Sunday, June 23, 2013


Children need to learn the word "No."  Preferably, they will learn it from their parents.  Parents teach the word "No" with love.  When the child is about to put their hand on the burner of the stove, a parent may scream "No."  They do it out of love.  If a child does not learn the word from their parents, they have to learn it from Vice-principals, police, correctional officers or Judges.  These people do not teach it with love.  Rather, they tend to teach it as a kind of harsh reality.  Either way, you have to learn the word "No."  Therefore, I contend that it is a parent's responsibility to learn how to say it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Growing Healthy Parents

When I was at Syracuse University, I took child development, adolescent development and adult life psychology.  I appreciated developmental psychology and relished looking at psychology over the life cycle.  However, I no longer believe any of it. 
   Since studying systems theory or looking at the family as a whole, rather than the individual parts, I realized that developmental psychology, from a linear point of view misses a fundamental component, namely the interaction within the family.  While biology is a key process in the child's growth, child development is also, to some degree, contingent on the growth of the parents.  For example, an infant's willingness to give up breast feeding is contingent, in part, upon whether mom is ready to give up breast feeding.  Similarly, mom's willingness to give up breast feeding is impacted by her relationship with the baby's father and the father's connectedness with the baby.  These interactions are powerful influences on the child's growth or lack thereof.
   There is huge difference between saying "no" to the 2-year-old, saying "no" to the 13-year-old and saying "no" to the 17-year-old.  Learning to say "no" to different age children, requires that the parents mature with age.  Just as the child changes over time, so do the parents.
   Psychology has provided us with an excellent description of the child's stages of development.  What we now want to do is describe the challenges parents must face at each separate stage of parenting and provide numerous examples and anecdotes that illustrate the critical challenges that must be addressed.  Essentially, we will provide a systems description of parental development and the role it plays in raising a child: Teach Your Parents Well.