"There are no argumentative children; only adults who argue with children."

John's Discipline Methods

John's Most Recent Articles

No New Tricks To Raising Kids

Posted on 11/30/2021

What is “gentle parenting”? It did not take much investigation for me to conclude that it is merely a rebranding of the same old, same old parenting babble America’s mental health establishment...

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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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Recent Questions

You're in Charge Now

Posted 1 week ago

Okay so I’m ready to administer a discipline plan for my daughter. My questions are; 1. How much is too much? I’m ready to take a lot of her favorite things away. But, what about life...

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Silly Bedtime Brothers

Posted 1 week ago

Our older two boys, 5 and 7, go crazy at bedtime. They are silly, which is fine, but in being silly they make messes and are often disrespectful. After going to bed, we can hear them laughing and...

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Importance of Presenting a United Parenting Front

Posted 3 weeks ago

This may be a complicated question: I have a question about my and my husband's parenting styles. I come from a conservative background, my parents were old school and traditional. Lots of...

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Shy 7 Year Old

Posted 4 weeks ago

My 7 year old first-grader has trouble joining into social situations. He plays well with his 5 year old brother, but with peers, he goes off on his own, and will tell stories to himself (I...

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Disciplining With Tickets When Grandma Comes to Town

Posted on 12/29/2021

I just got your book, "The Well Behaved Child," and today I began using tickets (and Alpha speech) for my just 5-year-old son who is very loving and sweet but would be considered a "high...

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Frustrating Food Drama with 5-Year-Old

Posted on 12/28/2021

My 5 year old says she’s hungry often during the day. When I offer her options she doesn’t want any of them. It’s getting quite frustrating, especially at bedtime.

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I am Woman, Hear Me Roar---Even Though I'm Only 4!

Posted on 12/7/2021

I am at my wits end. I am doing my best to do the ticket system with my children. My 4 year old daughter has maybe made it 1 day, at least until bedtime, without losing all of her tickets since we...

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Clarifying the Garden Kick

Posted on 12/4/2021

Does kicking out of the garden mean the child is confined to their new boring room for the duration of the time? Do you restrict them from playing outside with sibblings or friends? Can they...

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Leave Christmas Alone

Posted on 11/27/2021

Currently my daughter has lost all her toys until her behavior improves. If she hasn’t changed her behavior by Christmas, is it wrong not to allow her to open presents on Christmas Day but require...

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8-Year-Old Ruling the Roost

Posted on 11/18/2021

Our 8 year old daughter is very challenging. Disrespectful. Her response to small inconveniences or demands is disproportionate/ over exaggerated to say the least. Rude to other children, when...

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