"If; when your child does something "bad," you feel bad about it, your child won't. "

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13 - Year - Old - Girl - Micromanaging Bedtime

Posted on 12/4/2007

TEEN RESISTING SCHEDULED BEDTIME Q. We enforce a 10 p.m. bedtime for our 13-year-old. She has to go to bed one minute earlier the next night for every minute she is to bed later than 10 the...

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5-Year-Old Boy Being Cruel To Friend

Posted on 11/13/2007

ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CRUELTY TO A FRIEND Q. My 5-year-old son plays with two other 5-year-olds. When he plays with just one of them, all goes well. Every time the three get together, he gangs...

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6-Year-Old Boy Throwing Wild Tantrums

Posted on 10/30/2007

ARE BRAIN CHEMICALS TO BLAME FOR 6-YEAR-OLD'S BAD BEHAVIOR? Recently the parents of a 6-year-old boy asked my advice concerning his daily, sometimes violent tantrums which had been ongoing...

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Sibling Nonstop Fighting

Posted on 10/16/2007

Nonstop fighting Q. After school has become a nightmare in my house. My 7-year-old and 5-year-old fight nonstop from the moment I get them from school. They fight in the car all the way...

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Solve The Problem Of Messy Rooms

Posted on 9/18/2007

It sometimes happens that questions on a certain topic come at me in a wave, as has a recent spate of parental pleas for a final solution to the perennial messy room - a child's, that is. My...

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Ways To Get Children To Pick Up Toys

Posted on 9/11/2007

3 WAYS TO GET CHILDREN TO PICK UP ALL THEIR TOYS Q. My children, ages 4 and 5, simply will not pick up their toys or books. I have reduced the number of toys, significantly, but they still...

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5-Year-Old Girl Throwing Tantrums

Posted on 8/7/2007

SENSE OF HUMOR IS ESSENTIAL FOR HANDLING REBELLIOUS CHILD Q. Our middle child, 5, is aggressive, loud and disrespectful when anyone dares to deny her or make her do something she doesn't...

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3-Year-Old in Timeout

Posted on 1/16/2007

Time-out turnaround Q: In looking over the last 25 years of your work, I've discovered that in one place you said a 3-year-old should spend no more than three minutes in time-out, but in...

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Rude, Disrespectful 8-Year-Old Has Bullying Behavior

Posted on 11/14/2006

STOP 8-YEAR-OLD'S BULLYING BEHAVIOR BEFORE IT GETS WORSE Q: My 8-year-old son is a poor sport. He's been asked to leave several sports programs because of rudeness to other players and...

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8-Year-Old Motormouth is Loud and Constantly Interrupts

Posted on 9/12/2006

HOW TO CURE A 'MOTORMOUTH' Q: Our 8-year-old son has had some self-centeredness issues that we've been working on since he was a toddler, the latest manifestation of which is excessive, loud...

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Discipline of a Child is not Primarily a Matter of Applying Right Consequences

Posted on 6/27/2006

CONSEQUENCES ARE IMPORTANT, BUT THEY DON'T CHANGE BEHAVIOR Last week's column left the reader in suspense. In keeping with my contrarian nature, I said that the proper discipline of a child is...

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School's First Grade Reward System

Posted on 1/10/2006

TEACHER'S REWARD SYSTEM IRKS PARENTS Q: Our son's new first-grade teacher gives children smiley faces for behaving properly. At the end of the week, they trade them in for prizes. On the other...

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4-Year-Old Being Disruptive at Naptime

Posted on 9/27/2005

STOP NEGOTIATING WITH 'MR. DISRUPTIVE' FORMULA FOR SOLVING NAP-TIME TROUBLE WORKS FOR OTHER PROBLEMS, TOO Q: My sons are 4 and 2. After lunch, I put the youngest to bed for a nap, wait until...

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Discipline is Leadership

Posted on 6/14/2005

DISCIPLINE'S GOAL: ADULTS WITH CHARACTER With rare exception, today's parents believe discipline is all about the clever manipulation of reward and punishment. They think this because...

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Misbehaving Children

Posted on 4/12/2005

WHY DO PARENTS DEFEND CHILDREN'S BAD BEHAVIOR? The mother of two small children writes that when she takes them to indoor play areas she often finds herself dealing with parents who not...

