The punishment pitfall: Why punishing your child is bound to backfire

Kids do some horrendous stuff. Flushing your wedding ring down the toilet, emptying the ENTIRE surplus size container of baby powder onto the new carpet, sneaking into the pantry and eating the whole, previously unopened bag of Pirate’s Booty…. the list is endless. It’s every parent’s first instinct to lay the punishment on thick when something like this happens....more

Fitting Punishments for Common Small Crimes

"Let the punishment fit the crime" was something that was said by someone famous.  I have no idea who. ...more

Wonderfully Maddening

.Being a parent is wonderful, but at the same time, it’s completely maddening.  As soon as I think all is well and I’m doing pretty well as a parent one of our kids decides to push their limits...more

Facebook as a Parenting Punishment Tool: Good Idea?

Denise Abbott's decision to publicly discipline her daughter on Facebook sets a precedent to be public about their issues. Technically, her 13-year-old Ava set this precedent when she first disrespected her mother online, but Denise followed suit. If the experts who say that modeling proper behavior is the best way to teach children life skills, like discretion and respect, then arguably Abbott's choice of discipline may have inadvertently reinforced her daughter's behavior instead of curbed it. Kind of like spanking a child to punish him for hitting, or screaming at a child for throwing a tantrum....more
@Johann7 Your comment has really given me food for thought. You are right. There is an accepted ...more

Make the Punishment Fit the Crime

My son came home with a detention for forgetting his book in another class.  Okay, fine.  I'm not the teacher, but if there are punishments on kids for forgetting, I'll just be thankful I"m not in school being policed or I'd be in trouble hourly! The problem I had with the detention is that it was at 7:30AM.  AM.  Before school.  Before my morning is complete.  Before I pick up all the neighborhood kids for carpool.  Wait ...more

Parenting May Be Easy, but Being Human Is Hard

Roughly five times a day, I screw up as a parent. However this morning’s antics may have earned me a spot in the Mommy Hall of Shame. At 10:00am, I had just settled down to work and a coffee, when my cell phone cheerily announced: “Chaperone Field Trip.” A pit instantly formed in my stomach. I was supposed to heading to a demonstration of the New York City Ballet with my daughter's class that very moment....more
I think you are spot on. We get so many mixed messages today as parents. And no child arrives in ...more

Alcohol at Teen Parties: Where Is the Line of Responsibility for Parents?

Anyone catch the Today Show yesterday? Matt Lauer interviewed a couple from my neck of the woods: a Stanford professor, Bill Burnett, and his wife, Carol. The Burnetts agreed to host a party for their 17-year-old son and his friends to celebrate a football win, under the condition that no alcohol be present. The Burnetts were home when the teens arrived and brought them snacks, but allowed the teens some privacy (kids were in the basement, parents upstairs). At 11 pm police arrived, responding to an anonymous complaint that there was alcohol at the party. Although the Burnetts assured the police that no one had brought booze, the officers found that some had been snuck in....more
With this case, ridiculous. They laid down the rules, and a gathering of any size can easily ...more

Why is My Son Acting Like Such a Teenager?

I am at my wit's end with my 14-year-old-son. It seems that I am more concerned about his grades than he is. When I ask him about his grades, I get the blank look, even though he's floating 3 Ds! He has missing assignments, zeros, etc. I have taken his phone away, pulled TV out of the wall, and even put his mattress on the floor. He does great for a couple weeks, but then it's back to missing assignments again. I am constantly beating myself up wondering where the hell I went wrong. Am I too involved, am I not involved enough? Am I trying to wear too many hats? Do I bring out monster mommy or June freakin' Cleaver? Any suggestions greatly appreciated. ...more
My now 19 yo son was a pretty lazy student in high school. Coupled with ADHD and a lively ...more

Compare the Apologies: Ed Schultz versus Mark Halperin. What do you think?

Media matters, coverage matters, talk shows set tones for viewers.  So what does the difference between the two apologies mean? If you are wondering what I'm talking about -- my first reaction to Halperin calling President Obama "a kind of a dick" on a morning talk show can be found here....more

Banned From the Prom | High School Punishment

James Tate had a unique way to invite Sonali Rodrigues to the prom; he and his friends posted large letters to the wall at his high school entrance.  Romantic?  Fun?  Maybe.  Banned from the prom?  Yes. He received an in-school suspension for his antics. ...more

is where I have issue with the action taken. Suspension for hanging a sign seems out of line ...more