Successful Parenting: The Greatest Gift to Give Your Child

Successful Parenting: The Greatest Gift to Give Your Child

by Ph.D. Grant Aram Killian


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For parents seeking the best in life for their children; this book is filled with practical application models to ensure optimal parenting, a must-have, and unlike no other parenting book. Parents, psychotherapists, educators, students and those who work with children, will find this book a phenomenal addition to their repertoire of knowledge concerning children. All who seek to nurture children and insure their success will want to own this amazing reference and go to book for parents and professionals seeking optimal success. Approximately twenty-five percent of an individual’s life is spent learning with one’s parents. Parenting is the most significant variable in a child’s and an adult’s life as humans have the most extended parenting – enduring longer than the lifetime of most animals. Nothing ever affects the formation of an individual’s personality and habits more than the teachings of being with one’s family. Successful parenting is the greatest gift one can give to one’s child, see

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524642884
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 11/21/2016
Pages: 542
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.21(d)

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Successful Parenting

The Greatest Gift to Give Your Child

By Grant Aram Killian


Copyright © 2016 Grant Aram Killian, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5246-4288-4


The Sales Pitch for Parenting as Learning

The time is always right to do what is right.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Parenting, Cumulative Scientific Wisdom for a Paradigm Shift {1}

Rule: Parenting should have the same detail, planning, and vigor that went into the sculpture of David and the painting of Mona Lisa, and with the hope that the effect will last years in their lifetimes.

The time has come for a paradigm shift so that parenting can become an applied science, a set of rules and procedures using loving and teaching practices based on the cumulative wisdom of scientific research. There is no more guesswork. The child is not being experimented upon, but being taught to be more mature, sophisticated and diplomatic. There is no need for more scientific studies using children or people and maintaining a control group. Parenting is an applied science using just one child. Scientific principles and rules can be applied to one individual, even when there are "factors jeopardizing validity" such as "history" and "maturation" (Campbell and Stanley, 1963, p. 5). In this particular situation with parenting, "extraneous variables," which have been in the past a concern for "jeopardizing validity," can now be used as parts of the ultimate goal. Social sciences have been concerned that the process of measuring may indeed change that which is being measured. In the science of parenting, we want to utilize these variables (such as maturation) to systematically produce change over time in the child. Testing was a variable of concern because the process of testing itself was a stimulus that changed the student who was not passive (Campbell and Stanley, 1963, p. 5). In parenting, testing can change the child so that he or she becomes better by using various shaping techniques, and in fact, the child can even test him or herself by trying to beat his or her practice times in etiquette and in controlling tempers. In this way, testing is no longer a jeopardizing variable but a tool that one can use to develop maturation, improve latency scores, and reduce time of anger (see chapters 3 and 4).

In 2014, the police shot a twelve-year-old boy who did not drop his pellet gun within two seconds. In two seconds the child was dead because there was a delayed latency in dropping the gun and responding to the police, who had drawn their pistols. (We will discuss this event later.) On December 28, 2015 the grand jury did not indict the two police officers on criminal charges for shooting the boy Tamir Rice in two seconds.

We have the cumulative science to teach parents to teach children with loving procedures. It is time for psychologists to teach parents the applied science of parenting to avoid situations like this shooting for all races, for all religions, and in all countries. Psychologists should not be silent on the issue of parenting. An abundance of scientific knowledge and resources has been collected during the past hundred years in animal and human learning. There is no more guesswork on parenting. We need to stop repeating thousands of years of mistakes by doing what our parents did or what unprofessional books suggest. It has not worked!

Rule: With both parents working, some parents have lost control of their children and have given them too many choices, allowing them to ignore the parents. When children enter adulthood, financial limitations will not permit all of these choices. They will be inexperienced.

Rule: Overprotected children are underexperienced, and they are sent into the world handicapped because they are dependent and fearful. Parents may have done them a great disservice. Students cannot play high school JV or varsity sports if they are underexperienced.

Rule: Parents have repeated too much and have lost respect, making their words meaningless. Parents have not spent enough time making sure the child pays attention to the parents, allowing too much distractibility (see chapter 3). Distractions can result in death.

Accidents from distracted walking (e.g., walking into fountains and falling into subway tracks) have dramatically increased from 2005 to 2010, doubling to more than 1,500. Millennials between the ages of twenty-one to twenty-five are more likely to be hurt now. On Christmas Day of 2015, lifeguards stated that a thirty-three-year-old adult was coming to watch the sunset with another person, but he was so busy with his battery-operated device that he walked over the Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, California, plummeting more than sixty feet to his death.

Rule: Parents need to teach all over again proper attention to looking, walking and paying attention to where and how you walk as opposed to permitting children to look at their devices when the parents are talking to them or when they walk in public.

