"As children grow older, parents must give them greater freedom, including greater freedom to make mistakes. "

Miscellaneous Discipline Problems

John's Most Recent Articles

Father's Visitation With Child Should Be Allowed

Posted 1 week ago

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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Paradoxical Parenting Principle

Posted on 9/15/2015

One of the problems I occasionally struggle with is that of giving unsatisfactory answers to people’s questions. By that, I mean answers I know are unsatisfactory in the sense that they do not...

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Recent Questions

Time for a Reset

Posted 1 week ago

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 1 week ago

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 2 weeks ago

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 2 weeks ago

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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Potty Setback

Posted 4 weeks ago

My son, who is two and a half and well potty trained, has recently taken to pooping in his pants and/or on the floor. Timeouts do not seem to be effective. I tell him that "only babies poop in...

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Mom needs to wake up

Posted on 11/25/2019

I’ve read the question “Resetting the dial” - while we don’t have a big family, we do want to start having some family rules e.g. Come when you are called, do not disturb the family peace, getting...

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Ignoring Bad Habits

Posted on 11/25/2019

My 9-year-old daughter still puts things in her mouth and chews on them like a toddler: Lego pieces, wrappers, etc. It seems like she has an oral fixation and always needs to be chewing or sucking...

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Managing Misbehavior on Vacation

Posted on 11/16/2019

After a long string of troubling incidents involving our 7yr old (soon to be 8) son, we decided to try John's "kicking out of the garden" strategy. We are going on vacation (gone 9 days) next...

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Nip Physical Aggression in the Bud

Posted on 11/8/2019

We have been doing the ticket system with our four-year-old for the last four days. He has one targeting behavior, “refusing to listen,” and five tickets. Every day since we started, he has lost...

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17 YO Boy's Odd Behavior

Posted on 11/5/2019

17 year old grandson has hidden lady’s purses under bed or in a drawer. They are empty and he gets them from family homes(ones no one uses). Happened about 4 times with fairly long lengths of...

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