"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 yesterday

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

Taming the Class Clown

Posted 2 days ago

My son is 8 years old and I'm trying the "out of the garden" to correct some behaviors. He's already corrected two of them but having trouble with his 3rd misbehavior which is having a good day at...

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Don't Play Dumb With Me

Posted 1 week ago

My son is 8 years old and is having behavioral problems. One of his issues is playing dumb. He always acts like he doesn't know what he's supposed to be doing and is always leaving his belongings...

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5 year old boy behaves better at home than at school

Posted 1 week ago

My 5 year old son is in preschool, and we are working very hard on his behavior and manners. He still has tantrums which I am working hard to end. Lately, when he has a tantrum or is disrespectful...

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Cranky Kindergartner

Posted 1 week ago

My 5 year old daughter started full day kindergarten one month ago. She comes home exhausted and cranky and her behavior is inappropriate. She is unkind to our family and demanding. She has melt...

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Forgetful Schooler

Posted 3 weeks ago

Hi there, how can I discipline a 7 year old girl who is always forgetting instructions to be completed? I would giver her 2 or 3 instructions and she completes 1 or 2 of them, or completes all but...

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Tickets for "Dis"ing

Posted 4 weeks ago

I would like to start using the ticket system (again!) with our older 2 kids who are 5.5 years old and 4 years. How can I effectively explain the behavior of disrespect to our kids so they have...

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Withholding Birthday From 7 Year Old

Posted 4 weeks ago

Hi, My 7 year old daughter has a perfect word that describes her actions towards her home school and chores, and that word is lollygag. I have frustrations with this and have for awhile. I had to...

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Rebellious 17 YO Daughter

Posted 4 weeks ago

my 17 year old daughter continues to lie to us. At age 15 she snuck out and bought a cell phone and lies have continued since then. She has stolen money from me. She just totaled the car we let...

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4 yro not listening

Posted on 9/11/2018

Good afternoon. I am still struggling with my 4 year old son. He has a lot of trouble listening to directions, no matter what consequences have been put in place. We've taken away privileges, put...

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Book Trouble

Posted on 9/2/2018

My almost 4 year old tears books, as in the covers off or page(s) out of books. We have removed all books from his room. We have found that when we do find a book that is torn it is a result of...

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