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Location: Northern California

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Book Review: Good Kids, Bad Habits by Jennifer Trachtenberg, M.D.

When Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg, M.D. showed up on my doorstep, I was eager to dive into it. I wanted confirmation that I'm raising my kids the right way, that I'm instilling healthy habits in them daily, and that I'm building in them a foundation of activity and exercise they'll be able to build on throughout their teen years and long after they leave my nest.

Good Kids, Bad Habits begins with a test you can take to determine just how healthy your child's habits are. This step, identify, is the first of four steps that make up a framework for building healthy habits in kids. After you have identified which of your child's habits are healthy and which aren't, you can use the information in the book to inform, instruct, and instill. Your goal is to teach your child how to form and master good habits and how to break or avoid bad ones.

Trachtenberg will show you how to create healthy food habits, get your kid to play more than video games, encourage personal hygiene including teeth brushing and flossing, teach good homework habits, build your child's self esteem, protect your child from injuries, and keep your child healthy now and in the future.

Good Kids, Bad Habits is a wonderful reference book. When I read it, I got the confirmation I wanted that lots of what I'm doing for my kids are the right things to do, and I also got lots of good ideas for things I could be doing better. Ideally, parents would read a book like this when their child is still an infant and when most of the information in it will seem irrelevant. I believe that it's much easier to raise a child with good habits from the beginning of his life, rather than attempt at a later date to modify bad habits that have evolved over years.


Do you want my dog-eared copy of Good Kids, Bad Habits? Let me know in comments! I promise I won't judge you. The only way I could get fifteen minutes uninterrupted to write this review is if I plied my kids with cookies and Sponge Bob Squarepants. Don't tell Dr. Jen, m'kay?