"If your child accuses you of being "mean," you must have done something right. "

Single Parents

John's Most Recent Articles

Handle Split Custody Parenting Issues With Grace

Posted on 9/14/2020

Q: My 13-year-old son’s grades and overall respect for me and other adults – teachers, in particular – began going downhill last year (eighth grade), even before the shutdown. He began school this...

Read More

Adults, Children Must Maintain Relationship Boundaries

Posted on 6/20/2018

A column of mine that originally appeared in January of 2017 has been circulating on the Internet ever since, accumulating over a million hits to date. In a nutshell, its message is simply that...

Read More

3-Year-Old Girl Missing Dad

Posted on 8/2/2011

Tot's distress isn't about missing dad Q. My daughter will be 3 years old soon. Her father was primary caretaker until she was around 20 months, then he left and she hasn't seen him since. I...

Read More

Single Parent with Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Posted on 7/5/2011

Single parent with a boyfriend: Drama is silly "When is the right time to introduce my girlfriend/boyfriend to my kids?" is a question single parents frequently ask. "Why is this even an...

Read More

15 Resolutions For Parents

Posted on 1/4/2011

15 resolutions for parents Given that this is the first column of a new year, I'm proposing a number of parenting New Year's Resolutions for my readers to consider. The list is by no means...

Read More

Boys Need Fathers, Not Friends

Posted on 11/17/2009

TODAY'S MALES NEED FATHERS, NOT FRIENDS I recently spent some time with a friend who has three children. My buddy is a college-educated responsible guy who has never failed to do right by his...

Read More

Children Adapt to Differing Discipline Styles

Posted on 11/3/2009

CHILDREN ADAPT TO DIFFERING RULES Q. I am a full-time nanny living with a single dad and his four young sons. The dad has given me free rein to deal with the kids and discipline them as I see...

Read More

Mom Disciplines 15-Year-Old Daughter, But Ex Does Not Follow Through

Posted on 10/13/2009

MOM DISCIPLINES DAUGHTER, THEN DIVORCED DAD IGNORES IT Q. My 15-year-old daughter's grades have dropped this year, and I have taken away most of her privileges. But she spends a few nights a...

Read More

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...

Read More

Single Parenting

Posted on 12/14/2004

"So what about single parents, John?" asks a single mom. She was responding to last week's column in which I proposed (I will dare to say proved) that it is in a child's best interest for his...

Read More
View All Articles

Recent Questions

The Time for Tough Love is NOW

Posted on 10/31/2020

My son is 19 years old and has been graduated from high school for 1 1/2 years. His teen years were a struggle with almost not graduating, drug use and getting into trouble with the law. He no...

Read More

Parenting a Disrespectful Teen with Divorced Parents

Posted on 10/10/2020

Almost two years ago my husband left (affair) and we are in a very difficult divorce. We are not friendly and don’t communicate other than texting. We have four children together and have 50/50...

Read More

Unwell Mom Struggles with Screen Time Abuse

Posted on 9/19/2020

I am really unwell at the moment and my son is being kept home from school, I also have a 1 year old. I am trying to look after both while I get through this illness. Discipline has slided and...

Read More

Weed-be-Gone

Posted on 8/16/2020

My 15yo son admitted to me that a few months ago he took weed (THC) for about a week. Yesterday he and a friend took some more weed. I found out when his friend started feeling nauseated and dizzy...

Read More

Helping Kids Develop Good Habits Without Nagging

Posted on 4/14/2020

My 7 year old has a habit of leaving lights on when he leaves the room, leaving the toilet seat up, not flushing the toilet chain, leaving rubbish out, not putting his laundry in basket etc. How...

Read More

7 year old craving constant attention

Posted on 4/14/2020

My 7 year old struggles to play by himself. He wants me to play with him all the time. For example he is always complaining he cannot find a Lego piece before he has actually looked, he needs help...

Read More

Dads Are Never Done

Posted on 4/12/2020

I'm currently going through a divorce. Parenting has gotten increasingly harder for obvious reasons, and I'm the only disciplinarian. I'm concerned my kids - or some of them - are too old for me...

Read More

Co-Parenting precautions continued

Posted on 3/29/2020

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?

Read More

College Student Has Lesson to Learn

Posted on 12/31/2019

I am a single mom of ten years to one son. He just completed his first semester of college at a Christian school. His faith is stronger than ever, he met some great people, was selected to be a...

Read More

Bump in the Road

Posted on 12/3/2019

My son is 4 years old and lately has been having trouble sleeping. He gets up several times a night and wants me to sleep with him. I have been divorced for 1 year and have joint custody with my...

Read More
View All Questions