Q: My best friend’s 6-year-old daughter is an only child and a spoiled brat. She screams at her parents when she doesn’t get her way, always wants to be first at everything and is extremely bossy with other children. For whatever strange reason, my children want to play with her. How can I discourage the friendship? Should I talk to my ...Read more
Q: We see my husband's 9-year-old son every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. He has major issues in school with both behavior and doing his work. He's well behaved when he's with us, but his mother lets him get away with a lot. Also, she thinks teachers should punish for school problems and she should punish for home problems (but she ...Read more
Q: Our sons are 6 and 4. When their same-age cousins come over, they all go down into our basement to play. Invariably, within 30 minutes, my youngest comes upstairs crying because his older brother is causing the cousins to gang up against him. I end up going down into the basement every half hour to settle these disputes. Is there a way to ...Read more
America entered what I call the Age of Parenting Enlightenment around 1970. That was the year, or thereabouts, when parents stopped listening to their elders about childrearing matters and began instead listening to people with capital letters after their names. The people in question were enlightened, supposedly, by having attended graduate ...Read more
A recent online article concerned a mom who refused to pay her teenage daughter for doing household chores. A poll of readers found that an overwhelming majority of them agreed with the daughter.
Paying a child for pulling her weight in the family when said child, being a minor, does not pay her share of the mortgage and utilities and is the ...Read more
Psychologist, author and professor Russell Barkley, widely regarded as one of America’s leading ADHD experts, used to be (and for all I know may still be) fond of ridiculing me in his public presentations, claiming that I believe television causes ADHD. Of course, I never said any such thing.
I maintained, and still do, that spending three ...Read more
If the following testimony from a thirty-eight-year veteran of the teacher wars was a one-off, it could be dismissed, but the sad, sad truth is it is but one of hundreds of such teacher testimonies I have obtained over the course of my career.
She reports: “I have often had a student, while in class, surreptitiously text a parent about a poor...Read more
Q: When I give my 5-year-old daughter a chore, she does it, but all the while she is muttering under her breath, huffing and puffing, and so on. Do I discipline that behavior or just let her vent?
A: Let her vent! She may have a “bad attitude,” but she does what she is told. She’s just being petulant, which in this situation doesn’t ...Read more
The contemporary parenting ideal consists of equal parts fixer, go-fer, and friend. This is why, when it is encountered in the flesh by someone of my ancient age, the new definition of a “good parent” seems so out of whack. Our parents were anything but the new ideal, as evidenced by one of their favorite parenting aphorisms: “You made ...Read more
OK, I’ve had it! I’ve reached my limit! My tolerance for well-intentioned nonsense is kaput! Over and done with! Maxed out! Stop it! Just stop it!
I’m referring to the oft-tendered recommendation that mom and dad set aside a weekly “date night” for the purpose of taking a break from parenting and rejuvenating their marriage.
First, ...Read more
Is the following statement true or false? It is often the case that children like what is not good for them and do not like what is good for them.
True, right? Right!
The question then becomes: Are you trying to be liked by your child?
Other forms of the same question are…Does it bother you when your child acts like he doesn’t like you? ...Read more
Q: I’m concerned that my 3-year-old — she's nearly 4 — daughter has some sort of language issue. For example, even though my brother’s family moved away nearly two years ago, whenever we drive by their former house my daughter will ask if they still live there. If I am wearing a yellow shirt, she’ll ask, "Is your shirt yellow, Mommy?�...Read more