Parenting Articles2017-06-27T17:48:25+00:00

Parenting Articles

Developing Persistence, Effort, and Goal Directed Behavior in Children and Adolescents

Parents often are concerned about their children’s motivation and ability to focus on and stay with a task to achieve a goal.  In fact, surveys show that most parents, among diverse ethnic groups and income levels, want their children to be hardworking. Clearly, parents have recognized the importance of characteristics such a persistence.  Scientific research has shown that the ability to persist on tasks toward a goal, sometimes referred to as “grit,” predicts all sorts of favorable outcomes years later. Whether measured by questionnaires in which parents are asked to characterize their children or by directly observing how children perform on difficult or challenging tasks, we have learned that persistence makes a difference in life.  Individuals who are higher in persistence are more likely to [...]

By |June 13th, 2018|For Parents, For Professionals|

Challenges of the Internet and Social Media for Parents

An enormous challenge for parents is the monitoring, oversight, and control of the digital and social world of children and adolescents.  The challenge is daunting because: That world includes all sorts of technology (smartphones and watches, tablets, game consoles, voice-activated everything); There is a vast range of activities and resources that one can do with these devices (play video games, pursue educational activities, learn to prepare recipes or how to make or use various weapons); Children and adolescents have a social world at their fingertips and use of a social network portfolio that includes various apps (Facebook, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumbir, Flickr, Xing, Renren, Google+, Disqus) to connect with friends, relatives, strangers, predators, and others; Young people rely heavily on these applications as a [...]

By |March 23rd, 2018|For Parents|

My Child Lies? What can I do About it?

Many parents report that their child lies and they are frustrated with what to do about it. Understandably parents are concerned. The child may be getting into trouble at school and getting other people into trouble by lying about who did what when. Also, parents may catch a child lying at home and that can be very bothersome. We would all like our children to be honest and we worry whether lying is some slippery slope leading to a barrage of other deceitful behaviors. For most children, there is no slippery slope and lying either is not a problem or not an enduring problem. There are extreme cases where excessive lying can be part of a larger set of behaviors that includes aggression against peers [...]

By |September 5th, 2017|For Parents|

Fostering Flexibility

Flexibility in your parenting can be very important.  While most of us consider ourselves to be flexible, so much of parenting seems to require NOT being flexible, so let us consider how this could work. Raising children seems to require that a parent has fixed rules that should not be compromised.  So many issues, such as bedtime, homework, and the morning routine, require structure and consistency. Whether the home and these routines run smoothly or work at all depends on structure and parent consistency; however, it's important to know that flexibility is not the absence of structure.  Flexibility merely refers to being able to change your view, approach, and rules once in a while in relation to something your child would like.  It reflects the [...]

By |March 14th, 2017|For Parents|

Myths of Punishment

As the new year is beginning, many of us begin to think about what changes we can make in our lives.  Parenting is such an important job, and we often hope that we are being the best parents we can be. Punishment for misbehavior comes so naturally to us.  We barely even think about it in part because our brain is hard wired to pick up negative behaviors (not listening, arguing) and do something about them, much more than it is to notice positive behaviors (following directions, playing nicely) and do something about those. Despite our inclination, punishment is not very helpful in accomplishing our goals as parents (or in society) when that goal is just to get rid of some behavior. Maybe the single [...]

Back to School

It is that time of year again.  The time when we trade days filled with camp, trips, and late bed times for structure, homework, and early wake ups.  Although many parents are often relieved to get the year started, the transition back to school may not be easy for children or parents. As you child begins school, we recommend developing a regular routine for mornings and after school time.  Getting into these routines, however, can be a source of tension in many families.  You may find yourself repeating directions and yelling as you try to get your child moving in the morning.  Remember to keep tensions down and stay calm. If you child is not good at a part of the routine, you can help.  [...]

By |September 1st, 2016|For Parents|
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“There’s no need to change your life to use every single one of the techniques for every situation. But if you’re sick of lecturing, threatening, and punishing, you can make life less stressful by reaching for one or more of the tools.”

— The Everyday Parenting Toolkit

Everyday Parenting Toolkit Cover