Thursday, October 29, 2015
Doctor's Perspective
Being a parent takes time

By Dr. Anthony Policastro Being a parent is a difficult job. There are no shortcuts. It takes time and the amount of time it takes varies with the child. While infants tend to be demanding, their needs are usually predictable. They need to be fed, changed and held. They need to sleep. They are not mobile so they do not need to be watched every minute. Once infants begin to crawl and walk, they need to be watched a little more carefully. However, they tend to not move very quickly or very far so the time spent taking care of them increases only slightly. That all changes dramatically as they begin to move around better. They start walking and want to explore. The "terrible twos" are not really terrible. They are just a period of time when parental supervision needs to be at its highest level. Unless they are asleep, 2-year-olds are exploring. They learn about new things by doing. They are also learning to speak. This is the age when we have to start teaching them correct behaviors. "No" becomes a common word. Discipline has many parts to it. It includes consistency. The child will only learn if the message is the same every time. Parents who threaten discipline over and over without actually carrying through just teaches the child that they are not serious. Another piece is how much can children process. The typical child has trouble when the number of things to work on exceeds about three in number. Often, parents will come into my office and expect their 2-year-old to sit on their lap and not move. That is not going to happen. They will tell the child to not do this or not do that. It can get very confusing when there are so many do's and don'ts. Parents often pick rewards or punishments for behavior. More often than not, the things they pick are not important to the child. They are only important to the parent. For that reason, there is no effect on behavior. Children have short memories so any type of discipline needs to be immediate. An after dinner punishment for something that happened before dinner will not register with them. Children tend to do multiple things wrong so punishments must be of short duration. Once you take away the electronic device for the night, you have nothing left for the next infraction. Thus, a 10 minute break from the device offers you a punishment with more 10 periods later in the day. All of this is complicated. It all takes time; being a parent takes time. Often, parents will come in to my office looking for medication to keep their 2-year-old from being hyperactive. All 2-year-olds are hyperactive. The only medicine they need is tincture of time from their parents. Having a child means giving up your time. That time commitment peaks between the ages of 18 months and three years of age. We cannot skip that period. We do not use medication to drug the child. We need to understand that we bought into that time commitment when we had the child in the first place.

'Coping with the Holidays' workshop Delaware Hospice will hold a one night grief support workshop on Thursday, Nov. 19 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Milton Library for individuals who have lost a loved one and are dreading the upcoming holidays. This presentation offers coping strategies for the challenges the holidays offer and suggestions for self-care. To register or to learn about other support groups at Delaware Hospice, contact Bereavement Counselor, Midge DiNatale, BA, GC-C at 856-7717, ext. 4120 or email

Diabetes Prevention Class Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a Diabetes Prevention Class at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, in the Medical Staff Conference Room. This two-session course is designed for individuals who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Utilizing resources developed by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), this course provides individuals with basic tools to help them make lifestyle changes and reduce their risk for developing diabetes. Cost is $20 per person and a physician referral is required for registration. For more information and to register, call 629-6611, ext. 2288.

Art for the Grieving Heart Any child between the ages of 6 to 17 who has experienced the recent loss of a loved one will benefit from the free workshop "Art for the Grieving Heart" on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford. Children will be able to express their feelings of grief through creative art mediums. There will be a brief discussion on the grief journey and healthy coping skills. An art teacher will demonstrate painting techniques with the supplied materials. It can be tough for grieving parents to know how to best help their children. Parents are invited to stay for a simultaneous mini-workshop to learn about children's grief and gather tips and resources on ways to support their children during a difficult family time. To register or to learn about other support groups at Delaware Hospice, contact New Hope Counselor, Robin Murphy, BS, CT at 678-4444, ext. 2135 or email

HealthVisions Delmarva receives award HealthVisions Delmarva, LLC, a partnership between Bayhealth and the Peninsula Regional Health System to improve the overall health care experience for all Delmarva residents, is one of 39 health care collaborative networks selected to participate in the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative. HealthVisions Delmarva will receive up to $1,299,206 annually for four years ($5,196,824 total award) to provide technical assistance support to equip clinicians on Delmarva with tools, information, and network support needed to improve quality of care, increase patients' access to information, and spend health care dollars more wisely. "Using this grant, HealthVisions Delmarva will engage clinicians to increase physician alignment, improve quality, and share health information technology. The network will provide participating clinicians direct technical support to make the required transformation," said Karen Poisker, MSN, MBA, vice president of Population Health at Peninsula Regional Medical Center. These awards are part of a comprehensive strategy advanced by the Affordable Care Act that enable new levels of coordination, continuity, and integration of care, while transitioning volume-driven systems to value-based, patient-centered, health care services.

Safe Sitter Class Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will host a Safe Sitter class from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, for children ages 11 to 13 who are interested in learning child care essentials and safety. The course is designed to train teenagers how to be safe baby/child sitters. Components include infant/child development and care, safety, injury prevention, first aid, accident management, rescue breathing and choking management. Cost is $35 per student, which includes the class and all materials. Advance registration is required. To register or for more information, call 629-6611, ext. 2540.

Caregiver Support Group Are you caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder? Join us at Camp Rehoboth located at 37 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, for a caregiver support group. Support groups encourage members to share information, give and receive mutual support and exchange coping skills. The groups are a great place to learn how to care for someone who has dementia. Camp Rehoboth Caregiver Support Group will meet the second Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. The first meeting will be held on Nov. 11, and is open to the public.

Dr. Kalman joins Work Injury Center Dr. Vic Kalman has joined Dr. Aaron Green and Dynamic Physical Therapy at the Work Injury Center in Seaford to provide a center focused on getting patients back to work and their daily routines. Dr. Kalman is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery. Dr. Kalman was a four year letterman at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., where he received an undergraduate degree in health and physical education. He played for and was a semi-professional national champion with the Chambersburg Cardinals in 1979. He received post-graduate certification in physical therapy at Columbia University in New York. During his fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., Dr. Kalman worked with the 1993-1994 Philadelphia Phillies under the direction of Dr. Phillip Marone. He worked with the Philadelphia Eagles during his chief year under the direction of Dr. Vince Distefano. Dr. Kalman founded the Morgan Kalman Clinic with Dr. Craig Morgan. He credits Dr. Morgan with fine tuning and advancing his arthroscopic skills during his fellowship at Thomas Jefferson. Kalman serves as team physician for local high schools and is a sports medicine consultant to the University of Delaware.

White joins Peninsula Home Care Peninsula Home Care at Nanticoke announces the addition of Beverly White to the Seaford staff. White will serve as an account manager and will be responsible for sales, marketing, branding and business growth for the company. Beverly began her career in health care in 1996. Past work experience includes working as a recreational specialist with Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md. and Sheppard Pratt Health Systems in Towson, Md. Beverly has experience in program design and facilitation, patient needs assessments and treatment planning, direct clinical care and diagnosis education. Beverly is a licensed certified therapeutic recreational specialist, has a master of science in healthcare administration and is a doctoral candidate in organizational leadership. Beverly, who lives in Laurel, enjoys supporting her daughter in community service opportunities at her school, Sussex Academy.