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

Only Children

John's Most Recent Articles

A Family is a Family

Posted on 3/20/2007

FORGET ADJECTIVES; ANY CHILD IS A CHILD, ANY FAMILY IS A FAMILY Parents frequently ask if I have written books on adjective-children (e.g. adopted children) or adjective-families (e.g. blended...

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Marriage Needs Outrank Child's Needs

Posted on 7/5/2005

A MARRIAGE'S NEEDS USUALLY OUTRANK CHILD'S Q: After 15 years of marriage, my wife and I are considering starting a family. She is 43, and I am 45. We waited this long because of health...

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5-Year-Old Should Entertain Self

Posted on 4/13/2004

5-YEAR-OLD SHOULD ENTERTAIN SELF Q: My 5-year-old son is a real people person. Several times a week he cries because he wants someone to play with him. I set aside 30-45 minutes each day to...

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5-Year-Old Needs to Occupy Self

Posted on 10/7/2003

SHOW KIDS THEY'RE SMART ENOUGH TO OCCUPY THEMSELVES Q: I'm a single mom who works full-time from home. At noon, I pick up my 5-year-old from her half-day kindergarten program. Unfortunately,...

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20-Year-Old Doesn't Like Parents' Restrictions and Rules

Posted on 3/25/2003

ADULT CHILD WINS POWER STRUGGLE Q: We have a 20-year-old daughter, an only child, who feels we have no right to restrict her behavior. For one, she refuses to go to church with us. Her curfew...

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7-Year-Old Sleeping with Parents

Posted on 2/4/2003

PERMISSIVE PARENTS NEED TO SHOW BOY WHO'S BOSS Q: How do you get a child out of your bed? Six months ago, I allowed our 7-year-old son and only child to sleep with me a few nights while my...

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Mom Does Not Like Her Friend's 5-Year-Old Bratty Only Child

Posted on 5/25/1999

SHOW CHILDREN WHAT IT COSTS TO ADOPT THEIR FRIENDS' BAD HABITS Q. I have a friend whose 5-year-old daughter is an only child. My children adore the ground she walks on even though she's a...

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Parents of 2-Year-Old Question If They Should Have More Children

Posted on 11/11/1997

WITH ONLY CHILD, GET OTHER KIDS' HELP Q. My husband and I have a 2-year-old boy. We question whether we want to have any more children. We'd like to know whether you have any particular...

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Don't Define Child by Category

Posted on 11/18/1994

IT'S BEST NOT TO DEFINE A CHILD BY A CATEGORY Peruse the Child Care section of any major chain bookstore today and you will find books on the ADD (attention deficit disorder) child, the LD...

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9-Year-Old is a Perfectionist

Posted on 2/5/1993

GIRL, 9, HAS TO HAVE EVERYTHING PERFECT Q. I have a 9-year-old daughter -- an only child - who is a perfectionist, and it's driving me crazy. For example, rather than simply correcting a...

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Recent Questions

Grow a Man by Growing Flowers

Posted on 7/8/2018

Hi. After being at a 4 hour playdate, my 10 yr old still makes me feel bad for not playing with him when he gets home. How do I handle a 10 yr old boy who needs to be entertained constantly? Is it...

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'Tis the Season of Leaving and Cleaving

Posted on 7/3/2018

My son has joined my practice which was always our plan. He brought his girlfriend (also a dr & now is wife) back. They lived with us for 2 years. I trained them, shared my practice & they kept...

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4 yro won't share

Posted on 1/5/2018

I host a few ladies and their kids at my house weekly. My four-year-old son (only child) usually starts off okay, but then loses his mind (yelling and telling the kids to leave) when they mess up...

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Why "why" doesn't really matter.

Posted on 8/21/2017

I have a 5 year old daughter who will start kindergarten in 4 days. I have used the 6 block chart for behavior issues with good success. For some reason, the last several weeks have seen her...

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Never argue with a 5 year old.

Posted on 7/16/2017

My one and only gives the vibe she is superior to her classmates by contradicting them, telling them they are wrong or having show off behaviour. I'm afraid she will not have any friends, but am...

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Wild Monkey at Naptime

Posted on 5/1/2017

I try to make a regular one hour quiet time for my 3 year old daughter every afternoon but things usually end negatively. She has, from birth, been a high needs kiddo and playing by herself seems...

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Homeschool to Public School for Lonely Preteen

Posted on 10/13/2016

I have been homeschooling my daughter since she was 6. She is now 12. My health is failing me and I haven't been able to drive her out to co-op or sports weekly, but only occasionally. She is a...

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4-Year-Old Gets Frustrated Easily

Posted on 4/16/2016

My son is 4 yrs. He is an only child. When trying something new, he gets very frustrated very fast if he can't do it right within a couple tries. This happens when practicing numbers, letter or...

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Social Life of a 2 Year Old

Posted on 6/5/2015

Our 2.5 yo daughter is an only child but extremely mature, talkative and social. She loves other kids and is dying to go to school. We go to story time at the library, but other than that we...

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Four year old cannot play by himself

Posted on 4/27/2015

Our 4.5 year old son is incapable of playing by himself. He either bothers his brother or lays on the floor and whines for me to play with him. I limit tv to one hour a day and we do not have...

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