John's Articles

... But I'm Not Retiring!

Posted 1 week ago

My license to practice psychology, issued by the North Carolina Psychology Board in 1978, comes up for renewal in October, as it does every two years. Like everything that emanates from or is...

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When Your Father Got Home

Posted on 2/28/2024

The most terrifying words a child of the baby boom generation ever heard: “I’m going to tell your father about this when he gets home.” Or, “Your father is not going to like it when I tell him...

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Don't Make Santa Claus Into a Boogie Man

Posted on 12/8/2023

Okay, stop it! Enough, already! I guess we need some rules around here, beginning and ending with, “Don’t make Santa Claus into a boogie man.” I know him personally and he’s the...

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Society Has Dumbed-Down the Definition of Bullying

Posted on 10/3/2023

Noting that October is Bullying Prevention Month, several editors have asked if I am willing to write an apropos column. I am and for two reasons feel eminently qualified to do so. ...

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Resolutions for a New School Year

Posted on 8/16/2023

With a new school year upon us, it might be wise for parents of school-age children to make some resolutions, as in promises to themselves to change certain behaviors, avoid certain pitfalls,...

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The Blessing of Being Unpopular

Posted on 8/16/2023

When my daughter Amy entered middle school, she looked two to three years younger than most of her female peers. That was a blessing to me, of course, but from Amy's perspective, it was a curse....

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Please, If You Have Any Compassion, Stop It!

Posted on 7/11/2023

Today’s parents, more specifically, and I say this at the risk of being cancelled by the PC police, today’s MOTHERS, read too much, talk too much, and think too much. They read too many parenting...

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The Paradox of the Great Dad

Posted on 6/14/2023

What is a “great dad”? The question came up during conversation with a young man in his late twenties who remarked that several equally young men of his acquaintance were “great dads.” In my...

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We Shouldn't Always Shield Our Children From Pain

Posted on 6/6/2023

The depraved excepted, parents do not enjoy making children unhappy. Nevertheless, sometimes it is in a child's best interest that parents - while not deliberately trying to induce unhappiness -...

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Solve Behavioral Issues With Good Leadership

Posted on 4/4/2023

The question parents most frequently ask begins “What should I do when my child…?” and closes with a description of a vexing behavior, as in, “What should I do when my child bites the family...

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Rosemond’s Bill of Rights for Children

Posted on 3/21/2023

In 1993, President Clinton signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty that extends to children the rights to associate with whom they please and have...

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Grandparents, Hold Onto Your Hats

Posted on 3/7/2023

Our Question of the Week is, “Pray tell, what is ‘outdated’ about obedience, respect, proper manners, and humility?” Said QOTW is prompted by numerous grandparents who have...

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Leadership, Not Friendship

Posted on 2/28/2023

Q: I recently read an article by a parenting expert who said adults need to earn the respect of children. That seems like one more progressive attempt to undermine parental authority. I...

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Who Decides Choices — Parent or Child?

Posted on 2/21/2023

My wife and I were enjoying an evening out in one of our favorite restaurants when a family of three—mother, father, girl of perhaps four—were shown to a table next to ours. Immediately, the...

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ADHD Due to Environmental Factors, Not Genetics

Posted on 2/7/2023

A major American newspaper recently published a letter from a gentleman who, apparently speaking from personal experience, claimed that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a real...

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The End of Mere Childrearing

Posted on 1/31/2023

“What went wrong, John?” asked a fellow boomer who, like many folks my age, are dismayed at what has happened within the American family over our lifetimes. Specifically, we have seen the end of...

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Commonsense Knows the Truth About Self Esteem

Posted on 1/24/2023

A fellow psychologist says I paint with too broad a brush concerning the devastating effect mental health professional advice has had on children. He claims that some of the changes in parenting...

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'The Doctor' Prevails Again

Posted on 1/17/2023

Regular readers of this column are no doubt familiar with my imaginary friend, The Doctor. I often call upon him to solve behavior problems of various sorts concerning young children. Well, The...

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The Importance of Manners

Posted on 10/18/2022

One of the characteristics of a truly civilized society is the ubiquitous use of proper social courtesies. Raising a child is all about civilizing the savage within; therefore, “manners,” as they...

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Alternatives to the High Five

Posted on 10/11/2022

Well, I must say I'm rather, uh, disappointed albeit my worst suspicions have been verified. I expected response to my recent column on the practice of high-fiving children, but I failed to...

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‘Gentle Parenting’ Appeals to Emotion, Not Reason

Posted on 10/4/2022

Q: My husband and I recently visited our son’s family. We live two thousand miles apart and with the pandemic and all, hadn’t seen one another in several years. We were appalled to...

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Stop High-Fiving Kids

Posted on 9/27/2022

Arrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhh! Will you please just stop doing that, please? Every time I see it, I want to scream, and I’m not an emotionally hyperactive person. I’m talking about adults high-fiving...

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Child Mental Health Therapy: Any Proof It Does Any Good?

Posted on 8/30/2022

In a 6 – 3 decision, the Killingly, CT, school board recently said “no” to establishing a mental health center at its high school. I imagine most folks, upon hearing that, would be dismayed,...

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'Parenting' vs. Child-Rearing

Posted on 8/23/2022

“The goal of parenting is not to control, coerce or punish children into being ‘good.’ The goal of parenting is to grow children who can feel all of their feelings and become empathic...

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Why Parenting Slot Machine Theory Is Wrong

Posted on 7/27/2022

Some parents, I have discovered, believe in the parenting slot machine theory. They hold fast to the notion that some parents are simply lucky, meaning that chance, and chance alone, determines...

