Have you ever labeled one of your children — e.g., the “smart” one, the “clumsy” one, or the “whiny” one? Of course you have! Because you’re human.But as we know now, labeling a child is not healthy. A label often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and even a positive label can constrain a child’s identity by compelling him or her to perform that limited role. Hence, labels could be considered part of a “fixed mindset,” to borrow from Carol Dweck’s celebrated research on a fixed vs. growth mindset.In their recent book, Mindsets for Parents, Mary Cay Ricci and Margaret Lee attempt to … [Read more...]
When was the last time you celebrated one of your children’s moral milestones? If you’re like me, the answer is probably not nearly as often as you have marked their physical milestones.In her recent book, Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in our All-About-Me World, Michele Borba laments this phenomenon. “Empathy is widely underestimated by moms and dads, as well as the general public ... in trying to make our children feel good, we tend to focus on their cognitive, social, and physical feats," she writes. "Overlooked are their moral accomplishments like compassion, generosity, … [Read more...]
The title intrigued me: The Happiest Mommy You Know.I live with one mom (my wife) and two possible future moms (my teenage daughters), so I read Genevieve Shaw Brown’s new book with them in mind. Brown’s mantra is that mothers should treat themselves as well as they instinctively treat their children.The Happiest Mommy You Know originated from a popular Good Morning America television segment about “The Baby Diet.” Brown explains that after preparing organic feasts for her young children, she would often eat fast food in yoga pants. But when she started eating the healthier foods (on … [Read more...]
It's hard to not view the presidency of Barack Obama through the lens of parenting.For many Americans, President Obama has been like a father. Offering a positive example, as he did in his farewell address in Chicago last night, encouraging us to better ourselves and our world, staying cool and calm when the weight of the world has been on his shoulders. For others, he was what inspired us to have children ourselves. Nine months after the celebration and joy of Grant Park in 2008, there was talk of the "Obama babies" who were being born as symbols of the new hope for the nation: diverse … [Read more...]
We have heard before about there being two different Americas. The tale is true for fathers in the United States.
The 2016 State of America’s Fathers report found that while dads, in general, are more active in their children's lives than ever, increasing the time they spend with their children and sharing child care responsibilities with women at all-time high levels, the disparity between the classes is still great. High-income fathers receive kudos while dads of lesser means are “often either valued or stigmatized simply by their ability … [Read more...]