John's Articles

Daughter Worries About Getting Sick Again

Posted on 4/18/2023

Q: Our 7-year-old daughter recently had a short-lived stomach virus. Ever since she has been fearful that eating may make her sick. Every night at dinner she becomes concerned that she’s...

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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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Avoid Telling Young Kids About Existential Threats

Posted on 1/18/2022

Q: My 3-year-old is fearful of trying anything new, including things that other kids his age love to do such as swinging on a swing, sliding down a slide, and splashing in a pool. I feel like I...

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Choose 1 of 2 Paths With Kids’ Anxieties

Posted on 11/9/2021

Q: I recently changed my almost 4-year-old son’s preschool. My son, once fearless, has become reluctant to simply get out of the car in the morning and go into the school. There’s always a...

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Talking About Children’s Fears Can Intensify Them

Posted on 8/17/2021

A stalwart friend recently called my attention to an online article titled “Two Things to Say to a Child Returning to In-Person School (& Two You Should Avoid).” I am choosing to provide...

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Today’s Kids Suffer a Lack of Common Sense in Their Lives

Posted on 12/22/2020

A journalist asks, “What is the biggest challenge facing today’s children?” “The real world,” I said. For the last fifty years or so, good parenting has been defined...

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Helping a Child Worried About Death

Posted on 8/18/2020

Q: We have a five-year-old who obsesses about dying. This has been going on for six months, ever since a child in the neighborhood died of a congenital genetic condition. Our son knew the boy and...

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Keep Calm and Carry On

Posted on 3/24/2020

Vital to a child’s sense of well-being are parents who act competent to provide adequate provision and protection under any and all circumstances. I often refer to that obligation...

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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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Try the 'No-Talking Cure' for Childhood Fears

Posted on 2/7/2018

A true story: When my daughter, Amy, was a pre-teen, she became anxious about going to sleep because of fears of dying in the middle of the night. When I tucked her in (I was her preferred...

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Parents Should Keep Kid With Irrational Fears Grounded

Posted on 9/27/2017

Q: Over the past year, our 4-year-old has developed several fears that have become quite disruptive. It started with a fear of dogs, which is inconvenient given that there are lots of dogs in our...

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Use Godfather Principle to Nip Fear of Doctor in the Bud

Posted on 9/20/2016

Q: Over the past year or so, our 5-year-old has developed an extreme fear of going to the doctor or dentist. This came on suddenly, without a precipitating incident. The crying begins when we...

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Have a Game Plan for Daughter's Anxiety

Posted on 6/28/2016

Q: My 8-year-old daughter is having anxiety issues that seem to border on obsessive-compulsive disorder. She wants me to repeat certain things back to her and has a set routine of things I must...

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Don't Turn Bedtime Fears Into a Disciplinary Issue

Posted on 4/5/2016

Q: My 6-year-old daughter watched too many episodes of a certain TV show when she was sick and now she doesn't want to go to sleep at night because she is having scary thoughts related to the...

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Bedtime Fears

Posted on 3/10/2015

Copyright 2015, John K. Rosemond Q: About six months ago, our four-year old daughter began complaining of being afraid to be alone at bedtime. Upon questioning, she told us she was...

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Anxiety and Panic Attacks in Teenagers

Posted on 2/24/2015

<b>Q: My 13-year-old son has developed overwhelming anxiety about going to school. This began a year ago, but has gotten steadily worse since then. At this point, he fights me every morning about...

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Pulling Her Hair Out

Posted on 7/15/2014

Q: Since our daughter, now 2 years old, was born we have lived with my parents. Being the first and only grandchild she has been the center of attention. Several months ago, our son was...

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Head Banging

Posted on 7/1/2014

Q: When he throws a tantrum, which happens several times a day, my 20-month-old often gets down on the floor and starts banging his head. Worried that he may hurt himself, I pick him up and...

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Don't laugh!

Posted on 3/25/2014

Q: Our 4-year-old daughter has a huge problem with being laughed at. She loves to be goofy and do funny things but as soon as someone, including one of us, laughs at her she becomes upset. She...

