Q: My 13-year-old son's grades and overall respect for me and other adults – teachers, in particular – began going downhill last year (eighth grade), even before the shutdown. He began school this year with the same attitude, if not worse. In response, I have taken away most of his privileges, including his phone and video game. When we ...Read more
A grandmother in Arkansas says her adult children have great difficulty telling their children what to do. They turn instructions – more accurately, what they think are instructions – into questions and then wonder why their kids don't seem to appreciate their timidity.
Grandma's email made me think of a habit I have noticed among people a ...Read more
As just about everyone who has lived with a child for more than two years knows, the most potentially dangerous thing one can say to a toddler is "no." That single syllable strikes deep into the core of the reptilian portion of the toddler brain, arousing a reaction that dwarfs Godzilla's most destructive rampage.
"Should I simply ignore my 2-...Read more
Q: We have a 5-year-old who obsesses about dying. This has been going on for six months, ever since a child in the neighborhood died of a congenital genetic condition. Our son knew the boy and has been fearful of dying ever since. This is causing him lots of anxiety during the day and he is unable to go to sleep at night unless one of us is with...Read more
Q: Our 9-year-old has just learned he is not going back to school on schedule in the fall. Instead, he will be doing distance learning by computer and home instruction. We had to do this for the last six weeks of the last school term and he did not like it at all. Up until now, he has loved school and been a great student. To homeschool him, I ...Read more
Q: Our 10-month-old son has recently discovered the joys of throwing finger food on the floor at mealtimes. He doesn't seem to care if I feed it to him myself, one piece at a time, but isn't it important that he start feeding himself?
A: Not to worry. The emergence of "throwing food on the floor behavior" at this age, especially if a dog is ...Read more
I recently received a paean to my generation – the so-called "boomers" – that has been circulating on the Internet for some time now. It recalls and celebrates the freedom we enjoyed as children and the personal responsibility our parents enforced upon us – concerning the latter, much to our frequent chagrin.
Peanut butter was a dietary ...Read more
Are parents responsible for the sort of people their children become? That's this week's question, and the answer is no, albeit equivocally.
Several parents have recently written me bemoaning the lifestyles their adult children have chosen to lead – lifestyles that feature addictions, criminality and flagrant irresponsibility. (The operative ...Read more