"If you think childrearing is difficult, it will be. "

Miscellaneous Discipline Problems

John's Most Recent Articles

Kids Don’t Need Curing, They Need Correcting

Posted 3 weeks ago

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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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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Recent Questions

Stop!

Posted 4 weeks ago

My two year old daughter has recently been running away from me when we are in parking lots or near the street. I gave her a firm spanking, but she keeps doing it. What should I do?

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Teaching the Difference Between Inside and Outside Voice

Posted 4 weeks ago

Both my children are blessed with loud voices. My efforts to stop them screaming inside our house and car have failed. Do you have any ideas on how to stop it or a good consequence every time they...

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Who's in Charge?

Posted on 5/10/2021

I gave my son (15) liberty to listen to music via YouTube. He likes rap and for awhile listened to clean versions of songs. But that recently changed. He told me that the song Rap Star by Polo G...

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7 year old curiosity

Posted on 5/7/2021

Last night after his shower, I noticed my son who is 7, had not come out of the bathroom for about 15 minutes. So, I got out of bed-to go see what the delay was. This was after he had nosed...

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Too Much?

Posted on 4/26/2021

I have two daughters, ages 9 and 11. I have noticed that they have a short attention span when it comes to their free-time activities. For example, they may play with Legos for 20 minutes and...

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Coaching Kids Through Frustrations

Posted on 4/23/2021

My 11-year-old boy has Aspergers . He gets frustrated easily. What should I do?

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An almost 3 year old is 2

Posted on 4/20/2021

After a time out, should we ask for almost 3 year old to apologize to his 1 1/2 year old sister? If not, why?

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She's Got an Arm!

Posted on 4/13/2021

My 2 year old daughter is throwing anything and everything she can find when she feels upset or does not get her way ... any advice? We have tried ignoring it but she just grabs more things to...

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Indulgent Grandparents

Posted on 4/12/2021

My 6 year old son has been spending more time with my parents without me present for special time. When I’m not there he has a level of indulgence that I think is probably common at grandparent’s...

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6 year old boy won't wipe after using the bathroom

Posted on 4/7/2021

My 3 month shy of 7 year old boy won’t wipe when he goes to the bathroom which results in poop in his underwear. I’ve taught him how to wipe, but he says he doesn’t like it. I make him clean out...

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