Several columns past, I took to my bully pulpit and excoriated men who are married with children for being fathers first and husbands a distant second (maybe even third behind sports fans). My point, for those of you who are behind the curve here, is that children don’t need fathers who are striving, as are so many of today’s dads, to be ...Read more
Q: My 15-year-old daughter is slowly driving me insane! She argues with me about everything and always wants the last word. No matter how well I explain the “why?” of a decision to her, she argues. Even when I offer a compromise, she argues. It’s her way or the highway. Is there a solution?
A: Yes, but you may not like it. Solving this ...Read more
Q: My husband sometimes gives our very defiant 7-year-old daughter "prizes" for doing what she is told. The other night, for example, Juliette didn’t like what I chose for her to wear the next day to school and threw a mega-tantrum. I didn’t give in, but the next morning, she came downstairs saying she looked stupid and began weeping ...Read more
No small number of today’s parents view their children through psychological lenses, especially when it comes to misbehavior. Instead of regarding a given misbehavior as simply an error that needs to be corrected through the application of proper discipline, the parents in question interpret it.
“What does it mean?” they ask and proceed ...Read more
I remember the first thought I had about what I believed would make me a grown-up. I imagined that instead of standing up on my tippy toes to turn on the faucet and wash my hands, I would just lean over the sink. It would be glorious.
I remembered Early Me's thought on a random day years later, when I reached for the knobs to wash my hands. A ...Read more
Q: I’m a working single mom with a 4-year-old daughter who won’t go to sleep unless I lie down with her. Plus, if she wakes up in the middle of the night to find I’m no longer in her bed, she comes and crawls into bed with me. If I attempt to persuade her to go back to her bed, she starts to cry. To be honest, I just don’t have the ...Read more
Many if not almost all of today’s parents believe in magic words. They do so because the mental health professional community has for 50 years or so told them children can be reasoned with, a claim that exposes the general lack of intellectual rigor in the mental health professions.
Magic words are words parents believe will magically change ...Read more
Guys! Guys! Your wives are having enough trouble putting their children and priorities into proper perspective without you adding to the muddle. Keep it straight, please.
I’m referring to the media voices telling you to be better fathers. Three times in the last six months or so I’ve been invited on podcasts promoting fatherhood. The hosts ...Read more
One of the more unfortunate consequences of relying on advice from mental health “experts” concerning parenting matters has been a one-dimensional understanding of child discipline.
Because of the infiltration of psychological theory into child rearing, most parents conceive of discipline as being all about correcting behavior.
Indeed, a...Read more
A sixth-grade teacher recently shared the following story with me: Two girls in her class were making fun of a classmate whose family was struggling financially. The girl was socially awkward and had no friends. The mocking was taking place both at school and on social media.
As I read the teacher’s email, I reminisced about what being in the...Read more
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