""No" is one of the most character-building words in the English language. Say it often, and mean it. "

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Tame Child's Disruptive Behavior at Holiday Get-Togethers

Posted 4 days ago

Q: I’m already dreading the holidays. Our eight-year-old is a very excitable child and our family is expected to attend numerous holiday get-togethers at the homes of family members. When he’s...

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It Is Not Necessary to Help Your Child With Homework

Posted 1 week ago

After a recent talk in South Florida, women came up to me in droves asking, “How much should I help my children with their schoolwork?” That not one man asked the question...

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In Today's Parenting, Feelings Trump the Truth

Posted 2 weeks ago

Okay, it’s time to set the record straight, confront the gorilla in the proverbial room, call a spade a spade, and so on and so forth. I recently published a column on “The...

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Children Need Love and Discipline to Thrive

Posted 3 weeks ago

The myth of the first three years has it that whatever habits, traits, dysfunctions and so on that a child develops during this admittedly formative period are going to stay with him for life....

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Children Are Impulsive

Posted on 11/5/2019

Q: Our 7-year-old son recently stole two small model cars from a playmate while he was at the playmate’s house. Apparently, he wanted to trade one of his toys for the two cars, but the playmate...

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Children Do Best in School When Parents Do Not Monitor Progress

Posted on 10/29/2019

The Portal. It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, the gateway to an alternative universe that lures, then traps the unwary in its nefarious web of illusion, where things are...

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Playing War Games Not Unusual for Young Boys

Posted on 10/22/2019

Q: My normally happy 6-year-old son has recently started incorporating death and war-like games into his imaginative play. He isn't and has never been a mean-spirited child, but his dad and I just...

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"The Doctor" Is the Tool Every Parent Needs

Posted on 10/15/2019

I have good news for parents: You do not need more than a few tools in your disciplinary tool-bag. One especially valuable tool, one that belongs in every modern home, is the “Doctor.” The Doctor...

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It's Okay to Let Babies Cry

Posted on 10/8/2019

“What do you do when your baby cries?” I asked the 20-something new mom who was already feeling overwhelmed and beginning to slip into post-partum depression. Her mother-in-law had suggested she...

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Teenage Girls and Boys Respond to Technology Differently

Posted on 10/2/2019

Q: We held off giving our oldest daughter a smartphone until she was fifteen, the age at which we allowed her older brother to have one. We read your column weekly in our hometown newspaper and...

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Replace Psychological With Old Fashioned Parenting

Posted on 9/24/2019

As my regular readers know, I am a certified heretic in my field: child and family psychology. To the point, I am convinced that psychological parenting theory, which began to inform American...

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The Six C's of Parenting the Strong-Willed Child

Posted on 9/20/2019

The term "strong-willed child" has embedded itself in our vernacular to mean a child who wants to be at the center of everyone's attention, is highly demanding (and won't take "no" for an answer),...

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What's in a Name?

Posted on 9/17/2019

Q: I want to legally change our daughter’s name. No one pronounces it correctly and I think it’s going to cause her more problems as she gets older. My husband doesn’t want to, however. He says...

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Co-Sleeping Is Detrimental to Marriage

Posted on 9/11/2019

A New York writer named Jonathan Daniel Stern, writing in the August 7, 2019, issue of the e-zine “Fatherly,” laments that co-sleeping has destroyed his marriage. As best as I can figure, Stern...

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A Trophy Child Is Not a Happy Child

Posted on 9/4/2019

Proving, once again, that fact is stranger by far than fiction, a grandmother recently asked me what she should do about her daughter-in-law who, despite her husband’s increasingly meek...

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Methylphenidates for ADHD Affect Brain Function

Posted on 8/27/2019

I’ve always promised myself that this column would never get “academic,” but I see no choice with respect to the issue at hand, so here goes…as simple as I can make it. ...

