Sylvia Rimm on Raising Kids from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 19 Jul 2019 12:05:36 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Sylvia Rimm on Raising Kids from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids bf10dc64754d7057a9cfb46c75a02538 Teen Needs to Take Parenting Role Early for 03/30/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/03/16/teen-needs-to-take-parenting-role-early-2a0fa Wed, 30 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: I live in Nigeria and am a single parent of a 15-year-old daughter. If I could live my life over again, I'd not experiment with sex so early.</p> <p>We live with my mum because I don't earn enough money to rent a place of my own. While reading a parenting book, I discovered that for my mother's generation, obedience was the guiding principle of parenting, but now it's independence. How then does one strike a balance? I don't have any parenting skills. My mum has the experience of having raised three kids. My mum's parenting style is more authoritarian, and I'm more liberal because I believe it's important to be my daughter's friend.</p> <p>I appreciate my mum's parenting style because she's one of the last vestiges of traditional African life, but I'm having a hard time getting my daughter to appreciate her parenting style. I don't know how to tell my mum.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 30, 2016</p> 37d3e6fd45f3a3ada0f03494b5f2a1b9 Child Frightened After Choking on Hamburger for 03/27/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/03/16/child-frightened-after-choking-on-hamburger-6ef51 Sun, 27 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: My 10-year-old granddaughter used to eat well but choked on a hamburger a year ago. Since then, she's been afraid to eat almost everything, except select foods like macaroni and cheese, peanut butter sandwiches and ice cream. She eats very little. She was checked by a doctor, and there's no obstruction. She's seeing a therapist, but we see no change and wonder if this is the way to go. She's maintaining her weight, but she is definitely not eating healthfully, and my daughter is beside herself.</p> <p>A: Your granddaughter is eating only soft foods, and it's likely to take her some time before she gets brave enough to return to her normal eating. Perhaps her parents can expand her menu to include other soft foods like applesauce or mashed potatoes and add a nutritional drink, as well. Fruit and vegetable juices, along with a daily multi-vitamin, can round out her diet until she gradually gains courage to try more textured food.</p> <p>A visit to a nutritionist might provide the expertise that will win her over to healthy eating. Your granddaughter is old enough to learn about the food groups she must have for good nutrition, and perhaps after studying what will make her healthy, she can be taught to make choices from all the food groups. Fear of not growing to her potential or having weak bones may rival fear of choking and encourage her to experiment with eating some healthy food again. An objective nutritionist could be more successful in reaching your granddaughter only because she probably senses her mother's anxiety with this issue.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 27, 2016</p> 6cf1cfc1c24281b459bb5746f20f3d80 Mom Angry About Bullying for 03/23/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/03/16/mom-angry-about-bullying-055b6 Wed, 23 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: My son is being bullied on the bus and at school, and I am angry. He's a perfectly normal second grader. Nothing in his appearance or behavior should make him stand out in any way. Yet he's been called terrible names, and even punched repeatedly by different kids. He holds his fear and anger inside most of the time, but I found out something was going on because he was emotional and crying a lot. I finally got him to tell me what was happening and telling me helped him feel better. I am beside myself. How do I protect him from these bullies and get him to tell me when he is bullied?</p> <p>I want to start an anti-bullying campaign for the school district, because if my sweet boy is being bullied I know other kids must be, too. Would that actually help, or would it make it worse from him? This is so frustrating, kids are supposed to be safe at school!</p> <p>A: It's good that your son finally told you about his ordeal, and you should certainly report the problem to the school. No doubt the children who have been calling him names or punching him have attacked others, as well, so the principal should be alerted to the problem.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 23, 2016</p> 21ce93ebf55ed03394fab0866833bded Family Benefits From Adventure for 03/20/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/03/16/family-benefits-from-adventure-bfda9 Sun, 20 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: My husband and I have raised a successful large family with five kids who are launched to college and careers, but our youngest is still in middle school. We have lived in the same rambling house, in the same small town, working in the same careers for the last 25 years. We are ready for a middle-age adventure. Would it be wrong to pack up our youngest and bring her along? Our older kids think it would be unfair to uproot our lives before the baby is grown up, but we want to downsize our home and see some other part of the country while we are still marketable in our professions. We are responsible people and won't do anything terribly spontaneous without careful planning. What do you think? Is this selfish of us?