of modern children, and to an extent, the expectations have changed. Modern kids have more autonomy than prior generations, and as our society has shifted to a place of less civility, adults in the public eye often provide a poor example for children to follow. However, this doesn’t mean that manners are obsolete. A vintage manners book for children summed it up succinctly: “Good manners make a person nice to know.” As parents, we have a responsibility to raise people who are nice to know, and that means teaching manners.

    How Learning Manners Benefits Your Children

    When children learn to be mannerly, they’re really learning respect for others. People appreciate someone who is thoughtful and appreciative, respectful and grateful, and treating others with respect is universally recognized as good behavior. When your children are polite, people will remember them in a positive light, whether in school, on teams, or out and about. Instilling polite habits at an early age will help your children throughout their lives, opening up opportunities for them and helping them to succeed.

    Manners that Matter

    The definition of manners varies, but there are some standard practices that are always accepted as mannerly.

    • It starts with please and thank you. From earliest childhood, teach your child these simple expressions of polite behavior. Other, related phrases, including “how are you”, “you’re welcome” and “may I” are also important for children to learn. Get them into the habit of
    • Teach children to greet others respectfully. Though handshaking has fallen out of fashion post-pandemic, it’s still important to greet people properly. Even shy children can be taught to look others in the eye and say hello. Practice this skill by demonstrating the right way to greet someone and role playing with your child. Encourage children to call adults Mr. and Ms., because using a title and a last name is the most respectful way to address someone. Teach kids to wait their turn before speaking, and to say “excuse me” rather than interrupting a conversation.
    • Prioritize human interaction over screens. Children are becoming focused on screens at younger and younger ages. Model polite behavior, practicing good cell phone etiquette and putting the phone away at the table and when interacting with others. In public, teach children to notice other people, holding the door for someone carrying groceries or offering help to someone who needs it. This doesn’t just equate to good manners, but it demonstrates empathy.
    • Instill good sportsmanship and gracious behavior. Teach your children to be a good sport, win or lose, and you will be imparting a skill that will serve them well throughout their lives. Teach good playdate manners, too, reminding kids to follow the rules at other people’s houses and use their inside voices. Teaching your children the importance of gracious behavior will help them to be people who are always welcome wherever they want to be.
    • Teach kids to write thoughtful notes. Thank you notes are a good place to start, but it’s also smart to teach children to wrote polite texts and emails. Explain the basics, like how to right in a clear tone, and as your kids get older, teach them to be polite on social media, never posting rude comments.
    • Practice talking on the phone. Home phones are few and far between, but children need to learn the skill of phone etiquette. Use play phones to demonstrate how to have a polite conversation, and get your child in the habit of talking to relatives and friends when he or she is old enough to do so clearly and politely.
    • Work on table manners. Have dinner as a family, and practice good table manners. Teach kids to wait until everyone is seated and served to begin eating, demonstrate how to properly use a napkin and silverware, and work on etiquette together. This will instill confidence in your child, and you can be sure that your child will behave well even when you are not at the table. Practice conversing at the dinner table, too, and you will help kids learn how to have a conversation.
    • Limit media consumption. Watch television or go online, and you are sure to see incivility and downright rudeness. Limit your children’s exposure to this, and you will also be improving their lives in general; research indicates that less screen time means better health, grades, and behavior.
    • Model acts of service. Kindness is at the heart of polite behavior. Little acts of kindness, like holding a door or giving up your seat on a bus, can go a long way. Take it a step further, and perform acts of service as a family, participating in park cleanups or city-wide service days.

    Teaching Manners

    Now that we’ve established the importance of manners, and which manners are important to teach, how should you go about teaching them to your children? Being too strict is unlikely to be effective, and the same goes for threats and punishments. Modeling desired behavior has a stronger impact, and positive reinforcement can help make manners stick. Role play situations that may test your child’s manners, explaining why manners are important, and encouraging polite kindness to other people. Keep your expectations in check while your child is young and still learning.

