"Don't ask a child a question if you don't mean for the child to have a choice in the matter. "

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Kids Don’t Need Curing, They Need Correcting

Posted on 5/18/2021

No small number of today’s parents view their children through psychological lenses, especially when it comes to misbehavior. Instead of regarding a given misbehavior as simply an error that needs...

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Ear Infections and Misbehavior; Boundaries for Boys

Posted on 3/23/2021

Q: My three-year-old is prone to ear infections. When he has one, his behavior deteriorates considerably. He becomes disobedient and given to angry outbursts. When his ears are clear, he’s...

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The More You Try To Make Child Happy, the More Unhappy They Will Be

Posted on 1/19/2021

Making children happy became a parenting goal in the early 1970s. The paradox, as everyone with a modicum of commonsense knows, is that the more effort parents put into making a child happy, the...

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Advice for Preschool Teachers

Posted on 1/5/2021

Q: I teach 3- and 4-year-olds in a childcare center in Australia. I always have a few difficult children in any group and the book in which you describe Alpha Speech [The Well-Behaved Child] has...

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Leverage an End To Daughter's Defiance

Posted on 12/14/2020

Q: Our 14-year-old daughter desperately wants to begin wearing makeup, which all, and I mean all, of her classmates are allowed to do. We have held off not only because of our beliefs but also...

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Moodiness Is Merely a Bad Emotional Habit

Posted on 10/27/2020

Living with an emotionally dramatic child is no fun. They throw wet blankets over nearly every family gathering or outing. Little is right in their lives and attempts to cheer them up generally...

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Father's Visitation With Child Should Be Allowed

Posted on 1/15/2020

Q: Our ten-year-old granddaughter lives with us. We have custody of her but her father, our son, is now asking us for visitation privileges. I probably don’t need to tell you that both he and his...

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Tame Child's Disruptive Behavior at Holiday Get-Togethers

Posted on 12/3/2019

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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Simple Solutions for Teens, Tantrums and Smartphones

Posted on 12/4/2018

Q: Our 15-year-old daughter is very demanding and, to be honest, self-centered. One of the things she does is ask one of us for something and demand an instant decision, as in, “Can I go to the...

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Make 'Em an Offer They Can't Refuse

Posted on 10/16/2018

When I was a child, my most important possession was my bicycle, followed closely by my radio. My bike was how I got around. I rode it to school, friend’s houses, pick-up...

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Authoritative Attitude Is Key to Discipline

Posted on 5/2/2018

Q: We are having no success getting our 3-year-old (her third birthday is in a couple of weeks) to do what we tell her to do. She defies us at every opportunity, whether it’s just ignoring us or...

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Don't Tolerate Sassy Behavior

Posted on 11/15/2017

Q: Our 8-year-old has suddenly developed a very sassy mouth. She picked this up from a new neighborhood friend who speaks to her mother in a very disrespectful tone, like she’s the girl’s...

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America Needs a Parenting Retro-Revolution

Posted on 6/21/2017

I was honored to be a guest on my good friend Dennis Prager’s syndicated radio program the other day and as anyone who is familiar with my point-of-view on parenting matters will appreciate, much...

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Stay the Course With Rebellious Teen

Posted on 5/23/2017

Q: Our 18-year-old daughter is a month away from high school graduation and she is failing nearly every class! About six months ago, she took up with a group of young adults who are less than...

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Kids Are Happiest When Obedient

Posted on 4/25/2017

Q: I’ve read enough of your writings to know that you believe children should be obedient, that they should do what they are told. I want my children to think for themselves and to question...

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Medicine Doesn't Cure Misbehavior

Posted on 7/26/2016

Q: Our son is a rising second-grader at a private school. Last year, his behavior was often disruptive and sometimes even downright defiant—problems his first grade teacher did not have with him....

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Custody Issue: Teen Acts Aggressively Towards Mother

Posted on 1/12/2016

Q: My ex-husband and I have pretty much fifty-fifty custody of our 15-year-old son, who has become infected with his father’s disrespect for me. When he’s with me, he makes it very clear that he...

