Parenting Blog

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Dr.  Laura....I don't understand how to even begin to validate our very strong willed 2.5 son when he is screaming at me from inside the van and won't get in his seat so we can get his big sister from school and the 6 month old is there as well..." - Anita

In my last post, When You Just Don't Have Time for That Meltdown, I pointed out that Preventive Maintenance can help you avoid meltdowns at those inconvenient times, like when you're trying to get your kids in the car to go somewhere. What's preventive maintenance?

Well, what happens to your car if you don't fill it with gas, change the oil, and give it a regular tune up?  It ends up in the breakdown lane.  Life with children isn't so different. Unfortunately, parents aren't given a preventive maintenance plan for their children.  But if you don't refill your child's love tank, roughhouse with him daily so he gets some good giggling in, and give him regular one-on-one time, you can count on more breakdown time. Especially if there's a relatively new baby in the family, or if you're transitioning from conventional parenting to gentle parenting and your child has some old stuffed emotions to process.  READ POST

Tuesday, August 05, 2014 | Permalink

"How would you handle a situation when you have to leave the park to go get your other two children and unfortunately can't sit on the bench for thirty minutes while she cries?" - Sandra

In our last post about setting limits with empathy, the three year old was upset about leaving the park, so the parent supported her through her disappointment, which involved tears and anger on the park bench. But that's not always an option. What do you do then?  READ POST

Thursday, July 31, 2014 | Permalink

“I'm so tired of parents who can't say No to their child and let them rule the roost. No wonder kids today don't have any self-discipline."

Most parents assume that not punishing means permissive parenting. But resisting the urge to punish doesn't mean we don't set limits! In fact, neither permissive parenting nor authoritarian parenting work to raise self-disciplined kids.

Kids raised permissively may not have the opportunity to develop self discipline, which is about giving up something we want for something we want more. Kids raised with authoritarian parenting, however, don't develop self-discipline either, because they aren't choosing--they're being forced. Often, they stop cooperating, rebel, and become very good liars.

So yes, in my view LIMITS are an essential part of raising great kids. But not just any limits. EMPATHIC LIMITS. Which means we:  READ POST

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | Permalink

"The hardest thing is still to calm myself down when my boys get wild and my buttons get pushed. I end up screaming despite my best intentions." - Mollie

"When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen.  When they're finished, I climb out."  -- Erma Bombeck

Mollie's right.  The hardest part of parenting is regulating our own emotions. In our last post, we talked about how to get angry less often. But what happens when your child does something that makes you want to scream, and a playpen won't work? What are your options?  READ POST

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | Permalink

Potty accidents? Wetting the bed? Peeing all over the house? Urinary tract infections?   READ POST

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | Permalink

"What I start to feel is not just anger appropriate to the situation, but old feelings I carry from the past.  And those feelings have nothing to do with my child or the situation.  They have come up for me to take a look at them.  They are part of me.  But they don't belong in my relationship with my child.  They have to do with me and the person who raised me."  -- Laura Davis & Janis Keyser

Is it ever appropriate to get angry at your child?  Well, it's unavoidable, if you're human. Like a blinking light on the dashboard, anger is a signal that you need to address something so your engine doesn't overheat. Ignoring it can be disastrous.  READ POST

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | Permalink

"If we don't start to correct these five grave parenting mistakes, and soon, the children we are raising will grow up to be entitled, selfish, impatient and rude adults." - Emma Jenner, British Nanny, Huff Post

"In a poll commissioned by Time and CNN, two-thirds of American parents said they think that their children are spoiled." - Elizabeth Kolbert,  Spoiled Rotten, The New Yorker

Are American kids spoiled rotten? Every year a new article goes viral by preying on parents' fears. Are we being too permissive? Are we raising a generation of brats?

These articles don't cite research that substantiates their claims that parents are actually being permissive. In fact, surveys estimate that 80% of American parents have spanked their child at least once and about a quarter of parents of young children spank on a weekly basis. That doesn't sound like permissiveness to me.   READ POST

Friday, July 18, 2014 | Permalink