All About Parenting

From talking and reading to infants to making values clear (best done in conversations around the dinner table), parents exert enormous influence over their children's development. They are, however, not the only influences, especially after children enter school. It is especially important that parents give children a good start, but it's also important for parents to recognize that kids come into the world with their own temperaments, and it is the parents' job to provide an interface with the world that eventually prepares a child for complete independence. In a rapidly changing world, parenting seems subject to fads and changing styles, and parenting in some ways has become a competitive sport.

But the needs of child development as delineated by science remain relatively stable. There is such a thing as overparenting, and aiming for perfection in parenting might be a fool's mission. Too much parenting cripples children as they move into adulthood and renders them unable to cope with the merest setbacks. There is also such a thing as too-little parenting, and research establishes that lack of parental engagement often leads to poor behavioral outcomes in children, in part because it encourages the young to be too reliant on peer culture. Ironically, harsh or authoritarian styles of parenting can have the same effect.

Recent posts on Parenting

A Back to School Stress-Management Toolkit for Teens

This time of year involves transition. Whether it's adjusting to high school, the new academic semester, or going off to college, teens need new coping tools to de-stress!

Why I Won't Let My Son Buy A Fitbit--Even With His Own Money

By Joy Jacobs J.D., Ph.D. on August 22, 2017 in One More Bite
How physical activity tracking devices may be dangerous to your health!

Ninja Parenting

By Bruce Grierson on August 22, 2017 in The Carpe Diem Project
The Parenting Dilemma: are you a tennis player or a rock climber?

We're Raising a Generation of Wimpy Kids

The ultimate goal of parenting should be to work yourself out of a job. But studies show most young adults feel they lack the emotional skills they need to face life's challenges.

On Children...

By Anthony Synnott Ph.D. on August 22, 2017 in Rethinking Men
Children today are not what they used to be, even 50 years ago – because times and societies have changed, but then it was never very clear what they were anyway...

Mom? Dad? Can I Have Lunch with a Nazi?

If your child asked if it was okay to have lunch with a stranger who is a Nazi or KKK, chances are you would say “No.” So, is your child at risk for exposure to a hate group?

Top 10 Concerns Parents Have for Their Own Kids (and Others)

By Christopher Bergland on August 21, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Bullying/cyberbullying, internet safety, racial inequities, and school violence top parents' list of concerns for their children's well-being, according to a new 2017 report.

What if Your Parents Were Just Not That Into You?

What if your parents were just not that into you? The lifelong effects of childhood neglect.
zoeytoja / 123RF Stock Photo

Saying Goodbye? 5 Ideas for Emotionally Healthy Farewells

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on August 21, 2017 in Off the Couch
Whether you’re saying goodbye to a child, a pet or a house, to a marriage or partnership, or to a loved one who is dying, farewells can be painful. How can you make them easier?
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

The Story of Adolescence

Sometimes it helps parents to remember that every teenager is acting out the same age-old story, just in her or his individual way.

Mind the Gap

When those who fall outside of the dominant culture are judged because they fall outside of the dominant culture, are they given an equal opportunity?
Pixabay/Labeled for reuse/No attribution required

Top 10 Parenting Tips

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on August 20, 2017 in In Control
Parenting is the greatest trip on earth. I wish you the ride of your life.

On the Modern Self

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on August 19, 2017 in More Than Mortal
Writer Will Storr discusses his new book: Selfie.

Discussing the News With Your Children

In this rough week for our nation, many parents are left wondering how to talk to their children about what they are seeing in the news. Here are some tips.

25 Simple Self-Care Tools for Weary Parents

By Erin Leyba LCSW, Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Joyful Parenting
Many parents are exhausted and overworked. These ideas offer ways to engage in self-care, renew your energy, tune into feelings, and strengthen relationships in 10 minutes or less.

On Your Adolescents Getting Up in the Morning

It's hard for adolescents to get up in the morning, especially if they suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. What tips can we get from published research?

Sticky, Tricky, and Icky: Unconscious Parent-Child Dynamics

Emotional abandonment may manifest in parental coldness, but when the dynamic is operative, both parent and young child believe it is they who are internally, irreparably flawed.

The 1 Skill College Students Wish Their Parents Taught Them

We invest a lot of time in teaching young people to be academically prepared for the future, but we often overlook the skills they really need to succeed.

The Unselfish Art of Prioritizing Yourself

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in Compassion Matters
Maintaining a certain regard for ourselves, doing things we want to do, and engaging in self-care are fundamental to creating a good life for ourselves and the people we love.

Buyer Beware: Two New Apps Your Tweens Should Avoid

Two apps that have developed popularity among teens and tweens are raising red flags with law enforcement and others.

Cooking and Problem-Solving with Kids

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in Screen Time
While problem-solving skills are not taught directly in the classroom, they are part of everyday life-building skills. It is important to provide children with real-world examples.

Keeping Track

By Jean Kazez on August 16, 2017 in The Philosophical Parent
Is it ethical to use Find-My-iPhone to track your kids?

Roadblocks to Intimacy and Trust, Part I

The Roadblocks to Intimacy and Trust Series explores the impact of early childhood relationships on the establishment of intimacy in adulthood.
2004 by Tomasz Sienicki

Do Smartphones Delay Sex and Dating?

Perhaps the correlation is not causal because a third variable, such as helicopter parenting, might be responsible for having a smartphone and delaying sex and romance.

How to Change Passive Aggressive Behavior

Is a passive aggressive person causing you to feel angry and exhausted? The skill of Benign Confrontation can help you make long-term changes to this destructive dynamic.

4 Questions to Not Ask Your Child About Returning to School

By Kyle D. Pruett M.D. on August 15, 2017 in Once Upon a Child
What you shouldn't ask your children as they ready themselves to return to school.

No, Team, No!

By Laurie Helgoe Ph.D. on August 15, 2017 in Introvert Power
He's young, healthy, and not into sports? How to stop seeing this as a problem.

Help Rejecting, Complaining Victims of Troublesome Spouses

How should you respond to a friend who is always complaining to you about their mate, but rejects any suggestion you make to them about how to handle their relationship?

12 Ways of Seeing Your Entanglement With a Narcissist

Seeing patterns objectively—yours and the narcissist's—is as important as acknowledging your feelings.