    Center for Vasectomy Reversal is Here for Your Family

    Good manners help your children grow into well-rounded, good mannered people, and kindness and respect are two of the core values of happy families. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How to Navigate the Challenges of Parenting Teens

    Father and teenager son playing video games.

    Parenting in a Shifting Landscape

    One thing about parenting is that it is everchanging. Just when you’ve got one stage under control, your kids move on to the next one, and you have to relearn the job all over again. The teenage years are one of the most challenging stages, because it comes with so much change, as your teens transition from children to adults. These years are hard on everyone. They’re hard on the teenagers because they are going through so many changes, and hard on you as a parent because of your changing relationship with your egocentric teen.  How can you support your child and ease the transition, while maintaining a good relationship?

    Understanding Your Teen’s Mind

    The teen years are a time of breaking away from childhood attachments and forming an independent identity. Your teens may cycle through activities, interests, peer groups, and mindsets, in search of a persona they feel is authentic. Managing all of this through hormonal changes, while overcoming insecure feelings about their bodies, can be extremely challenging. Many teens are intensely self-critical and self-doubting, and this negative self-perception can lead them to spend time alone and avoid their parents. Hyperconscious of all of these changes, parents may begin to criticize and question more than before, and be more suspicious and protective, because of their own anxiety. The anxiety is understandable. Teenagers take risks, act like they don’t care, and lie to, pick fights with, and manipulate their parents. If parents can take a step back from their own anxious feelings, recognize that transitions are natural, and remember what it’s like to be a teenager, this time will be a little bit easier. It can also make conflict with your teens easier if you recognize that teens who are comfortable enough to be contentious with their parents are actually displaying trust. If you can reign in your instinct to demand obedience and instead be willing to debate issues, it will foster respect in your relationship.

    Providing Support During Transitions

    One of the best things you can do for your teens, as they’re navigating this challenging landscape of change, is to be supportive. Understand that your teens have a lot of big feelings, and be willing to listen without judgement. As much as possible try to maintain steady routines, and encourage your teen to focus on healthy habits, like getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and managing stress. Offer your teens the chance to voice their opinions and make choices, but maintain rules and boundaries so that your kids feel secure and know what to expect. Counter your teens’ anxiety by reminding them of past accomplishments and successes, and try to manage your own anxiety in a way that keeps it separate from theirs.

    Guiding With Empathy and Encouragement

    It is easy, as adults to forget how intense things felt when we were teenagers. The challenges teens face today are different than those of past generations, but the physical and social changes are similar, and if you listen, you might discover that your teen is facing some of the same difficulties that you experienced when you were a teenager. Be mindful of this, and try to extend some grace. Maintaining empathy for your teen can help you stay connected, and if you can talk to your teens about some of your experiences, they may be more willing to listen to your viewpoints. When kids are little, they respond to positive reinforcement and praise, and these tactics are just as impactful for teens. Work on helping your teens build their self-confidence, focusing on their positive characteristics and helping them to cultivate a sense of self-compassion. Encouraging them to help others through acts of service can also help them feel better about themselves and give them a sense of purpose.

    Navigating Conflict

    One thing common during the teen years is clashing with parents. Fortunately, these conflicts do not mean that the relationship is weak. Teens may rebel against authority, parents try to clamp down and preserve their authority, and this escalates the conflict. It is important to understand that teens pick fights over everyday issues because they see them as deeper problems that challenge their identity. Limitations on their activities may be seen as a lack of trust or a challenge to their maturity, and this can trigger self-doubts that cause the teen to respond with anger. It is important for parents to listen to their teens and help guide them toward the right decisions, rather than setting unenforceable limits and causing teens to rebel and distance themselves further. Keep the lines of communication open can help let teenagers know that they can go to their parents for support and validation.

