Parenting Basics 101
Learn how to be a better parent using tried and true methods
I post here from time to time as issues come up, or in response to parent feedback and questions
Parent as a Team
|Posted by Dave on August 22, 2022 at 12:40 AM|
Although I touch on this idea several times in the Parenting Basics Outline, comments and questions make it clear I've understated the importance of team parenting. Being a parenting team doesn't mean doing absolutely everything together, but it does require you both to be in substantial agreement about how to raise your kids.
For instance, you never want a child to feel they can play one parent against the other as a strategy for getting what they want. It's so damaging to family dyna...Read Full Post »
|Posted by Dave on November 2, 2016 at 7:00 PM|
At the risk of understating the problem, childhood as it was experienced for millenia has all but vanished in the last twenty years. It's probably worse than that. We're seeing incredibly fragile young adults, unable to handle the normal pressures of everyday adult experience.The way many of us are raising our kids is leaving them vulnerable and weak.
A very close friend of mine is an army officer, currently in charge of a department that prepares enlisted soldiers of a...Read Full Post »
Chores - the Magic Ingredient
|Posted by Dave on September 22, 2016 at 8:20 PM|
Some of us have known this intuitively for a long time, but multiple longitudinal studies now prove that having done regular chores as a kid (the earlier, the better) is the single most common attribute shared by the world's most successful people. And, it's not just success.
Harvard learned that doing chores and part time work as a child was the single strongest predictor of positive mental health as an adult - more than neighborhood, social class, family, etc.
Read Full Post »
The Dangers of Helicopter Parenting
|Posted by Dave on November 26, 2012 at 8:15 PM|
Don’t want your kids to sink? Teach them to swim!
“Helicopter parents” are those who swoop in to “rescue” their children from every little difficulty in life, sometimes preemptively. It likely seems a good idea at the time, but it’s one of the most destructive things you can do to your children’s ability to become self-reliant.
By “rescuing," you’re really robbing your child of essential learning expe...Read Full Post »
French Parenting: From baby to bebe
|Posted by Dave on March 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM|
To get right to the point, Pamela Druckerman wrote a book. Buy it.
Okay, you probably want to know a bit more before you plunk down hard-earned cash, but a great deal of what Mrs. Druckerman learned whilst living in France mirrors much of what I say on this site. But, it goes further, much further. And it’s good stuff.
Druckerman is an American parent of a toddler living in France, and her startled observations of the traditional style of French par...Read Full Post »
All Fun and No Work Makes Jack???
|Posted by Dave on November 18, 2011 at 7:20 AM|
Two years into his presidency, President Obama made a big deal out of the need to graduate 10,000 new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors every year, and 100,000 new teachers in these areas. To help get the message out, he held a science fair for middle and high school kids in the State Dining Room at the White House, with all sorts of fun and interesting science and engineering projects on display.
The Obama administration and its predecessors ha...Read Full Post »
Why Too Much Praise Kills Self-Motivation
|Posted by Dave on April 2, 2011 at 11:40 AM|
Over the past 20 or so years, many adults have gotten into the habit of effusively praising children for any effort or achievement – no matter how insignificant – and NEVER criticizing. Over time, kids come to expect that everything they do will result in a flood of positive feel-good messages from the adults around them. It’s a strong, if artificial, motivator for some kids to keep going, even on tasks they don’t really like.
Of course, this all end...Read Full Post »
How Well Does Your Child Handle Stress?
|Posted by Dave on February 24, 2011 at 12:55 AM|
“What some kids can shrug off (could) be harmful to others” according to a 2007 study conducted by Daniel Hart, a psychologist at the Center for Children and Childhood Studies at Rutgers University (Camden, NJ) that found ties between certain nervous system responses and behavior problems in children.
Everyone’s bodies react differently to stress. Part of this reaction is inherited, and part is learned. Some kids’ autonomic reactions to stress are e...Read Full Post »
It's Time to End the "Self-Esteem" Mistake
|Posted by Dave on July 29, 2010 at 9:05 AM|
The well intentioned but misguided "Self-Esteem" movement has held sway in public schools since the early 1980s. Here's why I agree with a growing number of psychologists, educators and parents who think it's time to put an end to it.
1 Self-esteem was never the point - it's really just a side-effect - the result of success from hard work. Psychologists and educators agree that self-control is a far more valuable attribute and a better predictor of future succes...Read Full Post »
The Importance of Early Infant Attachment
|Posted by Dave on June 20, 2010 at 10:30 AM|
Nature provides for the care of newborns by creating strong attachments between parent and child. For most (but not all) moms and many dads, the attachment drive comes naturally. This helps ensure the infant’s safety and survival. In addition, this attachment is essential for the development of personality, language, and emotional health.
Broken down into its essentials:
1) A steady, responsive caregiver
2) Social interaction
4) M...Read Full Post »
Why is Marriage in Trouble?
|Posted by Dave on June 20, 2010 at 8:55 AM|
This may be my one of my shortest blog entries, although I might add to it later. Some ideas are best conveyed with fewer words. The analysis is simple and broad-brush, but still valid.
Why are marriage failures at an all-time high?
1. Parents are too focused on their kids, and aren't putting enough energy into growing their own relationship.
2. The Self-Esteem movement has bred runaway narcissism. Folks are...Read Full Post »
The Value of Mistakes and Failure
|Posted by Dave on April 25, 2010 at 8:55 AM|
If you’re one of those parents who push their kids to seek perfection in all things, you’re missing the point. The most valuable lessons are learned when things go wrong. Those lessons are also the ones that stay with us longest.
Kids need to make mistakes, and yes, even fail, from time to time. The ability to learn from mistakes, recover, and move on is crucial to future success. It’s not only good for learning, but helps build a stronger and more resilie...Read Full Post »
Ingredients for Success
|Posted by Dave on April 24, 2010 at 6:50 PM|
A common misconception is that talent is a key element in success. Actually, numerous studies indicate that perseverance and a passion for the subject or goals are far more important. Talent can help, but a burning desire and a refusal to give up are more likely to yield positive results.
One worry is that fewer kids are able to muster the kind of perseverance necessary for success. Our instant gratification culture where everything is delivered right now, on demand, ...Read Full Post »
Unneccesarily Nervous Parents
|Posted by Dave on June 29, 2009 at 9:00 AM|
Most folks think we live in dangerous times and need to make extra special efforts to protect our children. Many parents won’t let their kids out of sight for even a moment for fear something bad will happen to them – not might - WILL.
The result is that kids are more fearful of almost everything. We’re raising a generation of scaredycats, and psychologists report an increase in the number of children suffering from anxiety and depression – some of ...Read Full Post »