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

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

14 YO Boy Looking For Friends

Posted on 8/28/2019

My son is 14 years old. He is having a lot of issues around relationships with friends/girlfriends. He seems to be struggling with feeling secure in his relationships. He needs a lot of...

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6 yro has trouble occupying herself

Posted on 3/25/2019

Our 6-year-old daughter does not like to occupy herself. When we ask her to play by herself, she keeps coming from her room asking us to play with her or asking us to be with her. But when she is...

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Attention Addiction

Posted on 1/23/2019

Our son is 4 1/2 and is basically an only child as his older siblings are no longer living at home. Lately he seems to be having episodes of anxiety, and they seem to happen at various times. He...

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Liberating the Playmate Dad

Posted on 1/11/2019

I read the column by Dinah Bucholz, Stop Paying Attention to Your Kids. I'm struggling because this is my downfall. My daughter wants me to play with her constantly. I have an overwhelming sense...

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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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