Parenting and the Future of Parental Intelligence [Interview][Transcript]

Dr_Laurie_Hollman_parenting_analysisGuest: Dr. Laurie Hollman
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst with specialized clinical training in infant-parent, child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy. She has been on the faculties of New York University and the Society for Psychoanalytic Study and Research, among others. She has written extensively on parenting for various publications, including the Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, The International Journal of Infant Observation, The Inner World of the Mother, Newsday’s Parents & Children Magazine, Long Island Parent. Her new book is Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior.

Segment overview: Dr. Laurie Hollman, PhD, a parenting expert, gives us a glimpse of the future in Parental Intelligence.

Health Professional Radio – Future of Parental Intelligence

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, glad that you could join us today. Those of us who are new or seasoned parents always have questions about our kids. We don’t understand why our children do what they do and why can’t they just listen to what we’ve got to say. Our guest in studio today is Dr. Laurie Hollman, a parenting expert and she’s here to talk about her brand new book, Unlocking Parental Intelligence, and allowing parents in all walks of life to answer some of the questions of why our children do what they do and give us some insight into maybe becoming meaning makers.

Dr. Laurie Hollman: Okay. Meaning makers, that is exactly what I parents to become. Maybe I could talk about it in this way. One of the chapters in the book that we’ve been talking about is called The Stressed Child, Not a Bad Child and the idea of that is that there’s meaning behind the child’s behavior and I want parents to become meaning maker. In other words see that as their job rather than a job of punishers or…

N: Disciplinarian, the stern hand.

H: Yeah, exactly. Now it doesn’t mean they don’t have authority, they do and they need to set limits and have rules but it’s an approach that say underlying your child’s behavior there is a meaning, there’s an overarching problem that is being hidden behind the behavior. So the idea is if you are a meaning maker then you look at the problem as something that has some kind of understanding that you don’t have yet but you can unlock, you can learn from.

N: Now it sounds to me like the parent is moving, needs to move away from the ‘because I said so mentality’ or ‘you’re the child I’m the parent, just listen to what I’ve got to say.’ Is that detrimental in parenting? Isn’t there a time in the child’s development where you can go into more detail in your parenting? Or is this something that needs to start immediately?

H: You certainly want the child to listen to what you have to say, if that you are having a discussion with your child rather than just saying “Do what I said” or “I’m gonna spank you” but talk about “These are the rules in the house and I want you to follow them. Tell me what you think of the rules.” Not because you want the child to change the rules but because you really want the child to understand the rules, if they understand them and feel a part of them they’re goanna follow them.

N: Let’s talk a bit about the reception that you’ve experienced when other health care professionals, Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior. When they get a hold of your latest work, what type of feedback have you received?

H: Wonderful feedback, they thank me. They are so grateful that they now have a path to follow with parents. They feel like they’ve been sort of helter skelter in terms of helping the parents know what to do but now they have a five step approach that they can teach to their parents that they can follow and they can follow it together. I always say to professionals “Make sure the parents know that you are a team with them. You and the one or two parents are working together to help the child together and you’re lending them this approach of five steps” and the professionals are very, very grateful. What I’ve been told is that I take in psychoanalytic concept and then turn them into everyday language and that certainly was my intention, so I was really glad to get that feedback. One of the first endorsers…and I was really pleased that she said that I made difficult concepts accessible to everyday language.

N: Yeah, so basically these concepts can be learned from parents regardless of their economic levels or education levels, is that what you’re saying?

H: Without a doubt. The parents that I treat to have come from circumstances and background that varied greatly, they’d have kids of different ages, come from different economic backgrounds but they all has something in common. They were conscientious thinking parents, that’s why they came like the one’s we’re talking to today. They wanted to understand their kids, when their kids acted in disturbing ways, they ask the big question which is “Why?” And they were coming to me with that question and so it didn’t matter how educated they were, what economic status they were, how old their kids were, they still were all asking that same question.

N: Now you’ve lectured, you’re a Teacher, you’re an Author. When you’re lecturing and you’re talking to other psychoanalysts who’ve maybe specialized in adults, others who specialized, say they never leave the realm of child psychology or psychoanalytics, does your book, Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior, is it something that can be on the shelf of someone who specializes in one thing rather than someone whose got this broad, such a broad experience such as yourself? Will it fit all types of practices?

H: Yeah, I organized the book into three parts for that purpose. First part explains the concept of parental intelligence, it’s more theoretical lots of examples but it is theoretical. The second part has eight stories, by short stories like what you’d reading a short story book which was really fun to write by the way that was new kind of writing for me. There are eight stories starting with an infant all the way up to age seventeen, so you can zero in on the age group that is pertinent to the problem that you’re trying to solve and then the last chapter as we talked about, talked about the future of parental intelligence which applies to everyone.

N: Now you’ve got, when our listeners visit that website, what do we likely to find there?

H: Okay, you will find a full description of the book if you go under the book tab, if you go under publication, which I hope you do, you will find scores of articles that I’ve written for different magazines and Huffington Post on topics of parenting interest for all different ages, so you can zero in what you are particularly interested in and read that article, everything has a link and you can just go right to the article. I also have a media section just like today with all the different radio interviews I’ve done, so you can listen to them and different people have different plans so you can learn a great deal. The website itself is practically like another book, there’s so much to read and so much to listen to.

N: You’re very busy but you find time to be an accomplished Artist as well. You’ve got some paintings I understand, they’re hanging in a few collections.

H: Yes. Thank you very much, I enjoy it very much. In fact my wonderful husband built me a studio this year. It is one of the space of your two-car garage and turned it into a studio for me. So I’m doing more painting and I enjoy it very much. Thank you.

N: Great. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. And it’s been an absolute pleasure talking in studio with Dr. Laurie Hollman, Parenting Expert. She’s been giving us a glimpse into why our children do what they do in her new book, Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior. She explains how we can all become meaning makers as parents thereby getting a glimpse into what’s actually behind our kids’ behavior and also getting a handle on what’s going on with our own feelings as well as we raise our kids. It’s been great having you here with us Doctor.

H: Thank you so much for having me and for all your insights. It’s wonderful talking to you.

N: Thank you. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.

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