</p> <p>A: While there's nothing wrong with families choosing to live in the same communities during their entire adult lives, there is much right and healthy about seeking some adventure for both of you and your middle-school child (who, incidentally, is no longer a baby). It's natural for your older children to prefer you not to leave the home and community where they were raised. They may not even want you to sell the home they were brought up in. However, your moving will provide them opportunities for visits, adventure and travel, as well. You haven't mentioned whether they're living in your same community or have branched out, but either way, travel to another location can broaden their perspective on the world. Hopefully they will visit you wherever you are.</p> <p>In general, it is not harmful for children to move to another community during childhood, so you can reassure your older children of that they don't need to worry about their little sister. In planning for the immediate years ahead, you will want to consider your youngest child's schooling carefully. Middle school is definitely a better time to move than high school. You will want to check for major differences in academic challenge. If the school's significantly more challenging, your child may need some pre-tutoring to catch up in the new school without losing confidence. If the school is considerably easier, she may need some acceleration to maintain her interest in school. She will need some time to adjust to peer issues, but if she becomes involved in extracurricular activities, she will likely find a positive peer group and that could go smoothly. You can also suggest that she stay in touch with former friends through email, phone calls, Skype, summer programs and occasional visits. If you are positive about the move and you all consider it an adventure, it is likely to go well with only a few small problems that are part of everyone's lives. Families often feel closer after a move since your daughter is likely to depend more on family togetherness as she searches for good friends.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 20, 2016</p> 0983f29bb0bde8c580a6efa6ab652dfb Parents Need Privacy in Bed for 03/16/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/03/16/parents-need-privacy-in-bed-a1c22 Wed, 16 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Q: Three years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, became septic, and almost died. I'm in remission now, but my kids developed an unhealthy pattern when I was sick that we don't know how to fix. My daughter, age 11, and son, age 8, refuse to sleep in their own beds alone. Every night we end up with kids in bed with us, or us in bed with them. They say they are afraid of something bad happening in the night; they are concerned about someone breaking into the house and hurting us, or a fire. We constantly reassure then they are safe and we would never let anything bad happen to them. We've even secured their bedroom windows with locks, dark curtains, and tall furniture so they can't even see out the windows. Their rooms are well decorated, and they have new bedding. They are perfectly happy to play in their bedrooms, but when night comes, they are both clingy.</p> <p>We as parents haven't had a night in our home without kids in our bed for years. This has got to change. Please help us figure this situation out.</p> <p>A: During the time that a parent is very ill, there is so much trauma in the home that it becomes easier to give into any and all child requests, and children can get into difficult habits. They can also feel more fearful than typical. There is nothing quite so scary to children as seeing their parent seriously ill. <p>Updated: Wed Mar 16, 2016</p> b72b9eb43520ea932bbce720ef4f72f0 Social Skills Can Be Learned for 03/13/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/03/16/social-skills-can-be-learned-21016 Sun, 13 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: My 11-year-old daughter is an only child and has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as some processing disorders. She has just started attending an excellent clinical school that specializes in dealing with her learning differences. She is very happy at her new school, and we've seen her self-confidence really improve.</p> <p>What we are struggling with are her pragmatic social issues. She is <i> very </i> extroverted (constantly seeking company), but she doesn't read body language and gets crushed frequently when approaching other kids. She can't maintain friendships and feels a combination of shock, hurt and rejection when other kids think she's too much. She's in a social skills group at school, but we'd like guidance from you on what else we could do so she becomes more aware of how she comes across to other people.</p> <p>A: You've made two excellent steps in the correct direction &#8212; attending a clinical school to assist your daughter with her disorders as well as participating in a social skills group will both be very helpful to her. There are two other suggestions that I can make that could be effective.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 13, 2016</p> e28db7c7f83692e6d58b259ac085474c Underachiever Needs Guidance for 03/09/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/03/16/underachiever-needs-guidance Wed, 09 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: I've read your books and visited your website to read about underachievement in school. My son is 16-years-old and has shown many signs of underachievement for quite some time. He is a junior in a public high school.