Building Successful Relationships: On Effective Parenting: Part I

Dr. Clifford N. Lazarus


The Lintons really tried to be good parents. They seemed to think that if they provided adequate food, clothes and shelter, sent their children to church, taught them not to use foul language, and punished them when they stepped out of line, their parenting obligations would be satisfied.


Parenting is perhaps the toughest, most demanding, challenging and responsible job anyone can ever have. But there are no schools for it and no competency exams are required. It is strictly “learn by doing.”

To practice in any profession where one provides services to the public, most states require a license or certification that can only be obtained by completing an appropriate amount of schooling and passing a competency test. Even marriage requires a license (unfortunately, however, a competency test is not a prerequisite!). Bringing another human being into the world requires nothing more than a pair of functional reproductive systems — no training, no competency, no license!

Learning the crucial skills of parenting enables parents to be truly effective, increasing the chances that their children will be able to navigate the labyrinth of life successfully. One of the most valuable gifts you can give your children is a working compass (skills and facts) that can help them succeed in school and work, play and fun, love and intimacy.

Unfortunately, most schools do not include specific courses on how to acquire social skills, how to think rationally, how to control unwanted emotions, and how to be a truly effective parent. Parents must learn on their own how to resolve conflict, be assertive, and manage stress. And they need to discard the poor parenting techniques they may have learned from their own parents.

Of course all children are individuals and possess unique temperaments, needs and personalities, and there is no absolutely correct way to parent. Experts disagree on just what constitutes good parenting styles. However, in the next two segments we will discuss a few helpful hints and useful pointers that most experts do agree on.


Dr. Clifford N. Lazarus is a licensed psychologist, Co-founder and Clinical Director of The Lazarus Institute. In addition to his general psychotherapy practice, Dr. Clifford Lazarus specializes in health and neuropsychology.

Dr. Clifford Lazarus received his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in psychology from Rutgers University where he was a Henry Rutgers Research Scholar.  Seen here are excerpts from one of his books, The 60-Second Shrink – 101 Strategies For Staying Sane In a Crazy World, a book, he co-authored with his father “One of the ten most influential psychotherapists in America”  Arnold A. Lazarus, Ph.D.  For more details on Dr. Clifford Lazarus visit this link to The Lazarus Institute.  Or visit his page here on

Books available at Amazon by Arnold and Clifford Lazarus

Direct links to two highly recommended books by Dr. Clifford Lazarus and Dr. Arnold A. Lazarus:

The 60-Second Shrink: 101 Strategies for Staying Sane in a Crazy World 

Don’t Believe It for a Minute!: Forty Toxic Ideas That Are Driving You Crazy

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