Q: Our 10-month-old son has recently discovered the joys of throwing finger food on the floor at mealtimes. He doesn't seem to care if I feed it to him myself, one piece at a time, but isn't it important that he start feeding himself?
A: Not to worry. The emergence of "throwing food on the floor behavior" at this age, especially if a dog is ...Read more
I recently received a paean to my generation – the so-called "boomers" – that has been circulating on the Internet for some time now. It recalls and celebrates the freedom we enjoyed as children and the personal responsibility our parents enforced upon us – concerning the latter, much to our frequent chagrin.
Peanut butter was a dietary ...Read more
Are parents responsible for the sort of people their children become? That's this week's question, and the answer is no, albeit equivocally.
Several parents have recently written me bemoaning the lifestyles their adult children have chosen to lead – lifestyles that feature addictions, criminality and flagrant irresponsibility. (The operative ...Read more
I have long maintained that the significant per-capita increase in child and adolescent mental health problems since the 1960s is due to the collective embrace of a parenting paradigm that has proven itself to be not only dysfunctional but also dangerous – ironically, to child and teen mental health. This new paradigm, which I term "Postmodern...Read more
Q: Our son, age 8, has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. His IQ is well above average but his actual performance in the classroom is problematic. He has difficulty paying attention and finishing his work. We got him a tutor – an older retired teacher – this year. He worked well with her, but that really didn't solve the ...Read more
Q: My wife has a habit of giving our very stubborn and dramatic (lots of whining, moping, and tantrums) 6-year-old daughter "prizes" for doing what she is told. Last Sunday, for example, Carrie didn't dress appropriately for church. We told her she had to change. She had a meltdown. She collapsed on the floor, weeping. Without consulting with me...Read more
In 1972, a Stanford University psychologist conducted a study in which young children, individually, were offered either a small but immediate reward (a marshmallow or a pretzel) or a doubled reward if they were able to wait for 15 minutes. In follow-up studies, researchers found that children who were able to postpone gratification experienced ...Read more
I have come up with a new psychological diagnosis, one that I won't, however, be submitting for approval to the powers that be: simply, odd. My "odd" is to be distinguished from ODD, the acronym for oppositional defiant disorder, an invention that enables mental health professionals to obtain payment from insurance providers ... but that's ...Read more