    Staying Connected

    It can be difficult to stay connected to your teenagers, when they keep their heads down, looking at their phones, and then lock themselves in their rooms without talking to you. Keep engaging, so that your teens know you’re a safe space and someone they can come to with issues. Recognize that physically distancing from you is a developmentally appropriate move for a teenager, and their self-imposed solitude allows them the time and space to try out some autonomy, spend time in introspection, learn to regulate their moods, and figure out who they are. Keep trying, modifying your connection to meet your teenager’s life stage. If your teenager is pulling away physically, try giving pats on the back instead of snuggles. Keep saying I love you, even if your teen doesn’t say it back. Stay accessible and available, because even when your teens seem to be pulling away, they still need their parents’ love and guidance.

    Support for Your Family as it Grows

    We hope these tips will help you to guide your teenagers and promote harmony in your home as your family grows. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Improving your health for 2024

    Father running on beach to improve his health.

    Looking Forward

    It’s that time of year again, when we begin to set goals for the new year. In 2024, we encourage you to set goals that will lead to a healthier, happier you! It doesn’t have to be anything major, because small, consistent modifications can make a big difference in your health. Here, we offer suggestions for goals that can improve your health in 2024.

    Focus on Nutrition

    Balanced nutrition is important for every system of your body. Fill your diet with nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and limit your intake of processed foods, sugary snacks and beverages, and unhealthy fats. Calcium is important for both men and women, to avoid bone loss in later life, so look for good sources of calcium, like dairy products, sardines, leafy greens, and calcium-fortified beverages. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, and you can get Vitamin D from foods like fatty fish and egg yolks, through supplements, and by getting sunlight. Make sure you take in healthy fats, found in olive and canola oils, avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds, almonds, and fatty fish. In addition to being mindful of what you eat, practice mindful eating, eating without distractions and taking the time to savor every mouthful. Finally, stay properly hydrated, to promote proper digestion, circulation, temperature regulation, and overall wellness.

    Get Regular Exercise

    Make it your goal to be physically active most days, getting at least two to three hours of exercise over the course of the week. Walking, jogging, biking, and strength training are all good forms of exercise, but look for something that resonates with you, whether that’s yoga, dancing, hiking, or some other fun kind of exercise. Make sure to get a variety of exercise, including exercises that promote cardiovascular health, flexibility, balance, and strength.

    Get Quality Sleep

    Sleeping well is crucial to your well-being. Aim for seven to nine hours each night, to support your physical and mental health, and make your bedroom a sleep-friendly environment, without screens, light, or distractions. Avoid stimulants in the afternoon and evening, limit your screen time for at least an hour before bedtime, and create a bedtime routine that promotes relaxation and helps you settle down for the night.

    Manage Your Stress

    No matter how well you eat, and how much you exercise, if you don’t manage your stress properly, your health will suffer. Practices like meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and deep breathing can all help you reduce stress. Additionally, making time to do things you enjoy with your favorite people is a great way to alleviate stress and improve your sense of wellbeing.

    Prioritize Your Mental Health

    Caring for your mental health is just as important as tending to your physical wellbeing. Focus on self-care, participate in activities that improve your peace of mind, and pay attention to your mental health with a willingness to seek professional health if necessary.

    See Your Doctor

    Prioritize your annual checkup. Beyond that, keep up with vaccinations, screenings, and recommended healthcare measures. Keep on top of preventive medical care measures, so that you can stay in good shape, with no nasty surprises that disrupt your health.

    Build Healthy Relationships

    Good relationships can help form the foundation of your overall wellbeing. Being connected to family and friends helps you avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness, and gives you the support you need to weather difficult times.  Surround yourself with uplifting, inspiring people with good attitudes, to help keep yourself in good spirits. Healthy relationships are important for resilience, happiness, and a fulfilled life.

    Center for Vasectomy Reversal Cares About Men’s Health

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, men’s health is our priority. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their health and fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

     

     

     

  • How to Deal with Temper Tantrums

    Daughter throwing a tantrum.

