"A father's contribution to his children is primarily a measure of how much he adores their mother. "

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

Cutting the Mealtime Cord

Posted 2 weeks ago

Hello! Our second and youngest daughter is going on three in a month. I am wondering about realistic expectations at the dinner table for her; especially if she is able to eat herself and can...

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Big Sister 11 wants some space from 8 year old brother

Posted on 6/24/2020

Thank you so much for the thoughtful and helpful ways you've equipped me as a parent since signing up to this site. I've come to understand that I should let my kids resolve issues they have with...

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Parenting Material is for Parents, Not Kids.

Posted on 6/1/2020

Is it ok to go through your material with our 12 year old son listening? It seems like he would understand better this way?

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Misbehavior list increases

Posted on 4/14/2020

Please help! Our almost 5-year old daughter behaves terribly and we do not know where to start. We read the book Well-behaved Child but we also need individual consultation with you. A little...

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Helping Kids Develop Good Habits Without Nagging

Posted on 4/14/2020

My 7 year old has a habit of leaving lights on when he leaves the room, leaving the toilet seat up, not flushing the toilet chain, leaving rubbish out, not putting his laundry in basket etc. How...

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Children, Vitamins and The Doctor

Posted on 3/11/2020

Any tips on getting 12 and 8 year olds to take supplements? We’ve tried everything to mask the taste but it seems more of a power struggle. Thanks!

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When 'Because I Said So' Isn't Working

Posted on 2/9/2020

I have the audible version of Parenting by the Book, which I love & has been very helpful. In one part of the book Dr. Rosemond gives a few simple explanations that are ok to give to children,...

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10 Year Old Testing Boundaries

Posted on 2/8/2020

I have been using the alpha speech. I make mistakes sometimes, escalating my voice because I'm frustrated. On the most part I'm pretty consistent. I noticed in alpha speech you do no use...

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"Note to self"

Posted on 1/31/2020

I recently showed my 3 year old daughter a video of me nursing her when she was a baby. What I thought would be a sweet moment of her watching herself bonding with me as a baby didn't exactly...

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How to Tame the Whining

Posted on 1/29/2020

My 5-year-old has regressed with his whining. His baby brother is going through his terrible 2’s, and I’m not sure if he’s trying to copy that behavior. I am presently trying to send him to his...

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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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