Latchkey Children

Dear Dr. Vicki, I have two children, ages 9 and 12. I have to work and I don’t have anyone to watch them, so they come home after school and stay in until I get home. My friends think they are too young. What do you think? Dr. Vicki’s response: Latchkey decisions are tough calls. However, you are certainly not alone in your dilemma. Nearly 7 million children ages 5 to 14 were regularly... 

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Peer Triangle

Dear Dr. Vicki, My daughter and her “best friend” are once again battling over, “She said then she said and I heard you said…” There are three girls involved and this time my daughter is odd man out. It is difficult to stand by and watch. When do I or should I intervene? Should I just let it ride its course? The one girl is ALWAYS in the center of any and every conflict. Yet... 

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Don’t Forget the Hugs

January 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Child Development

“Children need to know they are loved simply for existing, not because of what they do, what grades they bring home, but just because of who they are.” Vicki Panaccione, Ph.D., child psychologist Parents spend a lot of time telling kids to clean their room, do their homework, wash the dishes, stop fighting with their siblings, brush their teeth and go to bed. When it comes to raising responsible... 

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Down With Downtime

November 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Child Development

With today’s busy mind-set, many parents are finding themselves over-whelmed with chores, errands, jobs and children. Families have too much to do, too many demands and way too much stimuli over-loading their senses. It can be so overwhelming, it’s nice to take a moment or two to do nothing. And while you’re at it, give your baby or toddler a little down time, too. Although studies say stimulation... 

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Beat Home-Sick Blahs

November 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Child Development

There’s nothing funny about having to go through a week of dealing with nature’s most common wrath…(the common cold). Especially when you don’t feel sick enough to sleep in 24/7, but not well enough to go to work or run errands. But how do you combat the boredom of being at home? Actually, there is a lot you can do. It just takes a little creativity to figure it out. “Think about doing stuff... 

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Accepting Differences in People with Disabilities

November 12, 2008 by  
Filed under Child Development

Traditionally, the media has cast people with disabilities in a very negative, almost dehumanized, stereotypical fashion. However, there is thankfully a new trend in movies, newscasts, etc. to show the disabled as being capable, competent human beings, deserving of respect, as all people do.” “It is important for parents to model respectful attitudes and behavior toward the handicapped;... 

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What’s In a Name?

October 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Child Development

These days, more parents are choosing—or at least considering—the nontraditional route when it comes to picking names for their children. “Every parent wants their child to be unique, special or distinctive,” said Vicki Panaccione, a licensed psychologist in Melbourne. “One way to do that is with a name.” Because our nation has become more diverse and is a huge melting pot,... 

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Student Obesity Screenings Create Controversy

October 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Child Development

Overweight is defined as having a body-mass index higher than 95 percent of children the same age. At-risk is defined as having a body-mass index higher than 85%. Brevard’s Health Department has decided to begin screening students, to identify at-risk children. While some schools send the (screening results) letters home with report cards or sealed in envelopes, others simply hand the students stapled... 

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Number of Overweight American Kids Skyrockets

September 5, 2008 by  
Filed under Child Development

Just as adults do, overweight children face increasing health risks not only from obesity-associated diabetes but from heart disease and some cancers. There also may be psychological problems associated with being overweight, said Vicki Panaccione, who has a doctorate in psychology and practices in Melbourne. Although in her practice, children rarely are referred solely because they’re overweight,... 

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What, Me Worry?

August 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Child Development

We all worry at times—some more than others. “Even children worry,” said Melbourne child psychologist Vicki Panaccione. If we let worry get out of hand, it leads to anxiety. And that can lead to all sorts of physical ailments. Panaccione says some people worry all the time. For them, anxiety becomes a way of life. These folks need therapy. Many people avoid treatment for anxiety disorders... 

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