A semi-educated person with common sense should already realize this fact. And the people who don’t realize this fact are not the people who are reading the newspaper. So I find this article a waste and an insult to us folks who purchase your newspaper.

I want good articles with information on subjects with rare and interesting study data, pertinent to new issues troubling our world. I also want articles and research into the tragic and devastating results of our modern parenting skills, which have caused a long list of childhood malfunctions.

Parents need to be in control, stay in control and raise their children to be great citizens and good people. It all starts here. No one else or anything else is to blame. Thank you for your time. – K.L. from Buffalo

Dear K.L.: Great comments. Great thoughts. Let me address each one individually. It’s a good exercise in the art of medicine.

First off, you diminish the effect that information has on people. You may think the idea of screen time relating to obesity is obvious to all and that anyone who doesn’t understand this is a nit-wit. But I disagree. I talk to people every day in my office about things that are obvious to me but are not obvious to them. Sometimes people need a story, a list, a bit more detail to nudge them along to action.

What, by the way, does semi-educated mean? Sounds arrogant. It implies that highly educated people, those with an advanced degree like an M.D. or Ph.D always do the right thing. But that ain’t the case.

Let’s take one example. You go to the doctor and you’re given a prescription for an antibiotic to take for 10 days. Many people stop taking it as soon as they feel better. Education plays no role at all in this lack of compliance.

Don’t get me wrong. Education plays a role in our health in so many ways, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. Motivation and action do.

When it comes to pulling the plug on the TV and social media and kicking the kids outside so they can run and play, it’s a problem for all parents. I spend so much time writing this stuff to help educate and point people in the right direction.

Now on to your second comment regarding “modern parenting skills.” This sort of criticism isn’t new at all. It’s ancient.

The Greek philosopher Socrates had opinions such as: Children love luxury. They have bad manners. They have contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders. They lack respect. They don’t stand up when elders enter the room. They are tyrants to their teachers. They would rather talk among themselves than exercise.

Hmm. Sounds modern, doesn’t it?

I agree with you that good citizens – which I consider to be good parents, too – take responsibility for their actions. We are the most important influence on our children’s development, on their journey into adulthood. My wife, Penny, and I knew that was our primary job.

A wise friend once said to us, “Education begins at home and ends at home. School is in the middle.” They were so right on. Stay well.

This column provides general health information and is not specific advice intended for particular individual(s). It is not a professional medical opinion or diagnosis. Always consult your personal health care provider about concerns. No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Paster to people submitting questions.

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