"If your child accuses you of being "mean," you must have done something right. "

Arguments with Children

John's Most Recent Articles

Take a Time-Out Before Engaging With Argumentative Child

Posted on 11/22/2016

Q: In last week’s column, you advised parents not to argue with teenagers. That’s fine and dandy advice, John, but you failed to tell your readers how to stay out of or end these arguments. For...

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A Non-Argumentative Teen Is a Happy One

Posted on 11/15/2016

My advice to The Wall Street Journal, the only news source to which I subscribe: Stop trying to be all things to all people. Specifically, stop giving parenting advice. The latest attempt by...

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An Example in Parenting Minimalism

Posted on 11/4/2014

Q: My 6-year-old son argues with me about everything I tell him to do. He comes up with reason after reason why he shouldn’t have to or can’t, why it’s unfair, or why, at the least, I...

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Simple Solutions

Posted on 7/29/2014

I absolutely love it when people begin to realize that the problems they’re having with a child are of their own making; when they begin to realize, in other words, that the child is not the...

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Good Parenting Decisions

Posted on 5/20/2014

Q: For the first five years of her life, it was just me and my now 13-year-old daughter. I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. I wasn’t consistent; I didn’t hold her accountable; I was an...

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"The Doctor" Makes House Calls

Posted on 4/28/2014

Shortly after I finished graduate school, a friend of mine shared with me a book called Indirect Hypnosis, written by Milton Erickson, a most unorthodox psychiatrist if ever there was one....

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Be the Parent Your Child Needs

Posted on 4/1/2014

Q: My 14-year-old daughter says I don't trust her because unlike her best friend's parents, I won't allow her to stay home alone for several days while I go out of town. Her friend's parents do...

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"Boy" Behavior

Posted on 3/11/2014

Q: My 6-year-old son is a bright and friendly kindergartner. Each day a color coded chart is sent home about his behavior. This year he's gone through several spells during which he will have a...

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Interpersonal Snot Wiping Behavior

Posted on 2/25/2014

Q: We are having a problem with our 32-month-old son. He picks his nose-most often in a public setting-and then proceeds to wipe it on other family members. It's disgusting. We have tried ignoring...

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Child Argues with EVERYTHING

Posted on 1/7/2014

Q: What suggestions do you have for disciplining a 7-year-old girl who argues with every single thing her parents say? We don't try to reason with her and we frequently say "Because I said so" but...

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Recent Questions

Troubled Young Teen?

Posted 2 weeks ago

This question is in reference to the October 2016 question regarding my 13 year old's act of vandalism. Fast forward 8 months later. He has completed his punishment, but not without having to...

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Don't Ask, Do Tell!

Posted 3 weeks ago

I have a 13 year old who has always been defiant. She is bright, and a fantastic kid, but when she is asked to do something she doesn't wan, the fight is on. She will not do what I ask, or will...

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What I said...

Posted 3 weeks ago

My seven year old daughter has been correcting me lately. I'll tell her something like " I need you to bring your toys to your bedroom." And she will respond with "You mean stuffed animals." She...

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Distraught dad of tweens

Posted on 12/30/2016

Please help - i am the father of a 12 year old girl and a 10 year old boy. They are both spoilt brats who only care about their enjoyment. 1)They are very rude and dont listen. 2)They dont...

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16 year old Arguments

Posted on 12/29/2016

My 16 yo daughter will not talk to me when I approach her about an observation I have, a concern re: missed homework or grades. She shuts down immediately, says she doesn't want to talk about...

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16 year old Always Gets Her Way

Posted on 12/29/2016

How do I respond to my strong willed 16 yo dtr, who won't take no for an answer. Just today, I told her she could go to a friends for dinner after her drivers ed class today. But it is snowing...

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One Little Monkey on the Bed

Posted on 12/18/2016

Hello... We have two daughters...one turned two in September and our youngest will be one in February...within the past couple of days, our two year old has stopped listening to us.. After telling...

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7 Year Old Argues, Doesn't Follow Directions

Posted on 10/17/2016

My 7 (almost 8) year old son is a kind boy with a genuinely good heart. With that said, he argues with everything we say, pesters/antagonizes his 3 year old sister incessantly, and can't follow...

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Defiant 6 year old

Posted on 7/13/2016

I desperately need help with my almost seven year old girl who will not listen. Recent example- this morning she was told to get out of bed and she didn’t, then the tv (in our room, not hers) was...

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Underage Drinker Wannabe

Posted on 6/17/2016

My 14 years old son wants to taste alcohol regularly. He recently told us that he would buy vodka with his money (we indicated that if we ever have a doubt about him buying alcohol/drugs with the...

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Videos

Tell

Posted on 5/16/2014

Tell: do you "Tell" your kids or do you ask, negotiate, beg, and scream.

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