"As children grow older, parents must give them greater freedom, including greater freedom to make mistakes. "

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Kids Are Happiest When Obedient

Posted 3 days ago

Q: I’ve read enough of your writings to know that you believe children should be obedient, that they should do what they are told. I want my children to think for themselves and to question...

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Why Kids Need Hobbies

Posted 3 weeks ago

Not long ago, speaking to a large midwestern audience, I asked, "How many of you, when you were children, had a hobby?" Nearly everyone raised a hand. I then asked them to keep their hands in the...

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The 'Invention' of ADHD

Posted 3 weeks ago

In 2009, pediatrician and former medical school professor Bose Ravenel and I published “The Diseasing of America’s Children” (Thomas Nelson), in which we argued from facts that ADHD and other...

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Vacationing With Kids

Posted 4 weeks ago

Here's a strange practice: Two adults, married to one another, work at difficult jobs for 50 weeks, thus earning a two-week vacation. To reward themselves for their efforts, they arrange to spend...

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The Fundamental Rules of Parenting

Posted on 3/28/2017

Q: You seem to blame all of America’s parenting woes on mental health professionals and imply that if parents still raised kids as did people in the 1950s and before, they wouldn’t be having the...

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If I Were the Little League Czar

Posted on 3/27/2017

It has been 78 years since the first Little League baseball game was played in Williamsport, Pa. Last year, nearly 3 million kids participated in more than 6,500 chartered Little League programs...

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Children Need Adults Who Are Worthy of Being Paid Attention

Posted on 3/21/2017

Once again, a reader proves that parenting must be added to religion and politics as verboten subjects for polite conversation. A column I published back in December of 2016 went viral...

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Home Alone: Is Your Child Ready?

Posted on 3/9/2017

For some folks, the phrase "latchkey child" rings of parental neglect. Yet, unlike in the movies, most kids who are left unattended in an empty house do just fine, emotionally and otherwise....

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Hey, Moms: There's More to Life Than Raising Children

Posted on 3/8/2017

A couple of months ago, following a talk I gave in Georgia, a woman told me she had been offended by my many references to mothers who are enmeshed in their children's lives. These women, when...

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Make American Parenting Great Again!

Posted on 3/8/2017

The problem in American parenting is the 1960s. Among other things that defined that very interesting decade was the replacement of rationality by emotionality. It was during the 1960s that the...

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Obedience: It's All in How You Ask for It

Posted on 3/1/2017

I’ve said it many times, but it bears repeating: A child’s natural response to the proper presentation of authority is obedience; as in, the first time the child is told to do something, he does...

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Adopted Son Wants to Live With Biological Mother

Posted on 2/21/2017

Q: Our 14-year-old son, who was adopted by open adoption, now wants to go live with his birth-mother. She was completely out of the picture until a couple of years ago when she suddenly showed...

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Teaching Children Manners

Posted on 2/20/2017

Teachers with 30 years or more experience say that today's child is, in general, much less respectful and much less mannerly than the typical child of a generation ago. Unfortunately, unless...

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When Good Kids Go Bad

Posted on 2/7/2017

I'll never forget the morning of July 5 several years ago. A police car was parked outside my neighbor's house, and the crackling radio sounds pierced the quiet air. Someone, my neighbor said, had...

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Remove the Smart Phone, Regain the Child

Posted on 2/7/2017

As regular readers of this column already know, I am completely, one hundred percent opposed to children, including teenagers still living at home, being in possession of smart phones. No parent...

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How Much Homework Is Enough?

Posted on 1/26/2017

One of the most unfortunate things that the never-ending rollout of "education reform" has spawned is an overemphasis on <i>quantity</i> where homework is concerned. The following letter, sent to...

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Manners More Important Than Resentful Child

Posted on 1/25/2017

“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.” So said 17th Century French mathematician and philosopher...

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Parenting 101

Posted on 1/9/2017

<i><b>Welcome to Parenting 101. Upon passing this course, you will have acquired what it takes to raise children who are mannerly, self-disciplined and do their best in school. As you will see,...

