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

John's Discipline Methods

John's Most Recent Articles

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

Posted 5 days ago

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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You Can't Win 'Em All

Posted on 3/5/2019

I’ve been writing this column for forty-three years and speaking publicly for nearly as long. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that when it comes to my subject matter, you can’t win ‘em...

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Recent Questions

Exhausted Mom of 11-Year-Old Needs Help

Posted 6 days ago

I am a mother of an 11yr old daughter. I am a wife and caregiver to a disabled Veteran with mental and physical health problems. My faith is the only thing keeping me going right now. I am having...

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How To Apply Discipline Techniques While Not at Home

Posted 6 days ago

We are putting into practice a number of parenting techniques mentioned on this site. And overall things are working well when we are in the home. How do I use the "three strikes" method with...

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Teens and Technology: Education is Key for Safety

Posted 1 week ago

We have not allowed our 3 children ages 12, 14 and 15 to have cell phones. They also do not have Social Media accounts. They are allowed to text or FaceTime friends or cousins using our phones. ...

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Parenting a Disrespectful Teen with Divorced Parents

Posted 2 weeks ago

Almost two years ago my husband left (affair) and we are in a very difficult divorce. We are not friendly and don’t communicate other than texting. We have four children together and have 50/50...

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Sibling Warfare

Posted 3 weeks ago

My 6 year old son is bullying and hitting his 4 year old brother behind my back and telling him not to tell and lying about it to me. The 4 year old is acting out in daycare, already being kicked...

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Normal Kindergarten Boy

Posted on 9/21/2020

Our 5-year-old is struggling in kindergarten because of behavior. He runs around the classroom instead of staying in his seat, refuses to stay quiet (shouts) when the teacher is teaching and...

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Disrespectful 8-Year-Old

Posted on 9/19/2020

We have noticed more ungrateful and entitled behavior in my 8 year old son recently. During a trip to the zoo, he became upset and was rude and disrespectful when I would not buy him food and ice...

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How to Deal With a 5-Year-Old Who Hits

Posted on 9/17/2020

Our son is 5 and just started kindergarten. He's had so many tough transitions this year with COVID lockdowns. One day in March his friends, preschool, extended family were all taken away and then...

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Curing the Bedtime Blues

Posted on 9/7/2020

Our almost 2.5-year-old daughter started to refuse to go to sleep. She doesn’t take naps at home anymore (only at daycare) and was fully sleep trained before age one. It all started with her...

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Actions Speak Louder Than Explanations

Posted on 8/30/2020

I have 2 questions: If a family has children of grade school age and want to begin using John's child rearing principals. What is the best way to begin? Sit the kids down and say "Things are...

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