</p> <p>We are considering the possibility of transferring or supplementing some of his learning environment to a one-on-one teaching school. Do you have an opinion you can share about group vs. one-on-one teaching for underachievers or public classrooms vs. private one-on-one lessons?</p> <p>Thanks for all your help!<p>Updated: Wed Mar 09, 2016</p> 94fc4687fa222c906eed6e1f427ae418 Asperger's Young Man Needs Friends His Age for 03/06/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/03/16/aspergers-young-man-needs-friends-his-age Sun, 06 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: My neighbors' son is 14-years-old and has Asperger's Syndrome. He gets along better with kids younger than himself, and there have been times when he has come over unannounced when my daughter's young friends are here and joins them in whatever they're doing. When he does this, I always make him leave because I'm not comfortable with a boy his age playing with them. His parents asked if I would reconsider, but I said no, and I advised them to look into a program where he could be with other teenagers who may also suffer from Asperger's Syndrome.</p> <p>Now here's the thing I don't tell anyone - I have Asperger's myself! When I was 14, I also got along better with younger children, and this wasn't always good. It kept me from learning how to talk to people and develop age-appropriate social skills. As an adult, I found groups for adults with Asperger's, and it's made my life easier. As a 34-year-old, I still get along better with younger people, but the average female college student doesn't want a 34-year-old woman hanging out with them. It may work when you're 14 and the kid is 7, because the 7-year-old is usually happy to have attention from older kids. </p> <p>Should I should accommodate this boy, or stand my ground and say no? <p>Updated: Sun Mar 06, 2016</p> 99144a243e8c09c76e0bf19363a733eb Difficult Relations After Divorce for 03/02/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/03/16/difficult-relations-after-divorce Wed, 02 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: I am a divorced mother of a 13-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. My ex-husband has recently remarried a woman with one child of her own, a daughter who is 12-years-old. I was not the one who caused our marriage to end, and now I am ordered by a judge to be without my children two weekends every month when they must stay at their father's house. </p> <p>My son has brought to my attention that their father's wife acts unkindly toward my daughter when their father is not present. It is my understanding that she often ignores my daughter or glares at her when she asks for a drink or food to eat at their house. My daughter is very clingy with me when she arrives home on Sunday evenings after being at her father's for the weekend and now I know why. Mine and my children's lives have been turned upside down through this divorce and I don't even know where to begin in addressing this new situation. How can I knowingly let my daughter go to her father's house when she is being treated poorly by his new wife? </p> <p>A: I am sorry for the feelings of rejection that you and your children must be experiencing at this time and I do hope you all are receiving counseling. While I can't be involved in the judgement that allows your ex-husband to have visitation with his children, I can tell you that all three children are no doubt suffering some very difficult parent and sibling relationships.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 02, 2016</p> a7d8c8778624110ec907f77be337ef8a Teen Pregnancy Presents Challenges for 02/28/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/02/16/teen-pregnancy-presents-challenges Sun, 28 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: My daughter and her best friend are juniors in high school. Her best friend is now pregnant and I am very concerned about the amount of excitement and interest my daughter is expressing in her friend's pregnancy. The best friend is one of three girls currently pregnant at their high school, and from what my daughter tells me, there is no sense of shame about it.&#160;</p> <p>My daughter has a boyfriend, but they spend little time together outside of school and group social activities. My daughter and her pregnant friend truly have no idea how difficult being a teen parent will be. Right now, they just see the cute pictures in baby magazines and only concern themselves with the "happy planning" part of the pregnancy.</p>&#160; <p>I worry that my daughter, who is quite impressionable, might think there is nothing wrong with eventually finding herself in the same situation as a teenager or might think it would be so fun to have a baby just like her best friend. How can I make my daughter understand that finding herself in a similar situation would be unacceptable in our household?<p>Updated: Sun Feb 28, 2016</p> d48f31ed17a29ae9185a9b7639cf0d8d Grandmother Worries About Only Grandchild for 02/24/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/02/16/grandmother-worries-about-only-grandchild Wed, 24 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: Our daughter and son-in-law, who live in another state, are "raising" their only child, our only grandchild. He is a bright, sweet and sensitive 11-year-old who plays hockey and baseball and loves nature, but struggles in school. He is in 6th grade. I am convinced he has some combination of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or a learning disability which has never been diagnosed. He has been in a very limited IEP program, mainly to help him in math. He has trouble applying himself in school and says he is "dumb." He complains that school is boring. I believe it's because he has trouble understanding, and he often either forgets to do his homework or rushes to get it over with. He also fears trying to do things because he might fail.