    The Inevitability of Temper Tantrums

    If you have children, you will eventually have to deal with temper tantrums. They can be frustrating and, if you’re in public, even embarrassing, and can prompt you to have an emotional response. Often, a parent dealing with a temper tantrum would do anything to make it stop, from threatening to cajoling to even giving in to the demands of their little emotional terrorist. Don’t do any of these things; we’ve got some tips for more effective temper tantrum management.

    What are Tantrums?

    Tantrums can take many different forms. They can involve whining, crying, screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath-holding. Some kids bite, flail about, arch their backs, stiffen their limbs, or even run away, and others break things or hurt themselves or others in the throes of a tantrum. Tantrums are most common in children who are one to three years old, and they’re equally common in boys and girls. Little children who haven’t quite learned how to communicate their emotions and needs might get frustrated and throw tantrums. Tantrums can happen with older children too, though, if they haven’t yet learned how to safely express and manage their feelings.

    Why Tantrums Happen

    Tantrums are a normal part of child development; they’re a way for young children to show that they are frustrated or upset. They’re common when children are developing language skills and can’t necessarily communicate what they want or need, so tantrums tend to decrease as children master the art of communication. However, tantrums are also about control. There is a power struggle that happens when children want things and those things are not given to them, and many children respond to this struggle with tantrums. Children who are older than three or four may still throw tantrums, if they have not learned how to deal with their negative emotions, particularly if they’ve discovered that tantrums get them what they want.

    Factors That Play Into Tantrums

    There are certain things that make tantrums more likely. Certain children, particularly those who are very sensitive, just seem to have a temperament more prone to strong reactions to frustration and changes in their environment. Most children struggle with remaining calm if they are stressed, hungry, tired, or overstimulated, and strong emotions also tend to be overwhelming. Then, too, there are situations with which children just can’t cope. For instance, if an older child takes a toy from a toddler, that toddler is likely to lose control of his or her emotions. As children learn to self-regulate, tantrums will become less of a factor.

    Dealing with Tantrums

    • Set your child up for success. If you know that a tired, hungry, overstimulated child is more likely to melt down, try to prevent that by keeping a regular schedule and making sure your child’s needs are met. Don’t take your child to the grocery store, for instance, at naptime, or before he or she has had something to eat. Help children understand their emotions when they’re not in the middle of a tantrum, by talking about feelings and using words that label emotions so they can name what they are experiencing.
    • Model good behavior. Don’t counter emotion with an emotional response, but remain calm during a tantrum. When something is frustrating you or causing you stress, talk about it honestly without emotional overreaction. Show your child how you stay calm by taking deep breaths or using other coping skills.
    • Give praise for successful management of emotions. If your child handles a frustrating situation nicely, give encouragement. Help the child to notice how it felt to stay calm and strong. Make sure to talk about specifics, praising and rewarding behaviors you’d like to see more often. Conversely, after a tantrum, talk about better ways the situation could have been managed.
    • Offer your kids some control. Little choices, like picking which kind of juice to drink or which outfit to wear, give a child a sense of independence. When it really doesn’t matter, let your children decide for themselves, so they learn to make decisions and gain a feeling of control.
    • Distract during a tantrum. Interest your child in an activity that will replace the negative behavior you’re trying to discourage. A change of scenery can also help, and sometimes this is as simple as taking a toddler outside or to another room.
    • Say yes when you can. Choose your battles, and if what the child is asking is not too outrageous, be flexible. You can even change your mind, but make sure that it doesn’t appear you’ve changed it in response to the tantrum.
    • Try a time-in. Sometimes, a tantrum can be extinguished by a parent staying close, offering comfort, and reassuring the child by acknowledging the feelings involved. When the child is a little older, try identifying and naming the emotion being expressed, and supporting the child during the calm-down process.

    Helping Happy Families Thrive

    We hope these tips on tantrums can help you create a happy, harmonious homelife. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • New Parent Hacks and Tricks

    New parents using helpful parenting tips.

