Eva Ritvo, MD
Eva Ritvo, MD, is a mom of 21- and 16-year-old daughters, a psychiatrist in Miami, FL, and coauthor of The Beauty Prescription.
How many children do you have? I have two girls. My 18-year-old has cerebral palsy, and my 14-year-old has dyslexia so I have faced many challenges as a parent.
What’s your specialty? I am a psychiatrist.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Let your faith outweigh your fear. Also: Remember to love your child. You are blessed to be able to be a parent. Not everyone has that chance in life.
What has surprised you most about parenting? How easy it is to love someone over time. Also, that they all come with such different personalities. You have to respect each child’s differences, wants, and desires. For example, my older daughter was never shy, but my second daughter went through a time when she was very shy. My husband’s family tends to be very loud, and at family functions that they thought I was a bad mother because my baby clung to me and wouldn’t go to anyone else. I didn’t see it as a problem, merely as how she was. Now she’s 14 and anything but shy. I believe that all children are gifted and one of a parent’s jobs is to figure out what the child is gifted in. You have to expose them to different things to discover what appeals to them.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? I keep junk food out of the house so they have no choice but to eat healthy if they are hungry. I think it’s important to control their eating when they are young so they don’t even know about bad foods for as long as possible. I also model healthy eating, and I stress that what you eat is important because taking care of your body is important.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? I have a trainer come to the house or work out at home so I am home with the kids if they need anything. I play tennis early in the morning on weekends and let the kids sleep in.
Interestingly, I’m very athletic and committed to sports. But I had the hardest time getting my younger child to exercise. My older daughter has cerebral palsy, and she will try anything. But my younger daughter is very independent. Finally she picked soccer.
How do you recharge your batteries? I recharge by spending time with friends and exercising.