"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....

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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

When 'Because I Said So' Isn't Working

Posted 2 weeks ago

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 2 weeks ago

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 3 weeks ago

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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8 Year Old Loves to Argue with Mom

Posted on 1/21/2020

My almost 8 year old boy has become quite skilled at arguing. In addition to arguing things that are easily proven false, he also contradicts you in casual conversation. I'm not sure if it's just...

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Stay the Course.

Posted on 1/14/2020

I used N75 with my first child and it was a snap. At 22 months she was without accidents within a few days. My second child was 22 months before the holidays. With traveling etc. etc. we...

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4 Year Old Biting Must Stop

Posted on 1/13/2020

Our 4 year old son's teacher called home today after school to tell us that he got into an argument with a peer over a toy. While pulling back and forth for the toy, our son bit the other child....

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Time for a Reset

Posted on 1/12/2020

Clarification to my follow up question: When you say impose consequences... often my consequences are extra chores. I do not know what else to offer as a consequence. They're too young to take...

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6 and 9 Year Olds Won’t Do Chores

Posted on 1/12/2020

Follow up question: After reviewing chapter 3, i do believe I was using the ticket system properly... my targets were 1. Not doing as told 2. Lying 3. Talking back. The targets were the same...

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Alpha Speech is Key for Getting Kids to Obey

Posted on 1/10/2020

I have 2 girls, 9 & 6. They will not obey. They’ll lie that they did something and I have to verify completion or it’s never done. I used the ticket system and I had to take away every privilege...

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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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