Your Parents Weren’t Experts and Neither are You

Many people base their parenting style on doing things exactly the same way their parents did them. Others base it on doing everything entirely opposite from the way their parents worked. Any time we do something either to conform with parental expectations or to defy those expectations, we’re losing out on an opportunity to be true to our own self. The reality is that parenting has, for most of human history, been a function of “doing the best you can with what you’ve got.” But over the last 25 years, researchers have made amazing progress in understanding human development from infancy to adulthood, and in understanding the neuroscience that undergirds that development.


3 Lessons I’ve Learned About Conflict with my Child

Today I found myself locked in a battle with my three- (almost four-) year-old over the need to go potty before going down for a nap. I don’t know if you’ve ever had this happen to you, but you get an idea in your head about what you want your child to do, and your child has a completely different idea. These two ideas are completely opposed to each other, but there isn’t one with clearly better merits than the other.

That’s what happened to me today. (more…)

In Praise of Failure

It’s hard to watch your kid fail at something. It’s hard to watch them be disappointed or discouraged by it. Why is that? Why does failing get treated as an unwanted experience?

I think it’s becuase we’re taught in a thousand ways every day to view failure as a reflection on our fundamental worth. We come to believe that our ability to perform is a reflection of our essential goodness and value as human beings. But this, of course, is completely wrong.