Thursday, March 25, 2010
Kids learn from parents behavior

By Anthony Policastro

Children look to their parents for acceptable behavior. Sometimes parents do not understand that children do what they see more than they do what they are told. A classic example is how some parents teach their children not to bite others. They mistakenly think they should bite the child back to teach the child that biting hurts. In actuality, all this teaches the child is that adults bite so I should bite too. The same kind of thing occurs with the use of profanity. Children will say words that they have heard. They will also use them in context. Thus, if a parent uses profanity when they are frustrated so will the child. One of the things that I frequently deal with in the office is temper tantrums. Many parents do not understand why their child will scream and pitch a fit when they do not get their way. What parents sometimes do not realize is how they react to these tantrums. Some of them will scream and yell at the child. They think that screaming and yelling might get the child to stop. In fact, what it teaches the child is that screaming and yelling are acceptable adult behaviors. That means that having a tantrum and screaming and yelling must be okay. They are just doing what their parents show them they should do. A similar thing occurs if children observe their parents arguing a lot. They then think that arguing is normal and will begin to argue as well. They might argue with siblings or their parents. This is learned behavior. Parents who choose to use corporal punishment may find that their children will start hitting others. They are only mimicking their parents' behavior. There is a lesson in all this. There are many children's behaviors that parents do not like. When a child has those behaviors, the first question to ask is where they learned the behavior. A parent who tries to teach a child not to behave a certain way will not succeed if the child keeps seeing their parents behaving in a similar fashion. The first thing that needs to happen is that the parent must change his/her behavior. Once that happens, they might have more success getting the child to change. When we hear things like, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree," or "Like father like son," there is often more truth to these sayings than we might imagine.

Use of 'spice' gaining popularity Following the hospitalization of three people from Seaford recently, officials with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services warn the use of "Spice" could pose a serious danger to those who use it. "Spice," also known by various other names including "K2," "K2 Spice," "K2 Summit," "Genie," and "Zohai," is an unregulated mixture of dried herbs that are sprayed with a synthetic cannabinoid-like substance and typically sold as incense. "The mixture is sold in small packets at a cost similar to the street price of marijuana," said Kevin Huckshorn, director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. "It's gaining popularity probably because it's legal and difficult to detect in drug tests, but its use can result in serious health problems." Signs and symptoms of "Spice" use reported to The Poison Center have included elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, pallor, numbness and tingling, vomiting, severe agitation, intense hallucinations, and, in some cases, tremors and seizures. Warning signs include the smell of spicy incense, elevated vital signs (increase in pulse, respiration, blood pressure) and hyperactivity. If you suspect someone you know has used "Spice," contact the local Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. The Poison Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free of charge.

Family caregiver training The Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter sponsors The Family Caregiver Education Series four times a year in each of Delaware's three counties. Brandywine Assisted Living at Fenwick Island located at 21111 Arrington Drive near Selbyville will host the training on Thursday, April 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Training for family caregivers is free and lunch will be provided by Brandywine Assisted Living at Fenwick Island. Pre-registration is required by April 2. For more information or to register, call Jamie Magee, branch office coordinator, at 854-9788.

Auxiliary donates dialysis machine Thanks to a donation from the Milford Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, critically ill patients will receive additional lifesaving care in Milford Memorial Hospital's Dialysis Department. The Auxiliary recently donated a Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) machine, which provides continuous dialysis to critically ill patients. The CRRT supports the kidney function of patients with renal failure and has proven to be more effective than traditional dialysis for critically ill patients. Funds for the $28,000 CRRT machine were raised from the proceeds of the 52nd Annual Milford Memorial Hospital Fair in 2009, as well as from other Auxiliary events. The 53rd Annual Milford Memorial Hospital Fair will be held Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15, at Milford Middle School. Proceeds from the 2010 Hospital Fair will benefit Emergency & Trauma Services at Milford Memorial Hospital.

5K benefits Breast Cancer Coalition The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition announces its First Annual DE-Feet Breast Cancer 5K Run/1M Walk sponsored by Tanger Outlets will take place on Sunday, May 2, at 9 a.m. The 3.1 mile course will begin and end at Applebees restaurant at Tanger Outlet Center, Rehoboth Beach. The family event is open to runners and walkers of all ages. All proceeds from Tanger's DE-Feet Breast Cancer 5K/1M will benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC). On the heels of a very successful Pink Card campaign in which Tanger Outlets raised more than $90,000 for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition last October, Tanger's general manager Amy Norgate eagerly stepped up to sponsor DBCC's 5K event. Advanced registration, which is recommended, is $20/person. On-site registration is $25/person, beginning at 7:30 a.m. on race day; and the first 100 people registered receive a long-sleeve T-shirt. There's even a "Sleepwalkers" category for those who are unable to attend but want to show their support. Sleepwalkers simply register for $20, check the "Sleepwalker" category and then sleep in on Sunday. To register, visit or