    Embracing New Parenting

    Do you have a new baby? Congratulations! New babies are amazing, and even though people told you before you became a parent, you probably were unprepared for how much you’d love this little person. Unfortunately, even though people probably also told you how overwhelming parenthood can be, you might have been fully prepared for that, either. Being a new parent is a wonderful gift, but it’s also hard, and if you are feeling frustrated, you’re not alone. Don’t worry! We have some hacks and tricks from experienced parents to help you navigate this brand new experience with your brand new little person.

    Care and Keeping of Baby

    • Bathing your baby in the kitchen sink means you don’t have to bend or kneel to reach the bathtub.
    • Cradle cap can be managed by moisturizing it with a little bit of coconut oil and then using a baby comb to gently remove it.
    • If you don’t have baby nail scissors, nose-hair scissors with rounded tips are the perfect substitute. Whatever you do, don’t bite your baby’s nails! Another nail tip: cut your baby’s fingernails when your little one is sleeping or feeding, to make it easier.
    • When you need to give your baby medicine, stick the medicine dropper in a bottle nipple and administer the dose while your baby is happily sucking the nipple.
    • Layer few covers on your changing pad, so that you can easily change to a clean one. Alternately, skip the covers and buy a simple changing pad you can wipe clean.
    • Fold your newborn’s diaper waistband down to keep it away from the umbilical cord area while it’s healing.
    • Swipe a wet wipe under your baby boy’s belly button immediately before a diaper change. That way, he’ll get a cold sensation that causes him to pee the diaper before taking off the diaper allows cool air to prompt the same reaction and cause him to pee on you!
    • Olive or coconut oil on a newborn’s bottom will help make cleaning sticky meconium easier.
    • Before you take off your baby’s diaper, put a fresh diaper underneath it, just in case.
    • Rather than a diaper pail, you can use a regular trash can, keeping plastic bags in an empty wipes container so that you can throw away poopy diapers conveniently.
    • When the inevitable blowout happens, pull the onesie down instead of over baby’s head. That’s why onesies have those little folds on the side of the neck hole- to widen the neck area and make them easier to pull down.
    • Make foaming baby wash with equal parts baby wash and water in an empty bottle of foaming hand soap.
    • Start tummy time with your baby on your chest or belly, so they get the benefits while also feeling close to you.

    Sleepy Time

    • Instead of onesies or PJs, use newborn nightgowns in the early days.
    • When choosing sleepers, pick the ones that zip instead of snapping. All those little snaps never seem to line up correctly when you’re trying to change your wiggly baby in a hurry.
    • Make swaddling easy with a swaddle that has Velcro.
    • Get your baby into a good day and night routine. Interact with your little one during the day, making it easier for everyone to sleep at night.
    • Use a white noise machine so that your baby won’t wake up with every noise. You’ll be glad you did when your child is a sound sleeper.
    • Dream feed your baby, waking your infant for a feeding right before you go to bed for the night.

    Hushing the Fuss

    • Hold on to the exercise ball you got for labor so you can bounce your baby during fussy times.
    • If your baby fusses at bath time, try swaddle bathing, wrapping the baby in a tight blanket and carefully unwrapping one limb at a time to wash, rinse, and rewrap.
    • Learn the 5 S’s. Swaddling, shushing, swinging, sucking, and side laying are the perfect techniques for calming a fussy baby.
    • Gripe water is a lifesaver and the fastest way to ease a baby’s gas to quiet a fussy tummy.

    Out and About

    • Keep your hands free by using a backpack instead of a diaper bag. This is especially helpful if you’re wearing your baby.
    • Pad your car seat handle with a cut-up piece of pool noodle to make the heavy car seat easier to carry in the crook of your arm.
    • Bring a change of clothes for yourself as well as your baby, in case of a spit up, diaper, or breastmilk incident.
    • Use a baby hammock to hold your baby in a grocery cart so that you can shop and your baby can be comfortable.

