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Pediatrician’s advice: How to deal with tantrums

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Pediatrician’s advice: How to deal with tantrums

Our son seems easily stressed out and has awful tantrums. What can we do to deal with this?

As a behavioral pediatrician, I have seen and heard it all. Children who have tantrums to end all tantrums in the middle of a store. Children who refuse to eat or won’t sit still at a restaurant, which quickly escalates to screaming and throwing food. Children who unbuckle themselves from car seats or kick other children at school for no apparent reason.

It can be scary, overwhelming and challenging to confess these situations out loud. Parents often feel confused, bewildered and embarrassed. “Why won’t my child listen to me? What did I do wrong? Is there something wrong with my child?”

Sometimes a child’s behavior is because of something that has been happening or has happened to the child or to someone in the family.

For children who have tantrums, it can be because they don’t yet have the words to tell you what is bothering them. Or maybe they can’t make sense of what is happening around them and the strong feelings are hard to control.

For many families, unpredictable events happen, which can be traumatic and affect how a child feels and behaves. For example, when parents make the hard decision to separate or divorce, it can be very confusing for young children. They may act out, cry or feel sad, lose developmental skills or have trouble sleeping. Some have problems concentrating and have a hard time at school.

Potentially traumatic events like these are referred to as adverse childhood experiences. They can include neglect, parental substance abuse, domestic violence or a death in the family.

Experiences of social inequities also can be traumatic and trigger toxic stress responses. Examples include living in poverty, family separation, being the target of racism or rejection because of sexual orientation or gender identity. And, certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused children many troubling losses. Our body has stress systems to protect us so that when faced with a scary situation, we are ready to run and hide. This fight-or-flight response can be triggered whenever a child is scared of any number of things such as dogs, the dark or spiders. This same system can also be turned on when a child has any adverse experience.

However, adverse childhood experiences are likely to last longer than a single moment, which causes children’s stress systems to be turned on for a long time. When this happens, the stress becomes toxic to their overall health. The more ACEs children face, the more harm they can have over time. Likewise, chronic ongoing adversity can have an equally negative effect. Adults who’ve experienced one or more ACEs as a child or are exposed to ongoing chronic social inequities over time are at higher risk of depression, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions during their lifetime.

The good news is parents can help buffer children from this stress before it becomes toxic. Providing safe, secure and nurturing relationships (sometimes called “relational health”) helps reset the body’s stress system. In addition, research suggests positive childhood experiences are just as important.

One of the most important is to spark moments of connection. This may be through shared book reading, for example, or participating in family routines and community traditions. You can also model how to accept all emotions. Relational health is key to combating adversity, and promoting skills like collaboration, connection and communication that are essential to help children develop resilience and thrive.

When parenthood gets challenging, talking with your child’s pediatrician is a great first step. Pediatricians are trained to not only monitor your child’s physical growth, but also their social-emotional health.

We want to ensure all children, and their families, have the resources and skills needed to thrive. To do that, we will always be ready to listen, without judgment and with compassion.


Dr. Nerissa S. Bauer is a behavioral pediatrician in Indianapolis and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. This column provided by Tribune News Service.

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Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter won’t seek re-election

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Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter won’t seek re-election

Longtime Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter said Wednesday that she will not seek reelection in the fall.

Carter, whose District 4 encompasses several St. Paul neighborhoods, was first elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2005 and served as its chair for the past two years. The first African American to win a county board seat in Minnesota, she is also the mother of St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III and husband of former St. Paul police Sgt. Melvin Carter Jr.

“After much deliberation, I have decided to make this year my last as County Commissioner,” Carter said in a Facebook post.

“I am particularly thankful to have served as Board Chair through a tumultuous era which has rendered county systems and services more relevant and needed than ever,” she wrote. “While punctuated by the ongoing pandemic, worldwide racial reckoning and intense social unrest, these past two years have also proven to accelerate our work of ushering forth a community-engaged framework for inclusive and equitable economic growth.”