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Loving Parents Who Set Boundaries Best for Adopted Kids

Posted on 8/21/2019

Q: A Christian (but very liberal) adoption agency recently turned down our application because they disapprove of our parenting approach, which is your parenting approach. We told them we...

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Today's Parents Afraid Kids Won't Like Them

Posted on 8/13/2019

Short questions I’ve been asked of late (mostly by journalists) and proportionately short answers: Q: Is there a single most important thing parents should be teaching during their children’s...

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Alpha Speech: Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

Posted on 8/6/2019

Q: Some friends of ours who’ve read a couple of your books and attended one of your talks told us that they solved some major discipline problems with their 4-year-old just by using what they...

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Teach Child to Gain Control of Feelings

Posted on 7/30/2019

As I crisscross the country in public speaker mode, I poll people in various demographic categories. I ask how they were raised, what their parents were like, how their parents disciplined, how...

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Teen Not a Suicide Risk

Posted on 7/23/2019

My recent column pertaining to a 12-year-old who told his parents he’d thought about suicide several times over the past six months stirred a fair number of folks to respond. Feelings toward the...

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How to Talk to Teens About Internet Pornography

Posted on 7/16/2019

Q: We recently discovered that our 12-year-old has been visiting pornography sites of all sorts on the Internet. When we caught him red-handed, he began crying and said he is addicted. Apparently,...

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Autism in Its Classical Form Is Very Real

Posted on 7/9/2019

I am perennially asked whether I do or do not “believe” in autism. I suspect that on most occasions, it’s a test. Nonetheless, it’s a fair question that usually takes this form: “I know you don’t...

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The Most Powerful Love Is Tough Love

Posted on 7/2/2019

Q: On several occasions over the last six months or so, our 12-year-old son has told us he’s been thinking about suicide. Apparently, he’s been the target of a couple of school bullies and...

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Family Is Family, No Matter the Prefix

Posted on 6/25/2019

Q: We have two married daughters, one of whom is adopted. The biological daughter has two children who, we recently discovered, have been told that it is wrong to call our adopted daughter “aunt...

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The Definition of Bullying Has Been 'Dumbed Down'

Posted on 6/18/2019

Q: Our son is 13 years old and in the 7th grade. Last week he came home from school complaining about how a few of his friends have been bullying him. These same boys were at his birthday party...

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Boys Need Fathers, Not Friends

Posted on 6/14/2019

I recently spent some time with a friend who has three children. My buddy is a college-educated responsible guy who has never failed to do right by his family. He's masculine but not macho,...

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Take Wait-And-See Attitude With Teen's Friend Choice

Posted on 6/11/2019

Q: Our 14-year-old (he’s going into the ninth grade at a public high school) has taken up with a bunch of kids that we don’t exactly approve of. They have reputations as troublemakers and at...

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Fathers as Important to Parenting as Mothers

Posted on 6/9/2019

I am the father to two grown children, so I know a few things about fatherhood. I know, for instance, that fathers are just as important as mothers to the raising of children. I also know fathers...

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Emancipation of Adult Children Can Be Messy

Posted on 6/4/2019

When children were raised, reared, or simply brought up, they emancipated “on time.” Upon high school graduation, children went to college, into the military, or became employed. Some, like my...

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Science Doesn't Have All the Answers When It Comes to Raising Children

Posted on 5/28/2019

Q: I appreciate your traditional, call it old-fashioned approach to child rearing, but I’m a tad confused and hope you can help straighten out my thinking. I’ve been reading your column for maybe...

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We're Living in a Child's World

Posted on 5/21/2019

Concerning major behavior problems, parents often tell me they’ve “tried everything.” In more than forty years of doing this “parenting expert” gig, I’ve never run across a parent who was telling...

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Use 'Alpha Speech' to Get Child to Obey

Posted on 5/14/2019

Q: My 7-year-old son, an only child, is giving me fits. He’s overly active and will not cooperate in any instruction I give him. In addition, if I tell him not to do something, it’s a guarantee...

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What Constitutes a Good Mother?

