Susan Schreiber, MD
How many children do you have? I have a son and a daughter, both in their twenties.
What’s your specialty? I’m a pediatrician
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Use common sense. Don’t listen to everything everyone else tells you. People are always giving advice, and everyone has a horror story to share. Just because something worked for someone doesn’t mean it will work for you.
What has surprised you most about parenting? Nothing can prepare you for how much your life will change when you have kids.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? Make it fun! For example, cut up vegetables into different sizes and shapes and make “faces” on sandwiches with cut outs or drawing with mustard.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? Exercise has to be a family affair when kids are younger. It’s good for the parents, too. Once the children hit ages 5 or 6, you have lots more options. Team sports are great if they like soccer or t-ball. they seem to be the most popular. Besides offering exercise, team sports teach sportsmanship. You could also try individual sports; swimming is one of the best all-around sports. Also consider karate, tennis, or dance. (Yes dance is a sport.) If not, be creative. What little boy wouldn’t want to be a “pirate” and learn how to fence? But don’t over-schedule your kids. They need time to relax, too.
How do you recharge your batteries? There’s so much noise in my work life that when I get home I like it to be quiet. Often I come home and just sit and look out the window for 20 minutes. It’s a form of meditation for me.
The biggest way I recharge is taking vacations to the ocean. Each year we took our kids on a beach or cruise vacation. When my kids were young, I bought a red bag and I’d stash age-appropriate toys and snacks in it for the trip to keep them occupied on the plane. Over the years, the red bag has become a symbol of our family vacations. The buzz about the red bag would begin many months before the trip as my family speculated as to what was in it. What’s in the red bag? Years later, even though my kids are grown and living on their own, I still can’t part with that red bag. Plus, I still need my annual vacation. It’s one of my favorite things to do.