In Raleigh, North Carolina, on the backside of the Department of Education building is a structure known as the Education Wall. Completed in 1992, the EW was conceived and created by artist Vernon Pratt and writer Georgann Eubanks. Engraved into the polished red granite are various messages that presumably reflect my home state’s commitment to...Read more
My critics are providing me much material of late for this column and my weekly radio show (Saturdays, 6:00 ET, AFR). Most recently, a family therapist in Kentucky pleads with the Lexington Herald-Leader to stop running my column (“Stop Rosemond,” Letters, December 28, 2017), citing my “dangerous” belief that ADHD and other childhood ...Read more
Question: Our 17-year-old daughter wants to begin visiting colleges. She’s a high-school junior this year and this is when the college visitations begin. We’re feeling like the Grinches Who Stole College Visitations because neither of us feel there’s any value to this practice. We fail to understand how walking among and through ...Read more
Is a father owed respect from his children? Actually, the question, from a father, was rhetorical: Isn’t a father owed his children’s respect? The dad in question maintains that because he loves his children unconditionally, provides their standard of living (he is the sole breadwinner), and has made many sacrifices – financially and ...Read more
Question: My parents recently told me that my husband and I are letting our toddler run our family and that it’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable for them to visit or have us visit with them – they live 10 miles away – because of her misbehavior. Mind you, she is only 28 months old. They told me, for example, that she should ...Read more
Question: Our 18-year-old son made only slightly better than average grades in high school and finished in the top half of his graduating class. He could have done better, but has a history of underachievement which we explain as boredom. He managed to get into a second-tier state college but has decided after one semester (and as one ...Read more
In a letter to the editor of the La Crosse (Wisconsin) Tribune, psychologist Afton Koball and two colleagues raise objections to a recent column in which I asserted that one can be parented badly and still parent well. It comes down to one’s perspective, and is, therefore, a matter of choice. Said another way, parenting is influential but not ...Read more
An interesting, and telling, tale: As part of a recent speaking engagement sponsored by a regional medical center in the west, I was scheduled to address a gathering of local pediatricians. Two weeks prior to the address, my contact called to inform me that the medical center’s behavioral health unit had put up such a fuss over my planned talk...Read more
Great Idea, Fanny!Maureen Baggett
A funny book about farm animals and the different ways people might see them. Fanny grew up in the city so she has a different idea about which animal gives milk. She also thinks a pretty chicken is the best one to get, even if he is a rooster and doesn't lay the eggs ...
Question: In the school district where I used to teach, I attended many meetings concerning children with special needs. Many of the kids in question were said to be "on the [autism] spectrum." In fifteen years I witnessed the number of supposedly autistic children go from practically zero to enough to fill a special education class at ...Read more
I was standing in the lobby of an auditorium in which I’d just spoken, talking with a small group of attendees, when a 30-something woman took me aside and told me that her parents were bad role models. One was verbally abusive; the other, distant and emotionally unavailable.
She tells me that because of her parents’ negative ...Read more
Question: My son just turned five and is starting to ask various questions about parents including why some people have two parents and he only has one. About two months before he turned two, his "donor" said he wasn't “feeling it” (his exact words) with him and didn't want to participate in his life anymore. How can I explain that to my ...Read more
I am sometimes asked if I think the “parenting pendulum” is swinging back, however slowly, toward where it was sixty-plus years ago or at least toward a tolerable middle point.
Before I answer the question, the reader should understand that prior to the psychological parenting revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s, there was no periodic ...Read more
Q: After two years of chemotherapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia, our 6-year-old daughter is now in remission. We’ve recently noticed she has difficulty focusing and staying on task. Otherwise, she is bright, happy and well-behaved. Her physician told us that chemotherapy involves neurotoxins that can cause focusing issues in children....Read more
In my latest book, Grandma Was Right After All!, I take the top 25 parenting sayings of my youth and explain what they really meant. I do so because they’ve been distorted and demonized by the mental health community as psychologically harmful, which is balderdash given that child mental health is ten times worse today than it was in the 1950s...Read more
Question: Over the past year, our 4-year-old has developed several fears that have become quite disruptive. It started with a fear of dogs, which is inconvenient given that there are lots of dogs in our neighborhood. Since then she’s become afraid of noises at night, wind (she thinks a hurricane is coming), and dying in her sleep. ...Read more