"A child who has learned to pay attention to parents will go to school prepared to pay attention to teachers. "

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

Lock Up

Posted 1 week ago

I am reading through John’s terrific 2 book and he mentions using child locks on kitchen cabinet doors etc but I am in rented accommodation and not allowed to put fitted child locks on the kitchen...

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Teaching Respect

Posted 1 week ago

My twin 6-year olds (one boy, one girl) are pretty good kids most of the time. But recently we’ve been struggling. They listen and obey my husband and I, but they don’t listen to other adults....

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Hang in There!

Posted 3 weeks ago

When using the kicked out of garden method for target behaviors, do you have the child stay in the room? (We are assuming you do.) We have a 10-year-old boy who has been stealing things and lying...

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Nine Year Old Drama

Posted on 5/22/2021

I'm worried about my daughter who's 9 years old. She is overly concerned with what people think of her. She gets easily embarrassed and is highly sensitive. I feel like she feels everyone doesn't...

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Teaching the Difference Between Inside and Outside Voice

Posted on 5/17/2021

Both my children are blessed with loud voices. My efforts to stop them screaming inside our house and car have failed. Do you have any ideas on how to stop it or a good consequence every time they...

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Delaying Consequences - A Good Option for Mom

Posted on 5/2/2021

When my son is not being obedient, I say, "You have until the count of three or - insert consequences from his actions, i.e., “You won’t be going to go to the playground after preschool.” He...

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Time for a Potty Training Reset

Posted on 4/13/2021

We are currently attempting to potty train our 21-month-old boy. It has been almost one month of training and we are having almost zero success with getting him to sit on the potty to pee or poop....

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Should Parents Start Naked & $75 Before or After they Move?

Posted on 4/8/2021

My son, who is 20 months old has stomach issues with constipation. On average he is constipated about two times a month at least. We are starting potty training this weekend, and we are worried...

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Mom Wants to Put a Lid on Potty Talk

Posted on 4/7/2021

My 5 year old son has frequently been using the following words out of context: butt, fart, toot, booger etc. He gets on these trash talking rants. He’s laughing and joking most of the time....

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Keep it Simple!

Posted on 3/10/2021

We have been doing the 6 block chart system with our 4 year old. We did the ticket system prior to this. He loses privileges on blocks 3 (LEGOs), 4 (Hot Wheels), and 5 (TV). He goes to his room on...

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