Many times have I warned parents of the pitfalls of micromanaging their children’s academic responsibilities lest said children deduce that the responsibilities in question are not theirs at all and begin acting increasingly irresponsible. Hello? Is there anybody out there?
“I know you say parents shouldn’t micromanage their kids, John,�...Read more
To most folks, micromanagement has to do with tasks or performance. The micromanaging parent, for example, is generally thought of as one who hovers over a child’s homework or academics in general. Indeed, that is the most common form, but parental micromanagement can also extend to organizing and directing a child’s social life and ...Read more
Q: My 3-year-old is prone to ear infections. When he has one, his behavior deteriorates considerably. He becomes disobedient and given to angry outbursts. When his ears are clear, he’s generally delightful to be around. I’m reluctant to discipline him when his ears are hurting him, but I’d like your advice on this.
A:Obviously, your son ...Read more
Q: My 5-year-old continues to throw tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. His father and I are divorced. I have primary custody. He is with his dad every other weekend, basically. My ex has very poor emotional control and I’m concerned that our son may have inherited that from him. When he throws a tantrum, I make him sit in a “tantrum ...Read more
Concerning my prior use of the word “addiction” in association with smart phones and children (including teens), some people think I am speaking figuratively. To set the record straight: No, I am speaking quite literally.
When the addiction in question is to a substance, as in an opiate, there is both a psychological and physical component....Read more
What, pray tell, is COVID parenting? I need to know because over the past few months, several journalists have asked if I have any COVID-parenting suggestions. I went online and, sure enough, a fair number of so-called “parenting experts” are advising parents on how to “survive” shutdowns, as if having children in the home as opposed to ...Read more
A therapist takes a 10-year-old boy into what she calls “therapy.” The young fellow is belligerently defiant toward his parents and throws titanic tantrums when things don’t go his way. At school – virtual, going on a year – he’s distractible and doesn’t finish his work without being hovered over and harangued by his mother, a ...Read more
Researchers have found what many personal testimonies will confirm: Most shy children, even the most painfully shy of them, are not shy adults. The progression from introversion to extroversion does not require therapy, behavior modification, or any extraordinary measures. More often than not, it just happens.
Most shy kids outgrow their ...Read more
Misusing terminology is not simply a matter of semantics. A person who confuses the meaning of words is likely to behave accordingly.
That occurred to me during a conversation with a parent who was using the word discipline as if it was a synonym for punishment. When I pointed that out, he said, somewhat defensively, “What’s the difference?...Read more
Q: In a recent column, you described our 5-year-old daughter. She is in bed at 6:30 in the evening but usually wakes up during the night and wants to talk to us about whatever is on her mind. We both work and need our sleep, so that’s a huge problem. She very energetic and emotional during the day. To get her to calm down and sleep through the...Read more
A headache does not mean one has a brain tumor, but some brain tumors do cause headaches.
Likewise, ADHD behaviors do not mean one has a food allergy, albeit some food allergies cause, in some children, behaviors that are on the official list of ADHD symptoms. (Mind you, I believe ADHD is one of many bogus psychological diagnoses, but that is a...Read more
Making children happy became a parenting goal in the early 1970s. The paradox, as everyone with a modicum of commonsense knows, is that the more effort parents put into making a child happy, the more unhappy the child becomes.
Underneath the cute appearance of an infant lurks a tyrant. I would have been expelled from graduate school for writing...Read more