"If you think childrearing is difficult, it will be. "

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....

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

"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....

Read More

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...

Read More

"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...

Read More

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...

Read More
View All Articles

Recent Questions

The Phone is Not the Problem

Posted 1 week ago

So, in response to the answer to my question I have a few other questions. In the past few days a lot has transpired and my husband and I really had it out over my son. I understand a lot of his...

Read More

Lower the Boom on 18 year old son

Posted 2 weeks ago

My son has just turned 18 and is a senior in high school. He had his first job this summer doing construction work with some people we know. He did well getting up early and they said that he...

Read More

11 yr old Effort and Responsibility

Posted on 9/6/2017

I am the Dad of an 11 year old (6th grade). She is not giving good effort at school. My wife and I have told her it is her responsibility and she needs to get help from the teachers, study...

Read More

Pay Your Way

Posted on 8/28/2017

Hello, I've been asking questions for a few years now about my daughter. I've read John's book "The Well Behaved Child." My question regarding my now 7 year old daughter is this: How do I...

Read More

Stop Feeding the Beast

Posted on 8/28/2017

HI there, We are currently disciplining our 6 year old daughter for not eating her lunch most days. The problem she claims is that they turn on the TV during lunch so she doesn't eat. She also...

Read More

16 Year Old Daughter's Continued Rebellion

Posted on 8/6/2017

I wrote a few months ago about my daughter who I caught drinking. It turns out that it wasn't a blip on the radar with her. Given her behavior of late (defensive, sneaky), I tracked her location...

Read More

Never argue with a 5 year old.

Posted on 7/16/2017

My one and only gives the vibe she is superior to her classmates by contradicting them, telling them they are wrong or having show off behaviour. I'm afraid she will not have any friends, but am...

Read More

Angry Outbursts from a 3-year-old

Posted on 5/21/2017

Every time I tell my 3 1/2 year old to do something (ex: put your cup up on the table more instead of on the edge, don't jump around in the kitchen, etc.) she crosses her arms and grunts. Or she...

Read More

Argumentative 10 Year Old

Posted on 5/11/2017

We have been attempting to correct our 10 year old son's attitude. He argues with EVERYTHING, is so disrespectful, and always has to have the last word. He is also rude to his sister. We have...

Read More

9 yo boy needs boom lowered

Posted on 4/13/2017

My youngest son is 9 years old. He has an older brother who is 11 years old. My 9 year has always had a temper/anger problem when things don't go his way. He reacts by having a tantrum. He has...

Read More
View All Questions

Videos

Tell

Posted on 5/16/2014

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

Read More
View All Videos