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Q: My 23-month-old son does well with potty training when we’re at home. We use a “potty bell, and he goes every 90 minutes or so. When we’re away from home, however, he seems clueless. He pees in his car seat about 5 minutes into a trip and simply will not use a potty anywhere but at our home or at my mother’s (she watches him one day a week at her place). Would pull-ups be a bad thing to use when we leave the house?

Q: I home-schooled my oldest, an 8-year-old boy, until this year. He started third grade in public school in August. As a home-schooling mom, I was not a micromanager and don’t want to become one now, but the school virtually insists that parents help with homework. I want him to be independent. What are your thoughts on this?

It’s a fact that a good night’s sleep is essential to optimal performance, no matter the task. It is also a fact that America’s teens, generally speaking, don’t get enough sleep. Ergo, American teens, as a group, underperform in school.

As the old parenting point of view fell out of fashion beginning in the late 1960s, the vernacular that accompanied it all but completely disappeared. Today’s parents don’t say to their children the sorts of things parents said to children in the 1950s and before, things like “You’re acting too big for your britches again, young man.”

On the one hand, this may be simple curiosity. On the other hand, it’s possible that your grandson’s normal desire to know what female bodies look like has become intensified by something he saw in a magazine or a video.

On one of my websites I, along with a team of certified parent coaches, answer questions submitted by parents. In the last two days, 67 percent of the questions have concerned toilet training. A 3-year-old is afraid of the potty. A 26-month-old will only use the potty independently if he’s not wearing clothes. A 23-month-old seems oblivious to mom’s expectations. And so on.

The child whose parents rarely tell him no is at risk of not being able to restrain impulses of all sorts later in life.

I absolutely love it when people begin to realize that the problems they’re having with a child are of their own making; when they begin to realize, in other words, that the child is not the problem – they are!

What to do when 19-month-old is wets her diaper and bed while sleeping.

The problem is that, like nail-biting, hair-pulling can quickly become a habit.

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John Rosemond
John Rosemond, an N.C. author, writes on traditional parenting.
CharlotteObserver.com