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Good Advice From 1951

Posted on 3/18/2014

I recently came across a 1951 article my late mother saved from the Charleston (SC) News and Courier. Titled "Agency Offers Pointers on How Parents Can Guide Their Child's Emotional...

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Biting Finger Nails: What to do?

Posted on 1/21/2014

Q: What can be done to stop a nineteen year old from biting his finger nails? This has been an ongoing habit from early childhood. He's obviously damaging his fingers and maybe even his teeth....

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Odd is just odd

Posted on 11/19/2013

The mother of a 4-year-old boy shared an interesting story with me the other day. At age 2, her son began chewing meat to the point where it became liquid, but would not swallow. The parents...

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Explaining School Shootings

Posted on 10/29/2013

A radio talk show recently called to ask how parents should explain school shootings to their kids. My answer: It depends. I prefer, for the most part, for parents to say nothing unless their...

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What News to Tell a Child

Posted on 9/17/2013

A 13-year-old Washington state boy was recently arrested, then released to the custody of his parents after making online threats of shooting up and blowing up his middle school. He also...

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Radical Parenting Philosophies

Posted on 6/18/2013

If my parents told me once, they told me at least one hundred times, "Don't talk to anyone about their religious or political beliefs." They meant, of course, that those topics are likely to...

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Don't 'Jump the gun' on bullying.

Posted on 8/14/2012

Q: My oldest child starts kindergarten soon. I know there will be the class and/or bus bully who will cause her some distress, whether directly or indirectly. I want to know how to handle it...

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Telling 3 YO about real parents

Posted on 8/15/2011

Q: My 3-year-old grandson lives with his grandmother and me. He calls me "Poppa" and his grandmother "Nanna." He sees and speaks to his mother on the phone only occasionally. His birth-father...

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3-Year-Old Girl Missing Dad

Posted on 8/2/2011

Tot's distress isn't about missing dad Q. My daughter will be 3 years old soon. Her father was primary caretaker until she was around 20 months, then he left and she hasn't seen him since. I...

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2-Year-Old Boy Separation Anxiety

Posted on 4/26/2011

Q: My husband and I are raising our 2-year-old grandson. He's been in day care since he was a year old. He loves his current day care, and we've had absolutely no problems until recently. All of a...

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30-Month-Old Boy Very Clingy

Posted on 7/13/2010

When toddler clings, don't give in Q: I'm a stay-at-home mom who attends a moms' group that meets every two weeks. Every time I leave my 30-month-old in the play group, which is supervised by...

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3-Year-Old Boy Does Not Like Play Group

Posted on 4/13/2010

Skip the play group Q: When our play group meets at a home other than our own, my nearly 3-year-old wants to leave within 30 minutes. When I try to persuade him to stay, he becomes very...

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Pressure, Anxiety, and Guilt of Today's Mothers

Posted on 3/23/2010

Hey, moms: There's more to life than raising children Q. My wife and I have been married for nearly 10 years. We have one child, a 3-year-old boy. Ever since our son was born, our marriage has...

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Readership Solutions: Sibling Conflict, Fears, and Mealtime

Posted on 1/5/2010

NEVER WITHOUT GOOD SOLUTIONS AS LONG AS READERS SHARE STORIES One of the wonderful things about my job is my readership, many of whom feed me material on a regular basis. Here's a sample of...

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5-Year-Old Girl Clings to Mom

Posted on 10/27/2009

CURE FOR SCREAMING CLINGER Clever Solution of the Week: A couple of generations back and more, when parents still sought child-rearing advice from grandparents and other wise elders, those wise...

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Kindergarten Separation Anxiety

Posted on 8/4/2009

TAKE THE DRAMA OUT OF DROP-OFF TIME Q: I've been a public school teacher for quite a few years, and I wanted your opinion on the problem of kindergarten and even older children throwing fits...

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10-Year-Old Girl Crying at Bedtime

Posted on 6/9/2009

*Good News from California: A mom from the Bay Area writes that after her father passed away last year, her 10-year-old daughter began crying every night at bedtime. The child's distress escalated...

