Parenting tips from Gregory Ramey, Ph.D.

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Answering the call on proper cellphone use

This week I’m answering questions from readers.Q I don’t think you really understand how important things like cellphones and Facebook are to young people. These are not privileges like toys to be taken away when parents get upset. They are our way of keeping in contact with our friends and ...

Quick fixes to childhood behavior problems

I receive lots of inquiries from parents who need help for their children, but don’t want to meet with a child psychologist. Some are fearful of the stigma associated with having their child diagnosed with a mental disorder. Others are concerned about the cost of therapy. However, many of these ...

Daydreaming ... a life curse or gift?

When I turned onto Boylston Street, I got my first view of the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Not only was I going to complete my first marathon, but I was only a few yards behind four-time Boston marathon winner Bill Rogers.I was gaining fast, running at a world-record ...

Bullying or horseplay? Age can be factor

This week I’m answering questions from readers.Q My seventh-grade son was recently suspended from school for two days because of his “bullying” a fourth-grade boy. Since when did normal horseplay between boys suddenly become politically unacceptable? Don’t you think we are making sissies out of our children by overprotecting them ...

How we can help kids make sense of life’s injustices

“Why did God take mommy to heaven?” asked Haley about the death of her mother due to a drug overdose.Her dad said that God needed mom in heaven to help him, and that Haley should feel happy that God chose mom. That didn’t make much sense to this young child, ...

Faulty thinking patterns won’t help kids grow

Amanda’s parents were frustrated after receiving yet another email from her seventh-grade math teacher about a missing homework assignment.“I had a problem with my calculator,” responded Amanda to her mom’s questioning.Amanda was grounded for six days. Three days were for not turning in her homework and three days were for ...

Parents question kids’ TV viewing, habitual lying

This week I will answer some questions from readers.Question: I’ve seen several episodes of “The Bachelor” with my preteen daughter. I don’t like the amount of physical affection, implied sexuality, and the notion of multiple dating partners. Would it be wrong to stop my daughter from watching it since so ...

Prevent your child from becoming sexual offender

Editor’s note: This is the third in a three-part series examining the problem of sexual abuse of kids by kids.More than one-third of sexual crimes against children are committed by other kids, having serious consequences for both the offenders and their victims. Offenders are overwhelmingly male, acting out against both ...

Protecting your child from sexual abuse

Editor's note: This is the second in a three-part series examining the problem of sexual abuse of kids by kids.We’ve taken the problem of child sexual abuse very seriously, as evidenced by a 38 percent decline in the incidence of abuse from 1993 to 2006, according to the U.S. Department ...

Protecting children from being sexual abuse victims and offenders

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series examining the problem of sexual abuse of kids by kids. Today, Dr. Ramey discusses the problem, and in coming weeks will offer advice to parents on protecting children from being victims and offenders.We’ve gone way beyond warning our kids about ...

How to raise children to live long and healthy

Living a long life involves a lot more than just eating well, exercising and getting plenty of sleep. Certain psychological and social traits may be the key to living into your 80s and beyond, according to Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin in their book “The Longevity Project.”Psychologist Lewis Terman began ...

Counseling beneficial for very young children

Q What is the youngest that you can take a child to therapy? My 3-year-old girl has been a behavior problem since the day she was born. I know she needs help, even though our pediatrician tells me she is normal. How do you get a child that young to ...

How to stop your teen’s sarcasm in 3 steps

I don’t like being around sarcastic people, as I find their cynicism rather irritating. A mom at a recent parenting workshop voiced the same concern about her 12-year-old son. “Everything he says just sounds so sarcastic, but I guess all kids his age talk like that.”Perhaps this mom is right. ...

Do challenging children cause a bad marriage?

Research published last month in Child Trends reported that happy marriages generally result in happy children. I was asked by a reader if children with any type of physical, emotional or developmental problems cause unhappy marriages.Research has focused on parents raising children with such problems as Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism ...

Parents can experience disconnect from children

Your decision to create life was born in the unrestrained optimism that having children would help make your existence worthwhile. Perhaps you came from a wonderful family and wanted to give to others the gifts of love, compassion and happiness. Maybe your own childhood was not pleasant, and you wanted ...

Self-control essential to have when raising children

I receive many questions from parents about how to help their kids behave more appropriately, feel positively about themselves, and make better choices. These words reflect what parents feel is important in raising their children. These attributes certainly do matter, but they do not capture what research has indicated to ...

Kids have tough time coping with death

“Why did God kill my dad?” asked 11-year-old Mason.“Your dad died of lung cancer,” I responded. “He smoked cigarettes for many years, and the tobacco in cigarettes can cause serious health problems.”My response, although factually accurate, was a dumb thing to say. I try to be extremely careful in talking ...

Should I get a divorce for the sake of my kids?

“Would my kids be better off if I got a divorce” is one of the toughest questions I have been asked in therapy. I try to help parents work through this complicated question. The answer has lifelong implications for the entire family.Here are the five factors that I ask parents ...

Parents, teachers play key role in stopping bullying of obese kids

Among the many physical and psychological problems confronted by our obese youth, we can now add one more. Obese preteens are more likely to be bullied than their normal-weight peers.According to a study published in the May issue of Pediatrics, weight is more important than gender, race and socioeconomic status ...

Are you willing to watch your children fail?

“What can we do to prevent our son from failing in English?” asked the parents of a high school freshman.Getting an “F” in any class meant that their son would be unable to play high school sports for a semester. “Failure is not an option,” remarked the dad, repeating an ...

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