John's Articles

With Sippy Cups, Stick to the Short Term

Posted on 7/20/2021

Research finds that so-called “sippy cups” – spill-free cups used by most American preschoolers – are linked to speech problems as well as early dental issues. A sippy cup’s spout depresses a...

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A Hardly-Ever-Fails Thumb-Sucking Program

Posted on 4/12/2016

Q: Our 7-year-old son has sucked his thumb forever and more or less constantly. He has recently switched to sucking his index finger and putting his right hand down the back of his pants at the...

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Thumb Sucking - Revisited

Posted on 8/27/2013

In a recent column I said thumb-sucking is not, as was once thought, a sign of insecurity or other psychological problems. Well-adjusted children suck their thumbs and grow up to be...

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Thumb Sucking and Security Blankets

Posted on 8/13/2013

Q: My 5-year-old is going to Kindergarten soon and still sucks her thumb. We've tried everything to get her to stop, even a dental appliance, but she won't give it up. Do you have a solution for...

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7-Year-Old Son Sucking on Stuffed Animals

Posted on 7/20/2010

Sleeping with stuffed toys Q: My husband recently discovered that our 7-year-old son has been sucking on his stuffed animals when we put him to bed. He took the animals away, telling our son he...

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Use of the The Doctor to Abandon Certain Behaviors

Posted on 6/23/2009

SORRY, DEAR READER: 'THE DOCTOR' IS IN More from the mailroom: Reader Objects to My Favorite Therapist: One woman believes that I am wrong to invent "The Doctor" as a means of persuading...

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5-Year-Old Annoying Habit

Posted on 8/1/2006

TELL 5-YEAR-OLD HER HABIT ANNOYS YOU Q: My 5-year-old has been sucking her thumb since she was 2 months old. The problem is she likes to touch faces when she's doing it. She will snuggle up to...

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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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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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3-Year-Old Carries Around Kitchen Towels

Posted on 6/11/2002

LET THE CHILD KEEP HIS SECURITY TOWEL Q: About two years ago, our 3-year-old son developed a fondness for kitchen towels, similar to some children's attachment to security blankets. At first,...

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Posted on 3/6/2001

A LITTLE COMMON SENSE YOU CAN FILE FOR LATER Good Ideas File: Responding to my recent article on pacifiers, a mother writes, "I have three children, ages 5, 7, and 9. When it came time for one...

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Child Older Than 18 Months Should Not Be Allowed to Suck on Pacifier

Posted on 2/6/2001

PARENTS, IT'S TIME TO GROW UP AND PASS ON THE PACIFIER Please bear with me while I rant and rave: What is this business of allowing children older than 6 months to walk/ride/be carried around...

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Parents Cannot Control Children

Posted on 7/22/1997

PARENTING ISN'T FOR WIMPS - OR DICTATORS This may cause great dismay among parents everywhere, but it's a fact: No matter what your child's age, no matter how hard you try, no matter what...

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3-Year-Old Addicted to Pacifier

Posted on 5/16/1996

IS OUR 3-YEAR-OLD TOO DEPENDENT ON HIS PACIFIER? Q. Our 3-year-old son seems addicted to his pacifier. Over the past year, we've limited its use to his bed, but he still comes to us four or...

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