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Use Practical, Not Psychological, Approach to Childrearing

Posted on 1/3/2017

One of the biggest problems among today’s parents—especially mothers—concerns their tendency to think in psychological terms about their children’s behavior problems. Mothers are more prone to...

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In a Family, Parents' Relationship Comes First

Posted on 12/28/2016

I recently asked a married couple who have three kids, none of whom are yet teens, “Who are the most important people in your family?” Like all good moms and dads of this brave new...

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Accommodate Dietary Choices During the Holidays?

Posted on 12/14/2016

Q: My husband and I are looking forward to hosting our children and grandchildren over the Holidays—or were. We were recently informed that our 30-something daughter and two of her children...

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When Enough Is Not Enough

Posted on 12/6/2016

The following true story was recently related to me by a credible individual who for obvious reasons will remain forever anonymous. I pass it on because it is a quintessential example of the...

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Be Consistent in Attitude and Unpredictable With Consequences

Posted on 11/8/2016

One of the disadvantages of this job is that I rarely have enough space in which to say all that I’d like to say. Take last week’s column in which I said “Consequences should be employed whether...

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New School Year, New Babble on What's Wrong With Your Kids

Posted on 10/25/2016

The new school year is still fresh and “it” has already begun, “it” being the ongoing effort on the part of schools to persuade parents that there is something wrong with their kids’...

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Society Has Dumbed-Down the Definition of Bullying

Posted on 10/18/2016

Noting that October is Bullying Prevention Month, several editors have asked if I am willing to write an apropos column. I am and for two reasons feel eminently qualified to do so. ...

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Restoring Peace to the Family Dinner Table

Posted on 10/11/2016

Q: Dinner with our three kids always, and I mean ALWAYS, turns into a disaster. Typically, the oldest, 11, begins to needle the youngest, 6, and then, when the middle one, 9, figures out which of...

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The Effects of 'Parenting' on Child-Rearing

Posted on 10/5/2016

In 1971, a psychologist named Fitzhugh Dodson published a book titled How to Parent. It did so well that he came out several years later with How to Father. By 1971, Dodson was one of a handful,...

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Postmodern Psychological Parenting Is Causing More Harm Than Good

Posted on 9/27/2016

In the late 1960s, America came to a fork in the parenting road and took the road never traveled. My generation did what no generation in any culture at any time in history had ever done: we broke...

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Successful Child Rearing Does Not Require Constant Joy

Posted on 9/22/2016

During a stint as a guest on a nationally syndicated radio talk show, the host remarked that he didn't hear me talking much about the "joy" of parenthood. He asked if I had, indeed, enjoyed being...

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Kudos to Catholic School's 'Problem Solving' Sign to Parents

Posted on 9/7/2016

Just when I am teetering on the edge of despair concerning the state of child rearing in America, dwelling much, much too obsessively on the damage being done to children and the nation by parents...

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Stepfathers Must Have Complete Disciplinary Discretion

Posted on 8/2/2016

Q: The woman I’ve been dating—a single mom with two young boys—and I have decided to get married. My only reservation, and I’ve told her this, concerns the stepfather thing. I’m not clear and...

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3 Rules for Taking Kids to Restaurants

Posted on 7/19/2016

The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed Daniel Eddy, a New York City chef, on how to have a mutually-successful experience with a young child in an upscale restaurant (“How to Take Your Kids...

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Your Child Doesn't Need a Smart Phone

Posted on 6/21/2016

Q: Our 12-year-old has a smart phone. I know you don’t approve, but all—and I do mean all—of his friends have them and texting is how they communicate. I don’t think, under the circumstances, that...

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Recipe for a 'Happy Child' a Simple One

Posted on 6/14/2016

I recently enjoyed the privilege of seeing and hearing radio talk-show host Dennis Prager speak on the topic of happiness. He only spoke for twenty minutes, but said more in that short span than...