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Use Proper Authority with Teens

Posted on 4/21/2015

Copyright 2015, John K. Rosemond Q: Our son is going to be 13 next year and we’re trying to be proactive about the coming storm. He’s been a good kid and relatively easy to raise to...

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Alarming Trends

Posted on 3/3/2015

In the 1960s, child and teen mental health and behavior problems began an alarming rise that has continued to the present. In 1970, one of my grad school professors proposed that this trend could...

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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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The "Hang in There Principle"

Posted on 11/26/2013

Q: My 11-year-old son cuts corners on everything. If he does a chore, he'll leave the cleaning products behind. If his bed his hard to make he hides the sheet in the closet and throws the blanket...

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Discipline Problems

Posted on 10/1/2013

Most parents describe discipline problems as if they are "coming out" of their kids, that the problems in question reveal facets of their kids' personalities-things like "strong-willed."...

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Last Chance for Major Change

Posted on 2/5/2013

Q: Our 17-year-old is a highly spoiled underachiever. As a junior in high school, he's failing two classes and borderline in the rest. We know that his problems are largely due to our parenting...

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Nine year old Refuses to go to her room

Posted on 1/15/2013

Q: What should I do when my 9-year-old daughter loses all of her privileges because of her misbehavior but refuses to go to her room? I tried to physically force her, but she put up too much of a...

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Respect Requires Boundaries

Posted on 9/13/2011

Turn back the clock to get respect Why do today's parents have more problems with obedience than their grandparents thought possible? Since obedience requires that a child (a) clearly and...

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3-Year-Old Girl Disruptive Behavior

Posted on 6/28/2011

Discipline bad behavior - don't psychoanalyze it Q. About a year ago, my husband and I underwent a major move with our 3-year-old. Six months later, I gave birth to twins. Needless to say, our...

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4-Year-Old Girl - Using Ticket Method for Improved Behavior

Posted on 6/21/2011

Stick with the tickets and stay on track Q: Using the "ticket method" you have described, I began my 4-year-old daughter's rehabilitation program this week. When she loses all five of her...

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8-Year-Old Girl Not Completing Chores

Posted on 5/24/2011

Let children know you mean business Q: Our 8-year-old daughter has not been completing chores and following directions. On the morning of a recent soccer game, she failed to follow some simple...

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16-Year-Old Boy Disrespecting Parents

Posted on 5/17/2011

Behind their backs Q: Our 16-year-old son is respectful to our faces. He does what he is told and is generally a good kid. On a number of occasions, I have overheard him speaking with his...

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Teen-age Boys Restrictions

Posted on 5/17/2011

Easing restrictions Q: Because of some grade problems, our two teenage boys were told to stay on campus for lunch in order to catch up on their studying. We found a suspicious receipt, so we...

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4-Year-Old Girl Disobedient Around Friend

Posted on 5/10/2011

Ill-behaved child = thoughtless parents Q. Our 4-year-old is fairly well-behaved, but her best friend is definitely not. We just got back from a weekend trip with that family, and I was...

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5-Year-Old Girl Neediness

Posted on 4/5/2011

I'm-growing-up list for neediness Q: My daughter, who is 5, relies on me far too much. All through the day, she asks me to do simple things for her like get her a glass of water or help her put...

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5-Year-Old Girl Disobedience

Posted on 1/25/2011

Sassy obedience Q: When I give my 5-year-old daughter an instruction of some sort or other, she does what I tell her to do, but not without some amount of "lip." She'll mutter under her breath...

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Third Grade Boy Defiant and Lazy

Posted on 11/16/2010

This 'laziness' may be a clever form of defiance In their e-mail to me, his parents call him "The Laziest Kid in America." The child in question, a third-grader, hides his clothes rather than...

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12-Year-Old Girl Tone of Voice

Posted on 9/7/2010

Child's requests drip with coating of attitude Q: "It's how you say it." I've preached this consistently for years with no improvement. My 12-year-old will ask me a question or ask me to help...

