Chaya Weiner
Sep 10 · 13 min read

From the start of a child’s life, the mother is the most important figure of attachment. The relationship between a parent and child is a vital part of their physical and emotional development. When parents are not around or don’t spend time with kids it can lead to poor emotional development and behaviors. These negative feelings for the child include depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, worthlessness or even anger. The absence of parents can also lead to problems with social relationships due to trust issues. They may lack significant relationships because they have not learned proper social skills, or they may develop dependency on people who show them any attention — positive or negative. Emotional imbalances can frequently lead to physical health issues including loss of appetite and other health problems. It is important to give your child attention whenever possible. The quality of time shared together is more important than the quantity of time spent together.

I had the pleasure to interview Dr. CharlRe’ Slaughter-Atiemo, a practicing Pediatrician and is founder and CEO of the company CayTer 2 You Baby. She is a native of Atlanta, GA where she was born and completed her primary education. She earned her Bachelor of Science at Cornell University where she was a double major in Human Biology and Human Development. After graduating cum laude from Morehouse School of Medicine with her Doctor of Medicine, she pursued a career in Pediatrics due to her love of children and advocacy. She went on to complete her Pediatric Internship and Residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia PA. Dr. Slaughter-Atiemo has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Otis W. Smith, MD Excellence in Pediatrics award and membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society. She is board certified in Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has provided pediatric care in an array of health settings including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) for underserved communities, community pediatric practices and the pediatric emergency room. She currently provides comprehensive pediatric care in the Washington DC metropolitan area. In 2013, Dr. Slaughter-Atiemo started her company CayTer 2 You Baby — a convenience service for families traveling with small children which includes a baby vending service and online baby travel store. Her baby vending service supplies routine childcare supplies for families on the go, while her baby travel store allows families to ship all their routine childcare needs directly to their travel destination. The goal of the company is to make leaving home with children less difficult and more enjoyable. Outside of her pediatric practice and her business, Dr. Slaughter-Atiemo enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, cooking, reading and traveling.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?

As a young girl I always knew I wanted to be a pediatrician. I adored my pediatrician as a child and was always mesmerized by her whenever I went to her pediatric office. I can distinctly remember pretending to have my own medical practice in my living room, starting around age 3. I would line up my baby dolls and stuffed animals on our ironing board — which served as my examination table — and would go down the line providing “check-ups” with my plastic stethoscope and doctor’s bag. I never wavered from this dream and throughout grade school I always worked hard with the goal of going to medical school in the future. My parents ensured I was always active and involved with various church and community activities. It was through these enriching activities that I developed a passion for helping people.

Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?

There are probably numerous stories and experiences that helped shape the path to my current career. As I mentioned earlier, I always knew I wanted to be a doctor but I never anticipated that one day I would start my own company. My husband and I were inspired to start CayTer 2 You Baby by our personal experiences of traveling with our children. These experiences included the difficulties in packing small items for quick trips as well as the difficulties in transporting a large number of items for long distance trips. I will never forget when we went to Denver to visit some friends and were shopping in the mall. Our son, who was 2 years old at the time, had a massive blowout poopy diaper in the middle of the kids play area. I looked in my diaper bag and realized I had no diapers or baby wipes left…cue panic mode! We were in the middle of the mall and I literally had no idea what I was going to do. We took my son to a bathroom, used too many wet paper towels to count to get him cleaned up and luckily, I had a change of clothes and an extra white undershirt packed in the diaper bag. I wrapped the undershirt around his butt, put on the change of clothes and high-tailed it out of the mall, waving good-bye and profusely apologizing to our friends. There we were in the middle of the night, in an unknown town, driving around using our GPS trying to find the nearest Walgreen’s or Target. I just remember thinking, “it shouldn’t have to be this hard traveling with kids.” It was through several experiences like this and after speaking with other family members and friends who travel with children that we learned we weren’t alone. The complaints and nuisances regarding traveling with children were a common occurrence. We thought, “imagine the luxury and convenience of not having to pack an over-stuffed diaper bag or worry about leaving an essential child care item at home.” That inspired us to start a company that would allow families the convenience of not having to worry about transporting necessary childcare items when leaving the house with kids. From family vacations to quick trips to the mall, our goal was to create a company that made traveling with children less difficult and more enjoyable. Our motto is “We take the hassle out of traveling with kids”.

Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?

I am a practicing pediatrician and a business owner, so my days vary throughout the week. I usually see patients 3–4 days a week and spend the remaining days working for my company. My day every morning begins with me getting my kids dressed and ready for school. After dropping them off at school, I head to the office to start seeing patients. I usually see patients until noon, then will have a break to eat lunch, catch up on charting, review labs and documents and make patient phone calls. Clinic restarts at 1pm and I see patients until 5pm. After clinic, I finish up any necessary work and will pick up my kids from aftercare around 6pm. Our evenings most days are filled with various extracurricular activities including piano lessons, basketball practice, dance class and swim lessons. After we arrive home in the evening, we review homework, eat dinner and then start our bedtime routine. My days at my company are very similar but instead of seeing patients, I’m doing various things for the business. Overall my days are usually long and hectic but my family and I have a routine. As long as we follow our routine, things usually go very smoothly.

Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?

From the start of a child’s life, the mother is the most important figure of attachment. The relationship between a parent and child is a vital part of their physical and emotional development. When parents are not around or don’t spend time with kids it can lead to poor emotional development and behaviors. These negative feelings for the child include depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, worthlessness or even anger. The absence of parents can also lead to problems with social relationships due to trust issues. They may lack significant relationships because they have not learned proper social skills, or they may develop dependency on people who show them any attention — positive or negative. Emotional imbalances can frequently lead to physical health issues including loss of appetite and other health problems. It is important to give your child attention whenever possible. The quality of time shared together is more important than the quantity of time spent together.

On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is so important to make time to spend with your children?

The primary goal of parenthood is to raise a happy and well-adjusted child. There are numerous studies and research that show that children from birth need time and attention from their parents. Frequently parents are so anxious to be “good” parents, that they overlook the importance of spending quality time with their kids. Quality time is time spent with the child and parent fully engaged in an activity together. This time is very important for several reasons. Some include:

- Making the child feel important and loved

- To observe the child and learn their strengths and weaknesses to better guide them and help them thrive

- To give the child a chance to voice any feelings or concerns they may have in a safe and secure environment

- To give the child an opportunity to learn from the parent and to model the parents’ positive behaviors

It is through this quality time and interactions that the parent and child can develop a stronger bond.

According to this study cited in the Washington Post, the quality of time spent with children is more important than the quantity of time. Can you give a 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?

With such busy work schedules, it’s important for our family to find dedicated times to spend together. Our kids enjoy reading so every night we make sure that we read at least one book together. My daughter is 3 and currently loves flash cards. Every night we try to do at least 10 new cards together which often sparks conversation and laughter. My son will even join in and hold up the cards for his sister and challenge her on new words she doesn’t know. We also enjoy cooking together. I recently purchased child-safe cutting knives, so my kids love to help me in the kitchen. We all stand along the kitchen island with our cutting boards and knives and prepare meals together. Just as important as cooking together, is eating together. Eating together as a family allows us time to talk and catch up on what went on at school (and work) for that day. Our busy work schedules and the kid’s extracurricular activity schedules don’t always allow it, but whenever possible we try to eat dinner together as a family. Another activity we enjoy doing together is family game night. My son loves to play Scrabble so he especially looks forward to game night. Whenever we spend family time together we try to silence our cellphones and turn off the TV so we can focus on each other with no background distractions.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention?

Create a routine. In our household routines are very important. Create a special routine or ritual for you and your child that can be done daily. For example, we do dinnertime, bathtime and storytime — in that order — every night. Having a routine makes for a smoother transition at night and my kids especially look forward to reading a book together nightly.

Schedule time for an activity. Every day try to schedule time to do at least one activity with your child of their choosing. Make sure to follow through on the activity and to do it with no distractions.