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Although the World Is More Complex, There Is No Need for Parental Anxiety

Posted on 5/31/2016

“Puzzled Grandma in the South” recently wrote to “Dear Abby” asking “Why is there so much angst today over raising children, especially in young mothers?” Grandma has observed that moms of her...

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Unconditional Love and Leadership Can Change a 'Bad' Child

Posted on 5/24/2016

True story: I sent one of my more recent books to a radio talk-show host who, in turn, gave it to one of her “readers,” asking him to extract appropriate questions. Said reader, a...

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Don't Let Ex's Parenting Shortfalls Influence Your Parenting

Posted on 4/19/2016

Q: We are a struggling blended family. My husband has three children (ages 7, 12, 17) from a previous marriage. Their mother's home is focused on the easiest way of parenting. She allows...

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A Hardly-Ever-Fails Thumb-Sucking Program

Posted on 4/12/2016

Q: Our 7-year-old son has sucked his thumb forever and more or less constantly. He has recently switched to sucking his index finger and putting his right hand down the back of his pants at the...

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It Is Not a Parent's Job to Solve All of a Child's Problems

Posted on 3/29/2016

Q: We have a 7-year-old son and two girls ages 9 and 6. The girls are gifted academically and athletically. He simply can’t keep up with them. They’re even better at bike-riding. As a result, he...

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Parents Opposed to Sleepovers Should Reconsider

Posted on 3/22/2016

Q: My husband and I have decided that we do not want our children to participate in sleep-overs. We recently moved to a new community and are just making new friends and meeting new families. All...

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'No' Is Best Answer When Mom and Dad Disagree on Parenting Issue

Posted on 3/15/2016

Q: Is three hours of one sport once a week too much for a 7-year-old? This sport meets from 6 - 9 PM. It is nearly 10 PM before child is in bed (as opposed to usual 8:30 bedtime). My husband...

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Authority Is About Unequivocal Expectations, Not Persuasion

Posted on 3/8/2016

Actress Charlize Theron recently caused a media stir when she wrestled her adopted four-year-old son Jackson to the ground when he began throwing a public tantrum. For this, Theron was labeled a...

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Raising a Can-Do Kid

Posted on 3/2/2016

Can-do kids are make-do kids. They usually have several traits that distinguish them from dependent, underconfident children: <b>1. Resourcefulness</b> Today, resourcefulness may mean turning...

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It's Common Sense to Put Marriage First

Posted on 3/1/2016

I never cease to be amazed at the reactions people sometimes have to things I say. Most recently, a significant number of folks—women, all—were outraged over something I posted online: In a...

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Today's Grandparent's Deserve Well-Behaved Grandchildren

Posted on 2/23/2016

A recent article on grandparenting.com says that many baby boomers are experiencing difficulties in their relationships with adult children, including “not enough time together, not enough regular...

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Children Have the Right to a Steady Balance of Love and Leadership

Posted on 2/17/2016

“Do children have any rights?” is the question of the week, submitted by a 30-something reader. Yes, children have rights. First and foremost, there is their right to be loved...

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Electronic Devices Do Children No Favors

Posted on 2/10/2016

A 4-year-old boy informed his preschool teacher—a friend of mine—that he’d broken his iPad. “Oh!” my friend said. “What a shame. Did you drop it?” “No,” the boy said,...

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Parenting Disagreements Fracture More than Just Marriages

Posted on 1/19/2016

A journalist asks, “Why do today’s parents seem to be having so many more parenting difficulties than did parents of previous generations?” There is more than one answer to the question; or,...

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Parenting Memes

Posted on 12/15/2015

According to Wikipedia, a meme is "an idea…that spreads from person to person within a culture". A meme is analogous to a mental virus—although not necessarily bad—that “catches on” relatively...

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Parenting Experts Part III

Posted on 12/8/2015

This is the third and final installment of my “Wrong Things Experts Have Said (and Still Say)” series. Thus far: I’ve debunked the myth that a consequence must be delivered immediately in order...

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