Peter Ernest Haiman Ph.D.

Phone: (510) 525-1718


Testimonials FROM PARENTS

"Feb 29, 2024
Hi, Peter!

Now that our custody schedule is finalized and consistent, I have some more (forced) free time and wanted to make sure to circle back around to thank you for your help and support through one of my most trying times.

I couldn’t actually trust most of the people I was relying on for support, and that was a scary place to be. You were really the only one who felt like a truly safe space of support and advocacy, and I want to thank you for that. It is not often that you find people in this life who want to truly help you for the sake of helping you, outside of financial gain or ego, so when I find those people, I don’t like to let their care, attention, and love go unnoticed. 

Although our efforts to advocate for and preserve my son’s breastfeeding relationship and secure attachment were ignored by the powers at be, and I feel terrible that your work and dedication were not even considered by the family court system, I want to thank you because what you did meant the world to ME. 

It felt like you were the only one willing to go to bat for me, the only one who was truly angry for me, and the only one who values the same things that I value when it comes to parenting. The sense of like-minded community you offered me was really the only thing that got me through.

After my initial court conciliation, I know you wanted me to continue to advocate and seek out additional resources and try to fight for more time with my children,  but something else you often said to me stopped me from doing that: Whenever you and I were on the phone and one of my children would call to me, you would always tell me to go and focus on them and give my attention to them because that was the most important thing I could do. 

I realized I was letting the custody battle and seeking out resources and trying to advocate for my children consume all of my time and attention and was taking my focus off of where it should have been: spending time with my kids. I was putting all of my time and attention toward things that ultimately the court system was never going to consider anyway because they don’t value what I value. I realized that I was fighting a losing battle and missing out on what time I did have with my children in order to do so. 

I decided to release all of that and instead focused on enjoying the time I did have with my kids. Because I can’t control what the court system does, but I can control how much time and attention I give to my children when I do have them, and that’s what they’re going to remember.

So I stopped trying to wean my son in preparation and instead let him nurse as much as he wanted when he was with me and trusted that he would be okay on the days he was away from me because of all the love I pour into him on the days that he’s with me. And I know this wasn’t your direct recommendation, but you did indirectly make me realize this, and I want to thank you for that as well. It was the best thing I could have done. 

I truly believe that wisdom includes knowing when to stop fighting a losing battle and putting your energy toward what matters. This was a lesson I learned the hard way through this unfortunate situation, but I am thankful for the lesson nonetheless. 

This message is going much longer than I intended, but ultimately I just wanted to say, regardless of how the custody arrangement turned out, thank you for your big heart and pure intentions and for being someone I could really count on when I felt lost and hopeless and alone. That means more than anything else. 

And although I wish our family systems and society at large had more resources and support set in place for parents who want to raise their children in alignment with nature and development, I think even more important is surrounding yourself with a tribe who will lift you up in tough times and offer a sense of encouragement and empowerment so that regardless of how things turn out, you don’t feel alone. You did that for me when I had no one else. Thank you.”

"Feb 6, 2023
Dear Dr. Haiman,

I don’t know if you remember me, but a few years ago you provided invaluable advice to me regarding my child _____.  We were going through court proceedings where I was battling a biological parent for the right to keep _____ with me since I had him since his birth. As you might remember I successfully gained sole custody in August of 2020.  

I have been thinking of you a lot lately and thought I’d write to you and give you an update on where _____ and I are today. 

_____ is now a healthy, happy, kind, 10-year old boy. He loves baseball and is getting ready to start spring baseball soon, followed by summer baseball. He also loves to cook. We have spent many weekend evenings cooking together and laughing together. _____ is doing well in school and has made the honor role and makes friends very easily with his outgoing personality. He’s inquisitive and always needs to know “why?”.  _____ has a keen interest in space exploration and we just remodeled his bedroom with everything outer space related. He has boundless energy, sometimes to my exhaustion (laughing out loud), but that’s ok I love that he always is on the move to explore or do something new. But he also loves to relax and have family nights in watching a movie or playing board games. Another of _____’s latest interest is in art and drawing, which is also a passion of mine. We sit together in the evenings and I show him different drawing techniques and then he tries it out himself. He’s a good little artist!    _____ is also a very loving kid and expresses kindness and caring with ease. He has great manners as well and was even awarded “best mannered” by his teacher last year. 

I couldn’t be more proud of the person _____ is.  I’m so blessed to have this opportunity to have him in my life. I look forward to the future and all the things to come…good or bad we’ll get through it having each other. And I have to say that is in no small part due to your wonderful advice. In fact, I still go to your website and read your articles on parent-child relationships.  

I hope you are doing well. Please feel free to email me any time. Thank you again for your kindness and for sharing your knowledge.


"Jan 5, 2023
Happy New Year!

Hello Peter,

I hope this email finds you and yours well and safe. I hear it has been dreadful and scary weather in the Bay Area this last week. It has been a long time since I checked in and I just wanted to take the opportunity with the new year to say hello.

I hope you’re doing alright. We were in _____ early December for a few days, our first big mother/daughter trip together! I thought about you many times over the months but I am simply dreadful at keeping contact most times. It was quite a year for me, with twists and turns almost every month!

