Labor Relations with Children

Photography by Paul Johnson

How important do you think it is for children to help around the house? And how can I get my kids to do more? Sometimes it’s easier on my nerves if I just do the chores myself. Chores are loaded with lessons about life. They show, not merely tell, a youngster that living in this home is everyone’s privilege, so […]

Nagging or ‘This is the last ten times I’m going to tell you’

Continually mouthing the same appeal or threat, whether changing your words a little or a lot, does little to gain a child’s attention or cooperation. If I had to award a prize for the most futile parenting practice, I would surely present it to nagging. Indeed, nagging may be the single most pervasive masquerade of discipline. In its popular sense, […]

Cutting Back Backtalk Talk

Photography by Paul Johnson

Dear Dr. Ray, My five children are ages fifteen, fourteen, eleven, nine, and six. Their personalities are all very different. One thing they all do, though, is talk back. It’s the source of most of our arguments. ― Never the Last Word * * * * * Backtalk ― the universal misbehavior Where children are, it is. Unless, of course, […]

Four Ground Rules for Healthy TV Habits

Photography by Paul Johnson

Children Do Not Need Television Though youngsters will urgently argue the point, children don’t need television. They may want it, crave it, even suffer withdrawal during a power outage, but healthy social development is not linked remotely to the number of channels your set receives. Television is not inherently bad. Unlimited and unscreened, however, it is destructive. It erodes family […]

Dr. Ray on Discipline

Discipline — it’s a word that once had a pretty good reputation. Parents instinctively knew that discipline was something kids needed. It was good for them. It taught them the basics of living: character, morals, responsibility, respect. But in the last generation or two, discipline has received a spanking. Some experts proclaim that really savvy parents shouldn’t have to discipline […]