Parenting for Today

What is this thing called parenting?
Am I doing it right?

Welcome to the website of Dr James Best, one of Australia's leading paediatric family doctors. Here you will find his weekly blog posts on parenting issues relevant to the modern Australian parent, complete with videos of Dr James Best explaining each topic. There is also available on this site his comprehensive e-book, Kidsense, a nearly 300-page guide to all important aspects of child growth, development, safety and health.

Ep14 – Connecting with kids

What we do together It may sound obvious, but we need to spend time with our child so we can model and connect. Over-scheduling and multitasking can be barriers to this connection. I like to call the minutes and hours we spend engaged in this mind to mind connection ‘connection time.’ How much connection time do you have with your child, and how much are you planning to have in the future? Key Points Effective parenting requires time. Spend time…

Ep13 – Emotions and Identity

How do we deal with our child’s negative emotions? It can be very confronting. There can be what can seem an ‘ocean of emotion’ in front of us, that our child and perhaps ourselves have little idea about how to approach the situation. Acknowledging the emotions, understanding that they are a part of every human being’s life experience and helping them to learn how to explore and learn from these negative emotions will help your child learn more about who…

Ep12 – Acceptance and unconditional love

I am so proud of my daughter, and I try to make sure she knows that. I know she has some aspects of her personality that are not perfect (and at times can be very frustrating!) but that’s ok, I suppose we all do. I am determined that she will always look to me as someone who totally believes in her. There are probably going to be times she is going to stuff up, but when she does, I want…

Ep10 – Parental baggage and expectations

My  husband and I have really clashed about how we deal with Tom when he misbehaves. I really didn’t see this coming, we hardly ever fought before we had a child. He was brought up very old school, and finds it hard when Tom doesn’t do what he is meant to. I am the opposite, but then he thinks I am being too soft and Tom will end up spoilt. Recently, we have had a few really good chats about…

Ep9 – Temperament

I just assumed that my child would be like myself or my wife, or somewhere in between. It took me a long time to realise and accept that she was in fact her own little person with her own little idiosyncracies. Some of these I found, at first, a little hard to handle, but I think I am getting better at accepting her for whom she is. She also can really surprise me with some of her positive attributes. I…

Ep3 – The First Year

It was like I was emerging from a fog. A few months ago I really was struggling, but at last I am getting some decent sleep. My daughter seems to be doing something new every few days, it is really quite exciting. It is amazing how engaged she is, and how she seems to be so curious about everything. She is starting to get stressed every time I leave her now, and seems scared of everyone else except her father,…

Ep1 – Have you ever wondered what kind of parent you want to be?

Do you think how children turn out is determined more by nature or nurture? How do you think you are going to effectively connect with your child? Key points Nature and nurture work together. Provide authoritative parenting delivered in the right tone. Provide guidance that builds on their existing skills. Be warm and reassuring. Parents often find these type of questions ones they only reflect upon as they are about to become or have already become parents. Let’s reflect on…