All About Parenting

From talking and reading to infants to making values clear (best done in conversations around the dinner table), parents exert enormous influence over their children's development. They are, however, not the only influences, especially after children enter school. It is especially important that parents give children a good start, but it's also important for parents to recognize that kids come into the world with their own temperaments, and it is the parents' job to provide an interface with the world that eventually prepares a child for complete independence. In a rapidly changing world, parenting seems subject to fads and changing styles, and parenting in some ways has become a competitive sport.

But the needs of child development as delineated by science remain relatively stable. There is such a thing as overparenting, and aiming for perfection in parenting might be a fool's mission. Too much parenting cripples children as they move into adulthood and renders them unable to cope with the merest setbacks. There is also such a thing as too-little parenting, and research establishes that lack of parental engagement often leads to poor behavioral outcomes in children, in part because it encourages the young to be too reliant on peer culture. Ironically, harsh or authoritarian styles of parenting can have the same effect.

Recent posts on Parenting

Should You Friend Your Grown Kids on Facebook?

By Jane Adams Ph.D. on September 22, 2017 in Between the Lines
Facebook has upended the culture, disrupted the boundary between public and private, and changed how generations communicate with and relate to each other.

The Power of Supportive Environments for LGBT+ Youth

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on September 22, 2017 in Connected
Learn what you can do to create supportive spaces for LGBT+ teens. Changes in the home, at school, and even at the state level have proven to positively impact LGBT+ youth.

How Can a Teacher Help a Shy Child?

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in Shyness Is Nice
Do you worry about your quiet child? Following these tips can help a shy child shine.
Merio/PixaBay

To Drive or Not to Drive: That Is the Question

Talking with your parents about their driving can be difficult. Here are some ways to approach the conversation.

Five Money Mistakes Parents Make With Adult Children

By Kathy McCoy Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in Complicated Love
We all want to help our young adult children to get a good start in life, but sometimes our help can backfire.
Hill Air Force Base

Tips and Books to Help Kids Recover From the Hurricanes

By Azmaira H. Maker Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in Helping Kids Cope
Helping includes providing safety, getting children back to school, and creating stability in their lives.
deposit photos : ID#1685783

Your Teen Needs More Sleep

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in Sleep Newzzz
A game plan for helping teens sleep better.

7 Things Mentally Strong Parents Know

Telling your kids to "act brave" or "look on the bright side" won't work if you don't role model the appropriate skills.
Daniel Peters

Waitin’ on a Sunny Day

By Stephen Gray Wallace on September 21, 2017 in Decisions Teens Make
For many, sunny days may seem a distant memory regardless of season … or sun.

Can We Have a (Sex-Positive) Talk?

Want to talk with your adolescent about sex but don't know how to start? Here are some steps to help you begin to have "the talk."

Adoptees and Lying: Why Your Child Might Be Telling Lies

By Carrie Goldman on September 20, 2017 in Modern Day Parenting
Are you struggling to understand why your adoptee frequently lies? Learn how to empathize and respond.

Back to School and Back to Pressure

By Hendrie Weisinger Ph.D. on September 20, 2017 in Thicken Your Skin
Can your kids perform under pressure? Can they summon their talent at will? Can they deliver on a test? Can they sleep at night?

Roadblocks to Intimacy & Trust IV: Emotional Triangles

By Joan Cusack Handler Ph.D. on September 20, 2017 in Of Art and Science
The Roadblocks to Intimacy and Trust Series explores the impact of early childhood relationships on the establishment of intimacy in adulthood.

Mend the Gap Between Rich and Poor in School Achievement

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on September 20, 2017 in Freedom to Learn
The more rigid and authoritarian the school program is, the greater is the achievement gap between rich and poor. The more trusting and empowering it is, the smaller is the gap.

Praising Children May Encourage Them to Cheat

By David Ludden Ph.D. on September 20, 2017 in Talking Apes
Praise is important for emotional growth. But new research shows that the way praise is worded—even for three-year-olds—can have a significant impact on their moral choices.

Do You Want to Raise an Obedient Child?

That doesn't mean you don't set limits. And sometimes children do have to do what adults say. But children also need to learn they have a right to say no sometimes.

16 Fun Games to Play with Toddlers & Preschoolers in the Car

By Erin Leyba LCSW, Ph.D. on September 19, 2017 in Joyful Parenting
Car rides can be meaningful ways to engage with toddlers and young children. They can help strengthen a playful bond and grow children's vocabulary and skills.
Fotolia_118687077_XS copy

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

By Robert Puff Ph.D. on September 19, 2017 in Meditation for Modern Life
We have to do specific things to improve our level of happiness.

How Can We Fix the Conflict Between Work and Family?

By Yael Schonbrun Ph.D. on September 19, 2017 in Moderating
How do we repair work-family conflict? We first need to get the diagnosis right.

My Mother Tries to Control My College Life

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on September 18, 2017 in The Teen Doctor
I need help dealing with my controlling mother.
 Can Stock Photo/aleutie

The Problem of School Refusal

Most children look forward to the new school year with joy and enthusiasm. But for kids with school refusal, it is a nightmare for them and their parents.

How to Respond Effectively to a Young Person's Anger

"Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry."

Is It Possible to Be a Father and a Man at the Same Time?

A recent study examines fathers' anxieties about masculinity and parenting.
Stocksnap Creative Commons/Used with Permission

The Emotional Impact of a Nanny's Leaving

A nanny's departure can affect the whole family.

Seven Words to Help Your Dependent, Stuck Adult Child

At an impasse with a dependent, stalled out adult child? Try saying these seven words before you say anything else.

How to Raise Mentally Strong Kids in Today's World

Mentally strong kids turn into resilient adults who are equipped to tackle whatever life throws their way. Here's how you can help your child build mental muscle.

Early Adolescence and the Fear of Change

Although parents sometimes feel critical of adolescent changes, they should also be admiring: Separating from childhood and starting to grow takes a lot of courage.

“Dad, I Think I Have ADHD”

By Marcia Morris M.D. on September 17, 2017 in College Wellness
The accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of ADHD are critical because ADHD, if left untreated, can lead to poor school performance, driving mishaps, and substance abuse.
tomwang / 123RF Stock Photo

When Trust Is Gone, What Can You Do?

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on September 17, 2017 in Off the Couch
We live in a time when everyone is talking about trust and no one seems to be feeling much of it. Here's what you can do when you no longer trust.
lilytaloolayoga

Self-Critical? Time to Lighten Up on Yourself

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on September 16, 2017 in Fixing Families
Self-criticism can erode your self-esteem, keep you constantly anxious, sap you of any of life's rewards. Time to calm those scolding voices.