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Positive Parenting & COVID-19:

10 Tips to Help Keep the Calm at Home

​Calmly teaching your child good behavior can become more difficult, though no less important, during stressful times. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers these tips for families facing long periods of time isolated at home during the COVID-19​ outbreak.

With schools closing and many parents working at home or facing job uncertainty, it's more important than ever to use positive parenting and healthy approaches to discipline. Some examples:

1. Prevent boredom. Bored or frustrated children are more likely to act out. Many U.S. children have had their lives disrupted--they are out of school, and they can't play with their friends. Try to keep kids busy with a healthy and productive schedule at home.

2. Address fears. Children who are ​old enough to follow the news may be afraid, for example, that they or their parents are going to die. The medical research about COVID-19 shows that healthy people under 60 are unlikely to get very sick or die. Talk with children about any frightening news they hear.

3. Use time-outs. This discipline tool works best by warning children they will get a time-out if they don't stop. Remind them what they did wrong in as few words―and with as little emotion―as possible. Then, remove them from the situation for a pre-set length of time (1 minute per year of age is a good guide).

4. Redirect bad behavior. Sometimes children misbehave because they don't know any better and need some guidance. Find something else for your child to do.

5. Know when not to respond. As long as your child isn't doing something dangerous and gets plenty of attention for good behavior, ignoring bad behavior can be an effective way of stopping it. Ignoring bad behavior also can teach children natural consequences of their actions. For example, if your child keeps dropping food on purpose, there will be nothing left to eat.

6. Praise success. Children need to know when they do something bad—and when they do something good. Notice good behavior and point it out, praising success and good tries. This is particularly important in these difficult times, when children are separated from their friends and usual routines.

7. Allow time for attention. The most powerful tool for effective discipline is attention—to reinforce good behaviors and discourage others. When parents are trying to work at home with children who are out of school or child care, this can be tough. Clear communication and setting up expectations, particularly with older children, can help with this.

8. Avoid physical punishment. The Academy reminds parents that spanking, hitting, and other forms of physical or “corporal" punishment risks injury and isn't effective. Physical punishment can increase aggression in children long-term, and fails to teach children to behave or practice self-control. In fact, research shows it may harm the child and inhibit normal brain development. Corporal punishment may take away a child's sense of of safety and security at home, which are especially needed now.​​​

9. Take care of yourself. Caregivers also should be sure to take care of themselves physically: eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep. Find ways to decompress and take breaks. If more than one parent is home, take turns watching the children if possible.

10. Remember to take a breath. In addition to reaching out to others for help, the AAP recommends parents feeling overwhelmed or especially stressed try to take just a few seconds to ask themselves:

  • Does the problem represent an immediate danger?

  • How will I feel about this problem tomorrow?

  • Is this situation permanent?

In many cases, the answers will deflate the panic and the impulse to lash out physically or verbally at children.

When and How to Wash Your Hands

As recommended by CDC guidelines

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.

Wash Your Hands Often to Stay Healthy

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food

  • Before eating food

  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea

  • Before and after treating a cut or wound

  • After using the toilet

  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste

  • After handling pet food or pet treats

  • After touching garbage

Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.

Follow these five steps every time.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,

  • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.

  • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

  • Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.

How to use hand sanitizer

  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).

  • Rub your hands together.

  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.

Patient Web Portal

Please use the following link to access Carmel Pediatrics Patient Web Portal. Through this portal, families can

  • Review your child's medical information

  • Communicate with Dr. Dickinson

  • Keep track of your child's prescriptions, vaccines, and referrals 

  • Receive updates on lab and x-ray results

  • Pay outstanding balances

Patient Safety Information

Medicine Information: 

For advice about medicine side effects, call your primary doctor. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088.

Call 911 for All Emergencies 

Quit Smoking or Tobacco Use 

For more information, call 1-800-784-8669

Poison Control Center 

A poison can be anything if it is used in the wrong way, amount, or by the wrong person. Poisons can include household cleaning products, plants, and medicines. Snake and spider bites are also poisons. Nurses, pharmacists, or doctors answer your questions. For help, call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222

Postpartum Support International Help Line 1-800-944-4773 


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 


National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE 


National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888 


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 1-800-662-HELP (4357) 

Community breastfeeding support

Queen City Cocoa BEANS 


Breastfeeding, Education, Advocacy, Normalcy, and Support for families. 

Meets last Monday of the month at 6:30-7:30pm 

Baby + Co

131 Providence Rd 28207

Meets last Wednesday of the month at 5:30-6:30pm 

Union County Department 

2330 Concord Ave 28110 

WIC - Women, Infants, Children Supplemental Nutrition 

USDA supplemental nutrition, peer counselor support, classes. 

Cabarrus Co 704-920-1204 

Iredell Co 704-878-5319 (Statesville) 704-664-4635 (Mooresville) 

Lincoln Co 704-732-9371 

Meck CO 704-336-6500 (appointments) 704-336-6464 (peer counselors) 

Union Co 704-296-4800 

La Leche League

1-877-452-5324 Mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, education. Meeting times and locations vary. 

Normalize Breastfeeding

Social media, support, meet ups, advocacy. 

Breastfeeding USA

Mother-to-mother support through email, phone, text. 

Charlotte Moms of Multiples

Charlotte Multiples


Reach Out & Read

Supporting Literacy in the Carolinas

Carmel Pediatrics is a proud supporter of the Reach Out & Read mission encouraging families to read together, giving children a foundation for future success. Reach Out & Read has been active in the Carolina community for over 20 years. To learn more about their fantastic work, please visit their website at


Kids in Parks

Promoting an Active Lifestyle

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Blue Ridge Parkway, and BlueCross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation partnered to form the Kids in Parks program in an effort to get kids and families "un-plugged", outdoors and reconnected to nature for both their health and the health of our parks and public lands. 

Find out more at

Patient Education Resources

Healthy Choices, Happy Life

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