Questions From Readers

Print this page Bookmark and Share

By Gregory Ramey, PhD, child psychologist at Dayton Children's and Dayton Daily News columnist

Edition: May 15, 2011 | Topic: Questions from readers

My 3-year-old daughter is the reason for the constant fighting between me and my husband. We have totally different views about parenting. He thinks I am too easy on her, and I find his approach harsh and even cruel at times. Weíve worked out this deal. When I take care of her (which is most of the time), I do things my way. When he is responsible, she follows his rules. This has stopped some of arguing, but I still donít like the way he disciplines her.

Your daughter is not the problem. She is the symptom of other issues between you and your husband. This arrangement is bad for your daughter and for your marriage. This has got to be a terribly confusing home for your daughter. How can she learn what is acceptable if the expectations are constantly changing depending upon who is taking care of her? Iím also concerned by your comment that your husbandís discipline can be cruel. Is this really a good environment for your child? You need to seek professional help, not for your child but for you and your spouse. If your husband refuses, please go on your own.

I know this is a really dumb question but would you please answer it anyway? I am hearing constantly about autism and I wonder if this is something you can get by being around other kids. I am worried about my son.

Autism is a serious developmental and neurological disorder that exists from birth. You cannot get it from certain types of foods, vaccinations or other people. Please speak with your childís doctor if you have any concerns about your child.

I know that my 16 year-old son smokes, as does his dad. Iíve tried everything to get my son to stop, but he refuses. Rather than sneaking behind my back to smoke, he wants to smoke in the
house. He argues that if his dad can smoke inside, why canít he do the same thing? I kind of see his point, and donít really know what to say.

In your house, your son should be expected to follow your rules. You canít control your husband who is an adult, but you have every right to set expectations for your son, who is still a minor. Tell him that because smoking causes cancer and other serious problems, you love him too much to let him do such a dangerous behavior in front of you. Tell him you also donít want to inhale his secondhand smoke, and thereby increase your likelihood of getting lung cancer because
of his bad habit.Smoking is a very difficult habit to stop. Do whatever you can to help your son stop smoking. I suspect his dad may be very influential, so a team effort by both of them may be most apt to succeed.

PDF Version

Dr. Ramey Gregory Ramey, PhD, is a child psychologist and vice president for outpatient services at The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. For more of his columns, visit and join Dr. Ramey on facebook at

©2010 The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. Columns may be reproduced with the permission of Dayton Children's.


Visit our blog!

Visit the Dr. Mom Squad blog to join in the conversation with our experts! You will hear from four local women who have two big things in common; they are all doctors and they are all moms! Hear what they have to say on the latest kids health issues and learn tips on how you can help keep your kids stay healthy and safe!


  • Hand washing Know how to best clean your hands to prevent the cold and flu!
  • Sleep Make sure your child is getting enough sleep.
  • Green cleaning Do you know how to reduce allergy and asthma triggers by cleaning green?
  • Heat related illness Make sure your young athlete avoids the dangers of heat!

Free parenting enewsletter

Finding trusted child health and safety information doesn't have to be hard. eGrowing Together offers the latest health, safety and parenting information from our experts delivered to your inbox every month.

Sign up now!

Stay Connected

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Visit Our Blog Youtube Caring Bridge

Upcoming Events

Free bike helmets will be given out as part of the Monroe Bike Rodeo this year.

The 1st Annual Logan X. Hess Stop Child Abuse Poker Run and Car Show will take place August 3. The ride begins at the Piqua American Legion and ends at Edison Community College. The car show will be at Edison Community College.

West Carrollton Police will be on hand to insure proper fit for all bike helmets.

Sample the distinctive flavors of the many cultures of Old North Dayton while enjoying entertainment, children's activities and a bicycle decoration competition for ages 9-16. All bike entries MUST be registered with the Dayton Police in advance at or at the Festival at 5:30 PM.

View full event calendarView full event calendar

Health and Safety

Your child's health and safety is our top priority


The Children's Medical Center of Dayton Dayton Children's
The Right Care for the Right Reasons

One Children's Plaza - Dayton, Ohio - 45404-1815