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

School Age (6-10 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Playing War Games Not Unusual for Young Boys

Posted yesterday

Q: My normally happy 6-year-old son has recently started incorporating death and war-like games into his imaginative play. He isn't and has never been a mean-spirited child, but his dad and I just...

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School Discipline in Steady Decline

Posted on 2/12/2019

I receive a steady stream of missives from teachers, ex-teachers, and other folks who have insider knowledge of America’s schools. They all say the same thing – classroom discipline is falling...

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Public Education Myths and Facts

Posted on 2/6/2019

As regards nearly every public policy topic these days, myths abound, but few mythologies rival that of public education. A sample: <b>Myth: Smaller classrooms promote better...

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Let Your School-Aged Kids Dress Themselves

Posted on 1/9/2019

“So, anyway, after they take showers I lay out their school clothes for the next day. And then….” “Hold on right there,” “How old are your girls again?” “Um,...

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9-Year-Old Daughter Says She Doesn't Like School

Posted on 11/28/2018

Q: Our 9-year-old daughter recently announced to us that she doesn’t like school, doesn’t want to go, and doesn’t want to do the work. We’ve been unable to get a coherent reason out of her and...

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Make 'Em an Offer They Can't Refuse

Posted on 10/16/2018

When I was a child, my most important possession was my bicycle, followed closely by my radio. My bike was how I got around. I rode it to school, friend’s houses, pick-up...

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What's a Young Teacher to Do About Discipline?

Posted on 9/4/2018

As another school year begins, one of many pertinent questions is “Has the per child or per-teacher (it doesn’t matter) rate of verbal and emotional abuse by teachers on students increased...

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Parents, Stop Trying to Referee Kids' Fights

Posted on 6/27/2018

Q: We have a boy, 6, and a girl, 9, who fight constantly about everything under the sun. My husband and I have a good marriage. We hardly ever have a serious disagreement about anything, so it’s...

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Don’t Go Down the Road of ADHD Testing

Posted on 4/17/2018

Q: Our son, age 8, did fine in school in first grade, but has struggled in second. We’ve taken your advice and not helped much with his homework other than occasional and brief “consultations.”...

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Weighing the Options of Repeating Kindergarten

Posted on 3/28/2018

Q: Even though he had an early-August birthday, we started our son in Kindergarten this past Fall at a private Christian school. They did some testing prior to the start of the school year and...

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Recent Questions

The Taming of the Crew

Posted today

I need help understanding the difference between sibling rivalry and sibling abuse. I know I'm supposed to punish both children equally when they fight, but what about in a situation where the...

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Church Expectations

Posted 2 weeks ago

This is a question about age-appropriate expectations in Church. We have 6 children ages 10, 8, 6, 5, 3, and 1. I have told the older kids that, unless you are a baby or a toddler - which they...

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"Curious Questions"

Posted 2 weeks ago

Hello, My boys are 9, 7, and 4. I understand they are curious but they are constantly asking questions and asking for things which feels overwhelming. When they ask for things, I usually give...

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Nip Disrespectful Behavior in the Bud

Posted 2 weeks ago

I home school my 7-year-old son. We are working on obeying and being respectful. Often when I tell him something he responds disrespectfully. He will yell back at me or say something mean and then...

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Disrespectful 7-Year-Old

Posted 3 weeks ago

We are using the discipline strategies taught in Well-Behaved Child. I home school 7 and 5 year old boys. My 7 year old responds to me with disrespectful remarks. For example: "You are so mean, I...

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Too Many Expectations for 9-Year-Old

Posted 4 weeks ago

My daughter is 9, she is very respectful (although disobeying and arguing are not respectful) and has great manners ("yes ma'am", "yes, sir"). She has given me a run for my money her whole life...

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When to Intervene in School Issues

Posted 4 weeks ago

My almost 10-year-old son came home in hysterical tears yesterday. His side of the story is that at school he saw someone’s school ID on the floor, picked it up, and asked, “Whose ID is this?” and...

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Discipline Heartily(with Infusions of Affection)

Posted on 9/22/2019

Good Morning, I am a single dad of 3 boys ages 7 and 3 yo twins. Recently one of the twin boys has been acting out at preschool and at home. He wont listen to instruction, throw toys, hit his...

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Upcoming Divorce

Posted on 9/21/2019

After 11 yrs of marriage, my husband and I have decided to go our separate ways. However, before we file for divorce, sell the house, etc., etc. We have a ton of debt to pay off. And with the cost...

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Name Calling Not OK For Young Boy

Posted on 9/20/2019

Hello, I received an email from my child's teacher today. This is what it said. "Hi, I wanted to let you know that R had to be spoken to about hurting a child's feelings on Wednesday. He was...

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