“What do you do when your baby cries?” I asked the 20-something new mom who was already feeling overwhelmed and beginning to slip into post-partum depression. Her mother-in-law had suggested she talk to someone and recommended yours truly.

Q: Our 9-year-old son, Bobby, is very intelligent and capable of doing good work in school when he wants to, but he is generally just downright lazy. As a result, he makes mediocre grades and we have to monitor his homework to make sure he does it. Even then, 30 minutes of homework takes him…

Q: We held off giving our oldest daughter a smartphone until she was 15, the age at which we allowed her older brother to have one. We read your column weekly in our hometown newspaper and know you disapprove but we had no issues with our son and thought, wrongly, that things would go equall…

As my regular readers know, I am a certified heretic in my field: child and family psychology. To the point, I am convinced that psychological parenting theory, which began to inform American child rearing in the late 1960s, has caused more problems than psychologists know how to solve.

A New York writer named Jonathan Daniel Stern, writing in the Aug. 7 issue of the e-zine “Fatherly,” laments that co-sleeping has destroyed his marriage. As best as I can figure, Stern and his ersatz wife are still married and live under the same roof, but the marriage is gone, kaput, sacrif…

Proving, once again, that fact is stranger by far than fiction, a grandmother recently asked me what she should do about her daughter-in-law who, despite her husband’s increasingly meek objections, is determined to do everything possible to turn the first grandchild, a 3-year-old girl, into …

Q: A Christian (but very liberal) adoption agency recently turned down our application because they disapprove of our parenting approach, which is your parenting approach. We told them we subscribe to your philosophy and do things such as sending the kids to bed early because of whining and …

Q: Some friends of ours who’ve read a couple of your books and attended one of your talks told us that they solved some major discipline problems with their 4-year-old just by using what they called alpha speech. They tried to explain it to us, but we’d like to get it straight from the horse…

As I crisscross the country in public speaker mode, I poll people in various demographic categories. I ask how they were raised, what their parents were like, how their parents disciplined, how they raised their own kids, their perceptions of how their kids are raising their grandkids, and s…

Q: We recently discovered that our 12-year-old has been visiting pornography sites of all sorts on the Internet. When we caught him red-handed, he began crying and said he is addicted. Apparently, a friend of his got him involved. Our son has assured us it’s not going to happen again, but we…

I am perennially asked whether I “believe” in autism. I suspect that on most occasions, it’s a test. Nonetheless, it’s a fair question that usually takes this form: “I know you don’t believe in ADHD, but do you believe in autism?”

Q: On several occasions during the last six months or so, our 12-year-old son has told us he’s been thinking about suicide. Apparently, he’s been the target of a couple of school bullies and sometimes feels like life is too much. We’ve talked to him, tried to help him express his feelings, a…

Q: We have two married daughters, one of whom is adopted. The biological daughter has two children who, we recently discovered, have been told that it is wrong to call our adopted daughter “aunt so-and-so” because she is not really family. Nor, according to our biological daughter and son-in…

Q: Our son is 13 years old and in the seventh grade. Last week he came home from school complaining about how a few of his friends have been bullying him. These same boys were at his birthday party just the weekend before and they seemed to get along fine. Sometimes they poke fun at him when…

Q: Our 14-year-old (he’s going into the ninth grade at a public high school) has taken up with a bunch of kids that we don’t exactly approve of. They have reputations as troublemakers and at least one has already been arrested for shoplifting and had to do some community service. The irony i…

When children were raised, reared, or simply brought up, they emancipated “on time.” Upon high school graduation, children went to college, into the military, or became employed. Some, such as my wife and myself, got married before they could vote. Those were the days when young people still…

Q: I appreciate your traditional, call it old-fashioned approach to child-rearing, but I’m a tad confused and hope you can help straighten out my thinking. I’ve been reading your column for maybe 20 years and have used many of your suggestions with success. Your recommendation that consequen…

Concerning major behavior problems, parents often tell me they’ve “tried everything.” In more than 40 years of doing this “parenting expert” gig, I’ve never run across a parent who was telling the truth about that. Since the 1960s, we’ve drifted so far away from a commonsense understanding o…

Q: My 7-year-old son, an only child, is giving me fits. He’s overly active and will not cooperate in any instruction I give him. In addition, if I tell him not to do something, it’s a guarantee he’s going to do it as soon as my back is turned. I’m a single mom and I’m embarrassed to admit th…

“When are you going to write a book on grandparenting?” is a question asked of me by lots of folks, most of whom – no surprise here – are grandparents.

My wife and I spent two days in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, recently. As we always do, we walked around my boyhood neighborhood – the South-of-Broad historic district (back then, more run-down than historic) – and the usual memories came flooding back.

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