"Parents cannot effectively communicate their love to a child unless they are also a source of effective authority. "


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Have You Hugged Someone Today?

Posted 5 days ago

my dad sometimes continually suggests that my 2.5 year old son should come and give him a hug or come sit in his lap when we are at their house visiting. They live maybe a mile away, so we see...

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5 year old boy behaves better at home than at school

Posted on 10/4/2018

My 5 year old son is in preschool, and we are working very hard on his behavior and manners. He still has tantrums which I am working hard to end. Lately, when he has a tantrum or is disrespectful...

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Manners are great!

Posted on 10/4/2018

Hello! I would like to ask for your advice on how to work on instilling manners into our oldest daughter (3.5 years). We expect her to say please and thank you (like we expect that of...

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Respecting family rules when out with other families' children do what they want

Posted on 9/23/2018

How can I make my child respect our own family rules in public when we're out with other parents and their children seem to do what they want? I don't want to be judgmental towards the other...

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Teaching a Child to Say "I'm Sorry"

Posted on 9/23/2018

How do I make my child say they're sorry when they hurt someone or did something wrong?

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Following Rules

Posted on 9/19/2018

My 5 year old just started kindergarten and she has made a few friends - one that she just adores. This morning when I dropped her off for school she couldn't find her best friend and she was...

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Teen Dating

Posted on 9/4/2018

Hello -- Do you have any collection of articles about teen dating? (it did not seem to be listed as a subject) Any overall rules of thumb to apply? We have a 16 year old boy that is getting...

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Address manners with 9 year old one at a time

Posted on 8/8/2018

I'm hoping for a response from Katherine Saltzberg, as I am referencing her response titled "5 year old table manners". In your response, you state that each bad habit needs to be tackled one...

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4 yo Using Mean Words and Potty Mouth

Posted on 5/30/2018

"I'm stupid/you're stupid/that's stupid, dumb, poop face, butt..." These are all words we do not condone our son saying. However, he works them in every chance he gets. How do we get our son to...

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Keep PDA to a Minimum

Posted on 5/27/2018

My son is almost 15 and has become friends with a girl in his homeschool co-op. What is the best way to communicate boundaries regarding public displays of affection at this stage of his life?

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Normal Preschooler!

Posted on 5/26/2018

Preschool has been a wonderful thing for my 5-year old daughter. The two things that were a theme throughout the year, however, were that her teacher told me that my daughter often talked out of...

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Table Manners Matter

Posted on 5/18/2018

Our 8 year old daughter has poor table manners. What is your suggestion on improving them? We have tried nagging (obviously unsuccessful), working on one thing at a time (worked for the first...

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Get Along or Get Away

Posted on 5/13/2018

Hello! My 6 and 3 years old sometimes play well together just perfect, but sometimes it is just horribly. 6 years would do something that 3 years doesn’t like or they just can’t share one red...

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Teaching Tween Kindness

Posted on 3/10/2018

Hi, I'm wondering how I can teach my 10 year old to have a kind heart. Her 7 year old sister is always doing sweet things for her without prompting and she sees it modeled between her dad and I...

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5 year old table manners

Posted on 1/10/2018

We have a hyperactive, strong-willed 5-year-old daughter (and we are learning to get on with this). We would like to know how to approach what we call “multiple offenses”. For instance,...

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Pre-Schooler Stuck in Season 1

Posted on 1/1/2018

Hi there, i have a little 3.5 year old who is completely out of control. I admit we have let him run the house a little bit as he is a little spitfire and makes things unpleasant(ie screams as...

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What to Do About Screaming?

Posted on 9/4/2017

I have a 7 year old daughter who goes from 0-10 and screams loudly over tiny little things, and everyone rushes to her rescue (except us) when something happens. For instance, if she stubs her...

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Questions about the Ticket System

Posted on 8/21/2017

A couple of months ago, we started the ticket system on our 5 year old son. It has worked relatively well. There are 2 target behaviors: whining and not listening when he is asked to do...

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Why "why" doesn't really matter.

Posted on 8/21/2017

I have a 5 year old daughter who will start kindergarten in 4 days. I have used the 6 block chart for behavior issues with good success. For some reason, the last several weeks have seen her...

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Require respect from college-age daughter

Posted on 7/16/2017

Our college student, who holds down a full time job in the summer and a 20-hour part-time job during the school year when she lives on campus, seems incapable or unwilling to follow through on the...

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Never argue with a 5 year old.

Posted on 7/16/2017

My one and only gives the vibe she is superior to her classmates by contradicting them, telling them they are wrong or having show off behaviour. I'm afraid she will not have any friends, but am...

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Posted on 7/6/2017

I have read quiet a bit of John's articles, books and listen to his podcasts. He doesn't talk about whining. Our kids drive us absolutely crazy with whining all day long. They complain...

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Frustrated Grandparents Want a Peaceful Family Dinner

Posted on 6/11/2017

Our grandchildren, preschool aged, do not eat dinner with their parents, and have not been reared to share a family meal. Consequently, when the family comes to our house for the occasional meal...

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Angry Outbursts from a 3-year-old

Posted on 5/21/2017

Every time I tell my 3 1/2 year old to do something (ex: put your cup up on the table more instead of on the edge, don't jump around in the kitchen, etc.) she crosses her arms and grunts. Or she...

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Posted on 2/28/2017

Can you give me your advice on the use of the word "please" when addressing our children? Should we be avoiding this word when issuing instructions to the children, but otherwise it is fine? ...