</p> <p>Our daughter (his mother) is ignorant and does not take any advice or suggestions. She works part-time and spends the remainder of her time playing computer games. Our son-in-law is an alcoholic. The two have a poor relationship with each other and often yell and engage in name-calling. Our grandson, who is afraid to sleep by himself in his own room, is allowed by his mother to sleep with her in her bed or on the sofa with his dad where he normally sleeps. </p> <p>It's hard for me as a grandmother to watch this going on. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get through to my daughter?<p>Updated: Wed Feb 24, 2016</p> 29cc55c147df0107c113c9627019c610 Child's Rudeness Receives Attention for 02/21/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/02/16/childs-rudeness-receives-attention Sun, 21 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: I have a 4-year-old daughter who I would not label as shy, but she seems to have a difficult time acknowledging any adult of my acquaintance whom she does not already know that tries to speak to her in a store or at my workplace, etc. When adults try to engage her by complimenting her dress or by asking her a question, she often looks away or down at her feet with a frown on her face and won't answer them. The adult then looks to me for an explanation. I don't know what to say other than she is shy around people she does not know. I realize she is only four, but I find this behavior to border on rudeness because I know she is not a shy child. I even talk with her before going someplace where adults will want to meet her that she needs to be a nice girl. It doesn't often work. </p> <p>I am hoping you can provide me with some tips on how to help my daughter overcome this shyness around friendly adults who should not present a threat to her. </p> <p>A: Your daughter's behavior is a bit puzzling, but I believe you can change it rather easily. Your observations that she is indeed not a shy child are helpful, although even if she were, this would still be a relatively easy behavior to change. I think she has accidentally and unconsciously discovered that her poor social behavior attracts attention and thus she repeats it. It is certainly easier for her not to say hello than act appropriately, and she may actually not feel as confident about the correct way to respond, as you believe she already should.<p>Updated: Sun Feb 21, 2016</p> c33a0791851908f6a40a849168fd9995 Family Arguing Can Be Stressful for 02/17/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/02/16/family-arguing-can-be-stressful Wed, 17 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: I am a grandmother to three lovely granddaughters, but I am at my wits end when it comes to their parents fighting all the time in front of them. Both parents have made no secret of their unhappiness with the other, and now my 9-year-old and 5-year-old granddaughters are coming to me with stories about their parents. I am unsure where my boundaries are in this as I, too, have witnessed the unrest in the family. </p> <p>The mother and father have completely opposite personalities and they do not appreciate each other's talents within a relationship, let alone a marriage. I have been drawn into their problems as each parent has spoken out to me. This situation stresses me greatly, and I have become very upset by this dysfunctional family behavior. Should I let the adults work this out for themselves or should I say something?</p> <p>A: Family fighting can be very stressful to children and adults alike. A small amount of arguing can actually be good because it's alright for children to understand that marriages are not perfect and parents, too, must compromise to resolve differences. Truly no two people are exactly alike, and people who marry most often have character traits or differences in personality that could be used to help them help each other. As a mother and mother-in-law, you should avoid mediating or taking sides, but only encourage them both to work things out. You could also recommend strongly that they reserve their discussions for times when the children are not around. If they are unable to do so, at least they can explain to the children afterward that it is natural for parents to have differences and that they will work things out. <p>Updated: Wed Feb 17, 2016</p> 6244146b3801165f143a89cc6f5182e1 Help 5-Year-Old Make Noises Disappear for 02/14/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/02/16/help-5-year-old-make-noises-disappear Sun, 14 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: My 5-year-old daughter is a very smart and precocious little girl who seems to be obsessed with having our family's attention focused on her at all times. She is the youngest child in our family. If interrupting a conversation is not successful for her, she will sit and make horrible "goon" noises or make high-pitched sounds at the cat until my husband or I cannot handle it anymore and one of us verbally snaps at her. We have tried to show her that this behavior is not acceptable by putting marks on a chart that lead to a consequence and sending her to her room. Nothing works. </p> <p>This behavior has been going on for some months now and she certainly knows it is not making her parents happy. Our daughter truly does not lack for positive attention and is a well-loved and cared for child. What can we do to finally get her past this very obnoxious behavior?