Some of the most common reasons when it can be appropriate to seek advice on parenting include the following:

·         A premature baby with special needs

·         A child with developmental disabilities and special needs

·         A child with attachment problems

·         How to deal with new technology (e.g., cell phone and internet)

·         How to talk with children about stressful events (e.g., divorce, disaster, or terrorism)

·         Two parents are divided on parenting strategies

·         A child with oppositional and defiant behavior


Perhaps the most complicated and controversial issue that clinicians must deal with is parenting.

It seems that most individuals (parents, children, and professionals alike) have strong feelings about parenting practices because parenting taps into very personal belief systems.  Talking about parenting can be like talking about one of the big belief systems of race, religion, politics, or sex.  Personal opinions are strong and scientific data often get lost amidst the strong feelings.

The major danger in our field is that we do not want to blame parents for their children’s problems when they are not to blame.  That can offend parents and lead to the wrong treatments.


Advice to parents can be as straightforward as explaining normal development and providing reassurance that their children are behaving normally. Or, behavior management strategies can be highly individualized because every child is unique and every parent is unique. There is no one way to parent correctly, and sometimes there are not even right and wrong ways.  It is important to find a clinician who understands the specific nature of the difficulties and comes up with a plan that is unique for each situation.

For oppositional and defiant children, specific types of treatment have been developed.  These include the Triple P Parenting program and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)).  These are well-studied and highly-structured protocols.

Local Experts

On the Find A Provider page of the Kid Catch Directory, you can use the Issues filter box to search for local experts on parenting.  Clicking on this filter selection will return results of clinicians who advertise themselves as working with this problem.  Kid Catch cannot guarantee that clinicians who advertise themselves this way are truly expert.


- Updated January 2, 2020