How to Deal With a Kid Who Refuses to Do What You Ask

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My five-year-old has always been well-behaved, but lately she has been refusing to do what I tell her to do, shouting “NO” at me when I ask her to do even the simplest tasks. I don’t know if I am panicking or if this is just a phase, but my instincts say that this behavior is going to continue unless I make it stop. So how do I make it stop? -Tracy, Cincinnati, Ohio

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How to Deliver a Logical Consequence, Not a Punishment

Dear Kid Whisperer,

A week before Halloween, my seven-year-old daughter threw a huge fit at the store when I would not buy her a toy. It was so severe and embarrassing that we actually left the store with the groceries sitting in the middle of the toy aisle. She even kicked and hit me on the way out. I told her that night that Halloween was cancelled for her. No candy, no parties, no trick-or-treat. I told her 2nd grade teacher that she could not dress up for the school Halloween party, and could not get candy. My mother-in-law has been very upset about this, saying that this is not fair, and she’s implying that I am a terrible parent (which is nothing new). Am I right? Tell me I am right. -Mary Anne, Cincinnati, Ohio

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How to Teach Your Kids to Feel and Show Appreciation

Dear Kid Whisperer,

When I take my kids out to a movie, restaurant, pool, beach, play palace, park, basically anything, immediately after we leave said activity, the kids are asking to do something else. No “Thank you,” no “We had a great time”, no appreciation… just “What do I get next?” I am so fed up with this behavior. This me, me, me attitude and entitlement is driving me crazy. What do I do? -Jessica, Saugatuck, Michigan

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How to Avoid Raising an Entitled Child

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I grew up with nothing. It is one of the great thrills of my life to now be able to take my two children (14 and 16) on expensive trips, to give them gifts, and basically give them everything that they want. I can easily afford all of this. It does take some of the luster away when they don’t say thank you, unless it’s a serious luxury item. I bought my daughter a nice, new, luxury car, for example. Am I right in thinking they will come to appreciate these things in time? –Manual, Sacramento, California

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How Grandparents Can Set Limits About Grandparenting

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a grandparent to three granddaughters who have parents that try, but don’t like to say “no” to their children. They want my husband and me to be on board with that philosophy as well. As former educators, we cannot with a clear conscience agree.  We are finding it harder to spend time with our grandkids. Any good advice?  Sara, Bexley, Ohio

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How to Be a Parent and Not a Servant

  • Dear Kid Whisperer,I have three boys, aged 8, 12, and 16 who are all quite disrespectful and very unappreciative of me. It’s very hurtful. I am a stay at home mom and I think of myself as being great at my job. I cook them hot meals, do their laundry, clean their rooms, drive them everywhere, and help them with their homework. I take care of the house so that they can concentrate on their studies. They don’t say “thank you”, and they treat me like a servant. I’m tired of it. What do I do? –Marjorie, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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How to Keep Your Kids From Destroying Your Home

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I need help/advice to get my kids to stop destroying the house. They are ages 12, 7 and 3. I have to spend four hours cleaning if I want the house to be clean, and then they immediately wreck it again. They leave toys and crumbs everywhere, ignoring all limits we have placed on them. I’m pregnant right now and I really can’t keep this up. I’m about to have a panic attack. Taking away games and play time with friends hasn’t worked. Sitting them down and telling them how much stress it’s causing hasn’t worked either.
-Melissa, Fort Worth, Texas

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How to Acknowledge a Child Who Needs A Lot of Attention

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My daughter is 7, requires a lot of attention, and is a wonderful little performer. She really is talented and very funny. She performs little sketches and dances and songs that her father and I really enjoy. The problem is that she is very prolific and probably performs for us for at least 45 minutes per day. We hate to tell her that we can’t watch every performance, and she has a really high need for attention that we need to fulfill, but we just don’t have the time to sit through these long performances. What do we do? –Carrington, Key Largo, Florida

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How to Respond to a Child’s Threats

 

Dear Kid Whisperer,

What do I do when my 4-year-old threatens to do something? Yesterday, we were painting and she took a small jar of oil paint, tipped it so that it was about to spill all over the floor, looked at me, and smiled. I told her that she better not spill the paint, and that she would be in a lot of trouble if she spilled the paint. I counted to three. As I started to say “three”, she poured it all over the floor. She does this kind of thing all the time. I’ve tried calmly telling her how that hurts my feelings. I’ve tried yelling, and I’ve tried spanking. Nothing works. What’s left? — Brianna, Miamisburg, Ohio

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