Twenty-seven years ago, when Julie Ross’s first child was born, she made a discovery: those child-development textbooks she’d read for her master’s in psychology had little to do with diapers and feedings and crying spells. Theory was fine, but now she needed on-the-job training. She looked for a parenting support group, and discovered that the people leading them had the same degree she did.
“So I thought, let me just explore this,” she remembers. What she found was that parenting books and media “experts” were creating a generation of panicked parents uncertain about how to guide their children through the minefield of body image, Internet safety, substance abuse, sex-in addition to the less modern challenges of plain old growing up. “My whole business began with the idea of giving parents practical techniques to fix these things that people are writing about.”