From Parenting Disputes to Wanting to Learn

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“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”Parenting Dispute – Who is Right?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

I have two young children and I am careful about how I behave around them because they’re so impressionable. My husband puts me down for this. He says they’re too young to understand, and so he even sometimes cusses in front of them. Is he right that I’m being overprotective or am I on the right track?

Loving Mother

Dr. Gelb Says . . .

A: Dear Mother:

I couldn’t agree with you more. I believe that from the moment of birth caregivers assume the responsibility and privilege of being healthy role-models for their children. In this respect, I thought I’d share with you an excerpt from my article, “How to Teach a Child Positive Behavior,” published in the February/March 2003 issue of Hawaii Parent, The Magazine For Families, pp. 82-87.

“Positive Influences. With opportunities available to teach a child positive behavior, one may wonder why there are so many ill-mannered youth in today’s society. As Millie, a concerned mother of 3-year-old Tommy comments, “I try to conform to socially acceptable behavior and teach this to Tommy; so, as a parent I don’t understand why our youth are so rebellious. Is this how Tommy will turn out?” Millie appears to be aware that behavior does not just occur; it is learned. Many parents however, do not teach their child positive behavior. They do not provide needed attention and discipline. As a result, the child tends to be susceptible to undesirable influences such as peer pressure. Role models, mentors, or anyone who has influence over a child must be knowledgeable about healthy behavior because a young mind is so easily influenced.”

Good luck with raising your children. Keep them safe and teach them well.

”Learning – What Does it Take to Get Hooked?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

I am a regular reader of your column and I wanted to tell you how much benefit I am getting out of doing the supplemental reading that you recommend in YESTERDAY’S CHILDREN. I already had a copy of this book and while I had read parts of it before I am finding the concepts to be very easy to understand when they are linked to the answers you give to your reader’s questions.

In the beginning it took a little extra effort to pull the book out and read the recommended pages, but now I’m hooked because I am learning so much.

I don’t know how many people own this book, but I would like to encourage anyone who is interested in learning about himself or herself to check out YESTERDAY’S CHILDREN.

Avid Reader

Dr. Gelb Says . . .

A: Dear Avid Reader:

Thank you for taking the time to share the wonderful feedback. This truly makes it worth my while. I hope to hear from others like yourself. It certainly offers me direction with my answers in this column.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

”’Email your questions to More information on Dr. Gelb’s services and related resources available at”’