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6-Year-Old Disruptive at Home and School

Posted on 1/18/2005

SOME OLD-FASHIONED DISCIPLINE SAVES ANGST, TIME AND MONEY A collection of "parenting shorts": First, an absolutely true story from my ever-growing "True Stories of Psychobabble" file,...

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4-Year-Old Misbehaving in Public

Posted on 9/21/2004

HERE'S TICKET TO REDUCING 4-YEAR-OLD'S MISBEHAVIOR Q: Inevitably, when we take our 4-year-old into a store or restaurant, he begins misbehaving. How do you discipline a child when the eyes of...

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16-Year-Old With Many Issues

Posted on 8/10/2004

KEEP STEPSON GROUNDED FOR COMMUNITY'S SAKE Q: Life with my 16-year-old stepson, who lives with my husband and me because his mother is a mess, has been a battle from day one. School has always...

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6- and 10-Year-Old Sibling Conflict

Posted on 7/6/2004


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24-Month-Old Runs Away From Parent

Posted on 5/4/2004

CAN'T OUTRUN THAT 2-YEAR-OLD? OUTSMART HER Q: When I call my 24-month-old daughter to come to me, she takes off running like a bat out of you-know-where. She obviously thinks it's a game...

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4- and 7-Year-Olds Can't Play Nice with Cousins

Posted on 4/27/2004

LET BOYS TAKE TURNS; THEY'LL FIGURE IT OUT Q: My two sons are 7 and 4. When their cousins, who are the same ages, come over, they all go down into our basement to play. Invariably, within 30...

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Too Many Consequences for 5-Year-Old

Posted on 1/6/2004

Q: The other evening, while playing a racing game, my 5-year-old began getting upset because he was not winning, so I shut off the game. At that point, he went absolutely ballistic, screaming that...

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6-Year-Old - Do Consequences Carry Over to Grandparents Home Over Holidays?

Posted on 12/2/2003

MUST GRANDPARENTS ENFORCE BAN ON TV? Q: After a particularly bad week in school our 6-year-old lost TV for a month. His younger brother hasn't lost his TV privilege, so our older son goes to...

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Mom Controls 8-Year-Old, Dad Rewards Her

Posted on 4/3/2001

DAD'S 'PRIZES' WILL BACKFIRE - BUT SO WILL MOM'S CONTROL GAME Q. My husband occasionally gives our very stubborn and manipulative 8-year-old daughter "prizes" for doing what she is told. The...

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5-Year-Old Has Friend Who Is Bad Influence

Posted on 11/14/2000

SON'S LITTLE FRIEND MAY NOT BE ONLY MISCHIEF-MAKER Q. My 5-year-old son has a little friend who seems to have a bad influence on him and I don't know what to do about it. For example, I...

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Levy a Punishment That Does Not Fit the Crime

Posted on 9/19/2000

KIDS' PUNISHMENT MUST BE STRONG ENOUGH TO MAKE AN IMPACT Some time ago (the statute of limitations has passed), a good friend told me his 5-year-old, in complete disregard of the rules, rode...

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4-Year-Old Smart Comments, Glaring Looks, and Deliberate Disobedience

Posted on 12/7/1999

OBNOXIOUS BEHAVIOR GETS HIM A TICKET Q. Our son, who turns 4 soon, has been going through a personality change. His once-sunny disposition has turned sour, and I don't know how to turn it back...

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Discipline is the Process of Creating a Disciple, Someone Who Will Follow Your Lead

Posted on 7/13/1999

PARENTS IN COMMAND MAY NOT NEED TO PUNISH Q. In The New York Times, I recently read, "While research has shown that children turn out best in families in which parental demands are enforced,...

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Mom Keeps Telling Children Same Things Over and Over Again

Posted on 1/12/1999

PUNISHMENT SHOULD STOP THE CRIME, NOT JUST FIT IT "I keep having to tell my children the same things over and over again,'' said the mother of three. "Things like hang up your coat' and don't...

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Forget Timeout: Outrageous Behavior Deserves Outrageous Consequence

Posted on 4/14/1998

TO GET CHILD'S ATTENTION, BE AS OUTRAGEOUS AS CHILD IS The current generation of mental health professionals has given parents the impression that time-out, properly used, will end any...

