John's Articles

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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Be the Best Father by Being the Best Husband You Can Be

Posted on 4/27/2021

Guys! Guys! Look, your wives, bless their hearts, are having enough trouble putting their children and priorities into proper perspective without you adding to the muddle. Keep it straight,...

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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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Adults, Children Must Maintain Relationship Boundaries

Posted on 6/20/2018

A column of mine that originally appeared in January of 2017 has been circulating on the Internet ever since, accumulating over a million hits to date. In a nutshell, its message is simply that...

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Putting Focus on Marriage is not Always Easy

Posted on 7/21/2017

Several years ago, during a break in a workshop I was conducting in Baton Rouge, La., a fellow approached me and said, "After reading you, we took your advice and put our marriage first. We are...

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It's Common Sense to Put Marriage First

Posted on 3/1/2016

I never cease to be amazed at the reactions people sometimes have to things I say. Most recently, a significant number of folks—women, all—were outraged over something I posted online: In a...

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21-Year-Old Needs Walking Papers

Posted on 2/26/2013

Q: My husband and I have a 21-year-old daughter from his first marriage. She was suspended from college for bad grades and is waiting out her time until she can go back. Meanwhile, she works for...

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Micromanaging Mom and Uninvolved Father

Posted on 11/29/2011

The micromanager mom and the man-child dad Devon Corneal is an attorney and a writer. Her essay "Can You Hear Me Now? Why Parents Can't Get Kids to Listen" was published online by The...

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Step-Family Issues: Parent From the Marriage

Posted on 11/15/2011

How to 'parent from the marriage' Q: Several years ago, I married a widower who never disciplined his children. They are now 9, 14 and 16 and he still has a very difficult time denying them...

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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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Husband's Priority Shoud Be Wife First

Posted on 4/21/2009

DAD'S ATTENTION SHOULD BE ON WIFE The response to my recent "I can't wait for the 1960s to be over and done with!" series has been overwhelming, so here's another installment. A fellow...

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Parenting 101: Effective Leadership, Marriage First, Boundaries, Say No More Than Yes

Posted on 11/25/2008

THE FIRST RULE OF PARENTING: YOUR MARRIAGE COMES FIRST Welcome to Parenting 101, a two-part introduction to the fundamentals of effective child raising. Upon passing this course, which will...

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Couples are Husband and Wife Before Father and Mother

Posted on 9/30/2008

CHILDREN DON'T BENEFIT FROM OBSESSIVE PARENTS A journalist recently asked me to name the No. 1 problem facing today's family. To her surprise, I said, "A confusion of roles." In today's...

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Husband Undermines Wife's Authority

Posted on 4/22/2008

HUSBAND WHO SPOILS HIS CHILD NEEDS A TIMEOUT - AT THE LEAST Q. My husband often undermines my authority with the kids. For example, I believe that my children should eat whatever I put in front...

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Married to Your Spouse, not Your Kids

Posted on 5/15/2007

ACT AS IF YOU'RE MARRIED TO EACH OTHER, NOT TO YOUR KIDS I recently conducted a two-day seminar with a relatively large audience at a church. Before the start of the second session, a fellow...

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A Family is a Family

Posted on 3/20/2007

FORGET ADJECTIVES; ANY CHILD IS A CHILD, ANY FAMILY IS A FAMILY Parents frequently ask if I have written books on adjective-children (e.g. adopted children) or adjective-families (e.g. blended...

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7-Year-Old Sleeping Problems Leads to Marriage Issues

Posted on 1/2/2007

Mom sleeps alone Q: My husband and I are older parents of a 7-year-old. From the very beginning, our son slept with us because my husband couldn't stand to listen to him cry. That has since...

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Marriage Needs Outrank Child's Needs

Posted on 7/5/2005

A MARRIAGE'S NEEDS USUALLY OUTRANK CHILD'S Q: After 15 years of marriage, my wife and I are considering starting a family. She is 43, and I am 45. We waited this long because of health...

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Marriage Occupies Center Stage

Posted on 12/7/2004

TODAY'S CHILDREN-CENTRIC MARRIAGES DON'T BODE WELL FOR FUTURE A journalist recently asked: "When they become adults, what will be the biggest problem facing today's kids?" I answered: "That...

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4-Year-Old is Indulged and Coddled

Posted on 11/26/2002

Q: I don't have children of my own yet, but I'm expecting soon. My lack of parenting experience is central to a discussion between my husband and me concerning what his 4-year-old son from his...

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8- and 10-Year-Old are Disrespectful to Dad and Step-Mom

Posted on 8/27/2002

VISITATIONS SHOULD END AT ONCE IF SONS DISOBEY Q: I am black and my husband is white. We have weekend visits with his sons, 10 and 8. The weekends are tortuous because in our home the children...

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Most Effective Discipline Comes From a Functional Marriage

Posted on 8/21/2001

It takes 2 to discipline Q. My second husband reads me your column every week. It's infuriating! He says I don't discipline my two children, which isn't true, and that I won't let him...

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Husband and Wives Need to Keep Promises

Posted on 2/10/1998

PROMISE KEEPERS CHALLENGES HUSBANDS, BUT WHAT ABOUT WIVES? Over the past few months, journalists have asked what I think of Promise Keepers and, more specifically, its notion that men are the...

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Parents of 8-Year-Old Have Different Discipline Methods Concerning Her Tantrums

Posted on 9/26/1996

HOW TO RECONCILE DISCIPLINE STYLES Her 8-year-old daughter, the mother told me with great concern, had recently thrown a tantrum over not getting her way about something. The child eventually...