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7-Year-Old Girl Performance Anxiety

Posted on 3/3/2009

DON'T FIGHT YOUR CHILD'S PERFORMANCE ANXIETY Q. Our 7-year-old daughter does well in school without our help and is a generally happy kid. Her only problem is an incapacitating case of...

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4-Year-Old Boy's Fear of the Dark and Being Left Alone

Posted on 9/23/2008

3 STRIKES AND HE SEES THE LIGHT Another mother shares how she solved her 4-year-old son's fear of the dark and fear of being left alone. He would not go into dark areas of the house, although...

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Parent Being Deployed

Posted on 8/19/2008

WHEN A PARENT IS BEING DEPLOYED, KEEP THE EXPLANATIONS SIMPLE A timely conversation recently started on my Web site ( when the mother of two children, ages 2 and 4, asked how...

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3-Year-Old Girl Afraid of Elderly Neighbor

Posted on 8/5/2008

CHILD'S SUDDEN FEAR IS NOTHING PERSONAL Q: My 3-year-old daughter is suddenly acting afraid of our elderly neighbor, who has been a constant presence in her life since day one. Admittedly, he...

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10-Year-Old Boy's Sad Poem Does Not Need Psychiatric Evaluation

Posted on 4/15/2008

SAD MOOD IN HIS POEM DOESN'T MEAN 10-YEAR-OLD IS FALLING APART I got a letter from a child psychiatrist scolding me for not recommending a psychiatric evaluation for a 10-year-old boy who used...

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10-Year-Old Boy's Poem Worries Mom

Posted on 3/25/2008

Son's poem worries mom My 10-year-old son wrote an autobiographical poem as a school assignment. The assignment was to write about what he dreams, wants and fears. He wrote, in part, "Dreams I...

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10-Year-Old Boy Sensitive To Good and Bad of the World

Posted on 1/1/2008

If a child develops a bit of a runny nose, but seems otherwise healthy, it doesn't make a lot of sense to make a visit to the doctor much less rush to the emergency room. If, however, the child...

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13 - Month - Old Child Having Difficulty Adjusting To Daycare

Posted on 11/20/2007

TAKING BUNNY AWAY ONLY ADDS TO TOT'S FEELINGS OF INSECURITY Q. I work at a day care where a 13-month-old child is having difficulty adjusting. She has a rash around her mouth from constant...

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2-Year-Old Child Being Clingy

Posted on 10/16/2007

COPING WITH A CLINGY CHILD; A SOLUTION FOR SIBLING BATTLES Q. Our family just moved to a new city and my 2 1/2-year-old son won't do anything during the day but follow me around. If I give...

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Young Girl Being Picked On At School

Posted on 10/9/2007

YOUNG DAUGHTER'S SOB STORIES NEED THE FINAL CONVERSATION Q. My daughter has several friends in her fourth-grade class that seem to love drama. They pick on one another a good deal, and my...

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5-Year-Old Anxious About Going To Kindergarten

Posted on 10/2/2007

Anxious kindergartner Q. Despite the fact that our 5-year-old daughter has an end-of-July birthday, my husband and I decided she was ready for kindergarten. The first week went great. She...

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8-Year-Old Fear of Getting Sick Again

Posted on 11/21/2006

HOW TO RELIEVE A CHILD'S FEAR OF ILLNESS Q: My 8-year-old daughter recently had what we believe was a stomach virus. Now, every night she is concerned that she'll become sick again and breaks...

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3-Year-Old Moving to a New Home

Posted on 10/24/2006

Moving day From the "I Told You So" Department: I recently answered a reader's question concerning preparing her not-yet-3-year-old daughter for the family's upcoming move by pointing out that...

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30-Month-Old Moving to New House

Posted on 9/19/2006

Make moving an adventure Q: When and how we should begin preparing our 30-month-old daughter for moving to a new house? Should we tell her a few weeks ahead of time or the week of the move?...

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