Laura...How do I explain this kind of parenting to other parents who
think I’m spoiling my child? They all use timeouts and other
punishments.” -- Rebecca
The stakes are high in parenting. When we're choosing to do things differently, it's easy to feel defensive -- especially when other people question our parenting practices. After all, if you explain that your way raises emotionally healthy kids, and the other parent is raising their child differently, what does that say about them? Conflict is inevitable. READ POST
"Dr. Laura...I hate Father's Day. My children's
father left us and takes no interest in them. And then I get your email
about how important fathers are. Are my children scarred for life?"
"Dr. Laura....My partner and I (both women) chose to have two children using a sperm donor. We work hard to be excellent parents. We do have extended family who love our children, but no male who could be called a father figure. We tell our children they have two mommies instead of a mom and dad."
"Dr. Laura...I am a single mother by choice. I resent the implication that I am damaging my child."
Yesterday, I sent my weekly email a day early in honor of Father's Day. If you missed it, it's here. As always, I received a number of responses from mothers who are raising children without fathers. Whether by choice or by fate, these moms are working hard to give their children everything they need, but there is one thing they aren't giving them: a father. Understandably, they bristle when I say that fathers are important.
So even though you already received your weekly email yesterday, I'm including you in this daily mailing, just in case this topic applies to you. If it doesn't, please feel free to delete it right now, and enjoy the Father's Day email from yesterday. I'll look forward to talking with you in my next email as usual. But if my Father's Day email touched a nerve with you, this post is for you. READ POST
who have been responded to, led to believe - in a healthy way - that
their voice is valued, that all they have to do is object and action
will be taken - they will push boundaries. And this is really healthy
behaviour. Compliance? They've learned there's no point arguing because
their voice isn't valued." - Alison Roy
Most parents feel embarrassed when their child doesn't obey them. When we say jump, they're supposed to jump, right? If they don't, isn't that evidence that we're lousy parents? READ POST
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." - William Shakespeare
The problem with parenting is that we don't get any prep time. We're always on stage, performing for an audience that responds to our every thoughtless word or action. We learn our lines as we go, improvising. As soon as we master a cue, it's replaced by a new one. We spend the entire play just trying to get ahead of the action enough to think about what to do next. READ POST
"Dr. Laura...How should I respond when he yells 'You're not the boss of me!'?" -- Ariel
Defiance. It's guaranteed to push a parent's buttons. After all, we're supposed to be in charge, right? Defiance rubs our nose in the fact that we can't really control another person, unless we use force. And since force creates push-back, resistance, and escalation, it's ultimately a losing strategy. (You might win the battle, but you'll lose the war.)
So what can a parent do about defiance? READ POST
"We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." -- Virginia Satir
We all crave those close moments with our children that make our hearts melt. That's what makes parenting worth it. Connection is as essential to us as parents as it is to our children. When our relationship is strong, it's also sweet -- so we receive as much as we give.
That connection is also the only reason children willingly follow our rules. Kids who feel strongly connected to their parents WANT to cooperate. They trust us to know what's best for them, to be on their side. I hear regularly from parents that everything changes once they focus on connecting, not just correcting. READ POST