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Women Should be Wives First and Mothers Second

Posted on 5/30/1996

MOTHERS, DON'T FORGET TO BE WIVES ONCE YOU HAVE KIDS I was recently in Somewhere, USA, where I talked on the unfortunate consequences to families and children of the prevailing nouveau idea...

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Parents Don't Agree on How to Handle Discipline of 3- and 6-Year-Old

Posted on 4/8/1994

PARENTS WHO DISAGREE ON ISSUES SHOULD AGREE ON HOW TO ARGUE Q. My husband and I don't always agree on how to handle situations that come up with our two children, ages 6 and 3. I'm concerned...

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Thoughts on Parenthood - Part 1

Posted on 2/11/1994

REMEMBER THAT WHAT CHILDREN SAY THEY WANT ISN'T ALWAYS WHAT THEY TRULY NEED A collection of musings on parenthood: * If you think child-rearing is difficult, it will be. * Authority...

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Marriage Must Be Father's Priority

Posted on 10/15/1993

MAKING THE MARRIAGE COME FIRST IS UPHILL BATTLE FOR TODAY'S PARENTS Q. I subscribe to your philosophy that in a two-parent family, the marriage should come first. Trying to get my husband to...

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Thoughts on Parenting and Families - Part 2

Posted on 8/13/1993

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON PARENTHOOD, FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS, RAISING CHILDREN Continued from last week, and continued next week: * To say the more attention a child gets, the better, is as...

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Take Time to be a Wife and not Just a Mother

Posted on 4/23/1993

MOTHERS NEED TO REMEMBER THEY ARE ALSO PEOPLE Spying me mingling with the audience a few minutes before I was to make a presentation, she walked up and said, "Do you know what really bugs me...

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Children Should Pay More Attention to Adults than Adults Pay to Children

Posted on 8/7/1992

CAN YOU PAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO A CHILD? YES, AND IT WILL SHOW Q. I heard you speak last month in Buffalo and took special notice when you said children should pay more attention to adults...

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Staying Married - Not Raising Children - is the Most Difficult Job

Posted on 3/31/1991

MARRIAGE IS MORE TROUBLE THAN REARING CHILDREN While in Connecticut several weeks ago on a speaking tour, I could not tune to a radio station without hearing much joking and sarcasm concerning...

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Putting Focus on Marriage is not Always Easy

Posted on 11/25/1990

REFOCUSING FROM KIDS TO YOU ISN'T EASY Several weeks ago, during a break in a workshop I was conducting in Baton Rouge, La., a fellow approached me and said, "After reading you, we took your...

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Keep Priorities Straight

Posted on 9/2/1990

Divide And Conquer When, in a two-parent family, the child becomes the center of attention and the child's relationship with one or both parents consumes more energy than does the parents'...

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Parents, Take Center Stage in Rearing Children

Posted on 9/2/1990

Traveling around the country, doing talks and workshops for various parent and professional groups, I am asked a broad range of questions concerning the rearing of children, many of them having to...

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How to be a Good Parent: Part 1

Posted on 7/22/1990

AFTER 21 YEARS, I DISCOVER HOW TO BE A GOOD PARENT: PRACTICE, PRACTICE Some thoughts on parenthood collected during the last 21 years of trying to make it work: * The purpose of parenting...

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Single Parents Should Pay More Attention to Themselves than Children

Posted on 11/5/1989

PARENTS FIRST, CHILDREN SECOND THAT PIECE OF HERETICAL' ADVICE GOES DOUBLE FOR SINGLE-PARENT FAMILIES Q. I heard you give a talk recently in Baton Rouge, La., in which you said that...

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6 Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children

Posted on 8/6/1989

6 COMMANDMENTS FOR PARENTS A reader from Albuquerque asks, "What is this Six-Point Plan' you wrote about several weeks ago?" Well, in addition to being in the title of my book "John...

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Husband and Wife Do Not Agree on How to Discipline

Posted on 10/30/1988

FOR CHILDREN TO HEAR PARENTS' DISAGREEMENTS MORE GOOD THAN BAD Q: My husband and I don't always agree on how to handle situations that come up with our two children, ages 6 and 3. I'm...

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Thoughts on Raising Children Again

Posted on 7/12/1987

PONDERING PARENTHOOD ONCE AGAIN I recently published two columns of "collected thoughts" on raising children. They generated lots of positive reader mail, so here's some more: * Many...

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Thoughts on Raising Children

Posted on 5/31/1987

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS ON RAISING YOUR CHILDREN Still more collected thoughts on raising children: * The marriage precedes the children and was meant to succeed them. * It is one of the...

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More Tips on Child Rearing

Posted on 5/24/1987

CHILDREN NEED LOTS OF VITAMIN N (NO') More collected thoughts on rearing children: * It's a child's responsibility to himself to rebel, and it's the parents' responsibility to contain...

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Tips on Child Rearing

Posted on 5/17/1987

A FEW TIPS ON CHILD REARING Some thoughts on raising children, arrived at over the course of more than eighteen years of parenthood. * The secret to raising happy, healthy children: Pay...

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Discipline Should be Handled by Both Parents

Posted on 2/15/1987

DON'T MAKE DAD THE HEAVY IN DISCIPLINE "Wait 'til your father gets home." Or so my mother would say whenever my relentlessly obnoxious behavior became too much for her to handle. And it...

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2 Important Considerations with Step-Families

Posted on 4/6/1986

THE MARRIAGE MUST BE PRIMARY IN STEPFAMILY SITUATION Q. I am a single mother with a 9-year-old son. My ex-husband and I divorced when Robbie was 3. Robbie's father sees him on a regular...

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