"A child without rules is like a fish out of water. "

Mothers

John's Most Recent Articles

Proper Discipline of a Child Is an Act of Love for One’s Neighbor

Posted 3 weeks ago

I’ve learned a new word! My daughter informs me that according to some mothers I am guilty of “mom-shaming” and should be ashamed of myself. I am an unashamed mom-shamer because I happen to...

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Maternabling is Destructive to Parent-Child Relationship

Posted on 12/10/2019

“You’ve accused mothers of being in co-dependent relationships with their children,” she (a journalist) said, then asked, “What is co-dependency, exactly, and how does it apply to today’s...

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What Constitutes a Good Mother?

Posted on 5/16/2017

By the time this column appears in most papers to which it is distributed, Mother’s Day 2017 will have come and gone. Nonetheless, I’m going to talk about mothers—one in particular. ...

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Hey, Moms: There's More to Life Than Raising Children

Posted on 3/8/2017

A couple of months ago, following a talk I gave in Georgia, a woman told me she had been offended by my many references to mothers who are enmeshed in their children's lives. These women, when...

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Use Practical, Not Psychological, Approach to Childrearing

Posted on 1/3/2017

One of the biggest problems among today’s parents—especially mothers—concerns their tendency to think in psychological terms about their children’s behavior problems. Mothers are more prone to...

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In a Family, Parents' Relationship Comes First

Posted on 12/28/2016

I recently asked a married couple who have three kids, none of whom are yet teens, “Who are the most important people in your family?” Like all good moms and dads of this brave new...

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Adults, Especially Moms: Keep It Interesting!

Posted on 5/27/2015

My mother was a most unusual woman for her generation. She divorced my father when I was three, went to college and eventually obtained a Ph.D. in plant morphology when women were not heartily...

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Micromanaging Mom and Uninvolved Father

Posted on 11/29/2011

The micromanager mom and the man-child dad Devon Corneal is an attorney and a writer. Her essay "Can You Hear Me Now? Why Parents Can't Get Kids to Listen" was published online by The...

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Give Children What They Need and Little of What They Want

Posted on 11/22/2011

Respect children; don't idolize them A young mother who identified herself as a practitioner of "attachment parenting" recently told me that "children should be approached with reverence." I...

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Step-Family Issues: Parent From the Marriage

Posted on 11/15/2011

How to 'parent from the marriage' Q: Several years ago, I married a widower who never disciplined his children. They are now 9, 14 and 16 and he still has a very difficult time denying them...

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Recent Questions

Hands Off!

Posted 1 week 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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Co-Parenting precautions continued

Posted 1 week ago

My 7 year old son has picked up on some terrible slang while with his father. Everything is “banging mate” as one example. It sounds horrendous. How do I stop this?

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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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Mom Wants 13-Month-Old to Stop Screaming

Posted on 1/20/2020

Hi. I am having some difficulties with my 13-month-old. He is stubborn, disobedient and he screams quite a bit if he doesn’t get his way. He does not yet talk, and I was told that screaming is his...

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Little Victories

Posted on 1/16/2020

Not a question; more of a comment of thanks. I started the Ticket Method (at home for both home and school behaviors) a week ago and today my son's teacher (1st grade) sent me an email stating...

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3 year old needs more time to adjust to playing at preschool

Posted on 1/13/2020

Hi! I have spoken with a coach via email, and was happy with the response. I recently spoke with my recently turned 3 year old son’s teachers, and had a chance to sit in on one of his church child...

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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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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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Is Child's Threat of Suicide a Cry for Help or for Attention?

Posted on 1/9/2020

My oldest is eleven and started middle school this year. Overall it has been a smooth transition. She has a great group of friends and likes school. She does not have a phone and has very limited...

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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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