Wei-Shin Lai, MD
Dr. Lai is a mom of a two-year-old son, the inventor of SleepPhones and CEO of AcousticSheep, LLC, and a physician at Penn State University’s Student Health Center, in University Park, PA
What’s your favorite parenting tip? If something is not an option, we “frame” the circumstance as a different choice. For example, we will don’t ask our son, “Can you wear your seatbelt?” Instead, we might say, “After you put on your seatbelt, do you want your truck or your train?” Basically, we don’t give him the opportunity to refuse something that he must do.
What has surprised you most about parenting? Everyone has a self-righteous opinion on parenting, and for some people, it can be as divisive as politics and religion. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I have our quirks too, but before becoming a parent, we didn’t realize how much of our time would be spent analyzing a particular parenting technique just like we used to discuss politics.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? I know that our baby’s usually very hungry when he wakes up from his afternoon nap. That’s when I prepare vegetables and healthy foods. Because he’s hungry, he will eat everything he sees. We have not allowed him eat anything with added sugar, so he’s never had candy, ice cream, or even chocolate milk. He doesn’t ask for unhealthy foods, and raisins and applesauce are sweet enough for him.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of Pennsylvania with plenty of hiking trails. We go as a family at least once a week on a walk/hike somewhere. My baby and I take a weekly swimming lesson, and I lap swim a few times a week.
How do you recharge your batteries? We have a wonderful babysitter who loves to watch our baby. She comes over a few days a week so that I can work or relax. It’s definitely worth it to preserve my patience and sanity.