Question: We recently discovered that our 12-year-old has been visiting pornography sites of all sorts on the Internet. When we caught him red-handed, he began crying and said he is addicted. Apparently, a friend of his got him involved. Our son has assured us it’s not going to happen again, but we really don’t know how to handle ...Read more
I am perennially asked whether I do or do not “believe” in autism. I suspect that on most occasions, it’s a test. Nonetheless, it’s a fair question that usually takes this form: “I know you don’t believe in ADHD; but do you believe in autism?”
To be clear, it would be absurd of me to deny that there are children – plenty of them...Read more
Question: On several occasions over the last six months or so, our 12-year-old son has told us he’s been thinking about suicide. Apparently, he’s been the target of a couple of school bullies and sometimes feels like life is too much. We’ve talked to him, tried to help him express his feelings, and tried to help him figure out ...Read more
Question: We have two married daughters, one of whom is adopted. The biological daughter has two children who, we recently discovered, have been told that it is wrong to call our adopted daughter “aunt so-and-so” because she is not really family. Nor, according to our biological daughter and son-in-law, is her husband an “uncle.” ...Read more
Q: Our son is 13 years old and in the 7th grade. Last week he came home from school complaining about how a few of his friends have been bullying him. These same boys were at his birthday party just the weekend before and they seemed to get along fine. Sometimes they poke fun at him when he is hanging around girls that these other boys...Read more
Question: Our 14-year-old (he’s going into the ninth grade at a public high school) has taken up with a bunch of kids that we don’t exactly approve of. They have reputations as troublemakers and at least one has already been arrested for shoplifting and had to do some community service. The irony is, they all come from families ...Read more
When children were raised, reared, or simply brought up, they emancipated “on time.” Upon high school graduation, children went to college, into the military, or became employed. Some, like my wife and myself, got married before they could vote. Those were the days when young people still wanted to leave home and strike out on their own, ...Read more
Question: I appreciate your traditional, call it old-fashioned approach to child rearing, but I’m a tad confused and hope you can help straighten out my thinking. I’ve been reading your column for maybe twenty years and have used many of your suggestions with success. Your recommendation that consequences be huge has been ...Read more
Concerning major behavior problems, parents often tell me they’ve “tried everything.” In more than forty years of doing this “parenting expert” gig, I’ve never run across a parent who was telling the truth about that. Since the 1960s, we’ve drifted so far away from a commonsense understanding of the fundamentals of child discipline...Read more
Q: My 7-year-old son, an only child, is giving me fits. He’s overly active and will not cooperate in any instruction I give him. In addition, if I tell him not to do something, it’s a guarantee he’s going to do it as soon as my back is turned. I’m a single mom and I’m embarrassed to admit that he runs the house. I spoke to ...Read more
“When are you going to write a book on grandparenting?” is a question asked of me by lots of folks, most of whom – no surprise here – are grandparents.
My stock answer: “I might, someday, that is, but right now I’m working on some other projects that are taking up most of my time blah blah blah.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve ...Read more
My wife and I spent two days in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, recently. As we always do, we walked around my boyhood neighborhood – the South-of-Broad historic district (back then, more run-down than historic) – and the usual memories came flooding back.
My friends and I spent nearly all day of any day that wasn’t a school ...Read more
There is child raising and there is “parenting.” America replaced the former with the latter in the 1970s and it’s been downhill ever since.
My mother – a single parent during most of my formative years – was not parenting me. She was raising me, bringing me up. She did not, therefore, “get down to my level” when she spoke to me. ...Read more
Julie Jargon is a reporter with the Wall Street Journal. Heretofore, she has written about food companies like Starbucks and McDonalds. As of April 2, however, Ms. Jargon is writing a WSJ column titled “Family and Tech,” described as dealing with “the impact of technology on family life.”
In her inaugural column (April 2, 2019), which ...Read more
“We’ve tried everything!” is one of the more common testimonials I hear from parents who’ve just described persistent and highly vexing discipline problems with a child or children.
Setting aside that it’s never the case that “everything” has been tried in conscientious fashion, the complaint reflects the wrong-headed notion – ...Read more
The Wall Street Journal recently (3/16/2019) printed a letter-to-the-editor in which Upland, California psychiatrist/psychoanalyst Charlene Moskovitz promotes the alleged benefits of medication and psychotherapy for children diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and ADHD (and, presumably, other emotional and behavioral issues). According to ...Read more
To the many readers who recently asked: Yes, I do take requests, and yes, I will riff on the Perpetually Beautiful People Who Laid Out Mega-Bribes to Guarantee That Their Beautiful and Everlastingly Entitled Bratz Get into the College of Their Choice Scandal.
Why would anyone who’s been paying attention be surprised? When polls find that a ...Read more