We do not know how many accidents or deaths have been caused by distractions during major automobile or train accidents. Distractions during driving have become as dangerous as drinking and driving.

We must start teaching parents how to develop attention, concentration, diplomacy, sophistication in social etiquette, anger control, how to deescalate conflict so that there are no more devastating confrontations and unnecessary deaths in society. The science of psychology has this ability; however, it has not been applied to parenting, and parents are unaware because psychologists have remained silent and passive in training parents. Children have suffered. Some are victims of violence. Some create violence in the home or on the street. Parents do not have the cumulative knowledge of the past hundred years, and psychologists should stop being silent, stop being passive, stop asking parents questions, put away play therapy, and teach parents the science of applied parenting. There is a desperate need in our society for psychologists to be specific in techniques and encourage this paradigm shift. It is insufficient to tell the parents to administer a consequence.

We have an obligation to society, parents, children, and teachers of all religions, races, and countries to make this applied science to parenting more accessible (and more accessed). Psychologists must stop making these loose and inaccurate generalizations, stop saying "give a consequence," and help parents with examples, variables and multiple techniques that are loving. Unprofessional writers with untrained opinions and without any supporting research violate the laws of psychology and flood the market, leaving parents bewildered about what text to buy. Too many incorrect opinion-based books have flooded the field of parenting.

Here is an example that violates the laws of applied behavioral science: "How long do you keep someone in timeout? For every year of the child, put them in timeout for an added minute. If the child is one year old, he or she is in timeout for one minute. If the child is five years old, he or she is in timeout for five minutes." These incorrect statements violate the applied behavioral techniques of reinforcement and timeout. I will extensively go into this example later and show why it is so ineffective {see sections 21-30, 45, 46}.

Another incorrect teaching model that violates behavioral science involves counting off number in order to back up the seriousness of the words. In the example of the 2014 shooting of Tamir Rice, the police did not count after they told him to drop the gun. Parents should not be reading books that recommend counting after giving a command if the child does not obey. There is no counting in the real world. The police did not count when they shot that sixth-grader. Never back up words with numbers. Never back up words by repeating the words louder either. Do it right the first time, but without the magical number count down.

These books are flooding the market, and parents are reading them, teaching them and their children improper methods. As a licensed psychologist (PY3298), I felt motivated and compelled to write this book because of the abundance of incorrect books in the marketplace. Parenting efforts need to be based on the cumulative knowledge of applied scientific parenting.

A monthly journal of applied parenting should be made available to both psychologists and parents alike. It should be written in a format that all parents and psychologists could understand and benefit from. That way we can change not only parenting but the human condition too. Parenting is important, and it matters. It is the greatest gift the parent can give the child.

The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.

— Benjamin Spock

Psychologists have an obligation to society, all parents, and children to make this gift possible. Parents have lost the ability to have their children make eye contact, act and come when called. This generation is too preoccupied with electronic devices, eye contact has been lost along with the simple come command {see sections 97-105}.

The command "Drop the gun" should work for all children of all races, all religions, and all countries all the time. It is time psychologists teach us how parenting is done properly. It is time that psychologists become active in helping this planet develop a better human being by using applied scientific parenting.

IQ, The Terrible Twos, and Self-Concept {2}

Learning is a critical function of all life and all species. If human beings are to survive, they must learn or die. Learning takes place in the natural world for all species as a critical component of survival. In basic biological terms, the survival of the species takes place because each member must learn to increase survival behaviors, increase behaviors to find food, increase mating behaviors, and avoid dangerous situations. No species can come readymade, knowing everything about the environment on earth.

Rule: Learning must be incorporated in the survival of all species. Yelling at the child is not a learning technique.

We can look at life from many perspectives. From a psychological perspective, life is a series of adjustments to a changing environment. We make these adjustments with practice , and we learn about life. Learning is usually provided by the parent more than any other teacher your child will ever have.

Rule: Learning is a critical function of all life and all species. The parent is the child's most important and hopefully the longest living teacher and model. Parenting is teaching with love, not hatred and anger.

In 1979, Cl ark-Steward, Vanderstoop, and Killian published in The Journal of Child Development an article titled "The Analysis and Replication of Mother Child Relations" (p. 777-793), a study on the critical factors involved in young children who were two and a half years old. (The publication can be downloaded from By two and a half years, there were already statistically significant findings showing that good parenting skills (positive interactions) were indeed more important factors than DNA, wealth, parents' IQ, or other socioeconomic factors. Positive, warm parenting made the difference in all groups. This was the first study of its kind to ever replicate the results four times, proving that parenting is one of the most critical and powerful elements in a child's life by the age of two and a half. Parenting is teaching with love, and it is critical even before the age of three.

