"There are no argumentative children; only adults who argue with children."

Consequences/Punishment

John's Most Recent Articles

Make 'Em an Offer They Can't Refuse

Posted on 10/16/2018

When I was a child, my most important possession was my bicycle, followed closely by my radio. My bike was how I got around. I rode it to school, friend’s houses, pick-up...

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Let’s Revisit ‘Psychological Thinking’

Posted on 7/17/2018

I call it “psychological thinking,” referring to the tendency among parents of the last fifty years or so to attribute bad behavior on the part of a child to so-called “issues” that are thought to...

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Take Smartphone Away from Sassy Teen

Posted on 2/21/2018

Q: When our daughter, an only child, turned thirteen and entered the 8th grade, it was like a switch was flipped. Almost overnight, she went from being a sweet, respectful and obedient child who...

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Put a Lid on Materialistic Excess for Kid With Sticky Fingers

Posted on 7/19/2017

Q: We’ve just been informed that our 7-year-old son has been effectively “expelled” from the private school he attended last year because of repeated instances of stealing small items from...

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Parenting Magazine's Time-Out Technique 'Even Worse Than Before'

Posted on 6/27/2017

For several reasons, I am not a fan of parenting magazines. First, they reinforce the impression that child-rearing is a very complicated affair, requiring consulting with “experts” on a regular...

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America Needs a Parenting Retro-Revolution

Posted on 6/21/2017

I was honored to be a guest on my good friend Dennis Prager’s syndicated radio program the other day and as anyone who is familiar with my point-of-view on parenting matters will appreciate, much...

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Stay the Course With Rebellious Teen

Posted on 5/23/2017

Q: Our 18-year-old daughter is a month away from high school graduation and she is failing nearly every class! About six months ago, she took up with a group of young adults who are less than...

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Do Classroom Reward Systems Undermine Parental Authority?

Posted on 5/18/2017

<b>Q. My daughter's kindergarten teacher is using a reward system to manage classroom behavior. Children earn smiley faces for good behavior and can trade them in for prizes at the end of the...

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When Good Kids Go Bad

Posted on 2/7/2017

I'll never forget the morning of July 5 several years ago. A police car was parked outside my neighbor's house, and the crackling radio sounds pierced the quiet air. Someone, my neighbor said, had...

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Be Consistent in Attitude and Unpredictable With Consequences

Posted on 11/8/2016

One of the disadvantages of this job is that I rarely have enough space in which to say all that I’d like to say. Take last week’s column in which I said “Consequences should be employed whether...

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Recent Questions

The Headless Choresmen

Posted 2 days ago

Having completed "Parenting by the Book" , I sadly realize I have done my children no favors by doing so much for them. They are now 7 and 11 and need to be reminded to do every little thing. We...

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Put some Harsh in their Mellow

Posted 2 days ago

Our son recently turned 11. Having just finished "Parenting by the book" and almost done "Teenproofing" I am certain we started too late with "Gramma's rules" while we fumbled through time outs,...

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Little Slugger

Posted 5 days ago

Not sure if you can see my previous questions but my daughter 22 months is still hitting. In fact it’s getting worse. She really only hits me, occasionally my husband. Last suggestion was to put...

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Left Out in the Cold

Posted 6 days ago

Our son will be 3 in January and refuses to wear a jacket in the winter months. At times, we have forced him and other times we have allowed him to wear a sweater/vest in the hopes that he would...

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FOMO=NOMO

Posted 6 days ago

4 year old boy with FOMO (fear of missing out) Our 4 year old son melts down any time it’s time to leave somewhere fun (school, tennis, friends house, etc) is there anything I can do to nip this...

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Four year old boss

Posted 1 week ago

Please help. Whenever my parents come for a visit my four year old runs the show, tells them how to play and what to do, and runs over her two year old sister. I dread the visits. What are we to do?

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Longing for a peaceful home

Posted 2 weeks ago

What is your advice for a child who refuses to stay in their room? Up until recently we had been locking our daughter’s door when she had lost all her tickets on the ticket system. This last...

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Dad's Not on Board

Posted on 11/4/2018

Hi there, Susan Morley recently answered a question I posed concerning my son who has been caught with vape materials. She recommended strict consequences which I want to impose. His father,...

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4 year old annoying big sister and more

Posted on 11/2/2018

HI there, What do you suggest I do with a 4 year old boy who is constantly annoying his 7-year old sister by making lots of noise when she's practicing the piano (it's in the living room and a...

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6 year old's Target Misbehaviors must be concrete and specific

Posted on 10/29/2018

We have been doing the chart system for a week now with our 6 year old son targeting disrespect/defiance and disobedience. We started out with 8 squares a day. There have only been a few days when...

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