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5-Year-Old Boy Refuses To Be In School Play

Posted on 5/11/2010

Skip the drama on kid's theatrics Q: Our normally very obedient 5-year-old son flat out refuses to get on stage and sing at his preschool's musical. At last year's musical, he made a huge scene...

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3-Year-Old Boy Disrespectful Actions

Posted on 3/30/2010

Don't overreact to toddler's actions Defiant words don't signal problem, unless parent turns it into one. Q. My almost-3-year-old has started saying things to me that border on...

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18-Year-Old Girl's Body Piercing

Posted on 1/19/2010

LEARN TO PICK YOUR BATTLES TO WIN TEEN WAR I'm painfully aware that because I have a deserved reputation for taking a "no nonsense" approach to discipline, I am generally expected to always...

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Boundaries Make for Happy Kids and Parents

Posted on 12/15/2009

BOUNDARIES MAKE FOR HAPPY KIDS AND PARENTS I have long maintained that the happiest kids are also well-behaved and vice versa. That assertion is supported by common sense as well as research...

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Consequence Needs to Produce Permanent Memory for 6-Year-Old Tantrum

Posted on 9/29/2009

ISSUING CONSEQUENCES EQUALS WELL-BEHAVED CHILDREN From the Mailbag: A Charlotte woman writes to the Observer that I should get out in the real world more and meet the "mothers and fathers of...

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Back-To-School Tips for Parents

Posted on 9/8/2009

BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIPS FOR PARENTS Several teachers asked if I would reprint a column that first appeared about 10 years ago. The subject is my five top back-to-school tips for parents. Before...

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5-Year-Old Girl with Short-Lived Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Posted on 9/23/2008

BY OBEYING, SHE SHOWS HER LOVE Another creative mother reports that immediately after her fifth birthday, her daughter came down with oppositional defiant disorder. One morning, in the midst of...

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6-Year-Old Boys - Moaning, Eye Rolling, Door Slamming, Stomping

Posted on 7/22/2008

TRY '3 STRIKES' WITH REBELLIOUS 6-YEAR-OLDS Q: How should we handle the noises (moaning), the gestures (eye rolling) and the posturing (door slamming, stomping) that ensue so often around here...

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Control Children in Public Places

Posted on 5/27/2008

PARENTS, YOU MIGHT BE USED TO YOUR WILD CHILD; WE AREN'T It is a sign of these postmodern times that a simple, straightforward bit of seemingly innocuous news can turn quickly into a...

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18-Month-Old Boy Crys at Restaurants

Posted on 4/1/2008

CRYING AT RESTAURANTS IS TOUGH BEHAVIOR TO CHANGE, SO EAT IN Q. How should I handle an 18-month-old who cries at a restaurant because he wants out of his high chair to sit with me or someone...

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18-Year-Old Boy Defiant

Posted on 3/11/2008

Defiant 18-year-old Q. We have a son who just turned 18 (but is still a junior in high school) and a 14-year-old freshman daughter. While my husband and I were away, our son went to visit his...

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Children Not Putting Backpacks in Proper Place

Posted on 3/4/2008

PARENTS SHARE THEIR 3 STORIES OF 'TOUGH LOVE' TURNAROUNDS It's one thing to give advice on the rearing of children, which is what I do through this column. It's quite another to share...

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7-Year-Old Boy Talking Back, Arguing, and Lying

Posted on 3/4/2008

PARENTS SHARE THEIR 3 STORIES OF 'TOUGH LOVE' TURNAROUNDS It's one thing to give advice on the rearing of children, which is what I do through this column. It's quite another to share...

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High School Girl's Dropping Grades and Attitude

Posted on 3/4/2008

PARENTS SHARE THEIR 3 STORIES OF 'TOUGH LOVE' TURNAROUNDS It's one thing to give advice on the rearing of children, which is what I do through this column. It's quite another to share...

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