_____ is doing very well all things considered and loves letters and words and play doh. (It was the only thing she wanted for Christmas this year.) And when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday (three this February!) she said “a birthday cake!”

She has very much my quiet but deep nature; timid, shy, an attention to detail that fascinates me, and a strong will as can be expected for her age. She still gets terribly upset and triggered if I pop out of the room to do something or go to the backyard even if I tell her what I’m about to do… it’s not surprising but still hard—for me and for her.
As for myself I’m doing well. We inherited a house and I have stability finally. I get to be a stay at home single mom so I am extremely fortunate and blessed and the ability to do so is not lost on me.

I am writing again (for myself), practicing yoga and doing EMDR to help with the trauma. I’m doing what I can and trying my best even though I most certainly have total parenting fails some days that feel utterly horrible. In those moments I take care to repair the best I can with _____ and offer tools that my parents didn't pass on to me. What else can one do? I learn from my own mistakes as well and thank goodness…

Anyway, I’ll keep this little email short but just wanted to say hello and give you a brief update.

Warm Wishes and all my best~~

Thank you for your instrumental role in my life!"

"March 17, 2022
Hi Dr. Haiman,

How are you? I hope you are doing well. I want to apologize for going silent for so long. I'm very sorry. Thank you so much for your time, effort and caring for the situation with my daughter this time last year. You helped us very much and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

I have been wanting to write and update you since the court decision last July. It has taken this long for me to finally be able to talk about it. The outcome was not what I hoped and _____ began seeing her dad for overnights and spending 72 hours with him a week. It was a very difficult adjustment for her but I can thankfully say that she has now managed to adjust and is doing well.

Your support and caring meant/means an infinite amount to me.

Thank you again,"

"December 28, 2021

Thank you for your guidance, time, support, grace, consideration, listening, encouragement and words of wisdom. I have learned so much from your knowledge, patience, trust and gentleness. I am forever grateful. “Thank you” only scratches the surface.

From a mother in Arizona."

"August 27, 2020
Dear Dr. Haiman,                                                                                                                     

I can't thank you enough for your tireless dedication to helping me and _____ through such a difficult time in both of our lives.  I am eternally grateful to you and the work you have dedicated your life to.  I honestly believe without your guidance and advice _____ would have suffered much greater harm than he did.  I want you to know that each time we spoke on the phone, I kept notes of the advice and key points that you discussed with me and I still use it to help ______ to this day.

I have never met you face-to-face, however, I feel like I have come to know you very well through our many wonderful discussions. Dr. Haiman you are a true hero to me and to _____. I would very much like to stay in touch with you and I invite you to call me or email me any time.

Sincerely, _______"

"May 17, 2018
Hello Dr. Haiman,

I cannot thank you enough for talking to me this evening, as it was immeasurably appreciated along with your kindness. I will be implementing as many strategies from our discussion that I can to continue to promote a healthy emotional lifestyle and environment for my daughter.

I could never describe my love and devotion for her, it is deeply felt; every cell just burning. I feel very strongly about your research and that path it strongly advocates.

I would like to speak with you again, as I get closer to my court proceeding date. Your wisdom and understanding to my individual case brought me a great sense relief/ peace. I feel more securely that I am on the right path with respecting and promoting a healthy emotional development for my daughter and considering all factors.

The Family Court System must change and I will continue to be the small town "big voice". My purpose is my daughter and my legacy is the relationship and commitment that will protect and nurture her lifelong; so she will nurture her children and they will nurture theirs just the same.

In general, I do not know how to take a seat when it comes to my daughter! I greatly look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely, A mother in Ontario, Canada"

"April 22, 2014

Hi Dr Haiman,

I just called to say thank you so much for your testimony today. It definitely swung things in my son's favor to eventually, hopefully, get to no overnights. And maybe the Dad will increase daytime parenting. In the meantime obviously the Guardian ad Litem was really peeved that you poked holes in her Google research. She is most likely going to dig her heels in and come up with more things that support her argument. My attorney says that right now we are in the lead for what we hope to accomplish. We are going to have to do some of those evaluations to determine who our son feels he is primarily attached to. Then we are probably going to have to reschedule a hearing for June. I didn’t get to testify today. We only got about half way through so I will be in contact with you to hire you again to get you to give your testimony again when we have our next hearing to refute the expert that they are going to have. Again I greatly appreciate everything that you have done. We all have learned so much. This has been a real eye opener for the commissioner who is in charge of the case as well. Thank you very much. God bless."

The following PDF file Contains letters received from parents and clients:

Dr. Haiman's Parent Testimonials

Testimonials From Professionals

"I have known Dr. Haiman for almost two decades. He is one of the true pioneers in contributing to innovative and effective ways to design programs to serve low-income, low-education families and their very young children. He developed a unique programmatic format (which later became a prototype for inner city programs for infant development and family life education) at the Hough Parent and Child Center in Cleveland, Ohio. This center became prominent as an example of what can be accomplished in a successful Parent and Child Center program. Dr. Haiman's physical energy, kindliness, cheerful, considerate personality and considerable professional skills contributed significantly to the success of this pioneer effort.