Prepare and eat meals together. Try to find simple easy meals to prepare with your child and try to eat together. Use this time to talk to your child and catch up on what happened in school that day.

Walk places when able. The next time you need to take your child someplace nearby, try to walk instead of drive. Walking allows you to slow down the pace of life, hold hands (if they’re not too “cool” to still hold it) and talk with your child. These unscripted moments allow you and your child to discuss where you’re going, things you see along the way and hopefully what they’re thinking and feeling.

Make every moment count. Always try to be “present” when interacting with your child. It’s easy to get distracted and focus on other things, but try to make each moment with your child count. Whether its during bath time, while driving them to school or soccer practice. Try not to use the phone, watch TV or become distracted when spending time with your kids.

How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?

A good parent is one that provides a loving home and environment for their child. A good parent is patient, listens to their child and attempts to understand and empathize with their child. A good parent meets all of a child’s physical needs, as well as their emotional needs. Some people still believe that a “good” mother is one who doesn’t work and stays home to raise the kids. However, studies show that a child’s development is more influenced by the emotional health of the family and how the family feels about the mom working. If the working mother feels valued and supported by the family, a child will see this positive support and be emotionally well adjusted regardless of who works in the family. Any parent who successfully manages a career and parenthood provides a role model for their child.

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

Children are intrinsically free-spirited and believe they can achieve anything. As parents it is our job to nurture and encourage their dreams and never try to limit their thinking and creativity. Parents should start by being a “big dreamer” role model. Work alongside your child instead of ordering them or expecting them to take directions. Allow them to see that you’re truly interested in the things they believe and will support them whenever possible. Another key component for inspiring your child is to reward effort instead of outcome. Sometimes more importantly than the result is the path it took to get there. Once a child realizes they have the ability and potential to figure something out, this provides motivation for future endeavors.

How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?

Success to me means setting a goal (or many goals) and taking the necessary steps to achieve those goals. As a parent, success to me means encouraging and teaching healthy behaviors, attitudes and worldviews to prepare my children to be responsible adults.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

Throughout parenthood my greatest resource has been the advice I’ve received from other family members and friends with children. It’s always helpful to hear stories of others who have been where you are and who have successfully dealt with common childhood issues. The What To Expect book series and Baby 411 were helpful to me as a first time parent. As a pediatrician, one of my favorite websites that I reference parents to use is infoaboutkids.org. They have a lot of helpful information on a variety of topics from child development to school bullying. The Happiest Baby on the Block is a landmark book for sleep training and techniques to help calm your baby.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb that means that it takes a community of people to interact with and influence a child’s life in order for them to be a healthy well-adjusted member of society. For me, this proverb is true for my life because without my “village”, I’m not sure I would be able to successfully manage motherhood and a career. My village includes my husband, parents, in-laws, extended family members and my extraordinary babysitter. I rely on these people to provide physical and emotional support for my children when I’m not able to. In addition to being a tremendous help to me, they provide my children with enriching stories and experiences that I would not otherwise be able to provide them. My kids especially love spending time with their grandparents who are constantly teaching them about their life experiences and upbringings. I hope that one day my children will look back on the times they spent with their “village” and appreciate the wisdom and knowledge they gained through their time spent together.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

As a pediatrician with an interest in adolescent medicine, I am constantly advising teenagers on safe driving practices and habits. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the US. An average of 9 teens die daily from motor vehicle accidents. If I were to start a movement, it would be to advocate for safer driving laws for teenagers. I believe that all teenagers should complete a driving course in order to get their driver’s license. In addition, all newly manufactured cars should have the option to include a “teenager safety package” which would include functions such as speed limit controls, radio volume control and the inability to use a cellphone while driving. The majority of teen driving injuries are preventable and these few strategies can help improve safety on the roads for young drivers.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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About the author:

Chaya Weiner is the Director of branding and photography at Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator. TLI is a thought leadership program that helps leaders establish a brand as a trusted authority in their field. Please click HERE to learn more about Thought Leader Incubator.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Chaya Weiner

Written by

Director of branding & photography at Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator, helping leaders establish a brand as a trusted authority in their field

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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