Parenting Blog

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"I read Dr. Laura every day and I can actually feel my brain being rewired. I sense myself making continual progress towards the mother I want to be. I'm learning to love myself unconditionally along the way, too." – MaMammalia

"The main difference between a master and a beginner is that the master practices more." -- Yasha Heifetz, Master Violinist

You've probably noticed that things work better with your child when you're in a good mood. At least half of the time when we get irritated, impatient, or frustrated with our kids, it's because we're already feeling unhappy.  Then there's a spark, our bad mood flares, and before we know it we're in the middle of a firestorm. That's why noticing your own mood as you go through your day, and re-centering yourself when you're out of sorts, transforms your parenting.  READ POST

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 | Permalink

"Let there be times when you don't tell someone everything you know about her problem, even if your understanding of it is better than hers." - Guy Finley

"Self Esteem comes from feeling capable in the world, as well as from being loved unconditionally." - Ty and Linda Hatfield

Ever notice how kids don't really want to hear your solutions to their problems?  Teenagers, particularly, often react with downright hostility when we give them our good advice. That's because they need to see themselves as capable. Every time we tell our child how to handle something, we're implying that he isn't competent enough to figure it out for himself.  We're undermining his confidence, which erodes his self-esteem.   READ POST

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Permalink

"Is there a way to change how we experience the hair-pulling challenges of mothering?  Can one truly alter her feelings in the midst of the supermarket trip from hell? … there is always another way to see the situation, a way that potentially offers greater peace, comfort, acceptance, and balance than our initial response.”
-- Bethany Casarjian, Ph.D. & Diane H. Dillon, Ph.D.

Baffled about what you should do when your kid does something you don’t like, and you're too upset to think straight?

There are always times when we simply can't get our emotions into alignment with our conscious desire to be a patient parent. When this happens, sometimes we have to act our way into who we want to be, and let our feelings follow.  So when you don't know what to do:  READ POST

Friday, November 30, 2012 | Permalink

"Choosing to have a child is choosing a life of service." — Peg Tyre

Last week a friend said to me, "This isn't what I signed on for."  I understand.  Sometimes, in the face of illness and death, I feel the same way.

But my friend was talking about her child.  She hadn't expected parenting to be so hard.

That rosy picture we have before our first child is so indistinct.  It doesn't seem to include teething, tantrums, or the teen years.  We ourselves never seem to get angry, or even to age.  And special needs?  Not what most of us sign on for.  READ POST

Thursday, September 06, 2012 | Permalink

"Dr. Laura....I just want to give my kids a better start in life than I had.  How can I make sure they're self-disciplined but happy?" - Katie

All of us want to raise children who become self-disciplined -- and happy -- adults.  The only question is how best to do that.  Luckily, we know the answer.  Research studies have been following children from babyhood to adulthood for decades, so we actually know what works to raise great kids. Here are the five most important things we know.

1. Children need a secure attachment with at least one parent.  Parents facilitate this secure attachment in the first year by listening to their unique baby and responding to her needs. They continue to nurture secure attachment by accepting the full range of who their child is -- including all that messy neediness and anger -- into the toddler years and beyond. Parents who are controlling, intrusive, unable to tolerate the child's neediness, or otherwise responding out of their own needs rather than responding to their child's are less likely to raise a securely attached child.  READ POST

Wednesday, June 06, 2012 | Permalink

"So many dogs get stressed out listening to car alarms and traffic; guide dogs here in NY even get taken out of service earlier because the stress speeds up their aging. My dog is fine, though. He knows I'm the alpha dog and I'll take care of him.  So he feels safe and doesn't get anxious." -- New York Dog-Walker

Doesn't this make you wonder about the children whose parents never appear to be quite in charge, who can't seem to put their foot down and set healthy limits? The first word that comes to mind in describing their kids might be something along the lines of "self-centered,"  or even, at times, "obnoxious."  But maybe their behavior comes from being fundamentally anxious. So they keep pushing, testing whether someone's in charge.  READ POST

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 | Permalink

"Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild."- Welsh Proverb

Tuesday, November 08, 2011 | Permalink