New York Times article on parenting

I was thrilled to read an article in the New York Times which cites research on the harm caused by using parental love and approval as either a carrot or a stick in an attempt to control our children's behavior. Here's an excerpt:

What these and other studies tell us, if we’re able to hear the news, is that praising children for doing something right isn’t a meaningful alternative to pulling back or punishing when they do something wrong. Both are examples of conditional parenting, and both are counterproductive.

Read the article here:

To read about parenting strategies that work within the framework of unconditional love and approval, check out these posts from my blog, or click on the discipline category in the sidebar to the right of this page:

If you'd like support as you learn to apply these techniques in your parenting, I'm available for private or small group consultations. For more information, click here or visit

rethinking crying

When I look back at my early years of parenting, I realize I had a really hard time letting my children cry or experience discomfort, even when the thing they didn't like was for their highest good. There were times that I turned myself into a human pretzel trying to keep them from feeling distress. (Weaning comes to mind.)

Many parents are much better about this than I was, and if you are one of them, you probably won't find any benefit in reading further.

But if this is a growing edge for you like it is for me, perhaps it will be helpful for you to eavesdrop on a realization I had today.