"How do you get a child to do what he's told the first time he's told? Don't ever repeat yourself. "

Mothers

John's Most Recent Articles

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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Boundaries with Children

Posted on 4/12/2011

Moms must enforce boundaries with children A journalist recently began an interview with me with this question: "What is the biggest problem in American parenting today? Is it sex, drugs,...

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Mom's Anxiety Over Child Starting Kindergarten

Posted on 12/28/2010

Child off to school sets off mom's angst trigger Q. Since the oldest of my three children started kindergarten this year, I have become increasingly attached to her, as if I took for granted...

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Recent Questions

Too Much To-Do From a Toddler

Posted 4 days ago

My daughter is 21 months. She constantly wants me to hold her when we are home. I cannot keep it up. If I don’t hold her when she wants, she cries and cries. Help! What should I do? Also, she’s...

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Expect her to obey

Posted 1 week ago

My two and a half year old does well with listening when I use alpha speech and she is looking at me. I usually tell her, "Look at mommy" before I tell her what to do because I have found that if...

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The Struggle is Real

Posted 1 week ago

We have struggled with our child being ashamed to be seen with either of us (her parents) in public, to the point that she acts in a way that hurts us. She is now in middle school (7th grade);...

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Mom looking for Plan B to make Toddlerhood easier

Posted 2 weeks ago

I have a perhaps unusual question. We are about to embark on toddlerhood and toilet training, and want to be prepared in case things don't go smoothly. I think we will need an alternative to...

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Harsh Consequences?

Posted 3 weeks ago

I have been using the ticket system with my 5-year-old for about a week now. When he loses his tickets he’s sent to his room for the remainder of the day. However, my son seems to be dealing with...

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Be the Alpha Female

Posted on 10/10/2019

Our 5 yo son is very well-behaved at school (he just started kindergarten 6 weeks ago) but his behavior has worsened by extremes at home. Especially at bedtime, if I don't snuggle him in his bed...

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Dinner Time Battle of the Wills

Posted on 9/16/2019

My 3 year old daughter has developed a bad habit at dinner time. Although she’s usually pretty good to try new foods, every now and then she will - for some unknown reason - hold a bite of food in...

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Behavior getting worse not better

Posted on 9/15/2019

I just started reading the well behaved child. I have a 6 year old girl and a 10 year old boy. Their behavior has gotten worse. My daughter comes out of her room constantly after having been...

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Grandparent Etiquette

Posted on 9/15/2019

I am a single mom with a 6-year-old girl. Both sets of grandparents live close by, and she is very close to both of them. I am trying to teach her that when we visit, she is to say hello,...

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Don't give up!

Posted on 9/7/2019

Few days ago, I posted a question regarding my 23 month old who is strongly refusing to sleep on her own, and Kaye Wilson answered my question under the 2-yo Bedtime Tyrant title. I have been...

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