"Children show respect for parents by obeying them. Parents show respect for children by expecting them to obey. "

John's Discipline Methods

John's Most Recent Articles

The Drama of a Child's Feelings

Posted on 4/20/2021

One of the more unfortunate consequences of relying on advice from mental health “experts” concerning parenting matters has been a one-dimensional understanding of child discipline. Because of the...

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Parents Can Recover From Not Getting Over the 'Hump of Parenting'

Posted on 10/20/2020

Q: In a recent column, you identified toddlerhood as “the hump of parenting.” As a grandmother who managed to raise five kids who were out of the house in their early twenties and are responsible...

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Where We All Went Wrong

Posted on 8/25/2020

My profession, psychology, began demonizing traditional childrearing in the late 1960s. I was in graduate school at the time and on fire for the promise that the proper use of psychological...

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What to Do About an Aggressive 3-Year-Old

Posted on 4/21/2020

Q: My three-year-old son tends to react physically when he's mad at a preschool classmate instead of talking it out and letting the teachers intervene. We have encouraged him to use words when...

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The Biggest Mistakes Parents Make (and How to Stop Making Them!) - Part 2

Posted on 2/11/2020

This is the second in a series of three columns on the Biggest Mistakes Parents Make (and How to Stop Making Them!). Last week, I identified giving children explanations for parental instructions,...

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"The Doctor" Is the Tool Every Parent Needs

Posted on 10/15/2019

I have good news for parents: You do not need more than a few tools in your disciplinary tool-bag. One especially valuable tool, one that belongs in every modern home, is the “Doctor.” The Doctor...

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Replace Psychological With Old Fashioned Parenting

Posted on 9/24/2019

As my regular readers know, I am a certified heretic in my field: child and family psychology. To the point, I am convinced that psychological parenting theory, which began to inform American...

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Emancipation of Adult Children Can Be Messy

Posted on 6/4/2019

When children were raised, reared, or simply brought up, they emancipated “on time.” Upon high school graduation, children went to college, into the military, or became employed. Some, like my...

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We're Living in a Child's World

Posted on 5/21/2019

Concerning major behavior problems, parents often tell me they’ve “tried everything.” In more than forty years of doing this “parenting expert” gig, I’ve never run across a parent who was telling...

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Use 'Alpha Speech' to Get Child to Obey

Posted on 5/14/2019

Q: My 7-year-old son, an only child, is giving me fits. He’s overly active and will not cooperate in any instruction I give him. In addition, if I tell him not to do something, it’s a guarantee...

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Recent Questions

Define "Disciplined"

Posted 3 days ago

Whenever we have friends or family over or we’re at an event with other kids our 4 year old daughter very rarely engages in playing with the children and constantly wants to be where the adults...

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Getting Started on the Ticket System

Posted 1 week ago

At what age is it appropriate to do 2 sets of tickets? One for sibling conflict and one for personal? How long should I wait to start there personal ones? We just started sibling conflict about a...

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The Doctor Can Help!

Posted 3 weeks ago

Our middle child, a 5 year old boy, has intense emotions. We have (re)started the ticket system with him and his older brother, and he consistently loses tickets after school in the car. We have...

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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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"Anything for Attention and The Most Annoying Thing Ever"

Posted on 8/11/2021

I have a seven year old boy who is a copycat. There are adults around him who clear their throat, so now he is clearing his throat. It has become a habit and when he gets mad, he exaggerates it...

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Consistency is the key to success

Posted on 8/10/2021

I have a 6 yo daughter and 3 yo son. Daughter is often "mean" to son verbally. His 3 yr old talkativeness bothers her, and she frequently shouts at him ("be quiet!" etc.) My and wife's approach...

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The Doctor can Help!

Posted on 8/7/2021

My son is 6. He recently has been throwing screaming fits and occasionally outright refusing to do things such as get dressed or wash himself in the bath. We feel like we cannot “make” him do...

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Do What You Can Do

Posted on 7/30/2021

My stepsons are 12 and 14. We also have a 4 and 2 year old. Their mother has been generally uncooperative and at times hostile to us, and treats the boys very differently. She doesn’t seem to like...

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8-Year-Old Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Posted on 7/15/2021

Sometimes my 8 year old is lovely and I feel so proud of him. Other times like today, I am speechless, humiliated, overwhelmed and defeated. I picked my son up from boys brigades and he was...

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A Bad Day at The Zoo or Sensory Processing Disorder?

Posted on 7/3/2021

My 4 year old son has been seeing an occupational therapist to help with his behavioral issues. She suggested that my son has a sensory processing disorder to explain why he will listen to...

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