""No" is one of the most character-building words in the English language. Say it often, and mean it. "

School Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

Is This Battle Worth It?

Posted 4 weeks ago

Q: I have six-month- and thirty-two-month-old boys. The older one—well-mannered, easy going, very affectionate—attends a preschool program three mornings a week. This is his second year there. ...

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Choose 1 of 2 Paths With Kids’ Anxieties

Posted on 11/9/2021

Q: I recently changed my almost 4-year-old son’s preschool. My son, once fearless, has become reluctant to simply get out of the car in the morning and go into the school. There’s always a...

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Cure for Kid Who Hits

Posted on 10/26/2021

A 4-year-old – I’ll call him Popeye – had a habit of hitting other children in his preschool program. His teachers tried various approaches, including rewarding him with a treat on days when he...

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Just 'Stop It!'

Posted on 10/12/2021

I often find myself telling parents that they need to stop doing something that is counterproductive and, in most cases, contributing significantly to whatever parenting problem is bedeviling...

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Should Son Switch Schools?

Posted on 10/5/2021

Q: Our 13-year-old eighth-grader says he doesn’t like the small private school he attends and wants us to put him in public high school next year. His grades are fine, he’s got several close...

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How To Help Your Child Get More Grit

Posted on 9/7/2021

It’s all over the web, that “grit” thing. Seems like every day, I get some promo for a webinar on how to get more grit, project more grit, or get in touch with your inner grit. So, allow me to...

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The Biggest Problem Teachers Face Is Parents

Posted on 7/13/2021

When I ask a teacher, “What is the biggest problem you face?” the answer – there has never been an exception – is “parents.” That is certainly a recent phenomenon. My parents were...

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Mom, Stop Checking Kid’s Homework

Posted on 4/6/2021

Many times have I warned parents of the pitfalls of micromanaging their children’s academic responsibilities lest said children deduce that the responsibilities in question are not theirs at all...

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Ear Infections and Misbehavior; Boundaries for Boys

Posted on 3/23/2021

Q: My three-year-old is prone to ear infections. When he has one, his behavior deteriorates considerably. He becomes disobedient and given to angry outbursts. When his ears are clear, he’s...

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What Is COVID Parenting?

Posted on 3/2/2021

What, pray tell, is COVID parenting? I need to know because over the past few months, several journalists have asked if I have any COVID-parenting suggestions. I went online and, sure enough, a...

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Recent Questions

Reading in the Morning or Reading in the Evening? Raising a Reader with Learning Challenges

Posted on 11/18/2021

I am homeschool my 7 year old child/grandchild. His Mother was diagnosed at age 7 with dyslexia and an auditory processing disorder by Dr Lucia Karnes which made me confident the assessment was...

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Nip It. Nip It Good.

Posted on 11/17/2021

Hi ParentGuru, I have a question about our 5yr old son who has come home from prep (1st year of primary school here in Melbourne Australia) after an incident in which he threw another student's...

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A Sock in the Crotch: Focus on the Sock, not the Crotch

Posted on 11/12/2021

I did not find this on the very long list of topics so here goes: got a call from the teacher of my 6-year old grandson who said he is super bright- math and reading ( not sure if this is relevant...

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15 year old Daughter in Fistfight

Posted on 10/8/2021

15 year old daughter in a fistfight at school. Her story changes but the gist of it is that a girl she hadn't seen in 3 years wanted to talk to her (I doubt they hadn't spoken to each other in 3...

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Ask Them No Questions, and They Will Tell You No Lies

Posted on 9/28/2021

Hi! My seven year old was trained to fall asleep (8pm) on his own and he knows he’s to stay in bed until 7am. He has been waking up in the night around 2am and often stays up for the rest of the...

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Time for A Garden Kick

Posted on 8/27/2021

We have our 12 year old son's phone locked for certain reasons. If his grades slip below a B we lock it so he can only call family, if he is disrespectful or doesn't complete his chores, his...

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I'm Down with Him Bein' a HomeBoy--a 4-year old's schooling

Posted on 6/13/2021

Good Afternoon, We are left with 3 decisions for my 4.5 year old boy regarding school next year: 1) Public JK where we hear the curriculum is very play based. 2) Montessori - will receive...

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When Politics Enters Your Child's Education

Posted on 6/4/2021

I was shocked and surprised to find out that next week our kids Elementary School a Catholic School will be celebrating Pride week all week. Nothing was done to inform the parents.. I was I am...

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Turn Wasting Time into Making Time

Posted on 5/6/2021

Our 14 year old son has been home schooled this year with a combination of online classes with teachers and online self paced classes. He is struggling with time management. He is behind in most...

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To Retain or Not to Retain

Posted on 4/16/2021

My daughter is in 3rd grade at a Christian private school. She has struggled since kindergarten to keep up, but we helped her along, with tutoring and occupational therapy to help her with the...

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