December 16, 2019

 It is very exciting to think of all the things that will come to pass in 2020 for our collective learning and health outcomes. Last year, I promised a new updated story on cardiovascular disease and risk all the way back to childhood. Alas, it did not get finished in time. Too many other projects got in the way and 2020 will be the year of the CVD risk discussion. The multi article discussion is being looked at by a few brilliant cardiology friends for completeness and correctness.

This year, I hope to tackle autoimmune disease, allergic disease and metabolism further and deeper as the research keeps mounting.

I am in the midst of a multi year study of all things immunology and metabolism. This field of learning is exploding with actionable data for all Americans. Ultimately, if we can navigate these three worlds effectively, we can stop, prevent or at least reverse many, if not most, of the diseases of chronicity and aging.

Year 10, I want to start with a few important parenting tips as I truly believe that if we all parented to the best of our ability, we would have much less dysfunction in the world today. These thoughts are the culmination of 10 years of newsletter thoughts.

1) Try very hard not to complete a child's task or their sentence or their thought or much of anything. Be there to watch and offer support. The struggle is the key to growth. Modern parenting is rife with over indulgence and over protection and generally over everything. The obstacle is the way!

2) Teach before being punitive if at all possible (not always possible). It is easy to say no, but first explain the why, offer options and then say no if you have to. Take video games for example. Most boys are over doing the time spent playing. Tell them the house rules of 1-2 hours max, on weekends only and when all other tasks are completed. If the rules are not complied with the first time reeducate. Failure again is a second warning. Third time is a break from gaming until understanding kicks in. The NO is a late finding after choice and decision making fails. Restart the process. The goal is self restriction and self control.

3) Surround them with 5 adults that are great role models of temperance, studiousness, athleticism/health, moral code and love.

4) Praise the process and rarely the outcome. This will make failure less painful as it is clearly just a stepping stone in the event. My kids are keenly aware that I care much more about the work and process than the outcome. The wins will come in time.

5) Model and offer relaxation and downtime amidst the toil of day to day activity. Meditation and prayer are daily events if you want to ward off stress and anxiety.

6) Stop fighting their battles! They can do it if they know you are there with supporting love. They will have battles until the end of time. You will not always be there to protect, shield and win. They are really ready to go and do it even if it hurts a little. Friendships especially need to be nurtured without parent involvement. Just offer advice and love.

7) Be ultra careful of screen time as it is dominating and disturbing all of western human existence. Model quality time together as much as possible. Verbal and present communication is critical to social growth.

8) Model healthy eating, activity and indulgence control. Cheating on diets in a 90/10 pattern shows humanity but also a greater understanding of human decay when diets are of poor quality.

9) Challenge the poles of acute stress for the body. Cold versus hot temperatures. Well fed or fasted. Hike in the rain as well as the sun. Show them that all things are sustainable given the right mindset and preparation.

10) Read frequently in front of them and with them. Education has always been and will always be the route to upward social mobility and a quality life.

Looking forward to year 10!

Dr. M