Parenting Blog

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"Dr Laura....I'm trying stop yelling, but I can't. And I can't imagine getting my kids to listen if I don't yell at them. ...Can you move in with me for a week?!” - Cheralynn

Like Cheralynn, most parents think they "should" stop yelling, but they don't believe there's another way to get their child's attention. After all, it's our job to teach them, and how else can we get them to listen? It’s not like yelling hurts them; they barely listen, they roll their eyes. Of course they know we love them, even if we yell. Right?

Wrong. The truth is that yelling scares kids. It makes them harden their hearts to us. And when we yell, kids go into fight, flight or freeze, so they stop learning whatever we're trying to teach. What's more, when we yell, it trains kids not to listen to us until we raise our voice. And it trains them to yell at us.  READ POST

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 | Permalink

"The moment one commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred...Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." - Goethe

Did you make a New Years Resolution to be more patient, or to stop yelling? Surveys show those are the #1 resolutions for parents.

If you're like most of us, you've had the experience of making resolutions only to give up in frustration and self-disgust within a few weeks. You may even feel like giving up already, and it's only January 7!

The truth is, most new year's resolutions fail. Not because we're not good enough, or we don't try hard enough. But because what we're trying to do is HARD.  If it were easy, it wouldn't take a New Years Resolution!

The second reason we don't make progress on our resolutions is that most resolutions are a wish, not a plan. To accomplish anything hard, we need to break it into small chunks--a step-by-step plan--and support ourselves to accomplish each step. Then, we need to revise our plan to accommodate reality when we hit a wall.   READ POST

Wednesday, January 07, 2015 | Permalink

Happy New Year!  In honor of the new year, I want to wish you peace-- in your heart, in your family, and in your world.  But peace isn't just something that happens to us, peace is something we create.  David Krieger, founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (the mission of which is to support worldwide efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, strengthen international law and institutions, and to inspire and empower a new generation of peace leaders) offers this wonderful little list called 100 Ideas for Creating a More Peaceful World.  Lots of great ideas to talk about with children. Here's to a more peaceful year throughout the world!  READ POST

Friday, January 02, 2015 | Permalink

"We often don’t feel the wonder and beauty because we're too busy trying to live up to the ideal in our head....The cost of perfection is that it stresses us out to the point where we no longer enjoy the moment we're living in." - Pastor Jon

Most of us aspire to give our kids a fairy-tale holiday. After all, there's nothing quite like seeing our child's face shining with joy.

But there's a deeper fantasy driving most of us this time of year. Maybe a picture-perfect holiday will help make up for those times when we aren't so perfect as parents. On some level, we're sometimes even driven by the hope that giving our child a perfect holiday will somehow repair everything that wasn't perfect in our own childhoods. Like most unconscious needs, this one fuels a fierce frenzy of activity and drama that's destined to fail.   READ POST

Friday, December 19, 2014 | Permalink

"Love is what's in the room with you if you stop opening presents and listen." -- Bobby, age 7

If you have a deep faith and keep the rituals of your religious tradition, then you’ve probably given a lot of thought to your child’s spiritual development and have your holiday religious plans all mapped out.

If, on the other hand, you wonder how to put what you believe into words and aren’t sure what spiritual beliefs you want to pass on to your kids, this post is for you.  READ POST

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 | Permalink

"Television advertisements for toys and games often exploit children's underlying needs and desires.  Many commercials show a child playing with a game or toy with her parents.  The message is clear to young children: Ask for this product and your mother and father will pay attention to you. It is an offer they cannot resist." -- Lawrence Kutner

Worried that your child seems to get a bit greedy at the holidays? Consider that maybe something deeper is being triggered -- a longing for that happy, perfect, life when he'll feel completely enveloped by your love.  We adults have the same fantasy, of course.  It's part of the wonder of the holidays -- that promise of transformative love.

The human mind has a tendency to crave more, more, more.  Kids (like many adults) haven't yet learned how to manage those yearnings and direct them toward what will really fulfill them, which is connection, creativity, gratitude and meaning.   READ POST

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 | Permalink

"My memories of Christmas as a child are of stress. My mother wanted everything to be perfect and got so worked up trying to do it all that it made the rest of the family crazy. I remember my dad comforting me when I was about 8 years old, I was crying and said 'I hate Christmas' and he said 'I do, too, honey. We just have to get through it.'

"So for my kids I try to be relaxed and fun. We make ornaments for friends and family in December and give them out as we see people — gets us into the giving without thought of receiving. We take time to see the lights around town, to decorate and appreciate our tree. We talk about the other festivals of lights and remember that feasting and gifts are to make the darkest, coldest time of year merry. We celebrate the return of the sun. We relax and play and laugh and appreciate each other.” - Amy
  READ POST

Wednesday, December 03, 2014 | Permalink