"A child without rules is like a fish out of water. "

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

Obedience over Exasperation

Posted 1 week ago

Hello! We are currently working on one misbehavior of 6 years old son. He comes home from school and would not do what he has to do- wash hands, change cloth, do homework, eat and after do...

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Block System Dilemma

Posted 2 weeks ago

Our boys do not stay in their rooms when they are told to and repeatedly come out until they work their way to an early bedtime and then continue coming out often times loud and disruptive until...

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Annoying behaviors among family

Posted 1 month ago

I just found out my sister and her kids do not like having us visit because my daughter is always getting into their things and is too nosy. She is too touchy they said as well. I don't know how...

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One of the 7 Deadly Needs...The Need to be Right

Posted on 4/23/2018

My daughter is 8 years old and has to be in control and right about everything. If she gets in trouble at home or even misses a question on a test at school, she will not admit that she made a...

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Sass in the Second Stage

Posted on 3/12/2018

Hello, I'm confused about why in the second stage of parenting, ages 10 to 13, it appears that if a child yells at their parents or is disrespectful, there is an immediate consequence. For...

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Teens and Supplements

Posted on 2/15/2018

I am really enjoying John's book, Teen Proofing! Thanks, John! We have a brand new 12-year-old boy who has switched over from being kind, thoughtful, and sweet to being disrespectful,...

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Drugs

Posted on 2/8/2018

My 16 year old has some very straight friends and some that are experimenting with drugs. I am suspicious all the time and have drug tested him which he has passed. The party house is across the...

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Parental Rights and Decisions

Posted on 1/8/2018

I had a big fight with my daughter, she snapped and started hitting me. My husband, who's her stepdad, was trying to stop her by grabbing her hands and pulling her away. I called the police...

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4 yro won't share

Posted on 1/5/2018

I host a few ladies and their kids at my house weekly. My four-year-old son (only child) usually starts off okay, but then loses his mind (yelling and telling the kids to leave) when they mess up...

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Pre-Schooler Stuck in Season 1

Posted on 1/1/2018

Hi there, i have a little 3.5 year old who is completely out of control. I admit we have let him run the house a little bit as he is a little spitfire and makes things unpleasant(ie screams as...

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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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