Question: Your recent series on punishment was thought-provoking. I agree children should have consequences when they misbehave. Nonetheless, would you please clarify when punishment becomes excessive? What is the line between reasonable and too much? When I was young, I was spanked with a belt on numerous occasions. I always felt, and ...Read more
Question: Our ten-year-old granddaughter lives with us. We have custody of her but her father, our son, is now asking us for visitation privileges. I probably don’t need to tell you that both he and his ex-wife were not up to parental responsibilities. He says he’s cleaned up his act and wants a relationship with his daughter. She ...Read more
This is the last (for a while, anyway) of three columns in which I take on the absurd notion that punishing children for bad behavior is bad parenting. (The previous are on my website at johnrosemond.com.) There is commonsense and there is nonsense and the absurd notion in question belongs squarely in the latter category.
Paradoxically, the ...Read more
This is the second in a series on “parent-babble,” as in the same-old, same-old nonsense the mental health industry has been passing off as sound parenting advice since the late 1960s.
Last week, I skewered an online article by mindfulness parenting coach Hunter Clarke-Fields in which she references psychologist Alan Kazdin, director of the...Read more
I am often asked how long I intend to keep this up, as in writing this column, writing books, and speaking on childrearing and family matters. My answer: As long as they keep it up; “it” being the utter nonsense that emanates and has been emanating from the mental health professional community since the late 1960s, nonsense that corresponds ...Read more
With the release of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” inquiring minds want to know: What did I think of Mr. Rogers?
I never met the man, but in the early days of my fatherhood, I watched Rogers’ show enough to figure out that as was also the case with Captain Kangaroo and other children’s television personalities he was working a ...Read more
Question: “You’ve accused mothers of being in co-dependent relationships with their children,” she (a journalist) said, then asked, “What is co-dependency, exactly, and how does it apply to today’s mothers?”
Answer: Great question! One that cuts right to the core of America’s parenting problem. A co-dependent relationship consists...Read more
Question: I’m already dreading the holidays. Our eight-year-old is a very excitable child and our family is expected to attend numerous holiday get-togethers at the homes of family members. When he’s included in events where there’s lots of excitement and anticipation in the air, he has a reputation for becoming very impulsive, loud...Read more
After a recent talk in South Florida, women came up to me in droves asking, “How much should I help my children with their schoolwork?”
That not one man asked the question speaks loudly to the state of parenting in postmodern America. Men don’t ask the question because they know they are not trusted to do BIG parenting stuff like ensure ...Read more
Okay, it's time to set the record straight, confront the gorilla in the proverbial room, call a spade a spade, and so on and so forth.
I recently published a column on "The Portal" – the black hole in academic cyberspace that has trapped many a mother – in which I used the female pronoun almost exclusively.
I am told by a sixty-year-old ...Read more
The myth of the first three years has it that whatever habits, traits, dysfunctions and so on that a child develops during this admittedly formative period are going to stay with him for life. That is not necessarily so. For example, Romanian orphans that had suffered severe emotional and physical neglect during infancy and toddlerhood recovered...Read more
Question: Our 7-year-old son recently stole two small model cars from a playmate while he was at the playmate’s house. Apparently, he wanted to trade one of his toys for the two cars, but the playmate refused, so he stole them. When we found them, he claimed his friend had given them to him. We absolutely know that’s not true, but ...Read more
The Portal. It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, the gateway to an alternative universe that lures, then traps the unwary in its nefarious web of illusion, where things are never what they seem.
If the previous sentence sounded to you like Rod Sterling intoning the intro to “The Twilight Zone,” then you too are old ...Read more
Question: My normally happy 6-year-old son has recently started incorporating death and war-like games into his imaginative play. He isn't and has never been a mean-spirited child, but his dad and I just divorced (amicably), and I feel like he's having trouble dealing with it. For example, he has started telling me he feels stupid. Can ...Read more
I have good news for parents: You do not need more than a few tools in your disciplinary tool-bag. One especially valuable tool, one that belongs in every modern home, is the “Doctor.” The Doctor is akin to a genie – an invisible parenting sprite, so to speak – whom you invite to take up residence in your home. But it’s not like ...Read more
“What do you do when your baby cries?” I asked the 20-something new mom who was already feeling overwhelmed and beginning to slip into post-partum depression. Her mother-in-law had suggested she talk to someone and recommended yours truly.
“I pick him up,” she said.
“You always, when he cries, pick him up?” I asked.
“Yes, always...Read more
Question: We held off giving our oldest daughter a smart phone until she was fifteen, the age at which we allowed her older brother to have one. We read your column weekly in our hometown newspaper and know you disapprove but we had no issues with our son and thought, wrongly, that things would go equally well if not better with our daughter...Read more