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Consequences for 6-Year-Old who is Testing Parent

Posted on 2/3/1998

TO GET CHILD'S ATTENTION, TRY SOME ENFORCEMENT WHEN IT'S LEAST EXPECTED Q. My 6-year-old daughter has started to test me at every possible opportunity. Every time I tell her to do something,...

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Children Should Be Accountable For Their Behavior

Posted on 12/16/1997

WHEN CHILD GETS TO AGE 2, PUSH HIM OUT OF PARADISE In Genesis 2 and 3, Adam and Eve - after being told not to do so - eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When God discovers what...

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Parent Can't Think of Appropriate Consequences When Children Misbehave

Posted on 10/21/1997

NO NEED TO BE QUICK ON YOUR FEET WITH WAY TO DISCIPLINE Q. At a recent talk I attended, you said that when children misbehave, they should learn that misbehavior is not "free'' - it should...

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Third Grade Teacher Dealing with Boys Who Have Difficulty With Self-Control

Posted on 3/6/1997

OK, GIVE PRAISE A CHANCE, BUT DON'T GO OVERBOARD Q. I am a third-grade teacher who is dealing with several boys who have difficulty with self-control. Our school psychologist recommended an...

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Discipline and Punishment are not the Same

Posted on 10/14/1994

IF YOU START EARLY, DISCIPLINE CAN BE EASY I was talking to high school seniors in Carroll, Iowa, the other day when a young woman raised her hand and asked if I felt teens should be punished...

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5-Year-Old Refuses to go to Timeout

Posted on 10/8/1993

YOU SAY TIMEOUT DOESN'T WORK? TIE IT IN WITH PRIVILEGES, AND IT WILL Q. My 5-year-old simply refuses to go into timeout after she's misbehaved. We've actually gotten into physical struggles in...

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Appropriate Consequences for 12-Year-Old

Posted on 1/17/1992

AUTOMATIC PUNISHMENT FITS EVERY MISBEHAVIOR Q. We're having a problem coming up with appropriate punishments for our 12-year-old son. He's not a big problem, but like all children his age, he...

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Rewards Do Not Work to Change Kids' Behavior

Posted on 9/13/1991

REWARDS MAY NOT HELP KIDS' BEHAVIOR REWARDS DON'T HELP KIDS CHANGE THEIR FAULTS Q. I recently attended one of your talks and was surprised to hear you say that reward-based methods of...

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Don't Reward Children for Good Behavior

Posted on 8/19/1990

REWARDS, PUNISHMENT DON'T HELP CHILDREN LEARN Q. You've written you are not in favor of giving rewards for good report card grades. Do you feel the same way about criticizing or punishing...

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Consequences for 5- and 7-Year-Old Misbehavior

Posted on 7/8/1990

TRY THIS: COMBINE TIME OUT AND PRIVILEGES LOST Q: When I have to punish one of my children, ages 5 and 7, I either use a 10-minute period of time-out in the bathroom or take away a privilege,...

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Managerial Approach to Discipline

Posted on 9/24/1989

MANAGEMENT BEATS OUT PUNISHMENT One of the most unfortunate attitudes toward disciplining children is the emphasis we place on punishment. When a child misbehaves, parents aren't likely to...

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Raising a Responsible Child

Posted on 8/30/1987

CHILDREN MUST BE TAUGHT WHEN TO FEEL GUILTY I was doing a workshop on "Raising a Responsible Child" for a group of teachers, most of whom had children. To illustrate a point, I demonstrated...

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Most Effective Time for Dealing with Misbehavior is Before it Occurs

Posted on 4/5/1987

IN CHILD REARING, STRIKE WHILE IRON IS COLD Most of us have heard the saying: "Strike while the iron is hot." It means you should seize opportunity when it's first presented. It's another way...

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5-Year-Old Girl Stealing and Being Manipulative

Posted on 12/29/1985

5YO STEALING MANIPULATIVE KIDS TOO YOUNG TO BE MANIPULATORS Of all the myths associated with children and their upbringing, one of the most prevalent and damaging is "The Myth of the...

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