John's Articles

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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The Better the Husband, the Better the Dad

Posted on 6/15/2021

Several columns past, I took to my bully pulpit and excoriated men who are married with children for being fathers first and husbands a distant second (maybe even third behind sports fans). My...

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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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Mom, Stop Checking Kid’s Homework

Posted on 4/6/2021

Many times have I warned parents of the pitfalls of micromanaging their children’s academic responsibilities lest said children deduce that the responsibilities in question are not theirs at all...

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‘Good Mommy Club’ Does No Favors for Kids

Posted on 5/12/2020

The biggest problem in the life of today’s all-too typical mother is herself. She is her own worst enemy. Them’s fightin’ words, I know, but please, hold the tomatoes and other vegetables and bear...

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Proper Discipline of a Child Is an Act of Love for One’s Neighbor

Posted on 3/10/2020

I’ve learned a new word! My daughter informs me that according to some mothers I am guilty of “mom-shaming” and should be ashamed of myself. I am an unashamed mom-shamer because I happen to...

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Maternabling is Destructive to Parent-Child Relationship

Posted on 12/10/2019

“You’ve accused mothers of being in co-dependent relationships with their children,” she (a journalist) said, then asked, “What is co-dependency, exactly, and how does it apply to today’s...

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What Constitutes a Good Mother?

Posted on 5/16/2017

By the time this column appears in most papers to which it is distributed, Mother’s Day 2017 will have come and gone. Nonetheless, I’m going to talk about mothers—one in particular. ...

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Hey, Moms: There's More to Life Than Raising Children

Posted on 3/8/2017

A couple of months ago, following a talk I gave in Georgia, a woman told me she had been offended by my many references to mothers who are enmeshed in their children's lives. These women, when...

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Use Practical, Not Psychological, Approach to Childrearing

Posted on 1/3/2017

One of the biggest problems among today’s parents—especially mothers—concerns their tendency to think in psychological terms about their children’s behavior problems. Mothers are more prone to...

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In a Family, Parents' Relationship Comes First

Posted on 12/28/2016

I recently asked a married couple who have three kids, none of whom are yet teens, “Who are the most important people in your family?” Like all good moms and dads of this brave new...

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Adults, Especially Moms: Keep It Interesting!

Posted on 5/27/2015

My mother was a most unusual woman for her generation. She divorced my father when I was three, went to college and eventually obtained a Ph.D. in plant morphology when women were not heartily...

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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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Give Children What They Need and Little of What They Want

Posted on 11/22/2011

Respect children; don't idolize them A young mother who identified herself as a practitioner of "attachment parenting" recently told me that "children should be approached with reverence." I...

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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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Boundaries with Children

Posted on 4/12/2011

Moms must enforce boundaries with children A journalist recently began an interview with me with this question: "What is the biggest problem in American parenting today? Is it sex, drugs,...

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Mom's Anxiety Over Child Starting Kindergarten

Posted on 12/28/2010

Child off to school sets off mom's angst trigger Q. Since the oldest of my three children started kindergarten this year, I have become increasingly attached to her, as if I took for granted...

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Parent Bragging About Talented Children

Posted on 11/9/2010

Avoid toxic parents The second question came from a woman whose sister-in-law is forever bragging about her talented children and putting down other parents whose kids are not so blessed (or...

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Growing Up in the 1950s

Posted on 8/31/2010

What today's kids are missing What do today's children seriously lack that children in the 1950s and before enjoyed in abundance? To assist the reader in figuring out the answer before it is...

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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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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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Today's Mothers Need to Have More Authority Over Their Children

Posted on 9/22/2009

I was talking to a mother about a disciplinary issue she was having with one of her children. At one point, she said: "I feel like it's my job to be the nurturer." That told me why she was...

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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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Mom Considering Going Back To Work

Posted on 11/4/2008

BE WISE ABOUT YOUR SACRIFICES Q: Ever since I had children, now 7 and 5, I have resented sacrificing my executive position for staying home and giving 150 percent to my children to make sure...

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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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Parents Talk and Explain Too Much

Posted on 7/1/2008

LET ME EXPLAIN: KIDS AREN'T ALWAYS DUE AN EXPLANATION In the mid-1970s, I attended a seminar that promised to train me to become an instructor in positive discipline methods. It turned out that...

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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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A Father Undermining A Mothers Authority

Posted on 1/1/2008

Q: My husband often undermines my authority where the kids are concerned. For example, I believe that my children should eat what ever I put in front of them for supper. I refuse to be a...

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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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Parents Afraid of Children

Posted on 2/28/2006

PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS ARE UPSIDE DOWN In my recent public presentations, I've been pointing out that whereas baby boomers, as children, were afraid of their mothers, today's mothers - in...

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Parents Should be Leaders, not Pals

Posted on 4/5/2005

PARENTS SHOULD REAR KIDS, NOT BE PALS These days it seems that the more things change in parenting, the more they keep right on changing. For example Today's parents are trying to...

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Children Should Fear Mom and Do Chores

Posted on 7/13/2004

DON'T BE YOUR CHILD'S DOORMAT I was just thinking Isn't it ironic? Part One: In my youth, the typical child was afraid of his mother - a mother, furthermore, who might never have spanked or...

