Question: Our 18-year-old daughter is a month away from high school graduation and she is failing nearly every class! About six months ago, she took up with a group of young adults who are less than desirable, to say the least. Some of them are dropouts. I suspect drugs and alcohol. The more we tried to prevent her from running with this ...Read more
By the time this column appears in most papers to which it is distributed, Mother’s Day 2017 will have come and gone. Nonetheless, I’m going to talk about mothers—one in particular.
To begin with, assuming one believes his or her mother is worthy of admiration, then said esteem ought to be expressed on a frequent basis and not reserved ...Read more
Dear American Parent (hopefully, you will recognize yourself),
It’s high time someone reminded you of the adage “The road to ‘Hades’ is paved with good intentions.”
I have watched you from near and far as you have gone about raising your children. You’re certainly a well-intentioned person, thus my reference...Read more
Question: I’ve read enough of your writings to know that you believe children should be obedient, that they should do what they are told. I want my children to think for themselves and to question authority, not to blindly obey simply because someone is bigger than they are. I don’t want them thinking that “might makes right.” ...Read more
Question: Our 17-year-old son is an unmotivated student. A junior in high school, he is clearly capable of making straight A’s, but typically makes B’s and C’s. He plays on both the football and tennis teams, but is a standout at neither. He thinks kids who use drugs and play video games are “stupid” and his friends are all ...Read more
In 2009, pediatrician and former medical school professor Bose Ravenel and I published “The Diseasing of America’s Children” (Thomas Nelson), in which we argued from facts that ADHD and other childhood behavior disorders were inventions of the psychological-psychiatric-pharmaceutical industry.
Cancer, high cholesterol, influenza, measles,...Read more
Question: You seem to blame all of America’s parenting woes on mental health professionals and imply that if parents still raised kids as did people in the 1950s and before, they wouldn’t be having the problems they’re having today. But times have changed, John. Is it realistic to think that children can still be raised like their...Read more
A Song ApartJeffrey H. Baer
A SONG APART revolves around Shannon Kistler, a teenaged pop singer, and Kevin Derow, her 19-year-old biggest fan. They met and fall in love unexpectedly while wishing society would accept them as they are. Then they realize they don’t need anyone else’s approval ...
Once again, a reader proves that parenting must be added to religion and politics as verboten subjects for polite conversation. A column I published back in December of 2016 went viral recently -- yes, three months later (such things are mysteries to me). In it, I proposed that parents, not children, are the most important people in a family and...Read more
Question: My 30-month-old has started throwing tantrums when I do not give her or do for her what she wants. During her fits, she cries, screams, tries to hit and even bite me, and then, if I prevent her from hitting me, will hit herself. My mother says this needs to be nipped in the bud. She recommends spanking. I say my daughter ...Read more
The problem in American parenting is the 1960s. Among other things that defined that very interesting (ref. ancient Chinese curse) decade was the replacement of rationality by emotionality. It was during the 1960s that the media, various self-appointed spiritual gurus, and the mental health professional community urged people to “get in touch ...Read more
I’ve said it many times, but it bears repeating: A child’s natural response to the proper presentation of authority is obedience; as in, the first time the child is told to do something, he does it.
Furthermore, research finds what common sense intuits: Obedient kids are happy kids. Therefore, whereas an obedient child is certainly a ...Read more
Question: Our 14-year-old son, who was adopted by open adoption, now wants to go live with his birth-mother. She was completely out of the picture until a couple of years ago when she suddenly showed up, telling us that she'd completely changed her life and wanted to re-establish contact with "her" son. At first, it was just phone calls...Read more
There must be some relationship between aging and the "You've got to be kidding me!" response, if I am any indication, that is. What was once occasional has become almost daily.
My latest "YGTBKM!" was in response to a Wall Street Journal article ("New Instructions at High Schools: Take a Nap," February 9, 2017) on high school nap...Read more
As regular readers of this column already know, I am completely, one hundred percent opposed to children, including teenagers still living at home, being in possession of smart phones. No parent has ever been able to give me a logical reason why a minor should enjoy such a privilege, if enjoy is even the proper word.
The most common rationale ...Read more
Question: Our 15-year-old daughter has become, over the past year or so, quite a disruptive influence in our normally peaceful home. She was a gem until she entered high school when she almost overnight become disrespectful and combatively argumentative. If she disagrees with a decision we make, she will begin screaming at us, calling us ...Read more
“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”
So said 17th Century French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal. He meant that people are more likely to form opinion based on emotions than evidence.
I thought of Pascal’s insight as I read several excerpts...Read more