Ethical Parenting: Parent-Child Conflict

By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo • 4 min read

images“I was a wonderful parent before I had children.” ~ Adele Faber.

I remember when I became a parent. Within the first two years of parenting my child I became aware of this enormous sense of gratitude. My parents had come to visit and on one occasion and I pulled my mother aside. I said, “Thank you.”

She responded, “For What?”

I said, “For not killing any of us children when we were growing up.”

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Ethical Parenting: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity

By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo • 2 min read

769051-Childprotection-1412039792-178-640x480“No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child…No slave was ever so much the property of his master as the child is of his parent…Never were the rights of man ever so disregarded as in the case of the child.” ~ Maria Montessori.

Principle E asks psychologists to honor the dignity and worth of all people including each person’s right to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. This is why we have informed consent. Informed consent means that a client was informed regarding services, risks, benefits, costs, limits of confidentiality, and so forth before they agree to become clients or participants in research.

The ethical parent understands respect, rights, dignity, and self-determination. Let’s take a look at how this applies to parenting.

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Ethics in Parenting: Justice

By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo • 2 min read


scales-of-justice-and-child1“In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.” ~ Albert Einstein.


The fourth principle in the APA Code of Ethics concerns justice. We can apply this principle to ethics in parenting. How does justice apply to ethical parenting? Let’s take a look.

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Ethical Parenting: Integrity in Parenting

By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo • 2 min read

integrity-code“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” ~ Confucius.

This is the third blog on an Ethical Code of Conduct for Parents in a series on Ethical Parenting. In this blog we will look at Principle C: Integrity. When we look at integrity in the practice of psychology we are talking about honesty, keeping promises, and adhering to accuracy in our practice with clients of any kind. We work with clinical clients, research participants, and those with whom we offer our skills of consultation or academic guidance.

Parents need to operate with integrity as well.

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Ethical Parenting: Principles

By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo • 2 min read

parents“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ~ Benjamin Franklin.

This is the second post in a series on parenting and an ethical code for parents and children. In the November 10th post we discussed parenting stress and angst. I introduced a code of ethics for parents and Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence. Principle A is about doing no harm and choosing to find and do the right thing.

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Ethical Code of Conduct………….For Parents and Children

By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo • 3 min read

ethics-and-decision-making“More inhumanity (to man) has been done by man himself than any other of nature’s causes.” ~ Sameul von Pufendorf, 1673.

Do you ever feel you need a compass or a set of tools to help you navigate through the issues that arise every day as a parent? If so, you are not alone. Parents worry, they fret, they despair, they cry, scream, and yell loudly. Most parents feel alone when it comes to knowing what the right thing is to do.

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The Overly Anxious Child

By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo • 2 min read

worriedchild“Worry is the thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” ~ Arthur Somers Roche.

Many adults wonder what children have to worry about. After all, they have all their basic needs met by others in the majority of circumstances. That said, the chief referral reason for child therapy revolves around a host of behaviors, symptoms, and interactions that will inevitably come to be diagnosed at Overanxious Disorder of Childhood. This same disorder is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder when applied to adults.

Let’s take a look at the symptoms of the overly anxious child and some of the presenting problems that may indicate this is going on.

Symptoms of the Overly Anxious Child:

Excessive anxiety or worry.

Difficulties controlling the anxiety or worry.

Restlessness, feeling keyed up or on edge. A state of fear without a precipitating event.

A state of being easily tired or fatigued.

Difficulty concentrating. Ones mind going blank. Inability to focus.

Irritability including anger.

Muscle tension, tenseness.

Sleep disturbances. Reported difficulties going to sleep, staying asleep, or obtaining restful sleep.

So what’s the big deal about having anxiety?

Anxiety robs a child of peace, joy, fun, and a childhood. Children who worry don’t have the luxury of engaging in the here and now except for moments stolen back from the state of anxiety present much of the time. Children who worry report unhappiness, dread concerning the future, and a constant sense that the next bad thing is about to happen. Some of these children will have panic states where they have trouble breathing or catching their breath, a rapid heart beat, and they easily cry, shout, or act out with anger due to the inability to hold all of this inside.

Children often try to explain their anxiety and worry to their parents. Most children and teens tell me their parents simply don’t understand. Parents tell their children it is a state of mind. They are told there is nothing to feel anxious about. Parents get angry at their child’s report of anxiety and often parents dismiss it all as an exercise in child drama making.

Anxiety is real, palpable, and it feels, to the child or teen, as though one more thing will cause you to implode or explode. Anxious children don’t want to disappoint others. Often they are the family peace-keepers or mediators. They take on more than they can handle and seldom complain until that dreaded anxiety peaks.

If a parents want to intimately understand anxiety they do need to look a bit differently at their child. What do you really see? Is Johnny biting his lower lip. Is Joy biting her nails? Does Sara have trouble telling her teacher she doesn’t have time to do one more club? Is Brian working so hard in baseball and track that he is falling behind on his math and he stays up until midnight working on it? Look at what your children say and do. Then begin to ask questions.

Some good questions can take the form of some of the following examples:

How are you feeling today?

When I saw you studying last night it felt like you were worried about something, were you?

In soccer practice last night you blew up at George. That’s not typical for you. Are you worrying about something?

Watch how your child eats, sleeps, and eliminates. Do they rest? Or, is it go, go, go.

Try for a relationship of emotional honesty.

Take care and be well.

Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo, PhD

When Children Remember 9/11/2001

By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo • 4 min read

neverforget911“Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.” ~ Oscar Wilde.

We don’t need to worry about forgetting. We have a part of the brain whose job it is to secure all information for future use.

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Paying Kids For Good Grades?

By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo • 3 min read

paying-kids-for-good-grades-630x432“A student asked his Zen master how long it would take to reach enlightenment.  “Ten years,” the master said.  But, the student persisted, what if he studied very hard?  “Then 20 years,” the master responded.  Surprised, the student asked how long it would take if he worked very, very hard and became the most dedicated student in the Ashram.  “In that case, 30 years,” the master replied.  His explanation:  “If you have one eye on how close you are to achieving your goal, that leaves only one eye for your task.” ~ From Alfie Kohn, A Case Against Grades.

This topic has surfaced off and on in recent years. Many parents want their children to evidence success at any cost. Let’s look at some of the issues.

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What Makes A Happy New Year

By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo • 2 min read

happy-new-year-2014-hd-wallpapers-4“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” ~ T.S. Eliot.

A new year has just turned the corner. Many people in my clinical practice have voiced hope that 2014 will be an improvement over 2013. This last year was difficult for many. There were deaths, divorces, cancer diagnoses, financial problems, temporary setbacks, and major issues to address for many.

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