When I am asked by parents, “How do I get my son to practice his musical instrument?” they are frequently surprised by my response: “Don’t try.” Let’s face it, you have enough battles with your challenging son already in getting him up in the morning, off to school, his homework done, off his screens, to […]

Reading about discipline can be confusing. Many experts argue that we should avoid punishments in favor of consequences. But what exactly is the difference? Sorting it out can be confusing. I’ve written this primer to help clarify things. Punishments vs. Consequences Punishments A punishment is an aversive (painful) response to a behavior that aims to […]

Minecraft is probably the most popular video game among the challenging boys that I work with. Their parents often like it too because they find Minecraft’s blocky and cartoony characters, animals and monsters reassuringly innocent when compared to the graphic images contained in so many other games. However, Minecraft has caused more serious problems for […]

The benefits of Family Meetings far outweigh the hassle. Consider this: • Family Meetings Make Discipline Easier. Children are more likely to follow rules that they helped create. Children are more likely to accept consequences as fair when they had a hand in determining them. • Family Meetings Reduce Family Conflict. By establishing a regular […]

You want to be closer to you son, to understand him and his feelings better, but no matter what try you can’t get him to talk to you. Every question you ask gets a one word answer, silence, or an irritated grunt. Here are 5 tested tips for encouraging your son to talk. 1. Drop […]

Today, popular Pope Francis appears to have endorsed spanking as an acceptable form of punishing children with some conditions: “One time, I heard a father say, ‘At times I have to hit my children a bit, but never in the face so as not to humiliate them,’ ” the Pope said. “That’s great,” Francis continued. […]

In my roles as a parent and as a psychologist, I have read many books on parenting. My favorite by far (I’ve read it 4 or 5 times) is Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish’s How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. The book is based on the work of […]

Check out my guest post on the Beyond Book Smart blog: From Homework Battles to Self Management: 4 Tips for Parents.    

Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, studied a sample of 600 parents and 1000 children (ages 8-18). The children were asked what they wished they could change about their parents’ work. The majority of the parents guessed that their children would wish that they worked less. However, most children wished that their […]

1-2-3 Magic, by Thomas Phelan, describes an approach to child discipline that has the advantage of being very simple to learn and follow. When a child misbehaves he gets two warnings before being sent to his room for a time out. The “1-2-3” refers to how the warnings are given. When the parent notices that […]