"Children show respect for parents by obeying them. Parents show respect for children by expecting them to obey. "

Discipline Methods (e.g. time-out)

John's Most Recent Articles

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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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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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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Strike While the Iron Is Cold

Posted on 11/17/2017

Recently, a mother asked how she and her husband could make their 16-year-old son stop talking disrespectfully to them. So far, she said, they'd complained, threatened and occasionally taken his...

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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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Recent Questions

Mom Wants to Put a Lid on Potty Talk

Posted 6 days ago

My 5 year old son has frequently been using the following words out of context: butt, fart, toot, booger etc. He gets on these trash talking rants. He’s laughing and joking most of the time....

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Door-slamming, Window-banging, Stuff-throwing: Is This What Little Boys are Made of?

Posted 3 weeks ago

I have a high misbehaver and he has been on the ticket system for many months with two target misbehaviors of disobedience and fighting with his brother. I need some advice of how to switch him...

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Keep it Simple!

Posted on 3/10/2021

We have been doing the 6 block chart system with our 4 year old. We did the ticket system prior to this. He loses privileges on blocks 3 (LEGOs), 4 (Hot Wheels), and 5 (TV). He goes to his room on...

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New Approach Needed for Kindergartener

Posted on 3/10/2021

My six-year-old kindergartener has trouble sitting in his seat and paying attention in his school. His teacher reports that he will talk to himself under his breath during instruction time, get up...

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She's a Screamer!

Posted on 3/9/2021

My two year old daughter has developed a habit of screaming. She scream when doesn’t get what she wants or her brother takes something from her. How do I address this misbehavior? I know she is...

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Two year old screams while Mom is on the phone.

Posted on 3/9/2021

How do I get my two year old to not scream or ask questions while I’m on the phone?

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Public Nuisance

Posted on 3/7/2021

Hi! My daughter will be five in May. Her attention-seeking behavior when she's escalating are easy to deal with at home. We don't feed into it. However, when we're in public, it's a challenge....

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Knowing When and How to Use Time-Out With Toddler

Posted on 2/22/2021

Hello, I just asked a question the other day about toddler hitting, pushing, etc. When he does this, he is not having a tantrum. He is actually laughing. I was suggested to implement a time...

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Too Soon for Discipline?

Posted on 2/22/2021

Is it too early to discipline a 13 month old? My son is hitting & screaming A LOT and I swat his little hands when he hits and it does not phase him... Little swats on his bum do not phase him...

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4-Year-Old Hates Being Corrected

Posted on 2/18/2021

Hi! My 4.5 year old has a problem as of late being corrected. She runs away and hides in her room. When we check on her, she whines inaudibly or kind of yell/whines to be left alone. I don't...

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