""No" is one of the most character-building words in the English language. Say it often, and mean it. "

Disobedience/Defiance

John's Most Recent Articles

Tame Child's Disruptive Behavior at Holiday Get-Togethers

Posted 4 days ago

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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Authoritative Attitude Is Key to Discipline

Posted on 5/2/2018

Q: We are having no success getting our 3-year-old (her third birthday is in a couple of weeks) to do what we tell her to do. She defies us at every opportunity, whether it’s just ignoring us or...

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Don't Tolerate Sassy Behavior

Posted on 11/15/2017

Q: Our 8-year-old has suddenly developed a very sassy mouth. She picked this up from a new neighborhood friend who speaks to her mother in a very disrespectful tone, like she’s the girl’s...

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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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Kids Are Happiest When Obedient

Posted on 4/25/2017

Q: I’ve read enough of your writings to know that you believe children should be obedient, that they should do what they are told. I want my children to think for themselves and to question...

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Medicine Doesn't Cure Misbehavior

Posted on 7/26/2016

Q: Our son is a rising second-grader at a private school. Last year, his behavior was often disruptive and sometimes even downright defiant—problems his first grade teacher did not have with him....

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Custody Issue: Teen Acts Aggressively Towards Mother

Posted on 1/12/2016

Q: My ex-husband and I have pretty much fifty-fifty custody of our 15-year-old son, who has become infected with his father’s disrespect for me. When he’s with me, he makes it very clear that he...

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Recent Questions

Argumentative 10-Year-Old Needs a Reality Check

Posted 1 week ago

Argumentative 10 year old- May daughter is pushing back on everything. When told to do something (anything) she grumbles, sighs, complains, etc. My husband and I have been working on "yes mom,...

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Rebellious 25 monts old

Posted 2 weeks ago

Hi My 25 month old daughter is potty trained now. I started when she was 23 month old, and 3 weeks ago until she got completely trained even at night. since yesterday she has been having pee...

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Reservations about Resetting the Dial

Posted 2 weeks ago

This question is for Sharon Lamberth: Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply regarding my family's discipline situation. I agree that my husband and I need to do the things you suggested,...

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Managing Misbehavior on Vacation

Posted 3 weeks ago

After a long string of troubling incidents involving our 7yr old (soon to be 8) son, we decided to try John's "kicking out of the garden" strategy. We are going on vacation (gone 9 days) next...

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Toddler Tests the Limits

Posted 3 weeks ago

My son is 11 months old today. When I tell him not to touch something, he will almost immediately touch the item. When he does, i remove the item from his hand and tell him that he is not allowed...

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Being in charge means...

Posted 4 weeks ago

How do you recommend dealing with whining and bad attitudes? We we using the ticket system with our 5 year old and it is helping with bigger bad behaviors. We are working to use Alpha speech and...

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When Normal Becomes a Disorder

Posted on 11/6/2019

My son is six years old, and he started kindergarten this year. Somewhere around week three or four, I got a call from his teacher stating that he has "impulsivity issues". I did a quick google...

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4-Year-Old Running the Show

Posted on 10/31/2019

What if our 4 year old refuses to stay in his room after he loses his 5 tickets?

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A Tale of the Terrible Twos

Posted on 10/27/2019

What is the appropriate response when a toddler misbehaves while you're in the middle of an activity you cannot just walk away from to redirect or deter them immediately? Here are a few...

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Train Him Up

Posted on 10/24/2019

How do you deal with a 4 year old that when he is told “no” or asked to do something he does not want to do, ends up doing that specific thing or has a tantrum to some degree or another. How do...

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