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5-Year-Old Needs to Occupy Self

Posted on 10/7/2003

SHOW KIDS THEY'RE SMART ENOUGH TO OCCUPY THEMSELVES Q: I'm a single mom who works full-time from home. At noon, I pick up my 5-year-old from her half-day kindergarten program. Unfortunately,...

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If You Respect a Child, then You Expect a Lot of the Child

Posted on 6/24/2003

MISBEHAVIOR BY STUBBORN CHILDREN REQUIRES STUBBORN LOVE AND DISCIPLINE The following are some things I've been thinking about lately. I thought perhaps you might want to think about them, too....

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Today's Mom is Afraid of Her Child

Posted on 5/6/2003

TODAY'S MOM LIKELY FEARS HER CHILD A short collection of musings on the nature of parenting and its current condition in America: By the time your child is 24 months of age, he is making...

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Moms Micromanaging Children

Posted on 3/4/2003

PSYCHO-BABBLE CAN CLOUD YOUR VISION Q: I am a teacher of 3-year-olds at a church preschool. Most of the boys in the class have a lot of energy, but one boy in particular has some developmental...

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Luck Does Not Come Into Play with Parenting

Posted on 1/7/2003

KIDS' BEHAVIOR NO GAME OF CHANCE On my Web site ( a debate has recently simmered, and occasionally raged, over the notion that some parents are just downright lucky - meaning...

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Today's Parents Should Not Listen To Psychobabble

Posted on 7/23/2002

PSYCHOBABBLE LEADS TODAY'S PARENTS TO OLD MISTAKES My wife and I recently spent a long weekend in one of our favorite cities. My wife likes to shop, and I am one of those relatively rare males...

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Working Moms - Part 2

Posted on 4/16/2002

MANY DODGE DIALOGUE ABOUT 2-INCOME FAMILY A few weeks ago, I forgot what time it is, but now I remember. We live in the postmodern era, in which there is no Ultimate Truth and all "lifestyle"...

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Working Moms - Part 1

Posted on 3/5/2002

IS MEDIA AVOIDING BIG STORY ABOUT TWO-INCOME FAMILIES? Bernard Goldberg's new book, "Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News," deserves to be a best seller. It's eye-opening,...

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Mom Worried about 4-Year-Old Preschool Anxiety

Posted on 10/9/2001

DON'T FEED CHILD'S PRESCHOOL ANXIETY Q: For purposes of convenience, I recently changed my 4-year-old son's preschool program. The new program is as highly rated and well staffed as the...

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Mom-Care is Generally Better Than Daycare

Posted on 5/22/2001

CLOSED MINDS SHUT OUT VITAL RESEARCH ON DAY CARE We live in the postmodern age, which is characterized by a rampant anti-intellectualism. It matters not, for example, that objective evidence...

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Stop Fretting Over Not Being a Perfect Parent

Posted on 10/24/2000

STOP FRETTING OVER NOT BEING PERFECT PARENTS Q. Our four children have been in parochial school up until this year, when we put our three youngest into public school. In no time, I found...

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Mom is Playmate to 4- and 6-Year-Old

Posted on 10/10/2000

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE, NOR SHOULD YOU BE, KIDS' PLAYMATE Q. I recently heard you speak in Wisconsin and realized that I have not made the transition from servantship to leadership with my two...

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4-Year-Old Wants Mom to Quit Working - Part 2

Posted on 7/25/2000

I REPEAT, 4 IS TOO YOUNG TO RULE ROOST In last week's column, I responded to a mother who works outside of her home simply because that is her desire. Her 4-year-old, who is in a decent...

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4-Year-Old Wants Mom to Quit Working - Part 1

Posted on 7/18/2000

WHAT DO YOU TELL A CHILD WHO BEGS YOU TO QUIT YOUR JOB? Q. Of the 40 mothers represented in my 4-year-old son's pre-K program, I am one of only three who work outside the home. I do so not for...

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Today's Mom are Trying to Clear the "Mother Bar"

Posted on 6/6/2000

TODAY'S MOM SHOULD EMULATE YESTERDAY'S Today's women are a paradox. They have taken admirable giant strides forward politically, professionally, economically and educationally, and yet, when...

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Roles of Mothers and Fathers

Posted on 5/4/1999

TOO MANY MODERN MOMS LET THE KIDS TAKE CHARGE Out of the blue recently my father-in-law said, "A father can only do with his children what their mother gives him permission to do.'' I don't...

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Moms Afraid Their Children Will Not Like Them

Posted on 12/8/1998

TODAY'S KIDS HAVE NO FEAR, AND PARENTS ARE TO BLAME In my more recent public presentations, I've been pointing out that while baby boomers, as children, were afraid of their mothers, today's...

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Moms Want to Know What to do When Children Hit Them

Posted on 11/3/1998

MOTHERS, DON'T PUT UP WITH ABUSIVE KIDS ONE MORE DAY Today's women are a paradoxical bunch. They are rightfully proud of the professional and political inroads they've made, yet they too often...

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