When it Comes to Making Career Choices, Let Your Child Do the Driving

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter just turned 15, and I want to start preparing her for the future. Specifically, I want to make sure that she’s on the right career path, whether than means going to college, trade school, or something else after she graduates high school. She’s only got a few years left, and I’m a little concerned that she doesn’t seem to have much direction. How do I steer her toward the right career choice?

A: As parents, we all want our kids to succeed in everything they do, from getting good grades to finding the right life partner to landing the perfect job. But parenthood is an ongoing lesson in the difference between control and influence. When our kids are young, we’re pretty much in control and we’ve got a huge amount of influence. As they get older, they take on more and more control over their own lives. We have influence, but a little less every day. And by the time they’re around your daughter’s age, we have almost no control at all, and whatever influence we still have is much more powerful if we wait until we’re asked to help rather than offering unsolicited advice (which a lot of teens and young adults will see as an attempt to control them anyway).
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How to Teach Your Child to Live a Disciplined Life

By Shefali Tsabary, PhD

It’s been said that the only things we really learn are the things we learn for ourselves. That’s because only when we learn it for ourselves does it become intrinsic to us. We just naturally do it, without having to be coaxed or disciplined. The key to raising a self-disciplined child is for them to learn for themselves—a process we undercut when we impose the lesson on them.

As a clinical psychologist working with families, I’ve found that children learn best from consequences, whereas punishment generates resentment. A child who is punished may fall in line, but their heart isn’t in it. They don’t learn to be self-disciplined—which is why so many of our kids have a traumatic time in their teens.
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Masculinity and Fatherhood Reconstructed

Ronald Levant, author of Masculinity Reconstructed and editor of Psychology of Men and Masculinity.
Topic:
The changing definition and expectations of fatherhood at work, in relationships, and in family life.
Issues: How has fatherhood changed over the past 30-40 years? The many “new” types of fathers: single, never married same sex, stay-at-home; how fathers impact their children; how has the father’s role in the family changed over the years?

Peanut Butter Principles + Changing Roles and Expectations of Fathers

Eric Franklin, author of Peanut Butter Principles.
Topic:
Leadership lessons every parent should teach his or her kids
Issues: Building the internal skill set of self-confidence, self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-control; the importance of setting, pursuing, and achieving goals; fundamental wisdom that will smooth out the bumpy journey; learning how to interact with and impact others in a positive way; gaining the wisdom and ability to improve decision-making.


Ronald Levant, author of Masculinity Reconstructed and editor of Psychology of Men and Masculinity.
Topic:
The changing definition and expectations of fatherhood at work, in relationships, and in family life.
Issues: How has fatherhood changed over the past 30-40 years? The many “new” types of fathers: single, never married same sex, stay-at-home; how fathers impact their children; how has the father’s role in the family changed over the years?

Fatherhood: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m what you’ve referred to as a “renewed dad.” I’ve got young adult children from a previous relationship and just became a new dad again. Things already seem very different than they were the first time around. Has fatherhood changed or is it just me?

A: A little of both. Renewed dads tend to be more financially secure and less worried about moving up the corporate latter than younger dads who are often just starting their careers. Renewed dads also typically have more time to spend with their young children. You’ll find that you’ll interact with your baby differently than you did with your older kids when they were the same age. Then, your back and knees were stronger than they are now and you probably spent more time wrestling, running, kicking, and doing other physical things. These days you’ll spend a little less time on the floor, and more time reading and talking to your baby.
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