I get invited into some of the best discussions with parents! Recently I had a wonderful on-line discussion about shyness and social anxiety in young children. Because adults often learn in the context of other’s questions I’m going to share with you what you would have overheard had you been sharing my chat with this mom. Of course, I’ll change the identity cues because every parent deserves to be in charge of what information they share with the world. Dear Dr. Y, I'm hoping you [...]
If you encountered a magic fairy who promised wonderful things if you would only put your child in a box, would you put your child in a box? Before you shout “Of course, not!,” what if she told you, “It’s a beautiful box and others will envy you and your child in that wonderful box?” What if she told you that being in that box will actually be good for your child? This particular box has within it the promise that your child will have [...]
A recent feature in the New York Times about spas that cater to children made me sad. But not exactly for the reasons you’d expect. It was because of this quote, from a mom of one of the pint-sized spa-goers: “I don’t want them to feel that my saying ‘No’ means that I don’t love them.” —New York Times, January 3, 2015 It’s sad that parental love has been hijacked by an underlying belief that our children cannot be disappointed or inconvenienced in order to feel loved. Sad that parents [...]
Shiny, Happier People To describe the vast and varied role of the parent we turn to a whole list of occupations—doctor, police officer, counselor, game designer, bus driver and more—like jeweler. Yes, jeweler. Each child is a gem with multiple facets that reflect light. When Dad shines his light, it brings out a shine that is different than the light coming from Mom, who’s light brings out something different than grandpa’s or the teacher’s. We very likely see this in ourselves. Different friends bring out [...]
Halloween can be fun for both children and adults. However, when children are toddlers and preschoolers, it can be a season with great challenges. For older children, it's a time when discussions may turn to issues of independence and appropriateness. Here are just a few things for you to consider beyond what costume to choose.
With an abrupt behavior change we often look for an event, an environment or a physical demand that has become stressful to the child.
Constant supervision is not Time Out; it's Time Together. What makes Time Out an effective and appropriate teaching strategy? When is it not the best strategy?
Supporting a positive sibling relationship while also keeping a new baby safe is a common parenting challenge. Toddlers and preschoolers are still very much learning about body self-management, impulse control and boundaries. With your help, their developmental work will lead to higher levels of emotional intelligence that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
Despite what it looks like, this is not an issue of toughness or fragility. This one is about relationship. Your child is checking in, testing, confirming that "mom and dad are here for me."
Discipline is one of the most complicated and challenging responsibilities of parenthood. It involves a mix of interlocking elements, all of which may