Pre-Preschool (3 Year Old)

John's Most Recent Articles

On Chores, Discipline, Potty-Training

Posted on 3/29/2022

Q: When I give my 5-year-old daughter a chore, she does it, but all the while she is muttering under her breath, huffing and puffing, and so on. Do I discipline that behavior or just let her...

Read More

Patience With Young Daughter’s Questions Will Pay Off

Posted on 3/1/2022

Q: I’m concerned that my 3-year-old – she’s nearly 4 – daughter has some sort of language issue. For example, even though my brother’s family moved away nearly two years ago, whenever we drive by...

Read More

In Defense of ‘Because I Said So'

Posted on 2/1/2022

Q: Concerning chores, another expert recommends giving a child a certain number of chips, like poker chips, every month and if he or she fails to do a chore or doesn’t do it properly, you take a...

Read More

Avoid Telling Young Kids About Existential Threats

Posted on 1/18/2022

Q: My 3-year-old is fearful of trying anything new, including things that other kids his age love to do such as swinging on a swing, sliding down a slide, and splashing in a pool. I feel like I...

Read More

The Keys to Relatively Quick, Painless Toilet Training

Posted on 1/12/2022

Q: I recently tried toilet training my 32-month-old, but after a few days of no success, I decided to stop. A friend tells me to hang in there, but my pediatrician says my son isn’t ready. She...

Read More

Is This Battle Worth It?

Posted on 12/29/2021

Q: I have six-month- and thirty-two-month-old boys. The older one—well-mannered, easy going, very affectionate—attends a preschool program three mornings a week. This is his second year there. ...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

How to Prevent the Terrible Twos From Becoming the Terrifying Threes

Posted on 7/21/2020

One of my books, “Making the ‘Terrible’ Twos Terrific!”, has recently become a best-seller in China, of all places. Seriously! What sorts of problems are Chinese parents having with their...

Read More

Some Benchmarks on Toilet Training

Posted on 6/9/2020

“There’s no one-size-fits-all model of childrearing for all the world’s parents,” opines Alma Gottlieb, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. Gottlieb was quoted in an...

Read More
View All Articles

Recent Questions

Three-Year-Old's Sleep Patterns Changing

Posted 3 days ago

I believe my 3.5 year old is not getting enough sleep. He has toys in his room that he plays with during quiet time. He almost never naps anymore, but enjoys quiet time. Only recently has he...

Read More

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...

Read More

Ticket System questions

Posted 3 days ago

I have some questions regarding the ticket system for a 3.5 year old. 1. What if he loses all of his tickets at the end of the day? One time he lost his last ticket but it was right before...

Read More

3 Year Old boy Testing the Limits

Posted 5 days ago

My 3.5 year old boy has responded very well to the card system! 3 cards lost and spend the rest of the day in your room. He also knows that hitting/kicking a person /the wall would be game over...

Read More

Bedtime woes

Posted 1 week ago

My almost 3 year old has transitioned into a big girl bed. The first couple of nights went so well it felt too good to be true, however, after a good couple of nights, my daughter has cried...

Read More

Reining in Mr. 3 year old

Posted 1 week ago

Wow! My normally good natured, well behaved 3 year old grandson has been an absolute tyrant today. He will not listen to his parents, laughs and acts like everything is funny. They keep trying...

Read More

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...

Read More

Swimming Upstream

Posted 3 weeks ago

My 3.5 year old is a bit timid when it comes to physical things. For example, he won’t go down a slide, but then when I just shove him down it he has fun. My problem is swimming. Now I have an 8...

Read More

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...

Read More

The Third Year of Life - A Time to Learn and Blossom

Posted on 5/24/2022

What chores and responsibilities should a 3.5 year old have? Should there be a designate “workbook/learning” time every day?

Read More
View All Questions