Parenting Problems

This is a list of problems that people interested in parenting can think about.

  • When a parent and a child disagree about something, what should be done?
  • When a parent a parent and a friend disagree about something, what should be done?
  • How can we parent without coercion or suffering?
  • What do parents owe their children? What if children demand more?
  • How can parents avoid teaching their mistakes and irrationality to their children?
  • Children have a lot of ignorance compared to adults. What are good techniques for dealing with ignorance?
  • How can a parent best help children learn?
  • Many of children dislike school. Should children go to school? If not, what should be done instead?
  • Some parenting techniques rely on hurting children, e.g. punishments, discipline, grounding, natural consequences, blanket training, spanking. Can we parent well without hurting children? How?
  • How can children learn morality?
  • How can children be free to question parental ideas without this resulting in them making large and easily avoidable mistakes?
  • Why should one be a parent? What are the benefits?
  • How can parents avoid gender stereotyping?
  • In what circumstances is it wise to have multiple children?
  • What if siblings fight?
  • What if a child wants to be driven lots of places, and a parent gets tired of driving him around?
  • Parents make parenting mistakes. What are good methods to discover and correct some of them?
  • What if a parent is unreasonable, and child doesn't know how to communicate this to him? How can parent find out and fix it?

(Did you like this? Click for a list of all the essays.)

By Elliot Temple, Feb 2010 | Join the discussion group, receive the newsletter, or send comments to

Acknowledgments: some ideas presented are modified from, or inspired by, ideas from Karl Popper, Ayn Rand, David Deutsch and William Godwin. Thank you!