The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed Daniel Eddy, a New York City chef, on how to have a mutually-successful experience with a young child in an upscale restaurant (“How to Take Your Kids Out to Eat and Actually Enjoy the Experience,” July 14, 2016). WSJ obviously thinks the fact that being a chef qualifies one as an expert the ...Read more
One of the more powerful parenting memes to emerge from the parenting revolution of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s was “Children deserve reasons.” To large degree, that was a reaction to the previous parental policy of answering “Why? and “Why not?” with “Because I said so.”
To my knowledge, no one has ever explained in non-...Read more
Question: What can we reasonably expect of our 18-year-old daughter when she comes home on weekends from her summer job? She usually heads straight to her boyfriend's family’s home and rolls in around 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night. We'd love to have a family meal with her. Do we say, "Dinner is at 6 o’clock and it would mean a ...Read more
Question: My 8-year-old daughter is having anxiety issues that seem to border on obsessive-compulsive disorder. She wants me to repeat certain things back to her and has a set routine of things I must say when I’m tucking her into bed. She’s genuinely upset by all this and tells me she thinks there’s something wrong with her. I’d ...Read more
Question: Our 12-year-old has a smart phone. I know you don’t approve, but all—and I do mean all—of his friends have them and texting is how they communicate. I don’t think, under the circumstances, that making him be the “odd man out” socially is a good idea. So our question: Do we have a right to monitor his phone ...Read more
I recently enjoyed the privilege of seeing and hearing radio talk-show host Dennis Prager speak on the topic of happiness. He only spoke for twenty minutes, but said more in that short span than most talk-show people are able to say in two hours.
He was talking to an audience about how to be a happy person and have a happy marriage....Read more
Question: While exploring your website, I ran across a column you wrote a while back about a 13-year-old who wanted a Mohawk haircut. You told the parents not to allow it, pointing out that if you give most teenagers an inch, they’re eventually going to push for a mile. I think it’s generally wise for parents to say yes to small ...Read more
“Puzzled Grandma in the South” recently wrote to “Dear Abby” asking “Why is there so much angst today over raising children, especially in young mothers?” Grandma has observed that moms of her generation (baby boomers) did not agonize over raising kids, and neither did her mother or grandmother. She also rightly points out that today...Read more
Shaky ManMark S. Parker
STAY AWAY FROM SHAKY MAN! The rumor in Tonkaway, Texas is he killed his family, eats children and abuses his dogs. The story of the unlikely friendship of two boys, one white, one black, growing up during the 1960's. They come together through their love of laughter, baseball and Star Trek. ...
True story: I sent one of my more recent books to a radio talk-show host who, in turn, gave it to one of her “readers,” asking him to extract appropriate questions.
Said reader, a 30-something year-old, opened the book, read “Children are bad” and refused to go any further, making no small amount of drama over my micro-aggression.
To ...Read more
Question: I homeschool my three children, ages are 8, 6, and 5. The older two have a very poor attitude about doing school, especially math, and the younger one is starting to pick up on it. Their poor attitudes make the lessons take longer and they complain and cry about finishing their assignments. I've tried sending them to their rooms until ...Read more
Question: My daughter, who just turned three, has a surge of energy after dinner and can take hours to fall asleep. I try putting her down around 8 o’clock, but there are nights when she doesn’t fall asleep before 10. Sometimes she tells me she's tired but can't fall asleep. At other times, she will throw a tantrum before bed. When ...Read more
This forgotten prewar method helps you lose fat from your belly, buttocks and hips incredibly fast. You simply need to stick to one strange rule..
Question: I caught my 16-year-old smoking pot. I took everything from him and told him that the next time I catch him, he’s out! What else can I or should I do?
Answer: Where is he “out” to? You obviously didn’t think that threat through very well. In the first place, it may be illegal in your state to emancipate a 16-...Read more
Question: Whenever my 4-year-old son tries something new, he becomes very frustrated if he has any difficulty at all. This happens when practicing numbers, letters, or anything else I try to teach him. I tell him that he’s doing fine and will do better with practice, but it’s obviously not sinking in. In general, he’s a ...Read more
Question: We are a struggling blended family. My husband has three children (ages 7, 12, 17) from a previous marriage. Their mother's home is focused on the easiest way of parenting. She allows unlimited electronics, showers the kids with presents, and does not discipline effectively at all. It’s obvious she wants to be the kids’ ...Read more
Question: Our 7-year-old son has sucked his thumb forever and more or less constantly. He has recently switched to sucking his index finger and putting his right hand down the back of his pants at the same time. This is driving us CRAZY!!! I read your response to a question recommending "if you catch him sucking his thumb outside his room...Read more
Question: My 6-year-old daughter watched too many episodes of a certain TV show when she was sick and now she doesn't want to go to sleep at night because she is having scary thoughts related to the show. She will come out of her room again and again complaining of these thoughts (mostly before she has gone to sleep…rarely in the middle...Read more
Question: We have a 7-year-old son and two girls ages 9 and 6. The girls are gifted academically and athletically. He simply can’t keep up with them. They’re even better at bike-riding. As a result, he doesn’t want to participate in sports. If on a rare occasion he plays with the girls he has to win and becomes very upset if he ...Read more