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'Equal' vs. 'Fair'

Posted on 7/19/2022

Q: How can I explain to my kids, ages 6 and 9, that “fair” and “equally” are not the same. They complain constantly that I’m not fair. What they mean is I don’t treat them the same. A: ...

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Research on Ultrasounds Is Murky

Posted on 7/5/2022

Correlation does not prove cause, drummed my grad school statistics professor. For example, a rise in the rate of American children who regularly consume lox and a concurrent rise in Type 1...

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Back Off on Daughter’s Eyeliner Use

Posted on 6/28/2022

Q: Our 14-year-old daughter is a rising high school sophomore. We let her wear eyeliner this past year, but she is wearing entirely too much. She is well-adjusted (plays sports, good grades) but...

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The Ideal Time Spacing Between Children

Posted on 6/14/2022

Q: My husband and I have one child, age two. We’d like to have at least one more. What is the optimal spacing between children? A: Research puts ideal sibling spacing at three to four years....

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What Should Single Mom Do About Disrespectful Son?

Posted on 6/7/2022

Q: I’m a single mother with a 13-year-old son. His father, whom he sees infrequently, has PTSD from battle experiences. My son has anger toward his father, but I can’t get him to talk about it....

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Chores for 3-Year-Olds? Yes!

Posted on 5/31/2022

Q: In certain of your books as well as your newspaper column, you have written that children as young as three should be doing daily chores around the home. Exactly what chores are reasonable for...

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Today’s Kids Have No Idea What They’re Missing

Posted on 5/24/2022

I grew up in the “You’re Making a Mountain of a Molehill” Era, also known as the Age of “Children Are Starving in (fill in the blank with some remote place)," and by golly, I’m a better person for...

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The Age of Parenting Enlightenment

Posted on 4/26/2022

America entered what I call the Age of Parenting Enlightenment around 1970. That was the year, or thereabouts, when parents stopped listening to their elders when it came to childrearing matters...

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Keep Kids Away From Screen-Based Devices

Posted on 4/12/2022

Psychologist, author, and professor Russell Barkley, widely regarded as one of America’s leading ADHD experts, used to be (and may, for all I know, still be) fond of ridiculing me in his public...

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Parents Should Trust Teachers About Children

Posted on 4/5/2022

If the following testimony, received from a thirty-eight year veteran of the teacher wars, was a one-off, it could be dismissed, but the sad, sad truth is that it is but one of hundreds of such...

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Kids Need Parents Who Are Authentic Adults

Posted on 3/22/2022

The contemporary parenting ideal consists of equal parts fixer, go-fer, and friend, which is why, when it is encountered in the flesh by someone of my ancient age, the new definition of a “good...

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Make the Marriage Top Priority in Family

Posted on 3/15/2022

Okay, I’ve had it! I’ve reached my limit! My tolerance for well-intentioned nonsense is kaput! Over and done with! Maxed out! Stop it! Just stop it! I’m referring to the...

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Are You Trying to Be Liked by Your Child?

Posted on 3/8/2022

Is the following statement true or false? It is often the case that children like what is not good for them and do not like what is good for them. True, right? Right! ...

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Respect Is a Two-way Street

Posted on 2/8/2022

I just experienced a flashback, but fear not, it wasn’t freaky. I was thinking about the parenting revolution that began in the late 1960s and quickly overwhelmed America’s homes and schools....

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‘Parenting’ vs Childrearing

Posted on 1/25/2022

I often go looking for parenting ideas that illustrate the difference between so-called “parenting” and mere childrearing. They abound. My latest find came in the form of a 2018 article on...

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When To Use Time-outs

Posted on 1/4/2022

I was once an orthodox believer in the power of time-out—the practice of having a child sit in a somewhat isolated chair for five minutes or so immediately after said child has misbehaved. I...

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Moving From ‘Gentle Parenting’ to ‘Insistent Parenting’

Posted on 12/7/2021

My previous column concerned so-called “gentle parenting,” which is naught but a retreading of the parenting propaganda that has gushed relentlessly from the mental health professional community...

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No New Tricks To Raising Kids

Posted on 11/30/2021

What is “gentle parenting”? It did not take much investigation for me to conclude that it is merely a rebranding of the same old, same old parenting babble America’s mental health establishment...

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The Problem With ‘I Feel Your Pain'

Posted on 11/23/2021

“I feel your pain” passes as a virtue, but it is anything but. However well-intentioned, it is the gist of codependency. When someone else is in a state of emotional pain, it is one...

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How To Stop Nitpicking

Posted on 10/19/2021

Q: A friend recently pointed out that I constantly nitpick my nine-year-old son’s behavior. Her words were, “You’re on his case all the time.” Why do I nitpick and how can I stop? A: ...

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Just 'Stop It!'

Posted on 10/12/2021

I often find myself telling parents that they need to stop doing something that is counterproductive and, in most cases, contributing significantly to whatever parenting problem is bedeviling...

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Fixing Our 'Parent-View'

Posted on 9/28/2021

Most of the problems today’s parents are experiencing in the course of raising children are due to a faulty “parent-view.” Just as one’s worldview consists of attitudes, values, and expectations...

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Why? Because I Said So

Posted on 9/22/2021

When I was a graduate student, one of the parenting memes then emerging from within the mental health professional community had it that “children deserved explanations.” The flip side of that...

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How To Help Your Child Get More Grit

Posted on 9/7/2021

It’s all over the web, that “grit” thing. Seems like every day, I get some promo for a webinar on how to get more grit, project more grit, or get in touch with your inner grit. So, allow me to...

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Psychological Parenting Is a Prescription for Enabling

Posted on 8/24/2021

Q: In your column, you have often spoken of “psychological parenting.” What, exactly, do you mean by that? A: Answering your question requires that we first unpack the word “parenting,” the...

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