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Have a parenting question? We’ve got you covered! Our expert team of licensed therapists and psychologists have years of experience helping families navigate the challenges of parenting. From tantrums to sleep issues, we’re here to provide evidence-based solutions tailored to your unique situation. Browse our Q&A section to find answers to common parenting questions. At BehavAble, we’re dedicated to supporting families in raising happy, healthy children.

Why are some parents “Helicopter Parents”?

“Helicopter parenting” is a term used to describe a style of parenting where parents are overly involved in their children’s lives, particularly in areas where children should be developing independence and making their own decisions. There can be various reasons why parents may exhibit this type of behavior, including:

Fear and anxiety: Some parents may have a deep-seated fear that their children may come to harm if left alone or if they make their own decisions. This fear may stem from a previous traumatic experience, such as the loss of a child or a close call.

Pressure to succeed: Parents may have high expectations of their children and may want them to succeed in every aspect of their lives. This may lead them to micromanage their children’s lives, to ensure that their children meet these expectations.

Lack of trust: Parents may not trust their children to make the right decisions, which can lead them to intervene in their children’s lives constantly.

Control issues: Some parents may have control issues, which may cause them to want to micromanage their children’s lives. They may feel that they need to be in control of every aspect of their children’s lives to feel secure.

It’s worth noting that while helicopter parenting may be well-intentioned, it can have negative consequences for children. It can lead to increased anxiety and decreased self-esteem, as well as a lack of independence and problem-solving skills.

Evidence-based consultation is available – just a phone call or click away – with BehavAble.

What does the research recommend about delaying a child’s start of kindergarten when that child has a “late” birthday and would be young for the grade?

Research suggests that delaying a child’s start of kindergarten can have both positive and negative effects, depending on the individual child’s situation.

In general, delaying the start of kindergarten may be beneficial for children who are not developmentally ready to start school, particularly if they have a “late” birthday and would be young for their grade. These children may benefit from an additional year of preschool or pre-kindergarten, which can provide them with more time to develop their social, emotional, and cognitive skills.

However, delaying the start of kindergarten may not be beneficial for all children. Some research suggests that children who are academically ready to start kindergarten may actually be disadvantaged by delaying their start, as they may become bored or disengaged in preschool or pre-kindergarten programs.

In making a decision about delaying a child’s start of kindergarten, it’s important to consider the individual child’s needs and developmental readiness. Parents should consult with their child’s teachers and other professionals, such as pediatricians and psychologists, to determine the best course of action for their child.

Evidence-based consultation is available – just a phone call or click away – with BehavAble.

My husband is constantly undermining my parenting authority and criticizing the way I parent our son directly in front of him. I’ve tried talking to him, but the problem persists. What is the best way to address this for sake of our family’s peace and for the sake of our son’s psychological well-being?

Reconciling different parenting styles can be a challenge for couples, but it is possible. Here are some tips to help you and your husband reconcile your different parenting styles:

  1. Have an open and honest conversation: The first step is to have an open and honest conversation about your parenting styles. Discuss your values, beliefs, and parenting goals, and try to find common ground. Listen to each other’s perspectives without judgment and try to understand where each other is coming from.
  2. Find a middle ground: Once you have identified your differences, try to find a middle ground that works for both of you. This may involve compromising on certain aspects of your parenting styles or finding creative solutions that incorporate both styles.
  3. Communicate effectively: Effective communication is key to successful co-parenting. Make sure you are on the same page about rules, boundaries, and consequences. Be consistent in your parenting approach, and present a united front to your children.
  4. Respect each other’s parenting style: It’s important to respect each other’s parenting style, even if you don’t always agree with it. Avoid criticizing or belittling your partner’s approach, and instead, focus on finding ways to work together.
  5. Seek outside help if needed: If you are struggling to reconcile your parenting styles, consider seeking outside help from a family therapist or counselor. A trained professional can help you work through your differences and develop a co-parenting plan that works for both of you.

Remember, co-parenting requires ongoing effort and communication. By working together and respecting each other’s parenting styles, you can create a supportive and loving environment for your children.

Evidence-based consultation is available – just a phone call or click away – with BehavAble.

I know sibling rivalry is normal, but when does it go too far? Why do my children fight so intensely with each other? What can I do about it?

Sibling rivalry is common among children and is a natural part of the sibling relationship. However, if the fighting becomes too intense, frequent, or leads to physical violence, it may be a cause for concern. As a parent, it is important to recognize the signs of unhealthy sibling rivalry and take steps to address the issue.

The reasons behind intense sibling rivalry can vary, but it often stems from a desire for attention, jealousy, or competition. Children may feel neglected, overlooked, or unfairly treated compared to their siblings. They may also feel threatened by their sibling’s accomplishments or possessions, leading to feelings of resentment or envy.

To address sibling rivalry, parents can take several steps. Here are a few tips:

  1. Create a positive home environment: Parents should strive to create a positive, supportive, and nurturing home environment that fosters healthy sibling relationships. This can involve spending quality time with each child, providing individual attention, and encouraging open communication.
  2. Teach conflict resolution skills: It’s important to teach children how to handle conflicts in a healthy and constructive way. This can include teaching them to express their feelings, actively listen to each other, and negotiate a compromise.
  3. Avoid comparisons: Avoid comparing one child to another, which can fuel feelings of jealousy or resentment. Instead, focus on each child’s unique strengths and accomplishments.
  4. Establish clear rules and consequences: Establish clear rules for behavior and consequences for breaking them. This can include consequences for physical violence or other inappropriate behavior.
  5. Seek professional help: If the sibling rivalry is causing significant distress or affecting the family’s overall functioning, it may be helpful to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.