    Making Your Life Easier

    • Stash wipes all over your house and in your car, because baby messes can happen anywhere.
    • Create a portable diaper changing station to keep near you so you don’t have to keep running back to the changing table. This is particularly useful if you live in a multi-level home.
    • Breastfeed while lying down so that you can get some rest while the baby eats.
    • Grab a water before you breastfeed, to keep from getting dehydrated.
    • Sleep when the baby sleeps is not a cliché. Even if you feel like you need to get things done, it’s better to get some rest whenever you can when you have a new baby.
    • Learn to wear your baby. This can promote bonding while also leaving your hands free so you can get things done while your baby is awake.
    • Keep a pack and play nearby. Set up your pack n play in a room you use frequently, so that you can set your baby down safely when you need to get something done.
    • Take help that is offered to you. This is perhaps the best tip we can offer to new parents! When people offer help, let them do something for you, whether it’s bringing you dinner, watching the baby long enough for you to take a shower, running an errand for you, or helping you with housework. Other parents understand how hard it can be when you have a new baby, and their offers to help are sincere, so don’t wear yourself out trying to do it all on your own.

    Center for Vasectomy Loves Helping Parents

    We hope these tips helped you get a handle on how to manage your newly growing family. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How to Help When Your Partner is Having a Hard Time Breastfeeding

    Father supporting mother who is about to breastfeed

    Father supporting mother who is about to breastfeed

    The Gift of Breastfeeding

    Breastfeeding is a wonderful gift to give a baby. By providing your baby with nutritious, natural breastmilk, your partner is protecting not only the baby’s health, but also her own. Breastfeeding helps keep the baby healthy, boosting immunity to help prevent infection and disease, and it reduces the mom’s risk of diseases like osteoporosis and certain cancers. By breastfeeding your baby, your partner is saving your family money, bonding with your little one, and boosting your child’s brain development. All of that is truly amazing, but it should be noted that breastfeeding is not always easy. In fact, for some women, it is not possible. What can you do to support your partner through this process and help her to reach her breastfeeding goals. We have a few suggestions.

    Have the Right Attitude

    Learn as much as you can about breastfeeding and take the stance that you and your partner are in this together. Sometimes, dads get jealous of the closeness of the mother and baby during this special time, or feel left out. Don’t fall into this line of thinking; there are plenty of things you can do with your baby! Avoid hovering, but communicate with your partner and let her know that you are there for her if she needs anything.

    Understand the Issues

    Breastfeeding is not for the faint of heart. It does not always come naturally, and sometimes there are real challenges, even when the mom has learned as much as she can and is eager to breastfeed. Sometimes the baby refuses the breast or bites, and other times there’s not enough supply to keep the baby well-fed and healthy. When there is too much milk, the breasts become engorged and sore. It can get very uncomfortable, in many different ways. Nipples can get sore and infected, milk ducts can become blocked, and mastitis or even breast abscesses can occur. Your partner can get support from a lactation consultant, her doctor, a nurse, or a midwife, but it’s also important for you to provide support as well.

    Being There for Your Partner

    Supporting your partner with breastfeeding starts in the hospital. Often, hospitals will push formula, and you may need to be your wife’s advocate and help her make her breastfeeding intentions clear.  If your partner needs your assistance enlisting the help of a nurse or lactation consultant, be prepared to seek out the right person for her. At home, she’ll need you to step up your game around the house, taking on some extra chores so that she can have the time and space for breastfeeding. Offer to bring her a snack or some water, or an extra pillow, and help minimize distractions by removing pets and older kids from the room and limiting visitors. Understand that breastfeeding is physically demanding and help your partner to get some rest. Be aware that she may not want to be touched after a long day of caring for a newborn, and don’t be hurt if she is a bit distance. This is a short time in the grand scheme of things, and your lives will reach a new normal soon.

    Bond with Your Baby

    Just because the baby is breastfeeding, this doesn’t mean the daddy won’t have the opportunity to bond with this new little person. Cuddle your baby skin to skin or carry him or her in a sling or baby carrier. Offer to do bath time because this can be a wonderful way to bond. Settle your baby during fussy moments, which might be easier for you than your partner because you won’t have the smell of milk on your body to distract your baby. Offer to burp the baby or change the diaper after a breastfeeding session. Make the most of the times your baby is awake and alert, and spend time playing or walking with your child.

