"Good parents take very, very good care of their marriage, lest their marriage become a mirage. "

Miscellaneous Discipline Problems

John's Most Recent Articles

Moodiness Is Merely a Bad Emotional Habit

Posted 3 days ago

Living with an emotionally dramatic child is no fun. They throw wet blankets over nearly every family gathering or outing. Little is right in their lives and attempts to cheer them up generally...

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

Posted 1 week ago

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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The More You Say “No," the Less Effective It Becomes

Posted 2 weeks ago

Q: Our first child, a boy, just turned two. Per your advice, he is toilet trained and eating whatever I serve. Before he was born, we determined that we were not going to raise a picky eater. Our...

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Where We All Went Wrong

Posted on 8/25/2020

My profession, psychology, began demonizing traditional childrearing in the late 1960s. I was in graduate school at the time and on fire for the promise that the proper use of psychological...

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Appreciate the Odd Among Us

Posted on 5/26/2020

I have come up with a new psychological diagnosis, one that I won’t, however, be submitting for approval to the powers that be: simply, odd. My “odd” is to be distinguished from ODD, the acronym...

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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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Recent Questions

Potty Training Isn’t the Same for Each Child

Posted 5 days ago

I began potty training my second son 6 days ago. He is so different than my first! Help! He doesn't seem too concerned about messes. He simply says "Uh-oh" and keeps on playing. When I say "Go sit...

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Sassy 2 year old

Posted 5 days ago

28 month year-old son uses nasty tone and says “don’t say that to me!“ Or “don’t talk to me like that!“ ‘No!!’. I know this is part of being a toddler but if I engage back and let him know it is...

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Adjusting to a New Pre School Can Be Hard

Posted on 9/25/2020

We are struggling with our 3-year-old at school. She started in PK-3 this year at a new school. The past 3 years she has been in daycare/pre-school. Where to begin... and by the way all of these...

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3D Snapshot of the Mien of a Tween: not a Pretty Picture

Posted on 9/23/2020

My 12 year old son is stealing money out of my purse. He has a long history of defiance, sneakiness, and lying. He is also disrespectful, and disobedient. We suspect he's been stealing money for...

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A Fine Whine?

Posted on 9/20/2020

Looking for help for whining for our 28mo. We have tried saying "that's whining. We can't hear whining. Use your happy voice." and even the raising eyebrows suggestion, for the last 7 or so...

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Disrespectful 8-Year-Old

Posted on 9/19/2020

We have noticed more ungrateful and entitled behavior in my 8 year old son recently. During a trip to the zoo, he became upset and was rude and disrespectful when I would not buy him food and ice...

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Welcome to the Terrible Twos!

Posted on 8/30/2020

When I get ready in the morning I let my 21 month old play with cotton balls and bandaids and other non harmful bathroom supplies. When I was done I told him to pick up the the cotton balls (he...

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Wean him off the addiction of attention

Posted on 7/25/2020

My three year old hates being by himself. He seems to be a very social kid and would much rather talk to or play with someone than alone. That being said, his younger brother is too young to play...

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3-yo boy "can't" manage to put away his toys

Posted on 7/23/2020

My son routinely says "I can't" when asked to pick up his toys or clean up a mess he made and he will do everything possible to get out of doing his part! He is very stubborn and timeout, taking...

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Parents Need to Be On The Same Page

Posted on 7/23/2020

What if both parents in the home are not on the same page, can bad behavior be corrected?

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