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

What to Do When You Have the Flu

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on January 21, 2018 in Social Lights
A professor's advice for sick college students.

The Negative Voices in Your Teenager’s Head

A peek inside your teenager's thoughts and 7 ways to help

Easy Ways to Teach Kids About Emotions in Daily Life

Observing what your child and other people are feeling, and commenting on it in a nonjudgmental way, teaches children to identify emotions in themselves and others.

Parkinson's Takes its Toll on Family Caregivers

Balancing caregiving with other responsibilities is challenging for many.

The Promotion of Resilience and the Demise of Anti-Bullyism

By Izzy Kalman on January 18, 2018 in Resilience to Bullying
Let Grow is a new organization comprised of leading intellectuals that will promote resilience and self-reliance, while turning the tide against anti-bullyism.

Trump's "S–hole" Remark: What to Say to Our Kids?

By Thomas Lickona, Ph.D. on January 18, 2018 in Raising Kind Kids
Not sure whether to talk to your kids about President Trump's reported "s—hole countries" remark, or what to say if you do?
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Big Little Lies

By Stephen Gray Wallace on January 17, 2018 in Decisions Teens Make
Despite uniformity among children, teens, and adults about the importance of honesty, it often seems in short supply.

Moms of Girls: a Good Self Image Starts with You

By Dena Kouremetis on January 17, 2018 in The Unedited Offspring
We actually have to make an effort to appreciate ourselves and verbalize that appreciation to our daughters.

Three Words That Helped My 13-Year-Old Study Better

Are you a parent who is trying to figure out how to help your child study? Cognitive psychology research might help.

The Most Important Sex Education Lesson of All: Consent

By Adam Price Ph.D. on January 17, 2018 in The Unmotivated Teen
How to teach boys when no means no and when yes means no.

Teens and Dangerous Levels of Cell Phone Use

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on January 16, 2018 in Nurturing Resilience
If we’re going to prevent children putting themselves at risk for mental disorders, parents and communities are going to have to impose some rules and take a lesson from Iceland.

5 Key Skills of a School-Based Bullying Prevention Program

To change the culture of bullying in our schools, we must move beyond the rote punishments and move toward skill-building.

MLK and Michael Phelps: What's the Recipe for Success?

By Paula L. White M.A. on January 16, 2018 in Shape Parenting
No matter the field—academics, athletics, the arts or activism—some children in varied pursuits grow up to be adults who excel. Here's how parents help to make that happen.
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Meet Your Family's Future at a Family Meeting

By Brad E Sachs Ph.D. on January 16, 2018 in Emptying The Nest
Even when children approach adulthood, reflecting on your family's past and present lays the the groundwork for a richer and more satisfying family future—for both generations

Does Your Child Lie?

Understanding why kids fib gives parents better tools for guidance.
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"I Hate My Mother"

An Authoritarian Wound Questionnaire respondent explains her relationship with her authoritarian mother.

Healing From a Toxic Childhood? The Two Words You Need Most

By Peg Streep on January 16, 2018 in Tech Support
The culture thinks that persisting is hard and requires grit while quitting is easy. The truth may surprise you, especially when it comes to toxic relationships.

Homer Simpson as Parent

Humor is very often a sneaky way to engage with cultural and moral issues that would meet with resistance if they were discussed in a more serious way.

The Seeds of Perfection

The similarities between seedless watermelon and our quest for perfection online.

Life as a Bilingual II

The blog "Life as a bilingual" is more than seven years old and has been consulted by a large number of visitors. We look back on this wonderful adventure.

Mothers, Eating Disorders, and Histories of Trauma

Advice and reflections for mothers with a history of trauma and an eating disorder. What is an attempt to be corrected or avoided gets repeated.
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In Sports, Giving Up Means Giving Up on Yourself

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on January 14, 2018 in The Power of Prime
The pet peeve that gets me the most is when, in practice or competition, athletes give up at the smallest mistake or failure. When they do, they automatically lose.

Headed for Divorce This Year?

These alternatives to divorce might just save your marriage.

Calling Trump Childish Shows How We Disrespect Children

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on January 14, 2018 in Freedom to Learn
We've taken long strides toward moving beyond the negative stereotyping of many groups. Let's now stop stereotyping children negatively, too.

Adored, Reviled, and Forgotten by the Narcissist

Stop being the emotional hostage of a narcissistic parent.
Sandra Butler

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

By Sandra Butler on January 11, 2018 in It Never Ends
What do I leave behind? And to whom? Writing a will as an engaged act of mothering.

The Type of Praise You Give Matters

By Art Markman Ph.D. on January 11, 2018 in Ulterior Motives
There are many different kinds of praise that you can give a child. Not all of them have the same impact. Some may even be negative.

Study of Borderline Personality Disorder Observes Families

A study looked at interactions between young adult children with borderline personality disorder and their parents, revealing the ways children have to take care of the parents.

A Review of HBO's "Big Little Lies"

The HBO hit, "Big Little Lies," shows us all that domestic violence between parents affects our children, even if your child is never personally abused.