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

Disobedience/Defiance

John's Most Recent Articles

Kids Don’t Need Curing, They Need Correcting

Posted on 5/18/2021

No small number of today’s parents view their children through psychological lenses, especially when it comes to misbehavior. Instead of regarding a given misbehavior as simply an error that needs...

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Ear Infections and Misbehavior; Boundaries for Boys

Posted on 3/23/2021

Q: My three-year-old is prone to ear infections. When he has one, his behavior deteriorates considerably. He becomes disobedient and given to angry outbursts. When his ears are clear, he’s...

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The More You Try To Make Child Happy, the More Unhappy They Will Be

Posted on 1/19/2021

Making children happy became a parenting goal in the early 1970s. The paradox, as everyone with a modicum of commonsense knows, is that the more effort parents put into making a child happy, the...

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Advice for Preschool Teachers

Posted on 1/5/2021

Q: I teach 3- and 4-year-olds in a childcare center in Australia. I always have a few difficult children in any group and the book in which you describe Alpha Speech [The Well-Behaved Child] has...

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Leverage an End To Daughter's Defiance

Posted on 12/14/2020

Q: Our 14-year-old daughter desperately wants to begin wearing makeup, which all, and I mean all, of her classmates are allowed to do. We have held off not only because of our beliefs but also...

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Moodiness Is Merely a Bad Emotional Habit

Posted on 10/27/2020

Living with an emotionally dramatic child is no fun. They throw wet blankets over nearly every family gathering or outing. Little is right in their lives and attempts to cheer them up generally...

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Father's Visitation With Child Should Be Allowed

Posted on 1/15/2020

Q: Our ten-year-old granddaughter lives with us. We have custody of her but her father, our son, is now asking us for visitation privileges. I probably don’t need to tell you that both he and his...

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Tame Child's Disruptive Behavior at Holiday Get-Togethers

Posted on 12/3/2019

Q: I’m already dreading the holidays. Our eight-year-old is a very excitable child and our family is expected to attend numerous holiday get-togethers at the homes of family members. When he’s...

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Simple Solutions for Teens, Tantrums and Smartphones

Posted on 12/4/2018

Q: Our 15-year-old daughter is very demanding and, to be honest, self-centered. One of the things she does is ask one of us for something and demand an instant decision, as in, “Can I go to the...

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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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Recent Questions

Things You Can't Change

Posted 1 week ago

One of the moms in our play date group does not believe in disciplining her children. Her 4 year old son has meltdowns, takes toys from other children, and BITES when he doesn’t get his way. When...

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Convert Nap Time to Quiet Time As Toddler Outgrows Naps

Posted 2 weeks ago

My just turned 2 year old toddler is refusing naps. She has been out of routine since the clocks have changed and as we have just moved and not been at home for nap times so I’ve let her sleep in...

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8-Year-Old Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Posted 3 weeks ago

Sometimes my 8 year old is lovely and I feel so proud of him. Other times like today, I am speechless, humiliated, overwhelmed and defeated. I picked my son up from boys brigades and he was...

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A Bad Day at The Zoo or Sensory Processing Disorder?

Posted on 7/3/2021

My 4 year old son has been seeing an occupational therapist to help with his behavioral issues. She suggested that my son has a sensory processing disorder to explain why he will listen to...

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Tickets, Strikes and Keeping the Peace

Posted on 6/22/2021

I’ve attempted using the ticket system, but I’m getting confused. I have a 4 yr old and 7yr old. They fight, and argue about EVERYTHING. I put 3 tickets on the fridge- no tattling, no disturbing...

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Taming 5 year Old Stubbornness

Posted on 6/21/2021

My 5 year old daughters stubbornness cannot be tamed and I’m not sure what to do. I completely emptied her room 10 days ago. She had 2 blankets and a pillow and that’s it. She had shown great...

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18 MO Showing Herself In More Ways Than One

Posted on 6/18/2021

How do we discipline our 18 month old daughter? She has started throwing her toys or other items out of frustration or in an attempt to get our attention. She has also started slapping me. When...

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Teaching Respect

Posted on 6/13/2021

My twin 6-year olds (one boy, one girl) are pretty good kids most of the time. But recently we’ve been struggling. They listen and obey my husband and I, but they don’t listen to other adults....

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Hang in There!

Posted on 6/1/2021

When using the kicked out of garden method for target behaviors, do you have the child stay in the room? (We are assuming you do.) We have a 10-year-old boy who has been stealing things and lying...

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Toddler On The Run Needs To Stop In His Tracks

Posted on 5/20/2021

My 3 year old has started running away from me when we’re out, and also opening the front door and walking out. How should I handle this?

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