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

Miscellaneous Discipline Problems

John's Most Recent Articles

How To Help Your Child Get More Grit

Posted 2 weeks ago

It’s all over the web, that “grit” thing. Seems like every day, I get some promo for a webinar on how to get more grit, project more grit, or get in touch with your inner grit. So, allow me to...

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Psychological Parenting Is a Prescription for Enabling

Posted on 8/24/2021

Q: In your column, you have often spoken of “psychological parenting.” What, exactly, do you mean by that? A: Answering your question requires that we first unpack the word “parenting,” the...

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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 Futility of Reasoning With Children

Posted on 5/4/2021

Many if not most if not almost all of today’s parents believe in magic words. They do so because the mental health professional community has for fifty years or so told them that children can be...

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The More You Try To Make Child Happy, the More Unhappy They Will Be

Posted on 1/19/2021

Making children happy became a parenting goal in the early 1970s. The paradox, as everyone with a modicum of commonsense knows, is that the more effort parents put into making a child happy, the...

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Moodiness Is Merely a Bad Emotional Habit

Posted on 10/27/2020

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

Posted on 10/13/2020

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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Recent Questions

The Doctor Can Help!

Posted 3 weeks ago

Our middle child, a 5 year old boy, has intense emotions. We have (re)started the ticket system with him and his older brother, and he consistently loses tickets after school in the car. We have...

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Time for A Garden Kick

Posted on 8/27/2021

We have our 12 year old son's phone locked for certain reasons. If his grades slip below a B we lock it so he can only call family, if he is disrespectful or doesn't complete his chores, his...

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"Anything for Attention and The Most Annoying Thing Ever"

Posted on 8/11/2021

I have a seven year old boy who is a copycat. There are adults around him who clear their throat, so now he is clearing his throat. It has become a habit and when he gets mad, he exaggerates it...

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Convert Nap Time to Quiet Time As Toddler Outgrows Naps

Posted on 7/17/2021

My just turned 2 year old toddler is refusing naps. She has been out of routine since the clocks have changed and as we have just moved and not been at home for nap times so I’ve let her sleep in...

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8-Year-Old Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Posted on 7/15/2021

Sometimes my 8 year old is lovely and I feel so proud of him. Other times like today, I am speechless, humiliated, overwhelmed and defeated. I picked my son up from boys brigades and he was...

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Helping Child Deal With Frustration

Posted on 7/6/2021

I am writing because I do not know how to handle an issue with my 9 year old son. He is a very good student in school, has never been in trouble and all of his teachers sing his praises. He is...

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A Bad Day at The Zoo or Sensory Processing Disorder?

Posted on 7/3/2021

My 4 year old son has been seeing an occupational therapist to help with his behavioral issues. She suggested that my son has a sensory processing disorder to explain why he will listen to...

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Tickets, Strikes and Keeping the Peace

Posted on 6/22/2021

I’ve attempted using the ticket system, but I’m getting confused. I have a 4 yr old and 7yr old. They fight, and argue about EVERYTHING. I put 3 tickets on the fridge- no tattling, no disturbing...

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Taming 5 year Old Stubbornness

Posted on 6/21/2021

My 5 year old daughters stubbornness cannot be tamed and I’m not sure what to do. I completely emptied her room 10 days ago. She had 2 blankets and a pillow and that’s it. She had shown great...

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Lock Up

Posted on 6/15/2021

I am reading through John’s terrific 2 book and he mentions using child locks on kitchen cabinet doors etc but I am in rented accommodation and not allowed to put fitted child locks on the kitchen...

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