"To be an effective disciplinarian, you must be a model of self-discipline. "

Miscellaneous Discipline Problems

John's Most Recent Articles

The Biggest Mistakes Parents Make (and How to Stop Making Them!) - Part 2

Posted on 2/11/2020

This is the second in a series of three columns on the Biggest Mistakes Parents Make (and How to Stop Making Them!). Last week, I identified giving children explanations for parental instructions,...

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Father's Visitation With Child Should Be Allowed

Posted on 1/15/2020

Q: Our ten-year-old granddaughter lives with us. We have custody of her but her father, our son, is now asking us for visitation privileges. I probably don’t need to tell you that both he and his...

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Playing War Games Not Unusual for Young Boys

Posted on 10/22/2019

Q: My normally happy 6-year-old son has recently started incorporating death and war-like games into his imaginative play. He isn't and has never been a mean-spirited child, but his dad and I just...

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"The Doctor" Is the Tool Every Parent Needs

Posted on 10/15/2019

I have good news for parents: You do not need more than a few tools in your disciplinary tool-bag. One especially valuable tool, one that belongs in every modern home, is the “Doctor.” The Doctor...

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Today's Parents Afraid Kids Won't Like Them

Posted on 8/13/2019

Short questions I’ve been asked of late (mostly by journalists) and proportionately short answers: Q: Is there a single most important thing parents should be teaching during their children’s...

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Emancipation of Adult Children Can Be Messy

Posted on 6/4/2019

When children were raised, reared, or simply brought up, they emancipated “on time.” Upon high school graduation, children went to college, into the military, or became employed. Some, like my...

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Kids Acting Up? Relax, It's Normal

Posted on 7/24/2018

Most of the stuff today's parents worry about - and let's face facts...the worrier in question, the worrier supreme, is almost always the mother (not because of some weakness, but simply because...

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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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Obedience: It's All in How You Ask for It

Posted on 3/1/2017

I’ve said it many times, but it bears repeating: A child’s natural response to the proper presentation of authority is obedience; as in, the first time the child is told to do something, he does...

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Recent Questions

Hands Off!

Posted 2 days ago

My 7 year is always making stupid annoying loud noises and shouting and he keeps doing this in his 8 month old sisters face. He also constantly grabs her hands and smothers her. They seem to get...

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Children, Vitamins and The Doctor

Posted 2 weeks ago

Any tips on getting 12 and 8 year olds to take supplements? We’ve tried everything to mask the taste but it seems more of a power struggle. Thanks!

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Give the Kid a Choice

Posted 4 weeks ago

We have a 35 month old son who is very loving, yet VERY strong-willed. I have read your book, and we have tried to implement the strategies recommended, but we find he is so defiant we would be...

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Spiraling Seven Year Old

Posted 4 weeks ago

I would like some advice on how to handle our 7 year old son. Our family has had an extremely tough season. We had to re-home the dog my children grew up with (my sons best buddy) due to my sons...

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Teaching 3 year old to listen the first time.

Posted on 2/9/2020

Is the targeted behavior (for the ticket system) “Refusing to do what we tell you to do” too general for 3.25 year old twins? We want to stomp out their habit of giving us push back/delaying/...

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10 Year Old Testing Boundaries

Posted on 2/8/2020

I have been using the alpha speech. I make mistakes sometimes, escalating my voice because I'm frustrated. On the most part I'm pretty consistent. I noticed in alpha speech you do no use...

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Time for a Reset

Posted on 1/12/2020

Clarification to my follow up question: When you say impose consequences... often my consequences are extra chores. I do not know what else to offer as a consequence. They're too young to take...

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6 and 9 Year Olds Won’t Do Chores

Posted on 1/12/2020

Follow up question: After reviewing chapter 3, i do believe I was using the ticket system properly... my targets were 1. Not doing as told 2. Lying 3. Talking back. The targets were the same...

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Alpha Speech is Key for Getting Kids to Obey

Posted on 1/10/2020

I have 2 girls, 9 & 6. They will not obey. They’ll lie that they did something and I have to verify completion or it’s never done. I used the ticket system and I had to take away every privilege...

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Hold Me! Never Let Me Go!

Posted on 1/8/2020

My daughter (age 2) demands to be held an excessive amount. By "excessive amount", I mean hours in a row. The more holding I give her, the more she demands. She gets furious when put down before...

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