"How do you get a child to do what he's told the first time he's told? Don't ever repeat yourself. "

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More
View All Articles

Recent Questions

7 year old boy needs leadership to solve the problem

Posted 2 days ago

We are using the Strike System with our two children. Our seven year old boy often receives all of his strikes as he is a High Misbehaver (currently) and is sent to his room. However, he will not...

Read More

Sibling Rivalry

Posted 3 days ago

my daughters, age 5 and 2, constantly fight. I agree siblings need to settle their own quarrels; however, my 2 year old is still physically agressive (pulling hair, hitting), and sometimes I...

Read More

Youngsters 3.5 and 5.5 yo disturbing the peace

Posted 1 week ago

I have three boys, 5.5 and 3.5 years old, and an 8-month-old baby. The older two share a bedroom and are homeschooled. When they are not doing an instructed activity or chore, they disturb the...

Read More

7th grade boy and school tech use

Posted 1 week ago

My 7th grader boy is at a new school. He has gotten a detention for looking at baseball videos on his computer during class. So I grounded him and took everything away..once off being grounded he...

Read More

Why Should Children Listen?

Posted 1 week ago

I received a response from Sarah Hamaker, thank you. I'm writing in response to your response. As I said in my 1st note, this situation has been going on since our 14 year old was probably about...

Read More

Separate but Equal

Posted 1 week ago

I have an introverted, sensitive (gentle and kind) four-year-old son and an extroverted, physically rambunctious two-year-old son. The two year old is physically aggressive (biting and hitting)...

Read More

Suddenly defiant.

Posted 2 weeks ago

My daughter turned 4 this week. She is sweet and doesn’t require tons of discipline for the most part ( although the last two weeks have proven differently). It’s like she woke up a different...

Read More

The Terrible 12's

Posted 2 weeks ago

A few months have passed. This school year seems to have been a big step for my now 12 year old. We have been struggling most of the school year and just got his grades for the second quarter. The...

Read More

Mom, the Meanie...

Posted 2 weeks ago

My 4yr old son recently has been saying to me he wants a new mom. This started after he was disciplined got mad at me and said I was a mean mom. How should I address this issue when my son says...

Read More

Hitting plus tantrums

Posted 2 weeks ago

HI there, we've been intensively working with our now 4.5 year old boy who had many, many behavioural problems. He is now much more cooperative after sessions with a good parent coach. However,...

Read More
View All Questions