Question: Whenever my 4-year-old son tries something new, he becomes very frustrated if he has any difficulty at all. This happens when practicing numbers, letters, or anything else I try to teach him. I tell him that he’s doing fine and will do better with practice, but it’s obviously not sinking in. In general, he’s a ...Read more
Question: We are a struggling blended family. My husband has three children (ages 7, 12, 17) from a previous marriage. Their mother's home is focused on the easiest way of parenting. She allows unlimited electronics, showers the kids with presents, and does not discipline effectively at all. It’s obvious she wants to be the kids’ ...Read more
Question: Our 7-year-old son has sucked his thumb forever and more or less constantly. He has recently switched to sucking his index finger and putting his right hand down the back of his pants at the same time. This is driving us CRAZY!!! I read your response to a question recommending "if you catch him sucking his thumb outside his room...Read more
Question: My 6-year-old daughter watched too many episodes of a certain TV show when she was sick and now she doesn't want to go to sleep at night because she is having scary thoughts related to the show. She will come out of her room again and again complaining of these thoughts (mostly before she has gone to sleep…rarely in the middle...Read more
Question: We have a 7-year-old son and two girls ages 9 and 6. The girls are gifted academically and athletically. He simply can’t keep up with them. They’re even better at bike-riding. As a result, he doesn’t want to participate in sports. If on a rare occasion he plays with the girls he has to win and becomes very upset if he ...Read more
Question: My husband and I have decided that we do not want our children to participate in sleep-overs. We recently moved to a new community and are just making new friends and meeting new families. All of these parents, it seems, love to do sleep overs. We, however, are sticking by our guns. As a result our kids are beginning to feel left out....Read more
Q: Is three hours of one sport once a week too much for a 7-year-old? This sport meets from 6 - 9 PM. It is nearly 10 PM before child is in bed (as opposed to usual 8:30 bedtime). My husband thinks it’s OK. He points out that our son’s homework is not suffering and he’s not sleep deprived (though he’s often grumpy the next ...Read more
Actress Charlize Theron recently caused a media stir when she wrestled her adopted four-year-old son Jackson to the ground when he began throwing a public tantrum. For this, Theron was labeled a "monster mom" and generally raked over the coals of parenting correctness by the media.
When photographs of Ms. Theron subduing Jackson went viral, the...Read more
Accidental DadJoshua McDowell
Joshua McDowell is a single father on a mission. He believes being a parent is the most rewarding experience in the world. For that reason, he wants you to help him change the family court system. Each year, millions of children grow up in fatherless homes, resulting ...
I never cease to be amazed at the reactions people sometimes have to things I say. Most recently, a significant number of folks—women, all—were outraged over something I posted online: In a family, the husband/wife relationship should come first, meaning it should outweigh the relationship between parent and child. Said another way, the ...Read more
A recent article on grandparenting.com says that many baby boomers are experiencing difficulties in their relationships with adult children, including “not enough time together, not enough regular communication, not feeling needed or wanted…not understanding why they aren’t closer.”
That’s interesting. As I travel the USA as a public ...Read more
“Do children have any rights?” is the question of the week, submitted by a 30-something reader.
Yes, children have rights. First and foremost, there is their right to be loved unconditionally by the adults who share primary responsibility for their upbringing. I trust we’re all on the same page so far.
Children have a right to be raised ...Read more
A 4-year-old boy informed his preschool teacher—a friend of mine—that he’d broken his iPad.
“Oh!” my friend said. “What a shame. Did you drop it?”
“No,” the boy said, very matter-of-factly. “I got mad that my mom wanted me to share it with my sister, so I slammed it on the table and it broke.”
His next sentence: “Now ...Read more
Question: We would like to limit our 16-year-old son’s video game and cell phone time. We think homework should come first and then free time. He wants to relax with his video game and phone after school which frequently results in homework not being done before he must attend a two-hour team practice at 7:00 pm. That means he’s not ...Read more
Question: Our 3-year-old son is very sweet, loving, and generally well-behaved. Occasionally, however, he breaks into a huge tantrum during which he becomes uncontrollable. The word "possessed" comes to mind. He will suddenly snap from being sweet to being a demon and then back to being sweet and loving again. These tantrums don't occur ...Read more
A journalist asks, "Why do today's parents seem to be having so many more parenting difficulties than did parents of previous generations?"
There is more than one answer to the question; or, there is one answer with a number of aspects. One of the primary features of parenting back then—"then" being before the psychological ...Read more
Question: My ex-husband and I have pretty much fifty-fifty custody of our 15-year-old son, who has become infected with his father’s disrespect for me. When he’s with me, he makes it very clear that he does not want to be here. He refuses to do anything I tell him to do or accept any attempt at discipline from me, curses at me, and ...Read more
I ended a recent column by proposing that “while their proper upbringing is a big deal, children themselves are not.”
As I figured would happen, I’ve received some complaints from folks who insist that children are definitely a big deal. Invariably, however, they go on to defend what is already established: the raising of children is a ...Read more