Essential Reads

Honey, I've Optimized the Kids

By Hara Estroff Marano on December 05, 2016 in Nation of Wimps
Turning out OK is no longer an outcome acceptable to parents. Today children must be optimized. And that may be why failure-to-launch is a growing problem among young adults.

Why Kids Believe in Santa Claus (And Why That's Okay)

By Vanessa LoBue, Ph.D. on December 05, 2016 in The Baby Scientist
Some scientists and parents believe it can be harmful to lie to children, even if it's about something harmless like Santa Claus. Research suggests Santa might be okay after all.

A Step-Child's Guide to Step-Parenting

Each family has its own story with its own peculiar complexities, but most have a moment in which the new boyfriend or girlfriend becomes a parent...

How Parents Raise Children to Fit In

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 29, 2016 in The Human Beast
There is a lot of skepticism about whether parents truly affect their children. Comparing kids in different societies finds links between parenting and outcomes.

More Posts on Parenting

Perverts, Stalkers, and Cyberbullies, Oh My!

Shame on LA Times columnist Sandy Banks for perpetuating ignorance and the fear of technology. It exemplifies the response of people who aren't willing to learn what it's like to be a kid living with technology today.

Jobs Are Up, But What Kinds of Jobs?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on April 03, 2011 in Hidden Motives
The media have been celebrating the good news about unemployment. The rate has gone down to 8.8%. But the news obscures the fact that having a job does not provide security for many people.

Save the Parents!

By Katherine Ellison on April 03, 2011 in Pay Attention

The Case of the Missing Cobra: Making News Compelling Through Story

The Bronx Zoo misplaced an Egyptian cobra. I read about it in the LA Times. This isn’t the first errant zoo animal, so why would a west coast paper carry news about an east coast zoo faux pas? Because it became a story.

Sit Down Mommy & Daddy: Jenny and I Are Getting a Divorce

By Rachel Clark on April 01, 2011 in
Co-children have “The Talk” with their parents.

Should You Share Regrets Online?

When things don’t go as we plan or hoped, we feel regret. Regret can be difficult to manage because it involves self-blame—regret is about our lost opportunities and possible selves. The regret can be painful and enduring. Here are four reasons why sites like can help.

Father-Daughter Bond Enjoys a Growth Spurt

By Peggy Drexler Ph.D. on March 31, 2011 in Our Gender, Ourselves

Promoting Delusions of Entitlement

What happens when children are raised with the belief that they are entitled to nothing materialistic, and everything they receive from their parents is a blessing?

What State Budget Cuts Mean for the Most Troubled Children

By Josephine Johnston and Erik Parens—If your child ends up on 12 North, the Children's Psychiatry Unit at Stony Brook University Hospital, he has probably been diagnosed with one, or many, serious mental disorders. He (or she) has likely been prescribed myriad medications.

Gene Tests for Toddlers? Pediatricians Warn About Testing Kids for Athletic Ability

A commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association warns about gene tests that claim to predict the athletic potential of young children.

Nanny Angst

By David F Lancy Ph.D. on March 29, 2011 in Benign Neglect
We should not treat the employment of nannies as some unfortunate but necessary deviation from the ideal but rather as a continuation of child care practices that have prevailed throughout most of human history.

The Uncertainty Curse

By Anneli Rufus on March 28, 2011 in Stuck
If your parent is mentally ill yet has never been diagnosed, you grow up never knowing why he or she suffers all day, every day. You believe you can make him or her happy if you just try hard enough. Your parent's paranoia, rage, delusions, sorrow, and/or suicidal urges are your "normal." His or her horror is yours.

Are Americans getting dumber?

By Ray Williams on March 28, 2011 in Wired for Success
Is the American populace getting dumber? So say critics who see this as part of America's current decline.

Infertility: Do You Wear A Scarlet Letter?

By Connie Shapiro PhD on March 28, 2011 in When You're Not Expecting
For those of us with infertility, the letter "I" can be a prominent symbol in our lives: sometimes public -- sometimes not. And we have many choices about how to "wear" that symbol in our relationships.