Bilingual Bebé

“How many words do you think he can say?”, I asked, as I do for all 2 year olds, at a recent well child visit.  The mom’s eyes gleamed proudly, “at least 50 I think” and then her face dropped, “but they’re mostly in Spanish.”

In my diverse practice well over half of the families speak a language other than English at home.  And, the above is a common scenario- apparent disappointment or shame that their young child prefers that language to English, or speaks a mixture of both.  I have made it my mission to dispute the notion that speaking two or more languages at an early age is somehow a disadvantage, and I am really happy to see so many recent studies that back me up. Continue reading

Both Sides Now

My son just turned 18 months.  Since becoming a mother, many people have asked, has it changed you as a pediatrician? Have you changed the way you practice medicine? The answer? A resounding yes!  And, the reverse is also true; being a pediatrician changes me as a mother. And, not always in the ways you might expect. I find myself searching for the balance between the textbooks I’ve read and the reality that families are living.  And, I find myself more and more with the need to write about it.  Thus, the idea for this blog was born. I am a mother to a beautiful baby boy. I am a pediatrician/child advocate. And, I will be both of these here. My vision for My Two Hats is to take hot topics in pediatrics, child health policy, and parenting and look at them from each side.  It will be part advice with a personal slant, part confession (what the science tells us versus practical reality), and hopefully part entertaining.

There are already a number of pediatricians out there writing and blogging, and there is a veritable industry of mommy blogs (check out my blogroll to see some that I think are great).  Why should you read My Two Hats?  Well, I think have a unique perspective to add.  Our family is bicultural and bilingual and I’ll definitely touch on those themes.  I am a passionate child advocate, especially for underserved kids, and will use this forum to bring their issues to the fore.

Please let me know what you think of My Two Hats!  I am always open to comments, suggestions,  and ideas for post topics.