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Out of control 5 and 3 y/o boys

Posted on 1/3/2017

Hello, I am doing a miserable job as a parent to my two boys (aged 5 and 3). They are out of hand entirely. We can't get through prayers at the dinner table without at least one of them being...

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10 yo Autistic Trouble Relating to Friends

Posted on 11/3/2016

My son of 10 yo has autism. He speaks all the time. He interrupts us all the time and doesn't seem to see the signs of others when they are upset about it. When revising with my daughter, he...

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Freedom of Speech?

Posted on 11/1/2016

Our 14-year-old son has recently begun using racial slurs in our home, and our efforts to address this issue with words isn't working. What kind of disciplinary action would be appropriate?...

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Draw the line for 5 year old

Posted on 10/31/2016

My 5 year old daughter would rather talk/interact with adults than children her own age. I've always attributed it to her being an only child, despite socialization in daycare and preschool. Now...

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Bad Words

Posted on 9/22/2016

I'm afraid that my 3 year old son has developed a bad habit of swearing, using the "D" word when he is frustrated. I don't think he is just trying to get my reaction either, as he says it when he...

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Expectations for Safety and Manners

Posted on 8/27/2016

What are your thoughts on asking if a family has guns in the house (and asking how they are locked up) before letting my children go over to play? Also, what are your thoughts on insisting...

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Shy 3.5 Year Old

Posted on 7/31/2016

Hi John- My 3.5 year old daughter is extremely shy with both other children and adults. My husband says he was this way as a child and he turned out just fine, so it's not something I am...

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Using tickets with 4-yo at grandma's

Posted on 5/30/2016

We've implemented the ticket system at our house with our almost 4 year old about 2 months ago. Our target behavior is "obey the 1st time." It's really great actually! It helped me to communicate...

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Disrespect in front of friends...

Posted on 4/25/2016

My 10 year old daughter is disrespectful to me whenever she has friends over. Unless I remind her to treat me properly before her friends come over, she almost always finds a way to be...

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Preschool Sassiness: Misbehavior or Phase?

Posted on 3/8/2016

My four year old girl can be quite contrary and I think I am handling it poorly. For example, this morning I told her to stop talking and eat her cereal. She said, “It’s not cereal, its...

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6 year old refuses to eat sometimes

Posted on 2/2/2016

Our six year old son at times refuses to eat meals that we serve. If he refuses to eat dinner, we have been sending him to bed right away without eating. If it is breakfast or lunch, we send him...

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8 yo being disrespectful to mom

Posted on 1/14/2016

Hello, My eight year old daughter is 90% of the time a well behaved child who is pleasant to have around and works hard. The last few months she has started rolling her eyes when I speak...

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Mom wants teens to reach out to grandparents

Posted on 1/6/2016

Once in awhile I will ask my teen daughters to write a short note or give a call to their grandparents or aunt. Usually the letters are when they are thanking them for gifts and otherwise, they...

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4 year old being disrespectful

Posted on 11/10/2015

Our 4-year old son has been talking back and being disrespectful to me (his mother), his two preschool teachers, and his grandmother. He does not do this with his father. He is usually fairly...

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9 year old's behavior at Girl Scout meeting

Posted on 10/19/2015

My 9 year old is in Girl Scouts. We have a meeting once a month. Most of her friends from her class are in her group. She hangs out with one girl in particular whose behavior is unacceptable to...

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11 yo Bad Manners

Posted on 10/8/2015

I get irritated when I watch my son not using his manners like opening the door for people, if he is about to enter a store he doesn't wait for the person in front of him, or he won't say thank...

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3 Boys, Chaotic Household

Posted on 7/8/2015

My husband and I are in an endless cycle that is tearing down our relationship. We have 3 boys 4,6 & 9. What I consider unpleasant but normal child behavior (constant interruptions, some degree...

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4 yo won't respond to adults

Posted on 5/2/2015

My 4.5 yr old son often does not respond to adults (and often children) when they greet him or ask him a question. I will ask him a simple question (what do you want to eat at a restaurant) and he...

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Snappish Teen

Posted on 4/19/2015

What should we do about a snappish teen? What used to be a rare occurrence is now more common than not. We'll ask a normal question and she will bark back an answer like she can't be bothered with...

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Teen has no empathy

Posted on 4/12/2015

Our teen is quick to criticize other's reactions instead of just taking care of the matter at hand. Here is a prime example: she accidentally knocks an item off the shelf. I let out a gasp with...

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Negative 8 year old

Posted on 2/25/2015

My 8 year old daughter frequently complains and whines. She is not disobedient. For example, if she is told to clean her room, she will complain loudly and bitterly and create a lot of drama, but...

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Nip It

Posted on 2/8/2015

Our 19 month old has just started slapping at us and his big sister (4 1/2 yrs). He is generally a very calm boy but has started using his words for 'no' and 'mine'. He slaps at us when he is...

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Kids Unfriendly to Mom?

Posted on 12/11/2014

I'm a single mom who travels for work. My parents watch the boys when I'm out of town. This morning when I saw my kids for the first time they breezed through the house barely saying hello to me....

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Stepsons and Chaos

Posted on 10/28/2014

I have two stepsons ages 8 and 5, who have behavioral problems. When they visit our home it is total chaos. They say they don't want to be at our house and just want to go back to their moms....

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