</p> <p>A: You've assumed that your daughter is making these noises to garner attention and you may well be right. Your attempts to consequence her for each noise seems only to be accelerating into a battle. I suggest that you start with a little one-on-one conversation with her at a quiet time unrelated to when she is exhibiting this behavior. Specifically ask her if she knows why she makes the horrible "goon" noises. I doubt if she'll be able to explain why, but the little talk permits her to feel you are concerned and want to help her to stop making the noises. <p>Updated: Sun Feb 14, 2016</p> 0b8c06b8d2366e2f5ca8b5083b0979ab Obesity Is A Serious Emotional Problem for 02/10/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/02/16/obesity-is-a-serious-emotional-problem Wed, 10 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: My brother, who is a married father of four children, recently sought my advice in dealing with his wife, who for some unknown reason is allowing their youngest daughter to become much heavier than what is considered healthy for a typical 7-year-old. From what I can see, they all live in a stable household and the three older children appear to be fit and healthy. I recently saw my young niece after not seeing her for a few months and was shocked at how heavy she has become. Her appearance is not cute, and I would be amazed if she is not a target of ridicule at school. </p> <p>My brother's wife seems very loving to all her children, but is clearly enabling this little girl to eat whatever she chooses and we don't understand why. My brother works second shift and cannot monitor what his children do or eat after school or during the evenings. The older siblings tell him that their little sister will eat a bag of chips or a package of cookies in an hour and their mother either does not notice or makes no move to stop her. My brother's three other children are much older than my little niece, and are all teenagers. </p> <p>This strange parenting behavior honestly makes me wonder if there is something going on with my sister-in-law that no one knows about. I am at a loss as to how I can help my brother make his wife understand the great harm she is causing their daughter. <p>Updated: Wed Feb 10, 2016</p> 889fd563dd4a406024caac7c5bb64b33 Uneven Abilities Are Confusing for 02/07/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/02/16/uneven-abilities-are-confusing Sun, 07 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: My husband and I have heard you speak and have read your book, "How to Parent So Children Will Learn." We are hoping you could help us with our oldest son. He is a fifth-grader with a late July birthday and takes sixth-grade math and science classes at our local middle school. He is considered twice-exceptional (2e) with a very high visual spatial score, superior cognitive ability, but also suffers from dyslexia. His reading is improving through Orton Gillingham tutoring. </p> <p>Our son requires certain accommodations as the result of his giftedness, reading problems and 2e issues, and the school system is not responding to his needs. The administration understands what he needs, but the teachers are not following through and do they understand his issues. Without these accommodations, our son becomes very upset and exhausted because, for example, he simply cannot read as fast as his peers.</p> <p>Would you recommend giving him a "gap year" between elementary and middle school to enable him to catch up age-wise with his peers and to explore subjects in depth that interest him? During this time he could also be tutored in reading and writing. Thanks so much for any assistance you could provide.<p>Updated: Sun Feb 07, 2016</p> 57aeadf84b1f7908d778c2471a877cff Great-Grandmother Worries About Family Standards for 02/03/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/02/16/great-grandmother-worries-about-family-standards Wed, 03 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: I am a 78-year-old mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I recently learned that I will be a great-grandmother again, through my 21-year-old granddaughter is not married, has only a part-time job, no career direction or ambition, and still lives dependent upon her parents. I cannot say that much is better about her boyfriend. This baby will be my fifth great-grandchild between four of my grandchildren, and none of them were married before these babies were born. In fact, only one has gotten married since becoming a parent.</p> <p>I am completely disillusioned by this trend of such immature grown children having babies with no thought as to how they will support them. I honestly believe that some of my grandchildren have chosen not to marry because as single parents, the mothers qualify for public assistance. </p> <p>Maybe I am old-fashioned, but whatever happened to waiting until you were established and married before becoming parents? These children will suffer due to the poor choices their parents make and most likely, the cycle will continue through the next generation. I am disgusted by this. Whatever happened to having standards? Should this just be accepted as the new societal norm in our country? <p>Updated: Wed Feb 03, 2016</p> ab4eebafa2c75149e7c522f4caf095b7 There Is Hope For 4-Year-Old for 01/31/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/01/16/there-is-hope-for-4-year-old Sun, 31 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: My niece and her ex-husband share joint custody of their very intelligent and very stubborn 4-year-old daughter. While my niece very tries very hard to set boundaries and consistent discipline for her daughter, her efforts are sabotaged by the ex-husband who always gives in to the little girl and does not discipline her. I think he is just lazy. It doesn't help that her grandmother (the ex's mother) also spoils the child. The little girl told her mother (my niece) that she is the "parent who always says 'No!'" Now the child is misbehaving and acting mean to her mother (pulling her hair and kicking her). I know it's not the child's fault because she is receiving mixed messages, but I can see that the child's mother is becoming worn down. </p> <p>Unfortunately, my niece and her daughter must share a bedroom so maybe this intimacy prevents my niece from establishing more authority. