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

Ten Reasons Why Your Grown Kids Hate You

By Jane Adams Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Between the Lines
Wonder why you and your grown kids can't get along? Here are ten reasons, just in time for Thanksgiving dinner!

The Parents of "Stranger Things"

By Mariana Plata on November 17, 2017 in The Gen Y Psy
What does Netflix's "Stranger Things" get right about parenthood? Exploring the psychology behind the hit series.

College Students and Thanksgiving Break

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Social Lights
Tips for enjoying the holidays with your adult children.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?

By Asa Don Brown Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Towards Recovery
Spanking a child is about the parent not the child. The child will learn more from positive correction than physical manipulation.

Testamentary Restraints on Marriage

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on November 16, 2017 in So Sue Me
Many parents have a lot to say about their children's love interests and relationship decisions. Some parents want to have the last word, even after they die.

Are Teachers Getting Bullied?

What should a teacher do when bullied by a student, parent, or principal?

Parental Alienation: What Is the Solution?

The only effective means to combat and eliminate parental alienation is to address it by means of a multi-faceted approach that involves fundamental changes to the divorce system.

Wean Your Kids and Yourself Off Fear

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Trouble in Mind
The obsession of iGen teens with safety is one cause of their unhealthy levels of anxiety and there's something adults can do something about.

Roadblocks to Intimacy & Trust X: Breaking the Silence

I know of no relationship that improved without conversation.

Making Space for White Mothers of Biracial Children

By Tiffany McLain LMFT on November 15, 2017 in Living Between Worlds
For white parents, having a biracial child is an eye-opening experience. It's time for society to make room to help these parents grow into their new roles.

Wild, Fun-loving, and Free

Childhood anxiety is largely learned, not innate. If we can teach our children to be anxious, it means we can teach them not to be anxious.

An Attempted Analogy to Parenting

You have more time to be a good parent today than you will ever have again. Take advantage of your good fortune!
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Values in Youth Sports: Part I

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in The Power of Prime
The values that you instill in your children as part of their sports experiences have a huge impact on every aspect of their lives. on and off the field of play.

Letter to Dads of Daughters on a Sexual Misconduct Epidemic

By Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in Curious?
I wanted to write a letter to dads of daughters everywhere on the sexual misconduct mayhem that is being revealed daily.

Transitioning to Middle School

By Janet Hicks Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in Raising Parents
Why is my sixth grade child behaving differently toward me?

Parenting Strategies Are Largely Ineffective

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on November 13, 2017 in Feeling Our Way
5 Ideas: Will parents use them? 1. Childhood is not all preamble.
AndreKlopperShutterstock

What Can 10,000-Pound Juvenile Delinquents Teach Us?

The elephant gangsters of Pilanesberg.

Surviving Mealtimes With a Picky Eater

By Vanessa LoBue, Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in The Baby Scientist
Is your child a picky eater? It turns out that many children are, but here are some useful tips backed by research to help curb the picky eater at your dinner table.
Carl Pickhardt Ph. D.

Adolescence and Conflicts between Constancy and Change

The art of parenting an adolescent is knowing the difference between what needs to change and what needs to stay the same.

Sex, Lies, and Autism Research—Getting Value for Our Money

By John Elder Robison on November 12, 2017 in My Life With Asperger's
In the past decade, we’ve spent over a billion dollars studying autism. Yet precious little has changed for autistic people. An autistic adult asks why, and offers some advice.

How Do New Babies Affect Parent and Sibling Relationships?

Many couples expect a new child to strengthen their union, but distress first-born children. Research suggests that these expectations are unfounded.

The Myth of the Self-Made Individual

We should be wary of those who claim to be self-made, who tout themselves as the emblems of accomplishment. These prominent people simply disregard the support they’ve had.

Millennial Distress: Why More? Why Now?

By Russ Federman Ph.D., A.B.P.P. on November 12, 2017 in Bipolar You
A discussion of current socioeconomic and social media influences upon the emotional and psychological distress of today's millennial generation.

Your Primal Wound: What Happened in Childhood?

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on November 12, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
Psychosynthesis considers a human life to move toward self-realization but many get detoured by their primal woundedness. How does that happen?

What's So Hard About Parenting Children With Mental Illness?

What are parents of children with illness most stressed about? A new research study gives us some answers.

Pets and the Pregnant Woman

By Dawn Kingston Ph.D. on November 10, 2017 in The Pregnant Pause
Is an animal companion an asset or a liability for an expectant couple?

Meet the Teen Who Discovered the Secret of Social Capital

The design of children's social life teaches them to create a world of status where people are left out and mistreated. One teen is trying to change that––with an app.

Opiate Addiction: A Cautionary Tale and Case Discussion

By Jeffrey Deitz M.D. on November 09, 2017 in Case Conference
See how one courageous woman is surviving and thriving while getting treatment for opiate use disorder.

Talking to Children About Their Birthparents

Can you tell me about them?.........How to handle difficult questions and address sensitive issues.
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Have Goals, Not Expectations, for Your Young Athletes

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on November 09, 2017 in The Power of Prime
Expectations act as burdens that you place on your young athletes before a competition, causing pressure, anxiety, and worry. Goals act as motivators to help them become successful