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Should Parents Take Expert Advice or Follow Their Instincts?

As parents, we love our kids and we try so hard to be the best parents we can. We know that the people historically raised kids, often with physical punishment or shaming words, was not good for them. So we look for good, expert parenting advice we can use to give our kids what they need.

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You Are the Expert on Your Child

Parents are under intense pressure to get their parenting just right for their child or risk “messing up their child for life.” Then parents doubt they know enough to truly be an expert. It’s a situation that affects everyone, even the super rich like Paris Hilton.

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Parenting When You are Sick or Tired, Part 1

I have a pet peeve. So much parenting advice assumes that parents are at 100%: they aren’t overly stressed about their job, they have lots of energy, they’re getting enough sleep, they’re not sick themselves or overwhelmed by a child’s needs. Because that’s the amount of energy it takes to apply a lot of that advice. Of course, that just makes parents feel bad.

How do you parent when you are sick or exhausted? What kind of parenting advice actually works at those times? For the last two and half months, I’ve had the opportunity to find out.

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How to Help Kids with the Sunday Scaries and School Dread

Helping kids who worry about the upcoming school week with a simple method.

Key Points:

  1. Kids get the Sunday Scaries when they dread school on Monday.
  2. School dread can prompt anxious or defiant behavior in kids.
  3. Use mindfulness with the Sigh, See, and Start method to explore that dread and help you connect with your child.

The Sunday Scaries

Who has not felt dread before work or school? Our kids feel it before school, and as adults, we can relate because we may feel it before work.

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How Parents Can Keep Kids Talking To Them

Boy and father talking
Kids want to talk with parents, when parents are open in communication.

“I know the day will come when he won’t talk to me anymore.” Parents say this to me in my pediatric office all the time. There is an idea that one day teenagers, particularly boys, won’t want to talk with their parents anymore. But that is simply not true.

Parents can create a family culture of communication so that kids will keep wanting to talk with them as they get older. And that’s not only great news, it’s essential. Because when things get tough for our kids, it’s important that they know they can come to us.

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Parents Can Use The Movie Dune To Help Kids With Fear

When our children are afraid, parents will do whatever they can to help them feel better. If children struggle with fear in an ongoing way, it can create a problem for the whole family. Parents want to both comfort their child and make sure that they gain the skills to manage in the world. But how?

The popular movie Dune holds a surprising answer: the content of the famous Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear. The litany may be fiction, but it’s packed with solid psychological advice. If parents use Dune, they can engage their child’s imagination and teach them how to overcome fear.

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Why High Achievement Cultures Can Kill Kids’ Love Of Learning


Most parents believe that setting their kids up for a successful life means sending them to a good school. If their student attains academic achievement then they are on their way to a happy life, or so we believe. Then in 2019 the National Academy of Sciences designated kids at high-achieving U.S. high schools as an ‘ at-risk ‘ group for mental health problems.

Now, new research suggests the problem with high-achievement cultures is an international one and is particularly intense around math. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, identifies “a complex process in which national culture promoting high math achievement drives down interest in math schoolwork.” And the problem is worse for girls than for boys.

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Research Shows These Parenting Beliefs Help Kids Most

More than anything, parents want to do their best for their kids. But every parent I know lives in the pressures of the ShouldStorm, which bombards them with shoulds. Always telling them what they should and should not be doing to maximize their child’s development. 

Now, new research from the University of Chicago has shed light on a sinister way the ShouldStorm actually drives parents to undermine their child’s development, all while thinking they are helping. It all comes down to what parents are told is good for kids. 

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How Parents Can Help With Kids’ Back To School Anxiety in 2021

For kids, going to school has never felt more uncertain than it does in fall 2021, as they enter their third school year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Will they be able to keep going to school or will their school shut down, as some already are? What if they get COVID, or what if they bring the Delta variant home to siblings too young to be vaccinated? Will they be okay?

Now more than ever, parents need to know how to help their kids navigate all the usual school stress,  plus deal with the fear and uncertainty they face during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Practical Parenting Ideas to Keep Your Child From Vaping

Simon’s mom stepped into the hallway so he could talk with me alone. I asked him the usual pediatrician checkup questions. But when we got to the questions about alcohol or smoking, Simon shared that he had been vaping for more than a year.

Simon told me he was scared. At 13 years old he had developed chest pain and a cough he and his friends called vape cough. That was because they vaped too, and they also had the painful cough.

Unfortunately, research shows that it’s tough to get kids to quit vaping, due to how addictive it is. So the key for parents is to try to keep their kids off vape and juul in the first place. New research, which I recently covered for Forbes, has found that what parents and pediatricians have been doing isn’t working.

But the good news is that the research also shows what DOES work. When parents make their kids feel supported and help them set positive goals for their futures, kids are much less likely to vape. In this post, we’ll look at how to actually do that.

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