"Children learn whatever you teach them, whether you've intended for them to learn it or not. "

Arguments with Children

John's Most Recent Articles

It Takes Two

Posted on 7/14/2017

The storm gathered upstairs while I sat reading the paper. It began as a rumbling confusion of voices, suddenly punctuated by a gruff, insistent, “GET OUTTA HERE!” Then came a piercing screech....

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Take a Time-Out Before Engaging With Argumentative Child

Posted on 11/22/2016

Q: In last week’s column, you advised parents not to argue with teenagers. That’s fine and dandy advice, John, but you failed to tell your readers how to stay out of or end these arguments. For...

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A Non-Argumentative Teen Is a Happy One

Posted on 11/15/2016

My advice to The Wall Street Journal, the only news source to which I subscribe: Stop trying to be all things to all people. Specifically, stop giving parenting advice. The latest attempt by...

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An Example in Parenting Minimalism

Posted on 11/4/2014

Q: My 6-year-old son argues with me about everything I tell him to do. He comes up with reason after reason why he shouldn’t have to or can’t, why it’s unfair, or why, at the least, I...

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Simple Solutions

Posted on 7/29/2014

I absolutely love it when people begin to realize that the problems they’re having with a child are of their own making; when they begin to realize, in other words, that the child is not the...

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Good Parenting Decisions

Posted on 5/20/2014

Q: For the first five years of her life, it was just me and my now 13-year-old daughter. I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. I wasn’t consistent; I didn’t hold her accountable; I was an...

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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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Be the Parent Your Child Needs

Posted on 4/1/2014

Q: My 14-year-old daughter says I don't trust her because unlike her best friend's parents, I won't allow her to stay home alone for several days while I go out of town. Her friend's parents do...

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"Boy" Behavior

Posted on 3/11/2014

Q: My 6-year-old son is a bright and friendly kindergartner. Each day a color coded chart is sent home about his behavior. This year he's gone through several spells during which he will have a...

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Interpersonal Snot Wiping Behavior

Posted on 2/25/2014

Q: We are having a problem with our 32-month-old son. He picks his nose-most often in a public setting-and then proceeds to wipe it on other family members. It's disgusting. We have tried ignoring...

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Recent Questions

Picky picky picky!

Posted 3 weeks ago

My two year old grandson will only eat yogurt and cheese at my house and is picky at his grandad's as well. He does drink milk and juice. If I put out fruit or other foods, he won't even try...

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The Terrible 12's

Posted on 2/7/2019

A few months have passed. This school year seems to have been a big step for my now 12 year old. We have been struggling most of the school year and just got his grades for the second quarter. The...

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Hitting plus tantrums

Posted on 2/5/2019

HI there, we've been intensively working with our now 4.5 year old boy who had many, many behavioural problems. He is now much more cooperative after sessions with a good parent coach. However,...

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Kicked out of the Garden

Posted on 2/2/2019

My 9 yo daughter was kicked out of the garden a few days ago due to disobedience. By 10:00 this morning, she had lost all of the blocks on her behavior chart and was sent to her room for the rest...

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The Defiant Young Adult

Posted on 1/31/2019

My son turns 18 tomorrow. He seems to think this means he can do whatever he wants, including not doing what I ask. He is picking his girlfriend up at the airport this evening and I told him he...

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Emancipation is never easy

Posted on 12/29/2018

I am divorced and remarried for 16 years. My ex cheated on me multiple times. Since our divorce which was a 3rd marriage he has been married 3x since. His most recent wife is 30 years his jr and a...

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11 year old not paying attention to parents

Posted on 12/6/2018

I just reviewed a questions from another subscriber using a ticket system with a 7 year old to nip multiple behaviors in the bud. In the answer I read "You cannot disciple or discipline a child...

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Out of Control 7yr old

Posted on 10/27/2018

Hi, my husband and I would appreciate some advice on our situation with our 7 year old daughter. Her medication has become ineffective recently and we are at our wits end with what to do with...

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The High School Experiment

Posted on 10/22/2018

I feel like I ask the same questions all the time. My 12th grader is stressing me out, he is barely making his grades in school coming in at B, C, D's and E's. He's a good kid but I suspect...

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Strive

Posted on 9/26/2018

My step-daughter 14 has been telling her mom and dad on and off for years that she does not feel part of our household and wants to stay at her mom's house. This conversation usually starts up...

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Videos

Tell

Posted on 5/16/2014

Tell: do you "Tell" your kids or do you ask, negotiate, beg, and scream.

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