Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD
Dr. Dalton-Smith is a mother of two sons ages 6 and 4, an internal medicine specialist, and the author of Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves, in Anniston, AL
How many children do you have? I have two sons.
What is your specialty? Internal Medicine
What is your favorite parenting tip? Always be ready to adapt and change your strategy. It’s great to have a plan on how you want to parent, but if you see that what you’re doing is not giving you the results you want you need to be flexible enough to adapt.
What has surprised you most about parenting? I am always amazed at how different two people can be that come from the same parents. Our sons have completely different personalities. What works to discipline one may not work at all on the other. You always have to be ready to adapt and change your strategy.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? I try to keep a lot of healthy snacks at their level. Yogurt is kept on the lower self of refrigerator as well as cheese sticks. 100% fruit juices and bottled water are kept in a mini-refrigerator so the kids can open and close it as often as they like without getting in trouble. I visit the grocery often for fresh fruit and salads which keeps these items constantly within the home. Kids eat things that are familiar to them so we try to keep fruits and veggies visible within our kitchen.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? We got our boys interested in sports at a very early age. There are toddler size basketball sets, baseball sets, flag football sets, etc. As a family we introduced these sports to our sons and played them together as a family. Now that the boys are older they are very active and love playing these sports competitively.
How do you recharge your own batteries? I used to feel bad taking time for myself, but now I realize it’s an important part of maintaining a healthy family environment. As they say, “If mama’s not happy, no one’s happy.” To recharge my batteries, I spend time each day doing something I love to do. I enjoy writing, so in the evenings after I put my sons’ to bed I make time to write. Writing is an outlet for me to express myself; it helps me work through thoughts and emotions. I’ve actually written so much that I submitted some of my writing to a literary agent and got a book contract for Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the Seven Lies Women Tell Themselves.
I think it’s great for mothers to preserve a creative outlet during the early parenting years. It’s very easy to forget your own needs as you spend so much time focusing on the needs of your child. Whether it’s music, painting, poetry, writing, reading, or any number of creative options; having a way to express your individuality helps to remind you of your own needs and the importance of self-care.