Testing in our clinical study began when the children were two and a half years old, referred to as the "terrible twos." This occurs because developmentally the children are beginning to become aware of their environments and identities relative to their respective parents. Their parents expect more from them now. Prior to this age, all good parents treat their children like kings and queens, hovering over them, waiting on them, serving, feeding, dressing, showering, and diapering them. Parents take care of every need. The terrible twos are a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a sense, the child learns that the parents are the slaves, and they are kings and queens who only have to cry to get their way. In addition, we were able to verify reliably that even by that age of two and a half, good parenting, attention, and learning could be measured even for things such as social IQ, stranger anxiety, and verbal production. Therefore, we can dispense with the myth that IQ and verbalizations are totally inherited and/or passed down because of socioeconomic status.

Rule: The behavior of the terrible twos is a learned developmental process that takes place by the simple principle of positive reinforcement .

When children cry, good parents tend to run to see if everything is okay, feed them, change their diapers, and hold them endlessly, giving them abundant attention and love. This period of life never happens again. We have all our needs met and every care in our life handled by others. People even approve of belching and passing gas, and that will never happen again. Thus, the terrible twos are the mere outgrowth of the principle of positive reinforcement from attentive parenting. Children have been treated as if they are royalty, and the parents have become slaves to their every need.

You can teach an old dog new tricks, so just imagine what you can teach your young newborn child! Newborn children are like brand-new computers with nothing on the hard drives. By the time they have reached kindergarten, their concept of self is developing and is affected by many of the things parents have said and done prior to this age. A healthy conception of self should not be confused with entitlement or narcissism. However, children could inherit or develop an attitude of entitlement, self-centeredness, insensitivity to the parents, and a lack of responsibility by the time they reach kindergarten. On the other hand, at this age children could also develop responsibility and sensitivity to parents and others.

By this age, some children become demanding for more toys because they had been lavishly given toys without much consequence. Perhaps a grandparent excessively gives toys at every visit and never gives any negative feedback. However, when this happens, it is likely that the child might be resentful or defiant to the parent who sets limits, especially if the parent does not give extravagant gifts. Many other alternatives could happen during this period. The difference in experiences in the parents' home and the grandparents' home may cause the child to prefer being with the grandparents, subsequently spurring anger in the parents' home. The child just prefers getting his or her way with the grandparents. In this situation, the child dreads leaving the grandparents, but he or she is excited to reunite with the grandparents and thrilled to leave the parents. Later on in life, these foundational behaviors manifest themselves in adulthood in a number of different ways, some favorably and others negatively, depending on the early experiences. Parenting can become complicated quickly.

We all know that children can grow up to emulate their parents in many ways. Look at Archie Manning, who helped his two sons, Eli and Payton, become incredibly successful quarterbacks. Presidents have had sons who have become presidents and daughters successful in their careers. Actors have children who follow in their footsteps. Doctors have children who continue to help others through medicine. Parents can also have children who become drug addicts, commit crimes, and attempt suicide. This pattern is not the result of luck or genetics. Psychology now has established a set of verifiable behavioral and scientific methods for learning, teaching, practice, and training. It is important to be aware of the words, sentences, actions and the time spend on teaching the child how he or she matures.

Many famous people also have had children who endured extreme difficulties in adulthood. For example, the fraud perpetrated by Bernard Madoff, hedge fund manager of a Ponzi scheme, so severely affected his oldest son, Mark Madoff, that he hung himself from a pipe on the second anniversary to the day of Bernard's conviction. In a sense, parents are the old dogs. Some parents have learned, while others have chosen not to learn the lessons of being good teachers of life.

The good news is parents still have time to make good adjustments to correct most situations in families no matter the age of your child. A marriage takes work, and being a parent takes work too. Parenting is a full-time job that takes proper knowledge, effort, good decisions, and being a good model for children to emulate. Using these correct teaching applications will require parental practice and knowledge.

Most parents have had no training to be parents — no classes, no license, no examination to pass. However, laws require driver's education and a driver's license to drive a car, and car insurance is required to protect occupants in case of an accident. There is no parental insurance if something goes wrong. We require flying and boating lessons. We give our children music and dance lessons, but still we do not require parenting lessons! For one of the most important jobs on earth, there are no required lessons for learning proper techniques.


Excerpted from Successful Parenting by Grant Aram Killian. Copyright © 2016 Grant Aram Killian, Ph.D.. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


To all the readers of this book, vi,
Preface, xix,
Chapter 1: The Sales Pitch for Parenting as Learning, 1,
Chapter 2: Applied Scientific Learning Terms, 44,
Chapter 3: Applied Learning Models, 251,
Chapter 4: Single Case Applied Learning Model, 443,
Chapter 5: Odds and Ends, 485,
References, 495,
Web Links, 503,
Index of Names, 505,
Index of Terms, 511,

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