Q: When should a parent seek professional help?
Therapy can be supportive at any stage, and can help improve relationships by resolving minor challenges before they become a major problem.
The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways
One of the first things I tell most parents that I work with is that behavior is a communication, and that understanding the message in a child’s behavior is incredibly helpful for changing those behaviors. To put it another way, something is behind or underneath unwanted behavior; triggering or motivating or strengthening it. Those hidden drivers are usually unmet [...]
Wallow with them!
credit: J. Sibiga Photography I love the word wallow. It's fun to say, plus it reminds me of two totally separate things: self-pity, and pigs in mud. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the phrase used without one of those two things attached! Except, I often use the phrase at work in a way that is [...]
Are you going to let her get away with that?
True personal story: When my oldest daughter was about 8 months old, she got over-stimulated and grabbed an adult relative hard enough to cause pain. We pulled her off, apologized, went into another room and helped her calm down. About 20 minutes later, I apologized for my daughter's behavior again to my relative. Her response surprised me. She said: "Are you going to let her get away with that? Shouldn't you give her a little swat on the butt?"
Why did you do that?
Ever ask your kid why they did some (dumb, unwanted, whatever) thing? Yeah, me too. But! When I'm running my parenting "A" game, I try not to--for at least 2 good reasons.
De Jure versus De Facto Parenting
We parents often say things like "She needs to understand that no means no" or simply "He doesn't listen!" Behind these complaints is often a big ugly truth that just happens to have a Latin description: sometimes what we parents say isn't what we actually do.
Setting Physical Limits
Setting physical limits** is a particularly sticky area for many of the parents with whom I work. When our toddlers are 18 months old, we're confident that steering them away from the electrical outlet is "right," but the water gets murkier when they are 3 and refusing to walk to the car after music class. Don't even mention the bane of children (and parents) everywhere: the carseat.
T. Berry Brazelton on Self-esteem, Spanking, and Vegetables!
The New York Times website has a blog called "Well" that recently interviewed Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, one of our country's most known (and loved) pediatricians. He's the author of at least 24 books on parenting, child development, and the like, and he's a bit of a hero to me. In the interview, Dr. Brazelton and co-author Dr. Josh Sparrow [...]