What Your Child Needs From You

About Dr Justin Coulson

I’m a parent... and I admit that I find parenting incredibly challenging.

That’s how I got here.

Like some people, I struggle with my priorities. Family first... right?

Sometimes it seems that my work or other interests matter more than my wife and kids.

Despite still not being the perfect husband and father, I am absolutely passionate about learning to be the kind of parent my children need me to be. And I’m just as passionate about sharing the science, the skills, and the heart that connect and strengthen families.

What got me started?

In my late 20’s I left a flourishing radio career and returned to school looking for answers to a new challenge I faced. My parenting experience with a three year-old and an infant left me feeling inadequate. I had no idea how to be the dad I wanted to be.

I spent four years studying psychological science, hoping for answers. I graduated with first class honours, and an insatiable desire for more answers.

My studies – and my passion for parenting – consumed me. It took another four years to complete a PhD. I researched how parents see their role, and how their perceptions were associated with their own happiness and meaning in life, and that of their children. (You can read my published peer-reviewed articles here and here.) After more than four years as a university lecturer and researcher, I began full-time writing and speaking about parenting.

What I do now.

For close to a decade I’ve presented workshops to thousands of parents, and coached many of them to be better parents.

It’s my life.

My book What Your Child Needs From You: Creating a Connected Family summarises the most important parenting principles any parent can practice.

I was on the Organising Committee for the World Congress of Families 2013 in Sydney, and also work with:

- McAfee/Life Education on their advisory panel for the bCyberwise student learning program
- The Alannah and Madeline Foundation as an advisor
- The University of Wollongong's Sydney Business School as an honorary fellow of the Australian Institute of Wellbeing
- The Positive Psychology Institute as an associate

Media and PR

I talk about parenting a lot in the media.

I’ve been on the TODAY show, The Project, The Morning Show on 7, Channel 7's Daily Edition, and loads of radio stations including Southern Cross Austereo and Brisbane's 96.5 Family FM..

I write a lot about parenting too. You’ll find some of my work at kidspot.com.au, The Sydney Morning Herald, Psychology Today, and blogs, magazines, and news articles around Australia.

Justin - the Human

Away from work I’m a husband to a wife I cherish. We have five daughters who give me endless opportunities to practice what I preach, and who I can’t cuddle enough. I’m a cycling fanatic, a Sunday morning church-goer, an avid reader, and a Type A guy who is trying hard to relax a little more.