“What went wrong, John?” asked a fellow boomer who, like many folks my age, are dismayed at what has happened within the American family over our lifetimes. Specifically, we have seen the end of mere childrearing and the consequences to all concerned of this new and harmful thing called “parenting.”
In the 1960s, the forces of cultural ...Read more
Regular readers of this column are no doubt familiar with my imaginary friend, The Doctor. I often call upon him to solve behavior problems of various sorts concerning young children. Well, The Doctor has done it again! This time with what many mental health professionals would call separation anxiety.
The child in question is a boy, age 5. His...Read more
Q: I’m a single mom who works from home. At noon, I pick up my 5-year-old from half-day kindergarten. Because I’m unable to pay attention to her while I’m working, she wants to watch television for the rest of the afternoon. We have a no-TV rule on school days, but I find myself unable to enforce it. If she isn’t watching TV, she’s at ...Read more
Q: Getting my daughters, 15 and 13, to pick up their clothes from the floors of their rooms requires constant nagging from me. I’m at my wits' end. Please help me out with this. It’s driving me slowly insane.
A: Speaking as your therapist du jour, it is my responsibility to inform you that you may already have crossed the line. Remember the...Read more
Q: My grandmother maintains that her children – my mother and her two siblings, all born in the 1950s – were completely toilet-trained at 18 months. Her terse explanation: “I just gave them proper instruction.” My pediatrician says 18 months is rushing things. What do you think?
A: Your pediatrician is repeating the post-1960s toilet-...Read more
Q: Our 15-year-old son has pronounced mental health issues. He deals with multiple anxieties and depression, and he is painfully shy. You seem to believe that psychological therapy is of questionable value and even sometimes counterproductive when the patient is a child or teen. If that is true, we are still left with a child who is in emotional...Read more
When America’s mental health industry sees the opportunity to broaden its influence, it pounces. If said opportunity presents itself in the form of odd behavior on the part of certain children, the first thing the industry does is invent a new diagnosis, thus securing their claim to “treatment rights." In the public eye, a psychological ...Read more
OK, stop it! Enough already!
I guess we need some rules around here, beginning and ending with, “Don’t make Santa Claus into a boogieman.” I know him personally, and he’s the most gracious and loving human being you’d ever want to meet. In the past week or so, since turkey carcasses began clogging our landfills, I’ve heard two ...Read more
Q: Several months ago, my husband and I allowed our 5-year-old daughter to sleep with us for a couple of nights. We thought this was innocent, but she began crying hysterically when we tried to move her back to her own bed. We compromised by letting her keep her iPad with her until she fell asleep but quickly realized that her device keeps her ...Read more
This is the Age of the Parenting Cult, the latest iteration of which is so-called “gentle parenting.” GP is the latest attempt by America’s mental health industry to persuade moms (today’s all-too-typical dad is a mere “parenting aide”) to approach discipline such that both child behavior and child mental health problems increase, ...Read more
Q: My just-turned-4-year-old repeats things he has heard or has said before. For example, even though my brother’s family moved away nearly two years ago, whenever we drive by their old house he will say, “There’s Uncle Frank’s house!” He also asks questions when he knows the answers. For example, if I’m wearing a green dress, and ...Read more
Q: I have two boys, 18 and 33 months. How much time each day should I spend involved in activities with them? Also, they chase one another around the house among other sorts of roughhousing, but they hardly ever play with their educational toys. Is there some way I can get them interested in these things?
A: The notion that parents need to get ...Read more