During her time on the board, Carter helped shape the Green Line light-rail project, which runs through her district along University Avenue, seeing it as an opportunity to further revitalize the corridor.

As a member of the Metropolitan Council’s Central Corridor Management Committee, she was one of a handful of public officials who successfully advocated for the addition of light rail stops at Western Avenue, Victoria Street and Hamline Avenue, which were left out of the original plan.

Carter also serves on the Minnesota Human Services Performance Council, which is tasked with monitoring and improving delivery of state services to counties, and the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Stakeholder Committee.

In her Facebook post, Carter reflected on her tenure on the board: “The body of work we have delivered together is humbling — reducing youth detention center admissions and correctional out-of-home displacements by 85% and 74% respectively, establishing unprecedented housing supports for our lowest income residents, building Rondo Plaza, rebuilding the Dale Street bridge, and ensuring our Green Line LRT stops for all of us, all stand out as indicators of our countywide focus on equity and inclusion, and of our work to apply a community-engaged, data-driven equity lens across all county systems.”

Carter, who grew up in Cleveland, moved to Minnesota in 1971 to attend Carleton College in Northfield. She left a career as a systems engineer after 15 years at IBM in Minneapolis for a second act in public service in the early 1990s.

Before winning her seat on the County Board, she worked as a teacher at Crosswinds Middle School and was elected in 2001 to the St. Paul school board, where she also served as chair.

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Timberwolves benefited from a few missed calls late in win over Knicks, per NBA report

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Timberwolves benefited from a few missed calls late in win over Knicks, per NBA report

Timberwolves fans and players alike have felt all season as though they’ve gotten the short end of the officiating stick. The team is often on the negative side of the discrepancy.

That was not the case in their 112-110 win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday, per the NBA Officiating Last Two Minute Report. In general, the game was called tightly, with a gaudy 55 fouls called and 71 free throws attempted.

But it was three calls not made in the last two minutes of the game that the league said benefited Minnesota.

Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns should’ve been called for two separate fouls, per the report. The first came on the perimeter, where he hit Evan Fournier’s arm, causing the guard to turn the ball over.

The second came on Towns’ crucial bucket to put Minnesota in front with 29 seconds to play. That play ended with Towns converting a three-point play, but it started, the report said, with Towns grabbing Julius Randle’s arm to get past him.

The final non-call came with 22 seconds left, when Wolves guard D’Angelo Russell nearly turned the ball over in the frontcourt. The report said Russell pushed R.J. Barrett on the ensuing loose ball.

“We had some tough calls go against us,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game, “and we can’t put ourselves in a position like that where referees are a factor like that.”

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch thought the officials came into the game with the mindset of letting guys play.

“Then the physicality got up there. I thought really key was the start of the fourth,” Finch said. “We drew a bunch of fouls on them early, and that might’ve had an effect on how they guarded us the rest of the time.”

HELLO, DOMINO’S?

Immediately after Minnesota secured its win Tuesday, Towns was shown on the television broadcast standing next to his dad, while talking to someone else on the phone.

Who was on the other end of the line? It was Timberwolves’ radio play-by-play man Alan Horton. Towns was conducting his postgame interview in a less-than-conventional manner.

“I thought it was Domino’s,” Towns joked.

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AT&T and Verizon switch on a new, faster form of 5G wireless data service

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AT&T and Verizon switch on a new, faster form of 5G wireless data service

Wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon are giving their U.S. smartphone and tablet users faster Internet speeds as of this week — but not all potential Minnesota customers can avail themselves of this right away.

The companies on Wednesday flipped the switch on much-anticipated “C-band” capability, which refers to a swath of spectrum that will bring dramatically better wireless-data capabilities to millions.

This falls under the heading of “5G,” which has been around for a while. However, the service has been available in a limited form from AT&T and Verizon until now.

