Love and Anger Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

girl behind woman near folding chair

Parents often feel guilty for getting mad at their kids or for not always liking their kids. But there are really great reasons to get mad at kids. For one, parenting is hard and children aren’t always easy. For two, it’s really important for children to see us get angry, see us manage our anger […]

All behavior makes sense

photo of toddler smiling

Here are two things that everyone everywhere needs to know about everyone else: People do the best they can with what they know. All behavior makes sense when viewed in context. This is true for ourselves and our friends and family and definitely for our kids. Knowing this about each other can make it easier […]

No Guarantees

man in gray crew neck shirt with brown hair

I’m not a great marketer and so I’ve been reading and following some expert-types to learn how to do it. One of the things they say is that you have to make promises to people about how whatever you’re offering is going to CHANGE THEIR LIFE and then give specifics. In the parenting sphere that […]

Are my child’s struggles my fault?

woman hugging boy on her lap

It’s the therapy stereotype, right? It’s always the parents’ fault! No wonder then that many of the parents I see in my therapy office come in feeling defensive or feeling guilty. “Did I do something wrong?” they ask me. “Did I create these issues? Is it all my fault?” My answer to this is probably […]

The Myth of Good Parents

We do not raise children to go out into the world and be perfect and build perfect relationships with perfect people. That would be impossible. We raise children to be good enough to build good enough relationships with other good enough people. Therefore, good parents are, by definition, not perfect. It’s our imperfections — deftly handled — […]

Nobody does anything they don’t want to do

boy in gray crew neck shirt

A long, long time ago in my parenting (not professional) life, I got in a friendly argument with another mom about whether or not kids should be “made” to do something they didn’t want to do. My friend said, yes, of course, because we all have to learn to do things that we don’t want […]

When You Don’t Like Your Kids

woman in black crew neck shirt

If you’ve got kids, I bet there have been times when you don’t like them very much. Maybe you feel guilty about that but you know I’m an anti-guilt crusader so I’m here to tell you that I haven’t met a parent yet (and I’ve met a lot of parents) who likes their children 100% […]

The Everyday Losses of Growing Up

selective focus photography of bubbles

Growing up is wonderful; it’s miraculous. New words. New accomplishments and abilities. But it’s also hard and scary and sometimes it’s sad. It’s not just the goldfish that don’t last a week or the blankies that get lost, there are the everyday losses of not being little anymore. “I can sit under the dining-room table […]

Why You Should Let Your Child Have the Last Word

boy wearing American flag print eyeglasses sticking his mouth open

Sometimes when you’ve won an argument you can help the person who lost save face by letting them get the last word in. I think this can be particularly helpful with kids. You can help move things along by letting a kid stomp away mumbling. This seems counterintuitive and I know it’s tempting to holler, “What’s that? […]

Fretting over candy

green-red-beige-and-white lollipop

It’s that time of year again. October leads the march for the next three months when sweets become one of the central issues for many families. Everywhere you turn there are suckers, cupcakes, frosted cookies and mini chocolate bars. In my local community, Trick or Treat is still happening (with plenty of safety recommendations in […]