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

14 Tips for Parenting in Public

Kids don't always behave as we'd like when we're out and about. And when children are at family gatherings, they're often off their schedules and especially excited, so their behavior can be particularly challenging. Here's how to help your child become the kind of person who understands what behavior is appropriate, and who wants to behave that way!

Moms: What Will Your Body Image Legacy Be?

Here is the reality: It can be damaging to our daughters if we are critical of our own appearance. I know this is a sobering thought for all moms. One of the best predictors of whether a girl will have negative body image is if her mother has negative body image...

How Does Your Child Sleep?

Having difficulty getting your child to bed down in the evenings? Check out this new book for frazzled families.

When Adolescents Continually Lie

Continually lying to parents needs to prove counter-productive for the adolescent.

A Love Letter to Mothers of Sons

Although mother-daughter relationships are often fraught with conflict, mothers and their adult daughters seem to have an easier time with each other than mothers and their adult sons..Read about the real nature of a man's relationship with his mother, the first love of his life, and how and why it changes so drastically.

When The Apple Falls Close to the Tree

In many cases, children with clinically significant psychiatric symptoms have a parent or other family member(s) with the same, often undiagnosed, issues.

Managing ADHD During the Summer

ADHD is a neurological disorder that causes difficulties in many aspects of children’s lives. Often when school is out during the summer, many parents consider taking their child off medications. Here are some tips to help decrease behavior problems.

Child Abuse Prepares for a Lifetime of Mental Health Issues

Children who are abused, physically, emotionally, sexually or neglected, have different adult brains than their counterparts who were not abused.

Will Valuable Lessons Continue with Violence?

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in Screen Time
See the Mocking Jay's World Before it Rest - The Hunger Games: The Exhibition will open on July 1. The exhibit will provide fans with an insider's view of Panem everything from costumes to hands-on interactions. The level of violent content within is cause for discussion on its continuance. Will a similar level of violent now become commonplace in young adult media?

5 Difficult Concepts Made Easier by Disney's "Inside Out"

Disney's "Inside Out" provides an accessible and memorable framework for understanding some rather complex ideas. Allow me to outline 5 difficult concepts this movie makes easier to explain.

It Is Time to Legalize and Accept Same-Sex Marriage

Researchers, the majority of the American public, and even advertisers are calling for acceptance of same-sex marriage—isn’t it time the Supreme Court and our legal system followed suit?

Are You a Codependent Beast of Others' Burdens?

By Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. on June 25, 2015 in Presence of Mind
Do you have codependent tendencies and if so, what should you do about it?

Will Kennedy LeRoy’s Suicide Have Been in Vain?

By Izzy Kalman on June 25, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
I recently suggested that our anti-bullying efforts are failing LGBTQ kids. The truth is that they are failing all bullied kids. Sixteen-year-old Kennedy LeRoy committed suicide in the hope of preventing other bullied kids from doing the same. But the suicides won't cease until we stop trying to protect kids from bullying and start teaching them to handle it on their own.

Parenting Without Punishment: A Humanist Perspective, Part 2

Given the particular situation, children (like all the rest of us) are doing the best they’re capable of. So what are some ways that parents might effectively confront their child’s annoying, hazardous, or otherwise troublesome behavior—without, that is, having to punish them for it?

Inside Out—And Beyond

It could have been awful. A movie that teaches kids about emotions could have been dry and preachy. Instead, Pixar’s Inside Out is an exciting and compelling tour of inner life that’s grounded in science plus an authentic understanding of how kids feel. Here are three lessons about emotions from the movie--plus one more.

When Bipolar Disorder Moved Into the House

By Hara Estroff Marano on June 24, 2015 in Brainstorm
In this new film, a bipolar father learns to take care of his two daughters Or did they take care of him?

"Inside Out": Emotional Truths by Way of Pixar

Pixar's "Inside Out" proves to be impressivley accurate to cognitive, developmental, and clinical psychology. Five of the six scientifically validated universal emotions demonstrate what it might be like in the mind of an 11-year-old girl who struggles with having to move away from her friends and to a different city. The film sends a message and has therapeutic value.

Relational Reasoning Shows How Kids Think Without Thinking

By Garth Sundem on June 23, 2015 in Brain Trust
Study shows how young children intuit relationships that older children over-think and can't see.

The Rocky Transition to Parenthood

Unrealistic expectations fuel our difficulties in the early days of parenthood.

Creating a Home Alone, After Divorce

By Wendy Paris on June 23, 2015 in Splitopia
While it can seem sad and overwhelming to create a home alone after co-habitating with a spouse or partner, it’s also a chance to choose new décor, a new abode or even a new city that better supports and reflects you.

Overinvolved Parent of the Week: P Diddy

By John Tauer Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 in Goal Posts
Sean "Diddy" Combs allegedly attacks UCLA football coach after son's practice

Delight, Cruelty and Young People

By Nick Luxmoore on June 23, 2015 in Young People Up Close
How can anyone delight in young people capable of doing terrible things?

The Secret to a Fulfilling Life Is Not What You Might Think

The secret to a fulfilling life is not what you might think.

The Psychological Effects of Shaming Children

Public shaming videos seem to be on an uptick, and the recent story of a teen girl’s apparent suicide after a public shaming incident is an extreme example. Whether or not this particular case was a one of a parent shaming his child, there are lessons for all parents on the psychological risks of using shame to change your child or teen's behavior.

Is the Rachel Dolezal Controversy Much Ado About Nothing?

In lieu of the Dolezal controversy, can we have an informative dialogue about racial identity in America?

Play, Common Core, and Early Reading Untangled

In a raging debate, leading researchers in reading education are speaking out in favor of keeping Common Core Kindergarten Literacy Standards. Their message? It’s perfectly fine for five year olds to play AND learn to read in school!

Love for a Killer: "A Very Evil Kid”

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on June 22, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
When Adam Lanza massacred school children, people asked about his genes. But that was the wrong question. Genes are inert without experience. Families of victims of Dylann Roof’s gun rampage forgave him. It’s a show of love that he probably needed much earlier in his life.

Protecting Our Kids From Future Sex-Associated Cancers

By Peter Edelstein M.D. on June 22, 2015 in Patient Power
As parents, we may hate to think about our little princesses and tiny spidermen ever becoming sexually active. But if we are to protect our children today from several dangerous cancers tomorrow, we have to understand the relationship between sex and cancer.

Finding a Life Partner, Part One

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on June 22, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Can evolutionary psychology help explain why it seems so hard to have a successful intimate relationship? A new article published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences investigates the enigma of human mating choices and the evolutionary forces shaping us today.