food for thought from The Atlantic

interesting article about the potential consequences of over-protecting our children from life's little rough spots; losing at a game, not having a choice, not getting what they want when they want it. Helicopter parenting does not make it easy for our kids to learn resilience and trust in their ability to move through difficulty.

I can't say I love the title, but there's some fascinating food for thought here, including this:

“Happiness as a byproduct of living your life is a great thing,” Barry Schwartz, a professor of social theory at Swarthmore College, told me. “But happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster.” It’s precisely this goal, though, that many modern parents focus on obsessively—only to see it backfire. Observing this phenomenon, my colleagues and I began to wonder: Could it be that by protecting our kids from unhappiness as children, we’re depriving them of happiness as adults?
I must admit, I recognized myself in this article at times, and it had me squirming. Good stuff.

For more information about Karen's parenting consultations, click here or visit

worried about going to college and leaving my siblings with an abusive mother

Q: My mother has what seems to be an awfully long history of mentally and physically abusing us. It's clear that she has mental health issues that she refuses to admit exist. I'm eighteen and am going to college in the fall and I don't want to leave my younger sisters unable to protect themselves, at least from her verbal abuse. Can you help?

A: Bless your heart! What a bittersweet position to find yourself in - finally able to leave a violent and abusive situation yourself, but carrying deep and lingering concern in your heart for those you love who must remain.

the truth behind your child's lies

Patty Wipfler over at posted an absolutely fantastic article clarifying what's going on for a child who decides to lie, and what parents can do about it. I highly recommend the other articles on her site as well.

For more information about Karen's parenting consultations, click here or visit