A “low-band” 5G variant has seen broad Minnesota deployment, but with speeds little better than traditional 4G LTE.

RELATED: Major airlines cancel, change flights to US over C-band dispute

A “high-band” 5G variant offers jaw-dropping speeds, on the other hand, but it has seen limited deployment — Verizon offers it only on a few blocks in downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis, and a few other metro nooks and crannies. Such service, technically know as millimeter wave, has trouble penetrating walls, so it’s mostly intended to be used outdoors, and it works best with a direct line of sight to a transmitter. All of this has made mmWave the brunt of jokes.

Enter C-band, which lives in the “mid-band” spectrum. It’s sometimes referred to as “goldilocks” 5G since it is about 10 times faster than LTE — think downloads of about 1 gigabit a second under ideal conditions — while working over wide areas, and in a mix of indoor and outdoor settings.

T-Mobile has offered mid-band service in the Twin Cities for a while, giving it a competitive edge. No wonder AT&T and Verizon are scrambling to activate their C-Band spectrum.

VERIZON

Verizon customers in the Twin Cities stand to benefit the most, at first.

The carrier has announced its C-band service will cover about 100 million people as of today. That is estimated to encompass about 90 percent of Verizon’s current 5G users in Minnesota and elsewhere. Verizon had not released coverage maps as of this writing, but C-band service reportedly will cover much if not all of the Twin Cities.

C-band service won’t magically appear on every local Verizon customer’s phone, however.

You need the right phone or tablet. This includes Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 smartphones as well as its 5G-capable iPad Pro and iPad mini tablets. Samsung’s S21 models along with its Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 folding phones also work, and the Google Pixel 6 line should be active soon. All new Verizon phones going forward reportedly will be C-band-compatible.

You also need the right wireless-data plan to tap into C-band service.

How can you tell the service is working on your device? Look for “5G UW” (short for Ultra Wideband) at the top of the screen.

AT&T

For Minnesota wireless customers, AT&T’s C-band news isn’t as good (at least for now).

The carrier has announced availability in limited portions of eight U.S. metro areas or state regions: Austin, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Orlando and South Florida.

There’s no word on when the Twin Cities will be added to the list. AT&T’s C-band does work at Target Center and U.S. Bank Stadium, but that might not be incentive enough for local customers to make the switch for now.

As with Verizon, you will need to be on the right phone for C-band service to work. According to Verizon, that includes Apple’s iPhone 12 and 13 models and Samsung’s S21 devices along with its Galaxy A13 5G model and its Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 foldables.

Apple’s 5G-capable iPads and Google’s Pixel 6 phones are not on the official list provided to the Pioneer Press, but a company spokesman said they appear to be compatible (a software update may be required).

As for wireless plans, AT&T says C-band is included with any that now provides 5G access at no extra charge.

How do you know the new service is working on your gadget? Look for “5G+” at the top of the screen.

T-MOBILE

For those seeking reliable and speedy service, T-Mobile remains a viable mid-band option.

The service works on spectrum other than C-band, but this is a geeky detail meaning little for average phone users who just want results — and T-Mobile has provided them for subscribers in the Twin Cities.

Users of T-Mobile’s so-called Ultra Capacity service will see “5G UC” at the top of their device screens.

HOME BROADBAND

5G availability extends to home broadband service, in some cases.

T-Mobile provides a fast form of wireless Internet service for those seeking an alternative to Comcast Xfinity, Lumen Technologies (formerly CenturyLink) and other traditional residential broadband providers. A modem-like device taps into T-Mobile’s mid-band signal and translates it into a Wi-Fi signal for use by laptops and other devices within a home.

Verizon also has played in this space — but its 5G-based home Internet service has only been available in the limited areas (such as parts of downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis) served by its high-band millimeter wave service. That changes with the deployment of C-band, which opens up the broadband service to many more Twin Cities customers.

AT&T doesn’t offer a 5G form of home broadband, but does provide such a service for businesses.

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