John's Articles

What Should Single Mom Do About Disrespectful Son?

Posted on 6/7/2022

Q: I’m a single mother with a 13-year-old son. His father, whom he sees infrequently, has PTSD from battle experiences. My son has anger toward his father, but I can’t get him to talk about it....

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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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Handle Split Custody Parenting Issues With Grace

Posted on 9/14/2020

Q: My 13-year-old son’s grades and overall respect for me and other adults – teachers, in particular – began going downhill last year (eighth grade), even before the shutdown. He began school this...

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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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3-Year-Old Girl Missing Dad

Posted on 8/2/2011

Tot's distress isn't about missing dad Q. My daughter will be 3 years old soon. Her father was primary caretaker until she was around 20 months, then he left and she hasn't seen him since. I...

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Single Parent with Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Posted on 7/5/2011

Single parent with a boyfriend: Drama is silly "When is the right time to introduce my girlfriend/boyfriend to my kids?" is a question single parents frequently ask. "Why is this even an...

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15 Resolutions For Parents

Posted on 1/4/2011

15 resolutions for parents Given that this is the first column of a new year, I'm proposing a number of parenting New Year's Resolutions for my readers to consider. The list is by no means...

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Boys Need Fathers, Not Friends

Posted on 11/17/2009

TODAY'S MALES NEED FATHERS, NOT FRIENDS I recently spent some time with a friend who has three children. My buddy is a college-educated responsible guy who has never failed to do right by his...

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Children Adapt to Differing Discipline Styles

Posted on 11/3/2009

CHILDREN ADAPT TO DIFFERING RULES Q. I am a full-time nanny living with a single dad and his four young sons. The dad has given me free rein to deal with the kids and discipline them as I see...

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Mom Disciplines 15-Year-Old Daughter, But Ex Does Not Follow Through

Posted on 10/13/2009

MOM DISCIPLINES DAUGHTER, THEN DIVORCED DAD IGNORES IT Q. My 15-year-old daughter's grades have dropped this year, and I have taken away most of her privileges. But she spends a few nights a...

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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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Single Parenting

Posted on 12/14/2004

"So what about single parents, John?" asks a single mom. She was responding to last week's column in which I proposed (I will dare to say proved) that it is in a child's best interest for his...

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No Longer Husband and Wife, but Still Father and Mother

Posted on 9/16/2003

TEAMWORK OFTEN KEY IN DISCIPLINE Q: I am the single mother of a 9-year-old boy. I feel like I'm a fairly good disciplinarian, but I occasionally ask my ex-husband, from whom I've been divorced...

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14-Year-Old is Disrespectful and Hostile Toward Mom

Posted on 11/10/1998

DON'T LET YOUR HOSTILE SON TURN YOU INTO HIS TARGET Q. I'm a single mother with custody of my 14-year-old son. His father, whom he sees infrequently, has mental problems stemming from battle...

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Single Mom of 4- and 7-Year-Old Considering Moving Away from Ex-Husband

Posted on 4/29/1997

IT MAY BE OK TO LET PARENT'S BEST INTEREST SWAY DECISION Q. I am a single mother with two children, ages 7 and 4. At present, we live in the same community as my ex-husband. The problem is,...

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Hurdles of a Step-Family

Posted on 4/15/1997

STEP FAMILY SHOULD FOCUS ON MARRIAGE, AUTHORITY 1. I am a single mother with a 9-year-old son. Robbie's father sees him on a regular basis, and they have a good relationship. I've recently...

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Stepparents Should Assume Full Authority Over Stepchildren

Posted on 12/5/1996

GIVE STEPPARENT AUTHORITY WITH KIDS Q. I have two children, ages 8 and 4, from my first marriage and am about to remarry. I recently read an article in which a psychologist who's written a book...

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Irresponsible for Unmarried Adults to Live Together When Children are Involved

Posted on 9/19/1996

HAVE KIDS? LIVING WITH BOYFRIEND IS NOT A GOOD IDEA Q. My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other steadily for two years and plan to marry as soon as our financial situation improves....

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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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9-Year-Old Does Not Obey Step-Mom

Posted on 1/29/1993

MAN'S STEPDAUGHTER OBEYS HER MOM BETTER: WHY? Q. My 9-year-old stepdaughter, who lives primarily with us, does not obey me as well as she does her mother. How would you suggest I deal with...

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Parent Care vs Day Care - Part 2

Posted on 12/18/1992

Q. I read a recent column of yours in which you said that parent care during the first three years of life is preferable to daycare. I tend to agree, but wouldn't some children be better off in...

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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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Divorced Mother of 6- and 8-Year-Old is Ready to Date

Posted on 7/1/1990

WHEN A SINGLE PARENT DATES, KIDS CAN ADJUST Q: I am a single parent with two children, ages 8 and 6. I've been divorced for about six months and am ready to start dating but do not have any...

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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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4- and 6-Year-Old Do Not Like Mom's Boyfriend

Posted on 6/5/1988

TELL CHILDREN IT'S NORMAL TO RESENT BOYFRIEND Q: I'm a single mother with two children, ages 6 and 4. Their father and I have been divorced for over a year, and I've been involved in a serious...

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Single Parent Issue

Posted on 3/13/1988

Q. I am a single mother with four children. I have heard it said that the best way a man can love his children is to love their mother. I strongly agree, but my children will never see this...

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9-Year-Old Complains About Visiting Dad

Posted on 2/1/1987

9-YEAR-OLD MAY WANT MORE TIME WITH HIS FRIENDS Q: I am a divorced, single mother with one child - an active, well- adjusted 9-year-old son. With few exceptions, he spends every weekend,...

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Parents Work Together in Parenting Even Though Divorced

Posted on 10/12/1986

DISCIPLINE SHOULD INVOLVE BOTH PARENTS Q: I am a divorced, single mother. My daughter is 14 years old. Occasionally things come up with which I feel I need my ex-husband's support. In the...

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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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5-Year-Old Girl Wants to Live with Dad

Posted on 11/17/1985

5YO CUSTODY Q. My husband and I divorced about a year ago. Our daughter, who is 5, sees her daddy every other weekend, on alternating holidays and for three weeks during the summer. They have...

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