Dr. Stanley Goldstein - Author and Psychologist

A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Should America Adopt China's Way of Education?

September 11, 2017

Tags: school, children, student, China, teacher

The (September 9-10, 2017) Wall Street Journal's article, "Why American Students Need Chinese #Schools," makes several points: that, in China, the teacher rules supreme over the parent, and that effort and drill are considered the educational pathway to success. There, teachers engage in behavior which would cause their arrest for child abuse in America. Yet, (more…)

Diagnosing Bullying

August 22, 2017

Tags: bullying, school, children

Though all agree that bullying is bad, its complexity and that of the victim are often downplayed. In fact, bullies may primarily be sadistic, depressed, or anxious; and victims may primarily be submissive, provocative, or masochistic. Varying teacher and family dynamics exist for each, ranging from fear and helplessness, to parents who gain vicarious (more…)

Fanciful Explanations of Autism and Parental Guilt

December 1, 2016

Tags: autism, autistic, children

While parents rarely feel guilty when their child becomes physically ill, this is not true when they develop emotional problems.
Autism is perhaps the most affected disturbance by this attitude for, in its severest form, it devastates family life. Recent infant research has confirmed what clinicians have long known: that the parent-child interaction plays (more…)

Why Some Children Lack Psychological “Sturdiness”

July 18, 2016

Tags: children, parents, toddlers

Parents know that infants vary greatly in their “sturdiness,” their ability to tolerate separation from them. Children with extreme responses to separation are buffeted by panic after instances of parental “abandonment” that is manageable for less vulnerable youngsters.
Parental unavailability is devastating for them, promoting clinginess and a desperate need to ensure parental proximity. (more…)

The Similarity Between Dying Schools and Dying Businesses

June 2, 2015

Tags: school, business, children, technology

As a psychologist, I've long found that parents complain most about schools. They are, as institutions, hermetically sealed, uninterested in any opinion that doesn't agree with their own and, when their efforts with troubled children fail (as almost always happens), the parents become termed expert and the school demands that they resolve their child's (more…)

President Obama's Proposal of Free E-books Reflects Naive Psychology

May 25, 2015

Tags: Obama, E-books, children, reading, education, pre-school, learning, parenting

President Obama's proposal to provide free E-books reflects naive psychology since there are already free books available through school and local libraries. What is needed is for parents to read to toddlers and to speak with rather than to their children (i.e., explain why something shouldn't be done rather than saying, "Do (more…)

The Illogic of Diagnosing Youth with Bipolar Disorder

May 8, 2015

Tags: BPD, Bipolar Disorder, children

It is both clinically and logically incorrect to diagnose a child or teenager as suffering from Bipolar Disorder since this diagnosis is classified as a personality disorder and requires an adult mental structure which youth, by definition, do not possess.

Teachers' Responsibility For Students' Academic Success

May 8, 2015

Tags: children, teacher, school, education

The problem with holding ‪teachers‬ largely responsible for their ‪student‬s' learning is that many learning difficulties derive from emotional and family issues that are uncontrolled by the teacher. Teachers teach--with greater or lesser knowledge and creativity--and can be a catalyst for a child's learning but they do not control most elements of a (more…)

The Cheapest, Most Effective Pre-School Education

May 8, 2015

Tags: children, school, pre-school, education

While no one can dispute the value of most education, the cheapest and most effective early intervention “program” would be for parents to read to their children from 2 years of age onward, and to speak with rather than to them (as by explaining why something should be done rather than merely saying, “do it (more…)

Confused Child/Disabled Adult

May 8, 2015

Tags: ADD, AD/HD, amphetamine, Adderall, children

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) have been widely used terms to diagnose children's problematic behavior for the past fifty years though the particular symptoms that they comprise have been noted for two hundred years ("mental restlessness").

Fifty years ago the symptoms were believed to reflect MBD (Minimal Brain Dysfunction). Yet rather (more…)

Why A Financial Journalist Should Resist Giving Parenting Advice

May 8, 2015

Tags: parenting, children, The Wall Street Journal, discipline, parents

Several years ago The Wall Street Journal published an article by a financial columnist on how to discipline children, using his experience with his teenage son as an example.

Basically, his advice was to take away something which the child likes but not something which would impact their future ( (more…)