All About Parenting

Parenting is the ultimate long-term investment. Be prepared to put far more into it than you get out of it, at least for some time. Given the stresses of contemporary American culture, the happiness of couples plummets the minute they become parents. And it gets worse before it gets better. In the long run, it is the most rewarding job of your life.

From talking and reading to infants to making values clear, parents exert enormous influence over their children's development. They are, however, not the only influences, especially after children enter school. It's 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, but the needs of child development as delineated by science remain relatively stable. 

Recent Posts on Parenting

After a Stillbirth, Interpersonal Support Facilitates Coping

Finding support is key for emotional recovery after a stillbirth

Why “Bribing” Your Child With Treats Doesn’t Work

By Suzanne Gelb Ph.D., J.D. on October 08, 2015 All Grown Up
Do you offer your child a “reward” to get him or her to comply with a rule? “If you tidy you room, I’ll take you to the movies.” But this is not a reward — this is a bribe. And “bribery” is not an effective parenting technique. Learn why bribing does not work when it comes to gaining your child's cooperation and what does.

Sailing or Struggling? Tips for Facilitating School Success

"Hi. School was fine." Some tips for identifying if your child is having a hard time at school that they might not be telling you about.

Why Are So Many Parents Limited in Loving Their Children?

In my observation of families, I have noted countless examples of well-meaning parents engaging in behavior that is insensitive, mis-attuned, or harmful to their children, while earnestly believing that they love them and have their best interests at heart. There are several reasons why it’s often difficult for parents to love their children.

Let's Cut New Moms Some Slack

Modern mothering is the best and the worst, light and darkness, hope and despair, all rolled into one. And too few people are talking about it.

How Do Children Learn to Recognize Print?

By Jamie Zibulsky Ph.D. on October 06, 2015 Book Smart
My fourteen-month-old son, Henry, has just started to recognize his name in print, which feels like an amazing milestone to me. Here’s how it happened.

Suicide as a Form of Homicide

There are as many reasons for killing oneself as there are for killing other people.

The Human-Robot Interface

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on October 06, 2015 The Human Beast
The digital revolution is about to steal most people's jobs as artificial intelligence does our work ever more efficiently. What about caring for children and the elderly? If these tasks are soon to be taken on by robots, what will the interface look like? How will interacting with robots affect us?

Can Your Child's Friends Affect How Much He or She Learns?

By Garth Sundem on October 06, 2015 Brain Trust
A study in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology explores how friends influence each other's school skills.

How to Develop Mentally Tough Young Athletes

Mental toughness can give kids a winning edge in sports and in other areas of life.

The 3 Nonsense Things People Say to Parents

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on October 05, 2015 Insight Is 20/20
People make some truly nonsensical comments to parents, which reflect both a lack of empathy and memory lapse of what it was like when their own children were young. Parents hear these three statements all the time, inducing a familiar and powerful cringe.

Does Your Child Have an Inner Compass?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on October 05, 2015 Singletons
The Compass Advantage gives parents, educators, and all those who work with children and teens a framework to lay the foundation for children’s developing sense of self and future functioning in the world.

"Is Adolescence Really Necessary?"

In their disenchantment with some early adolescent changes in their child, parents wonder if this transformation really need be? The answer is: Yes, so the process of redefinition for growing up can get underway.

Here is a Powerful Acronym to Help Your Child Manage Stress!

Kids do better in life when they learn how to calm down and solve problems! Borrowing from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) the word "ACCEPTS" provides prompts for valuable coping skills for children, teens, and adults to handle stress. To help your child or teen better deal with stress, take a look at the power of the 7 skills embodied in "ACCEPTS"

Not Going with the Flow

Discussion of the challenges inherent in having to acquire self-observing capacities for the late adolescent/young adult with bipolar disorder..

Work, Love, Play: Do You Have a Healthy Inner Balance?

Do you have a healthy inner balance between work, love, and play? If not, this blog post offers some clues on how to create more inner balance inspired by theories of Erik Erikson and the insights of Doris Kearns Goodwin based on her extensive knowledge of former American presidents.

Fear of Damage to Children in Polyamorous Families

Because polyamory is stigmatized in conventional society, many poly parents or other adults who love children being raised in poly families are concerned about how growing up in a polyamorous family might affect children. In this blog I include a question from a concerned mother and my response to her concerns about how her relationships might impact her kids.

Why Are Little Girls' Halloween Costumes Still So Sexy?

I just read about the concerned mom who wrote a letter to Party City, outraged about this year's Halloween costumes for little girls. She was particularly furious about a sexy police girl costume marketed to young girls. I agree. Every year when I take my daughter Halloween costume shopping, I wonder how this hot and sexy trend for young girls will impact girls' futures...

The Borderline Daughter

Is your daughter developing a Borderline Personality? Is she difficult or truly in trouble? Here are some clues that should prove helpful.

New Screen Suggestions by The American Academy of Pediatrics

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on October 02, 2015 Screen Time
Recently this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics made some new recommendations for parents wondering about the dos and don'ts of “screen time.”

The Power of Talk

By Lydia Denworth on October 01, 2015 Brain Waves
What is the best way to nurture a child's brain? The answer is simpler than you think.

Malnutrition in Children: What Parents Need to Know

Identifying malnutrition in children can be difficult for both parents and providers. Even if food is plentiful, your child may be unable to absorb the necessary nutritionists to stay strong and combat illness. Knowing what to look for can help identify malnutrition earlier and get your child on the right path to optimal health.

What is the Role of a Judge?

Can a Judge be trusted to identify the inappropriateness of her own bias? What checks and balances are in place for unprincipled judges?

How To Make Teen Volunteer Work More Than A Resume Builder

New research explains how to inspire teens to "service beyond self."

WOSPs, Fear, and Unstructured Play

By John Tauer Ph.D. on September 30, 2015 Goal Posts
"Where have all the Children Gone" - Local Playground Near You

What I've Learned From Having Kids 10 Years Apart:

Ever wonder what it would be like to go back and redo your parenting? What would you change? This is what I have learned (so far) from having my children a decade apart.

Does Neurodiversity Whitewash Autism?

There's a new book on neurodiversity - Neurotribes by Steve Silberman. And there's another one coming in a few months-In A Different Key from John Donvan and Caren Zucker. The books are putting neurodiversity in the news, and some say we're whitewashing the true nature of autism. As an autistic adult with an autistic son, I offer a dissenting view and inside perspective

Welcome to the Dollhouse

By Susan Scheftel Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 Evolving Minds
Dollhouses seem to provide a perfect venue for little children to work out big ideas. They are a must-have for all those working with children of both genders.

One Easy Question Can Help Break the Anxiety Cycle

By Christopher Bergland on September 29, 2015 The Athlete's Way
Researchers have identified that asking yourself one easy question can help break the anxiety cycle.

The 6 Mental Health Habits That Kill Your Confidence

Do you struggle with self-doubt and self-defeating habits? Do you want to feel more confident about yourself and what you have to offer? Do you focus on pleasing others, rather than following your dreams and living your best life? The best way to start feeling better about yourself is to notice the automatic mental and emotional habits that don’t serve you well.