    Be Supportive, No Matter What

    For some families, breastfeeding goes smoothly and is a very rewarding experience. For others, though, it does not work out as well. Encourage your partner every step of the way, defending her choices to any naysayers and being there for her when she needs you. If breastfeeding does not turn out to be an option, be sensitive. Let her know that you don’t see this as a failure and you support her choices, no matter what.

    Supporting Families and Helping Men

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428. For additional parenting tips, we invite you to check out our other blogs!

  • Prostate Health Month

    Prostate Cancer Awareness

    Prostate Cancer Awareness

    September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

    About one in 9 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, making it the second most common cancer, after skin cancer. Like many cancers, though, it can be treated successfully if detected early. In September, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and November, Men’s Health Awareness Month, we want to spread awareness to help men take better care of their health.

    Prostate Screenings are Important

    Men often get a little bit nervous about prostate exams, because the doctor must perform a digital rectal exam (DRE). This involves inserting a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate’s surface, as well as examining the lower rectum and assessing the function of the anal sphincter. These exams are necessary, though, and people assigned male at birth should start having them around age 45 or 50, depending on their level of risk. In addition to the DRE, a prostate screening involves a PSA blood test, which measures the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood.

    What to Expect from a Prostate Exam

    You don’t have to do much to prepare before a prostate exam, but you should let your doctor know if you have any issues like hemorrhoids, anal tears, or anal fissures. You’ll also need to abstain from sex for 48 hours before the exam, because ejaculation can cause your PSA levels to temporarily increase, and this can affect the test results. You don’t need to change your bathroom habits or be nervous if you haven’t defecated, because your doctor is used to this type of exam.

    Doctors perform the two different types of screenings because, while a PSA blood test is very effective for detecting prostate cancer, the DRE can find cancer in people with normal PSA levels. During the DRE, your doctor will feel for lumps and bumps on the back portion of the prostate, where many cancers start. This exam only takes a few seconds, and while it may be uncomfortable, it’s not usually painful. The PSA is just a simple blood draw, sent to the lab for analysis. It only takes about a day to get the results, and if the PSA level is high, you may need further testing to diagnose prostate cancer, like a prostate biopsy, MRI, or other lab tests.

    A Healthy Lifestyle can Help Protect Your Prostate

    Prostate screenings are important for protecting your prostate health, because prostate cancer doesn’t always cause symptoms. They’re not the only measure you can take to keep your prostate healthy. Following these healthy living tips will help not only with your prostate health, but also with your overall well-being.

    • Watch your weight. Prostate cancer is just one of the many health issues linked to obesity.
    • Eat your veggies. Vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens, are important for prostate health. The vitamins and minerals found in foods like Romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, and broccoli are vital for a healthy prostate.
    • Cut back on red meat. Heavy consumption of red meat can increase your risk of prostate cancer, but eating it on special occasions only will reduce your risk.
    • Understand your risk. Talk to your doctor about your risk level; high risk groups include African Americans, those of Scandinavian descent, and people with a family history of prostate cancer.
    • Get regular exercise. Exercising for 30 minutes a day at a moderate pace can have a preventive effect on many health issues, including prostate health.
    • Drink plenty of water. The recommended amount of water for proper hydration is at least eight cups of water daily, and more if it’s hot or you’re very active.
    • Manage your stress. Long-term stress weakens the immune system and alters your hormonal balance, increasing your risk of disease. Strategies like mindfulness and meditation can help with stress management.
    • Don’t smoke. Smoking causes carbon monoxide to attack your red blood cells, increasing your risk of prostate cancer and other diseases. If you are having trouble quitting, talk to your doctor.

    Center for Vasectomy Reversal Cares About Men’s Health

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, men’s health is our priority. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their health and fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.