"To be an effective disciplinarian, you must be a model of self-discipline. "

School Age (6-10 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

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: 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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Don't Tolerate Sassy Behavior

Posted on 11/15/2017

Q: Our 8-year-old has suddenly developed a very sassy mouth. She picked this up from a new neighborhood friend who speaks to her mother in a very disrespectful tone, like she’s the girl’s...

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Recent Questions

Discipline is not Always Convenient

Posted 1 week ago

When our son hits, we send him to his room for the entire day. However, his hitting tends to happen towards dinner/bedtime so we sentence him to his room the next day. Inevitably, it falls on a...

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Well-Rounded Son

Posted 2 weeks ago

My 9 year-old son loves to read. He enjoys basketball and baseball. Should I encourage him to try other hobbies or instruments that involve doing things with his hands? If so, how?

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Following the Leader

Posted 3 weeks ago

My girls, ages 6,5 and 3, prefer to follow me around during their free time. They just like to watch what I’m doing and talk and sometimes be involved in what I’m doing. I wonder if I should send...

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Parent leadership trumps child leadership

Posted on 5/15/2019

Dear Rosemond and team, Recently (a few weeks ago), my son graduated from his 30 stickers (1 a day) for aggression and tantrums and got his things and privileges back. BUT the tantrums (it's...

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Frustrated over asking.

Posted on 5/15/2019

I have a 9 year old son who has a passive defiant attitude. He doesn't ever talk back or freak out when he doesn't get his way but will "ignore" what we ask him to do and act like he just forgot....

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Creating Opportunities for Freedom!

Posted on 5/5/2019

Regarding your article "Freedom lost on the children of today" I am inspired by the moms of the last generation - my parents, too, experienced a similar kind of thing growing up. Running around,...

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child sends mixed message

Posted on 5/5/2019

I have a personal friend that went through a bitter divorce approximately 6 years ago. She has 4 children ages 14, 13, 10.5 and 9.5. The three older ones are girls and the youngest a boy. The...

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Hop off the Argument Merry Go Round

Posted on 5/5/2019

Hi there, My almost 5-year-old has come a long way from his 3-year-old self. I suppose maturity helps. He's no longer throwing tantrums (a.k.a crying loudly) or hitting when he doesn't get his...

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Good decisions sometimes hurt.

Posted on 5/4/2019

Hi, Question: What advise can you give? I'm a female in a same-sex marriage and have an 8 year old. He doesn't want to live with me because of my instability with moving from place to place and...

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Teacher Emails and When to Request a Conference

Posted on 5/1/2019

Hello, I received this email from my daughter's teacher today and am seeking your guidance. This all seems to have been precipitated by a tick bite (her first) that we took care of last week,...

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