"A child without rules is like a fish out of water. "

School Age (6-10 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

School Discipline in Steady Decline

Posted 5 days ago

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 1 week ago

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

Early Bird Turns Cranky

Posted 5 days ago

Good Evening, Our seven year old son has always been up with the birds (in WA that is anywhere between 4.30am-5.00am). On the plus side, he goes to sleep at 6.30pm without any trouble. We have...

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8 y/o Boy Distracted Easily At School

Posted 2 weeks ago

We have an 8yo boy. His teacher let us know he “often gets distracted in the middle of a task, needs multiple reminders to turn in work, write down his homework, and to focus on the task at...

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7.5 yo girl pulling mom's strings

Posted 2 weeks ago

HI, I've been working on forgetfulness for a while on my 7.5 year old daughter. She is given an instruction, but VERY often either fails to complete it or does an incomplete job of it. This has...

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Multiple Kids, One Room?

Posted 3 weeks ago

OK, I'm going to try again with a different formulation. For decades Dr. Rosemond has been advocating tickets/blocks with isolation in a comparatively stripped down room as the end state for x...

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Blended family blues.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Just wondering if you feel that all children in a step family should be treated the same, as far as, rules, quality time etc? My husband feels that since his children only have visitation with us...

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Anger Begets Anger

Posted on 1/17/2019

I need advice on losing my temper with my kids. They are 3 and 6 and occasionally I lose my temper- scream at them, sometimes use a swear word and am just mean to them. Yes they have done...

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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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"Parental Empowerment Conquers Medical Experiments"

Posted on 1/10/2019

My kids are considering putting my grandson 6yrs on medication, for being hyper and not paying attention at school. Do you know what after effects this will bring?

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Move 9 yo Son into Parents' Bedroom?

Posted on 1/9/2019

Son is 9 years old and has a sister age 7 and brother age 1. About one month prior to brother's birth, son's upstairs bedroom was converted to a nursery and son's bedroom was moved downstairs (all...

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Should You Worry About a Shy Kid?

Posted on 1/3/2019

My 10 year old daughter is shy and has trouble making friends. She can handle one on one situations, but she shuts down in a group. (and one on one is rarely the case as she has two sisters near...

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