Parenting from Fear: Alvaro de Vicente on Reasons for Confidence

Parents love their children and desire the best for them. Yet at times the world seems full of dangers and obstacles to a child’s ultimate good. Because of this, a certain fear may cast a shadow on the ways parents relate to their children.

To discuss parenting and fear, we welcome back Mr. Alvaro de Vicente to HeightsCast. In the episode, Alvaro explains some of the dangers of being overprotective and parenting from a sense of fear. Rather, he encourages parents to prudently discern moments to give their children the space for making the right choice on their own, which of course means that they also have the freedom to make a mistake. At the same time, Alvaro offers advice on optimistic and formative ways to say “no” to one’s children, when such is necessary.

As Alvaro reminds us, gratitude for the good received helps one to make positive decisions about the good to be done. If families make intentional time to remember and give thanks to God for the goodness in the world, parents and children alike will be naturally drawn to that Goodness from which the world came.


  • 0:40 Introduction: fear based parenting
  • 2:15 Why we fall into parenting with fear
  • 3:50 Manifestations of parenting with fear
  • 9:05 How and when to say “no”
  • 11:58 The middle class myth and parental anxiety
  • 14:05 Why parents should avoid this mode of parenting
  • 17:20 Rebellious children
  • 19:05 Why we shouldn’t be afraid
  • 21:40 Practical considerations
  • 27:12 The unexpected, difficult questions
  • 30:30 Parenting with optimism

Also on the Forum 

Parental Authority: Our Role with Dr. Leonard Sax

Discipline in the Classroom: The Art of Order with Colin Gleason

Friendship for Fathers: Living and Teaching the Art with Prof. John Cuddeback

Parenting: Patience or Optimism with Andy Reed

His Anxiety and Ours: Confessions of an Anxious Parent Who Happens to Be a Therapist with Alex Berthé

Alvaro de Vicente

About the guest:

Alvaro de Vicente

Alvaro de Vicente has served as Headmaster of The Heights School in Potomac, Maryland since July 2002. Originally from Santander, Spain, Alvaro received some of his secondary education at The Heights and graduated from there in 1983. In 1987 he graduated cum laude from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Philosophy and received his J.D. from Georgetown University School of Law in 1991. As Executive Director of the Tenley Study Center from 1989 to 2002, he organized and managed supplemental development programs to several hundred students and professionals per year. Several of the Center’s programs were replicated and became standard programs for other supplemental education centers in the United States and abroad. While employed full-time by the Tenley Study Center, Mr. de Vicente offered his services on a part-time basis to The Heights School. Between 1992 and 2002, Mr. de Vicente assisted the School in various positions; coaching, establishing and running its college counseling office, school administrator overseeing contracts with vendors, and student advisor. From 1995 to 2001, Mr. de Vicente served on The Heights School’s Board of Directors, the last four years as its vice-president. In addition, Mr. de Vicente also serves on the Board of Trustees of two other educational groups; the Youth Leadership Foundation and the Texas Education Works. In his capacity as Headmaster of The Heights School he spearheaded and supervised the construction of the School’s signature building. But Mr. de Vicente’s most important work is in the classroom where he teaches Catholic Apologetics and in mentoring students daily.

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