Amy Thompson, MD
Dr. Thompson is a mom of six- and four-, and two-year-old sons and an ob-gyn at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, in Cincinnati, OH.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Make dinnertime fun. One time, our dining room was being remodeled, and we hadn’t had a family dinner at the table in a little while. My older son asked, “Mom, when are we going to eat dinner again?” So I pulled out a tablecloth and we made a picnic on the floor. He loved it!
What has surprised you most about parenting? The expression “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” really holds true for children. You have to pick your battles and decide what is really important for them to do and give them choices as much as possible. For example, I’ll tell my son, you can wear this pair of pajamas, or this pair, which do you want? That way he gets to choose, but I still get him to put on pajamas.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? That is a big challenge for us. I try to make dinnertime fun. We pretend peas are rubber balls, and if you eat them, you’ll bounce higher. We call broccoli “trees,” and dinosaurs ate trees, so we all pretend to be dinosaurs and eat our trees. I’m pretty successful in getting them to eat whole grain pasta, whole grain gold fish, and lots of cheese.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? We belong to a sports club with great child care and a child care program. The child care is included in our membership, and when we priced it out that was actually cheaper than another club where we would have had to pay extra for a babysitter.
How do you recharge your batteries? I read, but I don’t get much time to do it. I have started jogging in the last 4 months and I haven’t run this much since the middle school track team! I knew I had put on weight and lost muscle tone with studying so much in school and then having three children. I realized I have to do something for my health so that I can be around for my children plus it sends a message to them that exercise is important. I always used to feel guilty exercising and taking time away from my children and husband to do this. But now I make it a priority becuase in the long run it will keep me healthier so I can be around longer and part of their lives.