Welcome to the ProSquad! We check in regularly with our team of experts to get answers to parenting's trickiest dilemmas and hottest issues. Today, our experts are giving information about good posture in children, and answering a question about domestic vs. international adoptions.


My 5-year-old son has terrible posture. He always slumps when standing or sitting and his shoulders are very rounded. I'm constantly telling him to stand up straight, but that doesn't seem to help. What should I do?

Good posture is very important to spinal health and it provides a solid foundation for the fine motor skills that are used so often during school tasks, such as handwriting and cutting. Poor posture can be the result of constant slouching, and less frequently, bad posture may be caused by something more serious, such as scoliosis.

First of all, please consult your child's pediatrician to rule out scoliosis. If scoliosis is not present, then I would recommend having your son start a simple exercise program.

For good posture, your son needs to have strong trunk, shoulder, back, and neck muscles. Weakness in these areas sometimes begins in infancy, when a baby resists tummy time or doesn't spend much time crawling. That's because tummy time and crawling play a big role in strengthening the muscles that lay the foundation for postural control. Fortunately, there are activities and exercises that your son can carry out that will strengthen his muscles and improve his posture. For the best results, have your son carry out several of these activities at least 3 days each week.

Crab Walk

Have your son sit on the floor. Then, he should place his hands on the floor behind him, lift his bottom off of the floor by pushing up, and propel himself around the room like a crab.

Wheelbarrow Walks

While holding your son at the knees or the ankles, propel him forward (holding his ankles/legs) like a wheelbarrow, as he walks on his hands.

Squat to Stand

Have your child stand up from a squatting position with arms outstretched, keeping his heels on the floor. Repeat several times.


Have him lie on his stomach and lift his head, arms and legs. Encourage him to hold the position for 10 to 15 seconds.

Ball Toss

Have your son lie on his stomach on a pillow or over an ottoman. Have him pick up a ball and toss it into an empty box or garbage can. Repeat several times.


Developmental Pro, Anne Zachry

Anne Zachry, Ph.D. is a pediatric occupational therapist, child development specialist and mother of three. She's had articles published on Parenthood.com, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine online, has written a parenting course for Daily OM, and writes for a variety of regional parenting magazines.

Dr. Zachry's research has been published in national peer-reviewed journals, including The Southern Medical Journal, The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, and The Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, and she's had articles published in her profession's trade magazines, Advance and OT Practice. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, and she has also given numerous presentations to parents and teachers on a variety of topics related to infant and childhood development.

Her websites are Dr. Anne Zachry and Pediatric Occupational Therapy Tips.


Why do so many American families choose foreign adoptions instead of adopting children in the United States?

Actually, while it might appear to be the case, international adoptions (the adoption of children from outside the United States) have decreased significantly since peaking in 2004 and 2005 (22,000 adoptions each year)

The 2009 fiscal year figures (ending in September), estimated by the number of orphan visas issued and reported by The State Department dropped to 12,700. The numbers of children adopted domestically (the adoption of children who reside in the U.S.) has not been consistently reported since 1992.

The decision to adopt is very personal and the process is emotionally taxing. There are a number of factors that people consider when deciding between domestic and international adoption, among them fees, processes, travel, waiting times, available children, legal concerns, availability of medical and social information, and the desire to add cultural, ethnic, and racial diversity to their family.


Adoption Pro, Judy M. MIller

Judy M. Miller, MA, author of What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween, is an adoptive parent and adoption advocate living in the Midwest with her husband and four children. She is the Adoption Education Coordinator and Support Specialist for MLJ Adoptions, Inc.

Judy has appeared on MomTV's Adoption Angles and TogiNet's Adoption ~ Journey to Motherhood. Judy spoke at the Parenting Summit in March 2011 and presented at the Symposium 2011 Opening Adoption: Realities, Possibilities, and Challenges in Richmond, VA and the Crossroads of America Adoption Conference in Indianapolis, IN last fall.

Judy's essays and articles appear in adoption and parenting magazines and in A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families (Adams Media), Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? (EMK Press), and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom (Chicken Soup for the Soul).