The following question was submitted recently by a reader in response to a Sylvia Rimm on Raising Kids column published in February 2015. Dr. Rimm's response follows:
Q. Even though my five children are all in their 40s, I still read your column, as I have four grandchildren. It distressed me to read your advice about an 8th-grade boy you ...Read more
Q. At the age of 4, I was labeled through testing as being gifted. I was then "branded" the genius of the family, which often made me the center of attention. This caused me to place a huge amount of pressure on myself, and my mom also pressured me to be the first in my family to earn a college diploma. This attention did not sit well with my ...Read more
Q. Our son maintains a very busy schedule by his own choice, and we find it difficult to establish a routine. This lack of routine exacerbates the issue of my husband's and my different parenting styles. How do parents "get on the same page" and show a united front even though our priorities are different?
A. I assume your busy son is either ...Read more
Q: What advice would you give to help a middle-school girl make friends and establish relationships with other females in her peer group?
A: Middle-grade social life can, at times, feel absolutely wonderful, but at other times, terrible and lonely. It's a time for best friends, cliques and likely some hurt feelings. Helping girls set ...Read more
Q: What would you do for a child who feels alone at school because he realizes he is smarter than most of the other kids? He is in 3rd grade and comes home and says he does not have any friends because no one likes him. He attends a public school, and applying to private school has not worked out because of his behavioral problems. Also, ...Read more
Q. I am a high school student researching the difference in intelligence of children raised as "only" children compared to children raised with siblings. I'm investigating whether factors such as age difference, number of siblings and parental influence have an effect on a child's intelligence and whether having siblings is beneficial or not. ...Read more
Q. Thank you for your response to my question about my 5th-grade son who was having severe nighttime anxiety issues and difficultly sleeping. When I first wrote to you, I did not know what was causing his fears, but your guess was correct in that it was something on a screen he had recently viewed. Your advice was very helpful. He had very ...Read more
Q. I am recently separated, and I am worried that my ex-husband will be a "Disneyland" dad. What can I do to encourage my children's best behavior when I only have them half of the time?
A. After a separation or divorce, life works much better for children if parents are reasonably consistent about rules. If there is not joint custody, and ...Read more
The Adventures of Sam Spike: The Case of the Missing ManBrianna
A story written by kids for kids! Three precocious eight-year-old girls from New Hampshire collaborated to write and illustrate this delightful story.
Sam Spike, Dog Detective, takes the reader on a suspenseful and scary journey, looking for The Missing Man. Along the way you’ll ...
Q. As parents, how do we build self-esteem while avoiding using the superlatives that you indicate place pressure on children? Also, how should we express pride in our children without placing pressure on them?
A. Pressures that children feel come from many directions, and of course, parents can be a part of those pressures. Teachers, peers ...Read more
Q: Our only child is a 6-year-old kindergartener. How do we turn the "V" in the "V of Love" that you have spoken and written about back up the right way? Also, because he is oversensitive, how do we encourage him to try new things and take risks?
A: Parents and even teachers seem to have fallen in love with the concept of giving children ...Read more
Q: My son has above-average ability but slow processing speed. He experiences frustration and confidence problems because he understands what he is learning but can't always write or verbalize this understanding. What can his teachers and we, his family, do to support him?
A: There are many ways you can help your son and many possible causes ...Read more
Q: My 6- and 8-year-old daughters argue and fight over any matter, big or small, important or not. My 8-year-old also sometimes takes on the role of parent and tries to instruct or punish her younger sister. Could you offer any advice or solutions as to how I can help improve their relationship?
A: Most siblings do a bit of arguing, and it is...Read more
Q: My 10-year-old niece recently confided in me that she feels "sick to her stomach" whenever an event is coming up where her divorced parents will both be in attendance. Her mother (my sister) and her husband divorced three years ago. Her father has since remarried, and my sister has remained single. My niece said her father's new wife is ...Read more
Q: My 7-year-old son has always seemed like a typical little boy but has told me recently that sometimes he feels like a girl. I paused when he said this because I have noticed him developing mannerisms that to me appear more feminine than masculine. I asked him whether someone told him he looks or acts like a girl, and he said no.
He plays ...Read more
Q: As summer approaches, I am seeking advice as to how I can interest my sons in spending more time outdoors. They are plenty old enough to play in the yard by themselves or with each other, and I can't stand the thought of them sitting in the house all day when it's beautiful outside because their electronics have a greater pull over them ...Read more
Q: I am a man with a love interest who has eidetic memory, also referred to as photographic memory. Eidetic memory is the ability to recall images in great detail after only a short exposure. We are both in our 50s, and I have been reading quite a bit about what it's like for someone to have eidetic memory. In addition, I believe that she ...Read more
Q: My 9-year-old son really likes to play video games, and most of the time, he does well and enjoys himself. However, when he struggles or loses a game, he becomes very upset -- to the point of tantrums -- and often throws things and cries. Why does he get so upset? How can I help him to understand that it is just a game and is supposed to be...Read more
Q: My daughter is 5 years old and in kindergarten. She has two very close friends in her class, who are also girls. The three little girls continue to get along very well, but my daughter often complains after school about one of them being left out and the other two deciding they are "best friends," if only for that day. From what I am ...Read more
Q: My sons are in middle school, and with as fast as time flies, I worry that I am not doing a good enough job now of preparing them for life after high school and college. As a primarily stay-at-home mom, I have always just taken care of the majority of household chores and yardwork, and my sons are asked to do very little. They are good, ...Read more
Q: My fifth-grade son has recently started a new behavior at night that has my husband and me worried that something may be bothering him. He will be fine all day, during the evening and at bedtime, but within about 30 minutes after we tell him "lights off," he will show up in our room in tears saying he can't breathe or his chest hurts. We ...Read more