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.</p> <p>A: Your sad after divorce story is all too familiar to me, and I doubt that you or anyone else will be able to change the outcome if the father and grandmother are not interested in working as a team with the mother. While children need plenty of love and good fun, they also need to gradually learn about responsibilities and to respect boundaries. Children will only learn to respect boundaries if parents agree upon what they are first. If a child has boundaries in one environment and none in a second environment, they become confused and assume that boundaries are unfair, and are likely to resent the parent who sets them. While rules don't have to be precisely the same in both environments, they all need to be reasonably similar. It is impossible for me to say whether the girl's mother is saying "no" too often or the father is saying "yes" too often, but the difference will teach the child to manipulate the father against the mother and she will become overempowered and expect to have things go her way at all times. Ideally, the parents should talk over their guidelines and compromise on their rules and decisions in a unified manner so that their daughter respects both parents as well as her grandmother. If all adults involved in parenting work with a counselor, they should be able to come to some reasonable agreements about guidelines so neither parent will be considered the "yes" or "no" parent.<p>Updated: Sun Jan 31, 2016</p> 06822b0469565dfde427f55f75112a82 Capable Preschooler Refuses to Talk for 01/27/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/01/16/capable-preschooler-refuses-to-talk Wed, 27 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q. My 4 1/2-year-old son refuses to speak to other adults when his father or I are present. He talks to his teachers while at preschool, his friends and parents of his friends. He's very intelligent and knows all his letter sounds and how to read simple words. He did all these spontaneously. He recently had a kindergarten screening and refused to speak with the test administrator, even though I was in a different room. In order to get him into a decent school, he needs to talk to other adults his father and I deem as safe! What can we do?</p> <p>A. When children refuse to talk to some people in some places but speak spontaneously and well to others at other times, that problem is usually referred to as selective mutism. It can be a very frustrating issue for the adults who care for them, as well as for the child. Typically this problem takes place with young, rather than mature children, so it's difficult for them to explain the reason for their choices. They may not even understand the reasons themselves, and even afterward, when they begin talking to others, the reasons for the temporary problem are hardly ever stated.</p> <p>I can make some suggestions to you that have been successful for other children, but if your son doesn't change his habits soon, you should go to a psychologist for help.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 27, 2016</p> ae9ed2a46ff3c15a555b2a5a890b6cd7 Daughter Competes With Mom for 01/24/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/sylvia-rimm-on-raising-kids/01/16/daughter-competes-with-mom Sun, 24 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Q: What can you do when your daughter competes against you instead of seeing you as the role model? She often accuses me of being "perfect."</p> <p>A: I don't know for sure what is causing the competition between you and your daughter, so I'm only making guesses based on experiences with other families. There could be one of two likely dynamics taking place. If she accuses you of being perfect, your daughter is probably feeling pressured to be perfect. She could be feeling that no matter what she does, she'll receive criticism from either you or her dad, but more likely from you. That doesn't necessarily mean that she's putting forth any real effort. As a matter of fact, sometimes the pressure to be perfect results in procrastination and other avoidance behaviors that appear to be quite opposite from effort. She could be saying to herself "there isn't any sense in trying because I'll never meet my mom's standards anyway." It doesn't necessarily mean that your standards are too high or unrealistic, but she may think they are. Sometimes, those unrealistic high standards originate in too much high early praise. Praise that you give to children communicates your values and expectations to them.</p> <p>The second likely dynamic that causes daughters to compete with their mothers is parenting that isn't united. That competition is initiated when dads are easier on their daughters than mothers in a manner that permits the girls to learn to manipulate their dads against their mothers. The victory that comes with daughter getting dad on her side in opposition to mother encourages the competition. The daughter basically competes with mom to get dad's attention. That may remind you of what Sigmund Freud described many years ago as the Oedipus and Electra complexes.<p>Updated: Sun Jan 24, 2016</p>