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Teenagers

Child eating marshmallows, reminiscent of the famous marshmallow experiment at Stanford in the 1970s.

Another Take on the Marshmallow Experiment

Why Trust is a Critical Ingredient in Self-Control

“Moot!” my son exclaimed happily. “More moot!” In order to make sure that he got his message through to me he proudly showed me his empty milk glass. I reassured him that I would return to the dining room with more milk after I checked in on dinner simmering on the stove. For a thirsty…  Read More

Back of teenagers head looking at computer with phone near her

Decrease Digital Distractions and Increase Productivity

8 Parenting Tips to Help Your Child Focus

I just wrote a blog post about self-regulation, technology, and the importance of managing the environment to set our kids (and ourselves) up for success. Here are 8 ways to decrease digital distractions and increase productivity: Cut out background media and discourage multitasking (the exception to this might be calm music for some kids) when…  Read More

Image of a phone with lots of notifications illustrating digital distractions

Self Control in the Digital Age

We live in a world that begs our attention and engagement at every turn. Even as I settle in to write this blog post, Ping! A new email; Beep! someone posted on my Facebook timeline; Bzzz. my phone alerts me to a text even though I’ve put it on vibrate in a weak attempt to…  Read More

Girl using executive function skills to pay attention in class

Executive Function: Skills for School and Life

Want your child to succeed in school and life? Then look beyond IQ scores and test results. We’ve written before about the importance of self-discipline, but the story doesn’t end there. A whole host of mental skills—constituting what is called executive function–determine how as opposed to what we learn. Emerging research is clear that these…  Read More

Divorced parents sitting on opposite ends of the couch with child in the middle.

Discipline Tips for Divorced Parents

“I asked mom and she already said it was okay for me to go out with my friends tonight.” “But dad never makes me do my homework before I play video games!” Sound familiar? Parenting across two households can be a real challenge. Working through the pain of ending a committed relationship into a working…  Read More

8 Steps for Setting Limits

We know that setting limits is key to the development of respect, empathy, and self-discipline. That said, setting and enforcing them aren’t always easy. Try these tips to get started: Get real. Remind yourself that it is your child’s job to push against the limits and your job to set them. Some children will push…  Read More

Child looking very angry and frustrated

Avoiding Power Struggles With Your Child or Teen

For lots of parents, simple conversations can quickly escalate into a power struggle. As our kids start flexing their own muscles of independence, one of their developmental jobs is to find the outer boundaries of appropriate behavior. How far can I go? Who cares? This is especially true during key developmental windows (namely, the “terrible…  Read More

Teenage relationship holding hands

Teenage Dating: Romance and the Brain

My daughter seems to be “dating” a different boy every few months. She is in high school and we have talked a lot about respectful relationships etc.. and she seems to be doing all this okay but she doesn’t seem to stay in relationships very long. Should I be worried? Thanks, Sue, Kentucky Sue, Most…  Read More

Mom and teenager laughing and connecting

Parenting Teens: Getting Creative With Connection

Even though you might anticipate some distancing while parenting teens, it is still not easy emotionally. My son Brian starting asking for a “divorce” from our family when he turned fourteen! He even started looking at apartment ads nearby and no doubt would have flown the coop if we had let him go. Loosen, but…  Read More

Two siblings fighting

When Siblings Fight

Just last week my (now grown) kids and I were looking through old photo albums. Brian and Erin couldn’t believe how chummy the two of them looked as little kids. There was hardly a picture where they didn’t have their arms around each other or their chubby little hands weren’t tightly clasped. Their sweet little…  Read More