One of my books, “Making the ‘Terrible’ Twos Terrific!”, has recently become a best-seller in China, of all places. Seriously! What sorts of problems are Chinese parents having with their toddlers? The same problems American, French, Russian, Australian, Nigerian, Brazilian, Czech and parent…

I recently received a paean to my generation — the so-called “boomers” — that’s been circulating on the internet for some time now. It’s a celebration of the freedom we enjoyed as children and the personal responsibility our parents enforced upon us — concerning the latter, much to our frequ…

Q: When my 2-year-old gets angry, he sometimes gets down and bangs his head on the floor. This happens two or three times a week, generally speaking. He’s not bruised himself, yet, but I don’t know how long that’s going to last. To make matters worse, I’ve made the mistake of reading about v…

I have long maintained that the significant per-capita increase in child and adolescent mental health problems since the 1960s — a 10-fold increase in suicide, for example — is because of the collective embrace of a parenting paradigm that has proven itself to be not only dysfunctional but a…

“There’s no one-size-fits-all model of childrearing for all the world’s parents,” opines Alma Gottlieb, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. Gottlieb was quoted in an online article reporting actress Kristen Bell’s revelation that her 5-year-old daughter is “still…

In 1972, a Stanford University psychologist conducted a study in which young children, individually, were offered either a small but immediate reward (a marshmallow or a pretzel) or a doubled reward if they were able to wait for fifteen minutes. In follow-up studies, researchers found that c…

The biggest problem in the life of today’s all-too typical mother is herself. She is her own worst enemy. Them’s fightin’ words, I know, but please, hold the tomatoes and other vegetables and bear with me.

In his November 1863 address at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the men who lost their lives on that battlefield had done so in order that “government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.” Lincoln was restating a principle first set for…

Q: My 3-year-old son tends to react physically when he’s mad at a preschool classmate instead of talking it out and letting the teachers intervene. We have encouraged him to use words when he’s angry, but he doesn’t seem to get it. Today he bit a classmate (the second time in a year this has…

One website is titled “How to Cope with Kids During Coronavirus.” Another, featuring a staged photo of an obviously frazzled mom with a toddler on her lap, tells the reader “Parents are losing their minds having kids at home during coronavirus!” There’s yet another, advising on “How to Keep …

I am convinced that “parenting” causes otherwise rational people – people whose thought processes are not typically driven by emotion – to lose their minds. If that is not the case, then why, ever since 1970 (or thereabouts), when “parenting” replaced the simple, straightforward process of r…

Per the old Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times,” it may be that the most interesting of times are those when people do not want to hear the truth — as in the present, or so it would seem.

Blaise Pascal (1623–62) said there is no idea so bizarre that a philosopher has not advanced it. These days, the philosophers in question are psychologists and the bizarre ideas are their explanations of human behavior. Said explanations are bizarre because (trust me on this, I am one) psych…

I’ve learned a new word! My daughter informs me that according to some mothers I am guilty of “mom-shaming” and should be ashamed of myself. I am an unashamed mom-shamer because I happen to believe that just as there is one proper way to go about training a dog (of any species), there is one…

Q: We homeschooled our son through the sixth grade. This past fall, per his wishes, we sent him to a public school for the seventh grade. Last week, he was attacked by the class bully. This other child pushed our son to the ground, called him vile names and threatened him with further bullyi…

Q: Our daughter, our first and only, is just short of 3 1/2. She has recently started coming into our room in the middle of the night and making a request of one sort or another. She wants one of us to accompany her to the bathroom, get her a drink of water, listen to something she’s thought…

This is the second in a series of three columns on the Biggest Mistakes Parents Make (and How to Stop Making Them!). Last week, I identified giving children explanations for parental instructions, giving children lots of choices, putting wonderful relationship with one’s kids at the top of o…

One of the “secrets” to a happy, healthy emotional life is to identify one’s bad, nonproductive habits and replace them with habits — slowly built — that are functional. That same principle is of the essence when it comes to a parenting life that is satisfying.

Q: Your recent series on punishment was thought-provoking. I agree children should have consequences when they misbehave. Nonetheless, would you please clarify when punishment becomes excessive? What is the line between reasonable and too much? When I was young, I was spanked with a belt on …

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