2021 marks the 45th year I’ve been writing this column. I’ve been told it is the longest-running syndicated column written continuously by one author. That takes “Dear Abby” out of contention.
In the beginning, I was four years out of graduate school, directing a community mental health program for children and families, a mere eight ...Read more
Q: I teach 3- and 4-year-olds in a childcare center in Australia. I always have a few difficult children in any group and the book in which you describe Alpha Speech ["The Well-Behaved Child"] has been very helpful. My disciplinary options are limited to separating a misbehaving child out of the group for a few minutes and talking, but I cannot ...Read more
Q:Our son is 7 years old and in the second grade. His school went virtual this past spring and we see no end to it, not in the near term at least. When he was going to a brick-and-mortar schoolhouse, he did very well. Close to the top of his class, in fact. Ever since last spring, however, he’s been in a slow decline. I have to stand over him ...Read more
A journalist asks, “What is the biggest challenge facing today’s children?”
“The real world,” I said.
For the last 50 years or so, good parenting has been defined as protecting one’s children from frustration, defeat, difficulty, stress, loss, deprivation, negative consequences, mistake, and just about every other real-world ...Read more
Q: Our 14-year-old daughter desperately wants to begin wearing makeup, which all, and I mean all, of her classmates are allowed to do. We have held off not only because of our beliefs but also because of her immaturity. Up until recently, for example, she has continued to throw magnificent tantrums when she doesn’t get her way. We decided to ...Read more
“Hand in Hand” parenting is the latest iteration of progressive (nouveau, unverified) childrearing. I became aware of HIH several weeks ago, courtesy of a grandmother whose daughter and son-in-law are practitioners. She was both amused and appalled. Intrigued, I went to the HIH website (handinhandparenting.org) to see for myself.
The first ...Read more
"Are you afraid of your child/children?" I query folks who testify to children who frequently engage in flagrant antisocial behavior – tantrums, brazen disrespect, and belligerent disobedience being the top three.
I cannot recall an exception to parents – hundreds and counting – answering "Yes." Therefore, it seems that fear of one's ...Read more
Nearly every time I talk to an adoptive parent, I become saddened, disgusted, angry or each in turn. It recently happened again.
The parent in question is the mother of a pre-teen boy who was adopted in early toddlerhood – at least a year before the ability to remember past events develops. Research has established that no matter the ...Read more
Q: We sent our daughter a recent article of yours hoping it might cause her to rethink her approach to raising our grandson. It was not well-received and she is no longer speaking to us. The child, age 4, is quite ill-behaved. Our daughter makes one excuse after another for him: He was premature, he was hospitalized as a toddler and now has PTSD...Read more
It's funny, sort of, the things some parents want to believe. An example concerns children who've developed full-blown "eating disorders" by age 3.
"My child was exhibiting food intolerances as an infant!" a mother insisted to me after I had told an audience that picky eating was learned as opposed to some anomaly of the nerve endings in a ...Read more
Q: In a recent column, you identified toddlerhood as "the hump of parenting." As a grandmother who managed to raise five kids who were out of the house in their early 20s and are responsible citizens, I could not agree more. Two of them, however, did not get over the hump with their kids and now have spoiled, difficult children whom I sadly do ...Read more