Essential Reads

What's Wrong With Needing to Be the Best

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on February 12, 2016 in Compassion Matters
People who experience pressure or false praise from their parents may feel that if they can just be special or perfect in some way, they will get the love they never felt.

The Myth of the Glowing New Mother

By Darby Saxbe Ph.D. on February 11, 2016 in Home Base
Postpartum depression is real. Does it come from a mismatch between modern society and the demands of motherhood?

The Surprising First Step in Effective Child Discipline

By David Rettew M.D. on February 11, 2016 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
Programs to help parents overcome child defiance don't usually start with star charts or time-outs but rather the surprisingly simple but tricky skill of paying attention.

Should I Let My Kid Play Football?

By Michael W. Austin Ph.D. on February 10, 2016 in Ethics for Everyone
Parents whose kids want to play football should consider the other ways in which their kids might get its benefits without incurring the risk of serious harm.

More Posts on Parenting

Why We Love Dr. Laura

Dr. Laura's popularity derives from the ways she blames and hates victims.  We all have trouble feeling entitled to care, protection, and love.  When people or groups "appear" to Laura to need help, she attacks them in the same way that we all attack ourselves for these apparent crimes. They're not crimes, of course, but are actually normal human needs and vulnerabilities.  

Bullying 101

Parents face challenges when others bully their children or when their own children act aggressively in public. Here are five tips to help you be an effective parent when your children face the challenges of childhood aggression.

The Rise of the Couple and Demise of the Rest: How Did This Happen?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on August 23, 2010 Living Single
How and why have couples ascended to a place of dominance in contemporary American society, leaving so many other important relationships and life pursuits devalued, dismissed, and neglected?

This Really Happened . . . Sort Of

By Evan Marshall on August 23, 2010 The Literary Life
There's an unspoken bond of trust between reader and author. If it's in print, we think, it must be true. But that's not necessarily so. Literary hoaxes have been foisted on us since the 5th century BCE, when Dionysius the Renegade wrote a play called Parthenopaeus and passed it off as the work of Sophocles. Dionysius's motive was to make a fool of his rival, Heraclides. These days, the motive behind literary hoaxes is usually money.

Why do teenagers feel immortal?

I blame the feelings of immortality of teenagers on the fact that their frontal lobes are not fully working. The reason the frontal lobes are not fully engaged is because they have not yet completed the process of neuronal myelination. Whenever I discuss this developmental process during class the young women all nod their heads knowingly; finally they have an explanation for the behavior of their boyfriends.

Why our economy is on the brink of going down the tubes...forever

We must overcome flaws in our own brains to pull America's economy out of a permanent dive

Understanding and Creating Your Digital Self

In this technological age, the digital self has become a frequent visitor on the couch.  Let's be honest here, who hasn't struggled with their digital self-identity?

If Barack Obama Is Christian, Michael Jackson Was White

According to the recent report by the Pew Research Center, 18% of the American population state that President Barack Obama is a Muslim (up from 11% in March 2009).  In contrast, 34% state he is a Christian (down from 48% in March 2009).  It is disheartening to know that 34% of the population has a dim understanding of human genetics.  Anybody who believes Barack Obama is Christian must also believe that Michael Jackson was white.

Who are YOU grateful to? Book Review: "Still Surprised" by Warren Bennis

A "Thank You," a Book Review and How to Develop a Moral Compass

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Weaker

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on August 21, 2010 Insight Therapy
It is commonly said that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. But psychological research has shown that a history of chaos and trauma actually hinders our ability to thrive.

P.S. How To Get Your "Happiness Project" Fix While I'm on Vacation.

Warning: Blatant self-promotion! It just occurred to me to say -- I'm taking a week's vacation, but if you want to read about happiness in the meantime, please consider my book, The Happiness Project (on the New York Times bestseller list for months, including hitting #1). “Um, why should I buy your book,” some people have asked, “when I can read the blog for free?” Other people have asked, more delicately, “I read your blog regularly, so isn’t reading the book just more of the same?” Here are some reasons to read the book:

Facing Reading or Learning Disability? Beat the Odds!

Parents who face the daunting task of raising a child with a learning disability now have a comprehensive guide covering everything from risk factors, to monitoring progress, to solving conflicts, to helping at home. Reading Disabilities: Beating the Odds, is a book I recommend for any parent or teacher with a child who has a reading problem or reading difficulty.

Is Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder a fad?

By Jared DeFife Ph.D. on August 20, 2010 The Shrink Tank
There was a time when hula hoops, pet rocks, and bell bottoms were fads. In this day and age, listening to Lady Gaga and attending a Justin Beiber concert are fads.When people have trouble with their abilities to work productively, learn new things, and form new relationships, that's not a's a problem.

To write, or not to write? (Or: what Plato didn't know)

Only a simpleton, said Socrates, would trust his thoughts to writing. What on earth would he say about bloggers?

Why Disruptive Children Misbehave at School

Where parents and teachers see 'attention seeking', 'disruptive' and 'distracted' behavior, research shows that the kids themselves label their behavior in more positive, or neutral ways. All that misbehaving can actually be a coping strategy. 

Practicing Friendship

By Arthur Zajonc on August 19, 2010 The Meditative Life
Rumi wrote, "Our friendship is made of being awake." How can we learn to be more awake to each other, and thereby strengthen our experience of friendship and love?

5 Warning Signs That Your Child May Be Developing an Eating Disorder

By Harriet Brown on August 19, 2010 Brave Girl Eating
It's easy to miss the earliest symptoms of an eating disorder. Here are 5 warning signs for parents that their child may be affected.

The Healing Power of Family Play

Many years ago I happened upon a magical island in the Mediterranean where families from all parts of Europe took their holidays. The beaches have the warmest, clearest aqua waters, there are fascinating prehistoric “taula” ruins, a bit like Stonehenge, sprinkled about, and the old towns take me back to a charming other time.  

The New Normal

By Ethan Gilsdorf on August 18, 2010 Geek Pride
Grieving never stops, but it abates. My life so far has shaped who I am, and that, along with how I learned to make my own life a good life after my sisters' deaths, makes me normal.

Can autism be diagnosed in infants? New study says yes.

By Robbie Woliver on August 18, 2010 Alphabet Kids
A new study offers hope that infants can be diagnosed for autism that might have otherwise shown up years later. The encouraging part of this news is that the most effective treatment for autism--early intervention--will be so much more effective with that earlier diagnosis.