Posted on 5/8/2019

With Mother's Day upon us, I’m going to talk about mothers—one in particular. To begin with, assuming one believes his or her mother is worthy of admiration, then said esteem ought...

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Grandparents Are the Glue That Bonds the Family

Posted on 5/7/2019

“When are you going to write a book on grandparenting?” is a question asked of me by lots of folks, most of whom – no surprise here – are grandparents. My stock answer: “I...

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Freedom Lost on the Children of Today

Posted on 4/30/2019

My wife and I spent two days in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, recently. As we always do, we walked around my boyhood neighborhood – the South-of-Broad historic district (back then,...

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Child Raising vs Parenting

Posted on 4/23/2019

There is child raising and there is “parenting.” America replaced the former with the latter in the 1970s and it’s been downhill ever since. My mother – a single parent during...

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Parenting in an Age of Technology: Video Game Addiction

Posted on 4/16/2019

Julie Jargon is a reporter with the Wall Street Journal. Heretofore, she has written about food companies like Starbucks and McDonalds. As of April 2, however, Ms. Jargon is writing a WSJ column...

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Key to Effective Discipline Is Right Attitude

Posted on 4/9/2019

“We’ve tried everything!” is one of the more common testimonials I hear from parents who’ve just described persistent and highly vexing discipline problems with a child or children. ...

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Confronting 'Biochemical Imbalance' in Children

Posted on 4/2/2019

The Wall Street Journal recently (3/16/2019) printed a letter-to-the-editor in which Upland, California psychiatrist/psychoanalyst Charlene Moskovitz promotes the alleged benefits of medication...

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College Bribery Scandal: Cheating Is Never Acceptable

Posted on 3/26/2019

To the many readers who recently asked: Yes, I do take requests, and yes, I will riff on the Perpetually Beautiful People Who Laid Out Mega-Bribes to Guarantee That Their Beautiful and...

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Guidelines for Teaching Toddlers to Share

Posted on 3/26/2019

It is not at all unusual for 3-year-olds (give or take a few months) to have difficulty sharing. My grandson, Patrick, for example, was anything but uncertain in his reluctance to share anything...

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On Attachment Parenting

Posted on 3/19/2019

“So, what do you think of attachment parenting? My inquisitor was a 30-something mom. I sensed she was testing me, trying to determine whether I was worth her time. “Not...

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A Proven Solution to 5-Year-Old’s Eating ‘Issues’

Posted on 3/12/2019

Q: My 5-year-old has had eating issues since he was an infant. When I introduced solid food at six months, he began rejecting most vegetables. His feeding problems have worsened since then to the...

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You Can't Win 'Em All

Posted on 3/5/2019

I’ve been writing this column for forty-three years and speaking publicly for nearly as long. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that when it comes to my subject matter, you can’t win ‘em...

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Parenting Should Not Be About Instant Gratification

Posted on 2/24/2019

A friend of mine named Scott shared an absolutely brilliant thought with me when I dropped in on him unannounced at his workplace, a bank, the other day. Everyone thinks all I...

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A Look at the Biggest Mistakes Parents Make

Posted on 2/18/2019

A journalist recently asked me for the single biggest mistake being made by today’s parents. I was tempted to say, “Having children,” but stopped myself because even if I’d followed up with “Just...

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School Discipline in Steady Decline

Posted on 2/12/2019

I receive a steady stream of missives from teachers, ex-teachers, and other folks who have insider knowledge of America’s schools. They all say the same thing – classroom discipline is falling...

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Public Education Myths and Facts

Posted on 2/6/2019

As regards nearly every public policy topic these days, myths abound, but few mythologies rival that of public education. A sample: <b>Myth: Smaller classrooms promote better...

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Out With 'Parenting,' in With Child-Rearing

Posted on 1/29/2019

There is “parenting” and then there is bringing up, rearing, or raising children. The difference is night and day; so are the outcomes, short- and long-term, to all concerned, meaning every single...

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