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

Candy, Costumes, and Scares. Oh My!

By Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. on October 21, 2017 in Presence of Mind
What's behind people's love for Halloween and wild Halloween behavior?

The Thousand-Dollar iPhone. Wow.

By Steven Schlozman M.D. on October 21, 2017 in Grand Rounds
A thousand dollars for the iPhone? Pretty soon we're talking real money. What's a parent to do?

Roadblocks to Intimacy and Trust VII

Couples therapy teaches that there are at least six people in an intimate relationship.

Brainy and Bored: Why Whiz Kids Require Special Attention

By Dena Kouremetis on October 19, 2017 in The Unedited Offspring
Gifted kids need just as much guidance as everyone else.

What to Do When Your Kid Talks Back

When kids express irritability towards us, often called "back talk," they're trying to tell us something and if we don't listen, they just escalate.

Why October Is the Busy Season for Bullying

It's no coincidence that National Bullying Prevention month falls at the time of year when kids have sized each other up and staked out their new place in the peer pecking order.
@ adamsl/depositphotos

Solve the Halloween Problem Now With One Miracle Lesson

This miracle lesson will change your life, change your children's lives and will make Halloween and the rest of the eating season seem less daunting.

Fathering in the Quiet Moments

How can fathers create meaningful relationships with their children? A few simple tasks can go a long way.

The Male Legacy of "Me Too"

By Mathis Kennington Ph.D. on October 17, 2017 in Meaningful Change
A boy’s first rite of passage isn’t the loss of his virginity or the first time he gets into a fight. A boy’s first true rite of passage is how he responds to sexual violence.

Younger Kids Are More Likely to Be Diagnosed with ADHD

By Marilyn Wedge Ph.D. on October 17, 2017 in Suffer the Children
Relatively young children in a classroom (with birthdays in September-December) are more likely to be misdiagnosed with ADHD.

The Reality of Whiteness

Why are some white people so reluctant to acknowledge racism and white privilege? Opening minds and hearts to the need for more progress.

10 Ways to Deal with Mom-Shaming

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on October 17, 2017 in Singletons
A new poll finds a majority of moms feel judged. Learn how to handle criticism and have confidence in your parenting decisions.

Don't Lose What You Have to What You Have Lost

By Lucy C Hone Ph.D. on October 16, 2017 in Resilient Grieving
While research shows the benefits of focusing on the good, gratitude is rarely spoken of during bereavement. Time for a change, says Lucy Hone.

Is Society Progressing in Its Response to Autism?

By Barb Cohen on October 16, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
The television producer suggested that my daughter skip class the day of filming. She has too much to say and too little control over when she says it.

How to Discuss Sex With Your Children

By Michael Castleman M.A. on October 16, 2017 in All About Sex
Child and teen sex education resources contain misinformation and emphasize procreation over pleasure. Here's how to correct them.

What Is Your Role in Your Relationship?

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on October 16, 2017 in Compassion Matters
Couples get into trouble when one person takes the role of a parent, and the other, the role of a child. Breaking down this dynamic can reveal how it's hurting our relationship.

Childhood ADHD and Poor Self-Esteem

Does your child with ADHD constantly put himself down? ADHD, anxiety, and negativity commonly go together. As parents, we have to figure out how to battle negative self-talk.

Eliminate Unruly Spectator Behavior From Youth Sports

It’s as American as apple pie to boo and criticize judgments made by referees and umpires. But such behavior has no place in youth sports.

Believing in Ghosts, Goblins, and the Candy Witch

By Vanessa LoBue, Ph.D. on October 16, 2017 in The Baby Scientist
On Halloween, there is no doubt that children everywhere will have their minds on ghosts, goblins, and witches. But when do they learn that these characters aren't real?
Carl Pickhardt Ph. D.

Adolescence and the Use of Parental Worry

Not fun to do, and often given a bad name, worry can be constructive for both parent and adolescent to do.

ADHD Kills Motivation

By Adam Price Ph.D. on October 15, 2017 in The Unmotivated Teen
ADHD may kill motivation but I will show you how to provide life support using the most powerful tool you have: the parent-child relationship.

Over Half of Bisexual Youth Don't Have Family Support

What can straight parents do to support their bisexual children?

Parenting Strategies for Risky Situations

By Dan Peters Ph.D. on October 13, 2017 in From Worrier to Warrior
All parents will probably need to take a chance and give their child more freedom than they might be ready for.

Unraveling the Teenage Mind

Adolescence can be a mystifying time for everyone. This new book can help.

What Parents, Grown Kids Mean By "Independent" Is Different

By Jane Adams Ph.D. on October 12, 2017 in Between the Lines
Can your kids be adults even if they're not wholly independent? And is that still a valid endpoint to maturity? Interdependence may be an idea whose time—and place—has come.

What Is Fairness?

In parental alienation cases, a presumption of equal blame can be unfair.

The Talk

By Tina Traster on October 12, 2017 in Against All Odds
Weinstein, Trump, and Cosby have brought sexual abuse to the fore. How do parents of gender-fluid children address this issue?

Bigfoot Parents Have Small Brains

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on October 12, 2017 in How We Do It
Birds and mammals mostly show intensive parenting, linked to their “warm-blooded” nature and quite large brains. Incubator birds show no care of their chicks and have tiny brains.

Models of Respect

By Dan Peters Ph.D. on October 12, 2017 in From Worrier to Warrior
How do you get it? How do you teach it?