Seeley named PCU director Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Robert Seeley, RN, BSN, to the position of Progressive Care Unit (PCU) director. In this position, Seeley is accountable for planning, organizing, staffing and directing theProgressive Care Unit in collaboration with physicians and other health care providers. He will be working with leadership and staff to help maximize patient services/outcomes, and improve service. Seeley has a bachelor of science in nursing from Delaware State University and comes to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital with over 12 years of nursing experience in a combination of intensive care,

radiological, medical surgical and cardiac catheterization lab nursing. He has certifications in the American Radiology Nursing Association, Trauma Emergency Nursing, Advance Cardiac Life Support and Basic Life Support.

Reduce the risk of falling The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Sussex County will offer a free eight week course emphasizing practical strategies to reduce the risk of falling and increase activity levels. Classes will be held in the Fellowship Hall of Methodist Manor House, 1001 Middleford Road, Seaford, once a week for eight weeks from 10 a.m. to noon. The classes start Monday, March 29, and continue through Monday, May 17. The program is based on "Fear of Falling: A Matter of Balance" developed at Boston University. RSVP volunteers have been trained to teach the classes with the help of Methodist Manor House staff, including a physical therapist. Anyone who has fallen in the past or who is concerned about falls; anyone interested in improving balance, flexibility and strength; and anyone who has restricted activities because of falling concerns should attend. For more information or to register, call RSVP at 856-5815.

Hospice plans fundraiser Delaware Hospice's Beef and Brew fundraiser will be held on Friday, April 16, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Georgetown CHEER Center. Tickets are $30 per person through Monday, April 12, and $35 per person after April 12 or at the door. Beef and sides will be catered by the Georgia House and beer sponsored by Banks Wines & Spirits and the Starboard. The evening will include raffles, a silent auction and dancing with "The Funsters." Delaware Hospice invites you to participate through sponsorships or donations of auction items. Call Peggy Dolby, 856-7717, or Mary Morgan, 800-838-9800, for tickets or sponsorship information.

Registration open for Walk MS Registration is now open for this year's Walk MS season in Delaware. Organized by the Delaware Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the goal is to raise awareness and funds for the programs and services needed by more than 1,500 Delawareans with MS and their families. Each of the five events takes place on an accessible 5K route, and plenty of support is available as well as the opportunity for lots of fun with family and friends. Two events take place in Sussex County:
  • Walk MS: Twilight at Heritage Shores steps off at Providence At Heritage Shores, One Heritage Shores Circle in Bridgeville, on Friday, April 30, at 6 p.m.
  • Walk MS: Twilight at Baywood Greens steps off at the Baywood Greens Golf Course, 32267 Clubhouse Way in Long Neck, on Friday, May 21, at 6 p.m.
Day-of registration begins one hour before the event, but advanced registration is recommended. For more information or to register, call 302-655-5610 or visit

Cancer support group The Wellness Community-Delaware offers a free general cancer support group for people affected by cancer and their loved ones at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. The monthly support group meets in the second floor conference room of the Cancer Care Center on the third Monday of each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The Wellness Community is dedicated to helping people affected by cancer enhance their health and well-being through participation in a professional program of emotional support and hope. All facilitators of these groups are trained mental health professionals. Call 645-9150 for information or to register.

Man to Man support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers a Man to Man support group meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Man to Man helps men cope with prostate cancer by receiving information and peer support. Man to Man is a forum for men and their support network to learn about diagnosis and treatment options through presentations, written materials and videos. Specialists share information such as side effects and how to cope with prostate cancer and its treatment. News and information about nutrition, general health, research and treatment, as well as messages from men living with prostate cancer and other Man to Man activities, are offered to assist in the recovery process. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Larry Skala (337-3678) or Grafton Adams (628-8311).

Depression Support Group There is a free bimonthly Depression Support Group meeting in Laurel on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Any person who has signs and symptoms of depression and is under the care of a professional counselor/MD is welcome to attend. To register, call 302-465-6612.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. The program is facilitated by Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center professional staff - Terri A. Clifton, MS, NCC, Cancer Care coordinator; Mary Brown, RN, DSN, manager Cancer Care Center; and Wendy Polk, nutritionist - with assistance from Lois Wilkinson, DBCC special projects manager, who helps facilitate the program at Bayhealth. Together, they answer questions, help calm fears, and share information about resources that are available at Nanticoke, through DBCC, and other organizations within the local community. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Bereavement support group Compassionate Care Hospice, The Wellness Community-DE and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will collaborate to present a monthly bereavement group, The Next Step. The group focuses on issues of loss that continue beyond the early stages of grief. Mary Van House, bereavement coordinator, will facilitate the group at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, at the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center, second floor conference room. To register, call Lisa at 629-6611, ext. 2378.