I fundamentally believe that knowing how things go wrong can teach us how to do things right. In fact, research proves that negative experiences help us learn better. If you failed, and failed big time at something, you are likely to truly learn from it. Let’s say you had to set up a software on a new site and it didn’t install at all. You would probably come back and make sure that never happened again. As such, while I post many, many positive parenting solutions all over this website, I also delve into the dark side of parenting: toxic parenting. Yes, we can royally screw up our children with what we do.

I also don’t really know how to deal with what I see as toxic parenting when I see it. It’s hard to directly confront parents. Hence, I am letting this page do the work for me.

Children are never ever to be seen as annoying nuisances. I scream internally when children are called “terdlers.” I document the age-related stages children go through–and I love to help validate parents about how hard it is and hopefully give them some more patience and strength. But it’s for those parents actually trying that I write. I do not validate parents who can’t believe they have to deal with any of it, as if it should just go away. This is not what I am about.

I also fundamentally believe that children are not designed to “listen.” We don’t really mean “listen” when we say this. We mean “obey.” Children aren’t doing as the parent says. It’s our job as parents to get into their world and get them to trust us to do the things we need them to do. Children aren’t designed to rationally hash things out with us. They are designed for us to notice them, get into their world, and satisfy their needs. I take this overly optimistic belief in rationality to task in my second Misbehavior is Growth book, currently being written.

Here is a growing list of articles about potential toxic parenting: an evasion of our responsibility as parents. I hope to do everything in my power to help equip you as a parent and influence society, the family of the family, to give you more support. But I do not tolerate an evasion of responsibility towards children.

The Harmful Effects of Toxic Parenting on Children
How Child Development can Prevent and Perhaps Heal Narcissism – I break down several key developmental milestones and how mishandling of them may result in known narcissistic traits. Narcissism is known to set in by the time is between 2 and 5 years old.

“Father Knows Best”
Grumpy Gorilla: Ending the Patriarchal Tyranny of ‘Disciplining’ Children

Hard Truths You Might Need to Hear
Children Will Never ‘Listen’

Toxic Parenting
It’s not ‘Distraction.’ It’s Gaslighting. And, Yes, Stop.