"In the eyes of a child, parents are "mean" when the child discovers that they mean what they say. "

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

Sass in the Second Stage

Posted 1 week ago

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...

Read More

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,...

Read More


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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Disrespect from a 13 y/o boy

Posted on 12/29/2017

My 13 yr old son is disrespectful to his Dad! My son knows how to push his buttons to the point my husband says hurtful words like "you're a bad human" and loses control and starts to yell. I do...

Read More

The Phone is Not the Problem

Posted on 10/4/2017

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 on 10/1/2017

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
View All Questions



Posted on 5/16/2014

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

Read More
View All Videos