John's Discipline Methods

John's Most Recent Articles

School Principal Asks About Discipline

Posted on 10/25/2022

Q: I am a principal at a private church-affiliated school. Contrary to my graduate school training and most of my peers’ practice, I believe disciplinary actions should "fit the crime."...

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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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Recent Questions

Anger Mismanagement

Posted 3 weeks ago

My 11.5 year old, quite academic son, is very respectful outside home and loved by his teachers. In past few years he is lacking anger management and becomes disrespectful (especially with mom)...

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Does Chicken Little Make You a Little Chicken? A Four-Year Old's Tantrumizing

Posted 4 weeks ago

Constant power struggle with 4-year old. Our 4 year old son’s behavior has done a complete 180 within the last couple of weeks only at home. Preschool and daycare is constantly telling us he’s...

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Fears, Five Year Olds, and the Doctor

Posted on 12/12/2022

My daughter, age 5 1/2 recently started acting irrational. She refuses to get in the car and will unbuckle herself and jump out. This behavior started a week ago when she refused to sleep in her...

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The Doctor is In

Posted on 11/29/2022

Help! Our daughter is 5 and has become defiant and disobedient. For example she will come to us and say "I know I'm not supposed to (enter action) but I did." She said she's being truthful by...

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Pest Control

Posted on 11/17/2022

Our 5-year-old daughter has come a long way with her behavior in the last year, but the top two biggest issues still are 1) her never ending pestering and annoying. She pesters and annoys those...

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10 Year Old with Violent Fits, Divorced Parents and "trifecta of diagnoses"

Posted on 10/13/2022

My 10 year old son has the adoptive trifecta of diagnoses: "on the autism spectrum", oppositional defiant disorder, and ADHD. Sometimes he has violent fits - although now they're down to 1 or 2...

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Time to Reel In 5-Year-Old

Posted on 8/16/2022

We have a 5 year old who has come a long way with behavior but lately hasn't been great at listening when told to do something. She will almost pretend we didn't say it or will just say "I will in...

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Sometimes all you need is a hug and a dutch door.

Posted on 8/13/2022

When my 4 year old son loses all his privileges for the day, we cannot get him to stay in his room. What is something we can try? We calmly put him back in his room each time he runs out, but it...

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Get Creative

Posted on 7/24/2022

Greetings! Our usually cheerful and happy 4yo daughter does not seem to react normally to punishment. At first she gets upset and cries, but very shortly into a time out or being sent to her room...

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Ticket System questions

Posted on 6/22/2022

I have some questions regarding the ticket system for a 3.5 year old. 1. What if he loses all of his tickets at the end of the day? One time he lost his last ticket but it was right before...

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