Working with Challenging Child Temperaments

Some children are naturally adaptable and cheerful. But many are not, so we’ve put together a package of approaches (on a foundation of loving nurturance and appropriate parental authority) that we’ve seen work in numerous families – many of which are useful for more easygoing kids as well.

Effective Problem-Solving with Teenagers

In this column we will explore how parents can solve problems, resolve conflicts and stay out of unnecessary fights with their teenagers. That is a large subject, so what follows is a brief summary of ideas that have worked with other families which you should adapt to your own unique situation and values.

The Arc of Desire

A child’s — or grownup’s — wants usually follow a particular path through time that I call an ‘arc of desire.’ Figuring out what a child wants requires understanding that whole arc.

What’s “Optimal” About Frustration?

We base our actions toward children on ideas about their nature and needs and it is important to examine the notion of “optimal frustration,” which means not always giving a child what they want to make them more independent.

Reducing Sibling Rivalry

Our siblings are usually the people we know longest in this life, but it’s striking how many people have distant, even hostile relations with their brothers and sisters. Family tensions related to sibling rivalries wear on parents individually, and sometimes can challenge their marriage – so it’s important to tackle them in steady, systematic ways.

When Kids Can’t Have What They Want

How to respond when the wants of parents and children differ is one of The Big Questions of parenting. Things usually go well when parents and kids want the same things — problems start when they don’t! Here are some ways to handle these difficult situations.

What To Do So Your Kids Don’t Stress You Out

We get caught in the swirl when our kids are little, and it’s hard to figure out which parts are normal kid stuff, or discipline issues, or child temperament, or parental stress overload, or couple’s issues – or something else! It really helps to have a simple plan you can keep returning to. Here are ten headlines to help.

Dealing with Summertime Stress

Summertime is also a time when it behooves parents to be really on top of their game in terms of keeping the needle on their personal stress meter out of the red zone. Here are ten great ways to weave stress relief into the fabric of your everyday life.

When Kids Are Distractible or “Hyper”

The topic of ADHD is fairly controversial these days. There’s no controversy about the fact that individuals range on a spectrum of distractibility, restlessness, and impulsivity. In this post, we’ll explore what that spectrum means – and what to do about it.