Dr. Haiman's further contributions on a national basis to the welfare of minorities in this country lie in the work he did outstandingly in gathering and analyzing data in Cleveland for the U.S. Civil Rights Commission's 1967 Report "Racial isolation in the public schools."  This significant contribution to the field of psychology helped the ever accelerating process of the next decades toward increasing equality and integration of public school experiences.

On a more personal and practical level for the lives of minority families, I consider that the set of five child-rearing pamphlets developed by Dr. Haiman have been invaluable in programs that serve low-education minority families.  One of the booklets is titled "Soul Mother."  These easy-to-read, lovingly illustrated pamphlets made it possible for low literacy families to be served with important and critical information for improving child rearing skills. These pamphlets had national dissemination. We used them in our own pioneer intervention project, The Syracuse University Children's Center and Family Development Research Program in helping to enhance the lives and the parenting skills of the low-income adolescent mothers we served.

A further impressive contribution of Dr. Haiman's has been his work as Principal Investigator at the Far West Regional Laboratory in San Francisco, where Dr. Haiman initiated and conducted a study of participatory decision making in social service programs.  This project described for the first time the process by which adult recipients of service acquire a sense of personal ownership, which can increase the effectiveness of a social service program in changing attitudes and behaviors of adult participants.  This significant area of impact has too often been neglected in state and national projects that purport to serve disadvantaged persons.

Dr. Haiman has, over many many years, served as a consultant and trainer to many projects serving children and families - including Head Start and U.S. Coast Guard programs. He has trained trainers for these projects as well.

He is one of the true pioneers in contributing to innovative and effective ways to design programs to serve low-income, low-education families and their very young children. He developed a unique programmatic format (which later became a prototype for inner city programs for infant development and family life education) at the Hough Parent and Child Center in Cleveland, Ohio.This Center became prominent as an example of what can be accomplished in a successful Parent and Child Center program. Dr. Haiman's physical energy, kindliness, cheerful, considerate personality and considerable professional skills contributed significantly to the success of this pioneer effort.

The work that Dr. Haiman has accomplished in empowering low socioeconomic families, and enhancing the lives of parents and young children in special model projects … make it clear that he has already made several significant contributions on a nation-wide basis to the field of psychology."

Alice S. Honig, Ph.D. Professor of Child Development
Child, Family & Community Studies
University of Syracuse

"I am pleased to provide a letter of reference for Dr. Haiman.  I have known him since 1968.  At that time I was employed by Family Service of Cleveland to provide administrative oversight for the grant the agency had received from the Head Start Bureau, HHS, to develop, implement and oversee a new program thrust, called Parent and Child Centers.  This new program direction was breaking new ground to provide comprehensive services to children from 6 months to Head Start age, with heavy involvement of the total family.  Thirty three centers were funded nationally as Demonstration Projects.

As we began to assemble a staff that would be completely new to the agency, the name of Peter Haiman came up repeatedly from community leaders in the field of education, child development, social services and health.  Interviewing Dr. Haiman some 37 years ago, I was impressed by the broad range of his intellect, his ability to clearly conceptualize ideas, his intense and sincere commitment to services for the children and the total family.  Above all, his genuine warmth as an individual came through.  I have treasured his friendship over the ensuing years although our employment paths diverged many years ago.

He was the first person employed for the demonstration project.  He rapidly became our "resident genius.)  We learned from him the pluses and minuses of the groundbreaking parent and child center concept that he developed on a small scale at Western Reserve (now Case Western Reserve University).  His thinking and conceptualizations were seminal for the national development of this new Head Start program initiative.  With all due modesty, I share the fact that we in Cleveland were the first Parent and Child Center to become fully operational.  With Dr. Haiman as Educational Director, Richard Johnson as Director and the rest of the quality staff, the Center became a focal location for staff from other cities as well as University personnel from all over the country to visit, learn and observe.  (Mr. Johnson subsequently was chosen to head the Parent and Child Center programs in the Head Start Bureau in Washington.)

In those early days we observed Dr. Haiman's  genuine  ability to interact  with  parents of all levels of ability and background, with members of the staff  from various professional disciplines,  with  visiting  University  Professors  who came to  the Center, as well as with the infants and children whose development was the focal point of the demonstration project. He had the capacity to recognize problems in their early stages and to work toward solving those problems in a timely and effective fashion. He was always a team player concerned about the ideas of others and their participation in decision making.

His  groundbreaking  work on the national standards for the Head Start program cannot be minimized.  As I became a National Consultant for  Head Start and Parent and Child Centers in 1970, I was able to see the wide-ranging effects of Dr. Haiman's thinking and creative ideas in the many programs that I dealt with over the years in all areas of the United States.

Others who were concerned with children and their parents recognized Dr. Haiman's expertise. Because of his work, he was chosen to be a member of President Clinton's People to People Ambassador program to Cuba in February 2001.

Peter Haiman is a man of great intellect, an empowering teacher, an effective communicator,  a  wonderful and warm human being."

Robert J. Meresko
Clinical Psychologist, 
Berea, Ohio 

The following PDF files are letters from professionals:


Newspaper Articles about Peter Haiman