Discipline Methods (e.g. time-out)

John's Most Recent Articles

Discipline Differences Between Divorced Parents

Posted on 5/10/2022

Q: We see my husband's 9-year-old son every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. He has major issues in school with both behavior and doing his work. He's well behaved when he's with us, but...

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When To Use Time-outs

Posted on 1/4/2022

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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Recent Questions

3 year old in Hyper-Mode

Posted 3 days ago

My 3.5 year old will get hyper and annoying when he is overtired or overexcited. When he’s in a “hyper mode”, he’s running around, trying to roughhouse, jumping into people, being loud and...

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Neither Dis R-E-S-P-E-C-T, nor Hitch a Pissy Fit

Posted 1 week ago

Our 8 year old has grown increasingly disrespectful. He is perfect respectful to adults like teachers and parents of his friends, so it is primarily an issue at home. Often the disrespect is...

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Two Year Old Being Terrible

Posted 2 weeks ago

My 2.5 year old in the past week has been extremely irritable, refusing to eat almost anything that isn’t Mac and cheese, and has reverted back to taking 2 naps a day. Tantrums and screaming are...

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Continue Grounding a Good Samaritan?

Posted 2 weeks ago

My son has been grounded for a month as a punishment for breaking a house rule. Yesterday, he caught me before I fell off a bench. Since I have back problems, I very well could have permanently...

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Good Cop Bad Cop

Posted 2 weeks ago

Ongoing tiff with Husband. Example scenario: 3 1/2 year old daughter is harassing 1 1/2 year old daughter and is put in timeout in her room. Every time she's in timeout she's screaming and losing...

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The Terrible Threes: Taking a Powder with the Doctor

Posted on 5/25/2022

Threenagers worse than the terrible twos? My 3.5 yr old daughter is very disrespectful toward myself and my husband. She's frequently whining, throwing tantrums, and during those tantrums...

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Time for a Reboot

Posted on 5/18/2022

Since the first email our son (8yrs) was operated on for septic arthritis 6 months ago. The pain returned 2weeks ago (now gone). His hip bone has a small weakness and he needs to ensure he has no...

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Bedtime Monsters

Posted on 5/15/2022

My 9 year old won’t go to bed at night, constantly crying about monsters etc which has never been an issue before. It seems to be one thing after the other. If he could sleep in my bed he would...

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Posted on 5/15/2022

My 3.5 year old thinks he is running the show. He is bossy, and doing insubordination and attention seeking behaviors. I read your books and he was an easy toddler. But dad I forgot to use alpha...

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7-Year-Old's Annoying Antics

Posted on 4/27/2022

My daughter (almost 7) is becoming unbearable. She constantly makes an annoying voice and noises JUST with me (but will control it after spending a lot of time in her room and having privileges...

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