Remember, addressing sibling rivalry requires patience, consistency, and effort from parents. By taking steps to foster healthy sibling relationships, you can help your children develop strong bonds that will last a lifetime.

What does peer-reviewed research tell us about how much screen time a child should have each day? And how should I handle my child’s meltdowns when I try to end screen time?

There is a growing body of peer-reviewed research on the effects of screen time on children, and while there is no consensus on exactly how much screen time is appropriate for children, there are some general guidelines that have been suggested by organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children between the ages of 2 and 5 have no more than one hour of screen time per day, and that children between the ages of 6 and 18 have consistent limits on the amount of time they spend on screens, as well as ensuring that they get enough physical activity, sleep, and social interaction.

However, it’s important to note that the effects of screen time on children can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of content, the age of the child, and the context in which the screen time is taking place. For example, interactive educational content may have different effects than passive, non-educational content.

Furthermore, research has shown that the quality of parent-child interaction and the overall home environment play a key role in children’s development, and excessive screen time may interfere with these factors. Therefore, it’s important for parents to balance screen time with other activities that support healthy development, such as physical activity, reading, and socializing with peers and family.

Overall, while there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much screen time is appropriate for children, parents can use the available research and guidelines as a starting point for making informed decisions about their children’s screen time.

Dealing with a child’s meltdowns can be challenging, but there are some strategies that can help when you try to end screen time. Here are some tips:

Set clear limits and expectations: It’s important to set clear limits and expectations around screen time from the outset. Let your child know how much screen time they are allowed and when it will end. 

Consistency is key, so make sure you stick to these limits and expectations.

Give a warning: Before ending screen time, give your child a warning so they have time to transition. For example, you might say, “You have 10 more minutes of screen time, and then we’re going to turn it off.”

Offer choices: Giving your child choices can help them feel more in control and may reduce the likelihood of a meltdown. For example, you could say, “Would you like to play outside or read a book after we turn off the screen?”

Remain calm and patient: If your child does have a meltdown, it’s important to remain calm and patient. Don’t engage in an argument or power struggle, but instead, try to understand your child’s perspective and empathize with their feelings.

Validate your child’s feelings: Let your child know that you understand how they feel and that it’s okay to be upset. Use empathetic statements such as, “I know it’s hard to stop playing your favorite game, but it’s time to turn it off now.”

Offer comfort: Offer comfort to your child by giving them a hug or engaging in a calming activity, such as reading a book or doing a puzzle together.

Remember, it’s important to be consistent and firm when it comes to screen time limits, but also understanding and empathetic when your child has a meltdown. By using these strategies, you can help your child manage their emotions and develop healthy habits around screen time.

Evidence-based consultation is available – just a phone call or click away – with BehavAble.

What does peer-reviewed research advise about video game play among children under age 12?

There is a significant amount of peer-reviewed research on video game play among children under age 12. While the effects of video game play can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of game and the child’s individual characteristics, there are some general findings that have emerged from the research.

Time Limits: One key recommendation from the research is that parents should set time limits on video game play. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, suggests that children under age 2 should have no screen time, while children aged 2 to 5 should have no more than one hour of screen time per day, and children aged 6 and older should have consistent limits on the amount of time they spend on screens.

Content: It’s important for parents to consider the content of the video games their children are playing. Games with violent or sexual content may have negative effects on children, while educational or non-violent games may have positive effects.

Social Interaction: Video games can provide opportunities for social interaction, which can be beneficial for children. However, research suggests that social interaction that occurs online may be less beneficial than face-to-face interaction.

Parental Involvement: The research also suggests that parental involvement is important in shaping the effects of video game play. When parents play video games with their children, for example, it can enhance their relationship and may have positive effects on children’s social and emotional development.

Moderation: Moderation is key. While some video game play can be beneficial, excessive play can have negative effects, including reduced physical activity, poor sleep, and lower academic performance.

Overall, the research suggests that video game play can have both positive and negative effects on children under age 12, depending on a number of factors. Parents can use these findings to make informed decisions about the type and amount of video game play their children engage in

Evidence-based consultation is available – just a phone call or click away – with BehavAble.

What does research show to be the best way to deal with a defiant 6-year-old child?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as every child is unique and what works for one child may not work for another. However, research suggests that the following strategies may be effective in dealing with a defiant 6-year-old:

Positive reinforcement: Catch your child doing something good and praise them for it. Positive reinforcement can help to reinforce positive behaviors and encourage your child to continue to behave well.

Consistency: Be consistent in your expectations and consequences. Make sure your child knows what behavior is expected of them and what the consequences will be if they do not follow the rules.

Setting boundaries: Set clear boundaries and rules for your child. Make sure they know what is expected of them and what is not allowed.

Active listening: Take the time to listen to your child and understand their perspective. This can help you to identify the underlying issues that may be contributing to their defiant behavior.

Empathy: Try to understand how your child is feeling and respond with empathy. Acknowledge their feelings and let them know that you are there to support them.

Timeouts: Use timeouts as a consequence for defiant behavior. Timeouts should be brief and age-appropriate.

Seek professional help: If your child’s behavior is strongly negatively impacting daily life or causing significant distress, seek the help of a professional, such as a pediatrician, psychologist, or therapist. 

Evidence-based consultation is available – just a phone call or click away – with BehavAble.