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 […]

Once language processing issues, temperamental issues, and executive skills issues have started a pattern of power struggles between a challenging child and his or her parents (see my previous post on what causes power struggles), other factors can arise which maintain and even intensify the pattern of struggle. Here are several ways that patterns of […]

The best way to deal with power struggles, tantrums, and meltdowns is to have an emergency plan. An emergency plan is a procedure or script that is implemented in the heat of the moment of a struggle. Having a plan helps prevent us from overreacting to the situation and doing things that we’ll later regret. […]

The three top causes of power struggles are: difficult temperament, delays in language development, and deficits in executive functioning. Before discussing the causes of power struggles in more depth, I want to talk first about easy kids, kids who don’t get into frequent and intense power struggles. Most of us know easy kids. In fact, […]

The most powerful tool for solving power struggles is a parenting journal. In your parenting journal you will record a narrative description of each power struggle, explosion, or other type of upsetting interaction that you have with your child. Each of these narratives will begin with the last moment that everything seemed fine and will […]