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

Discipline Methods (e.g. time-out)

John's Most Recent Articles

When To Use Time-outs

Posted 3 weeks ago

I was once an orthodox believer in the power of time-out—the practice of having a child sit in a somewhat isolated chair for five minutes or so immediately after said child has misbehaved. I...

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Time Out for Disrespectful 6-Year-old

Posted on 12/21/2021

Q: Whenever—and I most definitely mean every single time—I ask my six-year-old daughter to do something, she becomes very disrespectful. She stomps her foot, yells at me that I make her do...

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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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The Drama of a Child's Feelings

Posted on 4/20/2021

One of the more unfortunate consequences of relying on advice from mental health “experts” concerning parenting matters has been a one-dimensional understanding of child discipline. Because of the...

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Discipline vs. Punishment

Posted on 2/9/2021

Misusing terminology is not simply a matter of semantics. A person who confuses the meaning of words is likely to behave accordingly. That occurred to me during a conversation with...

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Parents Can Recover From Not Getting Over the 'Hump of Parenting'

Posted on 10/20/2020

Q: In a recent column, you identified toddlerhood as “the hump of parenting.” As a grandmother who managed to raise five kids who were out of the house in their early twenties and are responsible...

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Punishment Does Not Cause Mental Health Issues

Posted on 12/31/2019

This is the second in a series on “parent-babble,” as in the same-old, same-old nonsense the mental health industry has been passing off as sound parenting advice since the late 1960s. ...

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Use 'Alpha Speech' to Get Child to Obey

Posted on 5/14/2019

Q: My 7-year-old son, an only child, is giving me fits. He’s overly active and will not cooperate in any instruction I give him. In addition, if I tell him not to do something, it’s a guarantee...

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You Can't Win 'Em All

Posted on 3/5/2019

I’ve been writing this column for forty-three years and speaking publicly for nearly as long. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that when it comes to my subject matter, you can’t win ‘em...

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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

You're in Charge Now

Posted 1 week ago

Okay so I’m ready to administer a discipline plan for my daughter. My questions are; 1. How much is too much? I’m ready to take a lot of her favorite things away. But, what about life...

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What to Say, What to Do?

Posted 3 weeks ago

How much to say of what we know? We randomly review our 15 year old daughter's school laptop. We just did so for the first time this school year a few days ago. We found screenshots of messages...

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Importance of Presenting a United Parenting Front

Posted 3 weeks ago

This may be a complicated question: I have a question about my and my husband's parenting styles. I come from a conservative background, my parents were old school and traditional. Lots of...

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Disciplining With Tickets When Grandma Comes to Town

Posted on 12/29/2021

I just got your book, "The Well Behaved Child," and today I began using tickets (and Alpha speech) for my just 5-year-old son who is very loving and sweet but would be considered a "high...

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I am Woman, Hear Me Roar---Even Though I'm Only 4!

Posted on 12/7/2021

I am at my wits end. I am doing my best to do the ticket system with my children. My 4 year old daughter has maybe made it 1 day, at least until bedtime, without losing all of her tickets since we...

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Clarifying the Garden Kick

Posted on 12/4/2021

Does kicking out of the garden mean the child is confined to their new boring room for the duration of the time? Do you restrict them from playing outside with sibblings or friends? Can they...

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8-Year-Old Ruling the Roost (Follow-up)

Posted on 11/24/2021

Okay in regards to my prior question. I purchased the book. Thank you. Can you please tell me some examples of what you mean right now so I can start turning the tables ASAP! Instead of...

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Nip It. Nip It Good.

Posted on 11/17/2021

Hi ParentGuru, I have a question about our 5yr old son who has come home from prep (1st year of primary school here in Melbourne Australia) after an incident in which he threw another student's...

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Change Tactics to Curb 5-Year-Old's Outbursts

Posted on 11/11/2021

My otherwise mild-mannered son who just turned 5 has a habit of making vocal outbursts like a crazed lunatic or someone with mental problems. It's usually excited yelling or forced laughter...

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Five Year Old Slugger

Posted on 11/1/2021

Hello! We have a 5 year old who has been having some big problems hitting his parents and tutor. Although we have been using the ticket system for several months, his yelling and physicality have...

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