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
I finally tracked down the fellow who invented the so-called “pull-up.” His name is Lucapher (Big Lou) Saytan. Reputedly, Mr. Saytan lives in an underground bunker from which he develops and markets various nefarious technologies, the most notable of which are the so-called “smart”phone and video games.
All kidding aside, a number of ...Read more
Q: I am a principal at a private church-affiliated school. Contrary to my graduate school training and most of my peers’ practice, I believe disciplinary actions should fit the crime. As such, I do not generally issue the namby-pamby sort of consequences other principals deliver. Fear of being sent to my office goes a long way toward ...Read more
One of the characteristics of a truly civilized society is the ubiquitous use of proper social courtesies. Raising a child is all about civilizing the savage within; therefore, “manners,” as they are known, should be taught to a child early and diligently.
A parent recently wrote me, asking, “What’s the most important social courtesy to...Read more
Well, I must say I’m rather, uh, disappointed albeit my worst suspicions have been verified. I expected response to my recent column on the practice of high-fiving children, but I failed to account for the general deterioration of critical thinking skills brought about by social media, and did not, consequently, anticipate the level of vitriol...Read more
Q: My husband and I recently visited our son’s family. We live 2,000 miles apart and with the pandemic and all, we hadn’t seen one another in several years. We were appalled to discover that they — our daughter-in-law in particular — practice “gentle parenting,” which seemed to explain our two grands’ generally disrespectful and ...Read more
A mother recently asked my advice concerning a discipline problem she was having with one of her children. I asked her to define the word discipline.
She thought a moment and answered, “Well, it means to create rules and enforce them consistently. Right?”
No, not right.
To be fair, most parents would give similar answers, which begins to...Read more
Q: I have home-schooled my seventh-grade daughter on and off through elementary school. This school year, I began home-schooling her, but she’s now telling me she wants to go to “real” school again because she wants to be with other kids her age. She’s very social and has lots of friends, mostly through the church we attend.
The same ...Read more
Q: Ever since toddlerhood, we have had significant behavior problems with our 6-year-old son — defiance and general disrespect, mostly. We have tried various disciplinary approaches with little to no positive results.
The latest problem involves the fact that I home-school him. Although he was not a problem in private school kindergarten ...Read more