Advice Blog

How to Get Your Kid to Eat Breakfast in a Timely Manner

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I follow your advice when raising my three children, so I know what I am doing in the mornings with my kindergartener isn’t the right thing to do, but I’m not sure what will work. I spend a lot of time encouraging her to eat her breakfast in the mornings before school, but no matter what I say or do, she eats so slowly. I know I shouldn’t be getting angry about it, but I still yell. What do I do? –Brook, Troy, Ohio

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How to Deal with a Parent Who is Determined to Destroy Her Child’s Life… and Yours

Dear Kid Whisperer,

 

I teach 6th grade in Toledo.  We have a tough group, but my colleague and I manage them well. My question, though, is about parents.  We have a student who is disrespectful, mean, etc. etc.  I had a meeting with the parent who stated that her child has freedom of speech and he’s allowed to disrespect adults if he feels the need to.  What does one do when the parent reinforces the child’s behavior? – Michelle, Toledo, Ohio

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How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Students in the Lunchroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am just an aide and my question is about our lunchroom, so I don’t know if you will be able to answer it. The kids in my K-5 school are out of control at lunch. They are loud, they make a huge mess and don’t follow the rules. We aides are literally running around the cafeteria trying to clean their messes, and help them with their food, all while they are yelling and acting crazy. How do we make it so the kids act right and how do we make it so that our jobs aren’t awful? Because right now I want to quit. -Cheyenne, Charleston, WV

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How to Avoid Being Monopolized and Annoyed

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I recently married and now have a 14 year old step daughter. She’s a good kid. We get along, and she seems to like to me. The problem is that she continually tries to monopolize my time and attention. If she is in the room with me, she is all about trying to continually talk to me to the point where it makes it difficult to interact with anyone else around me. She will follow me around the house as well. I am not sure how to respond in a way that will be good for the both of us. My mom, who is a big fan of yours, keeps telling me to contact you.  Can you help? –Rachel, Dayton, Ohio

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How to Handle a Kid Who LOVES His Consequence

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I attended your training a few weeks ago and have been putting your ways into practice. I have a few kids who are really testing me since I’ve been trying new methods. The other day, one child starting breaking pencils for the fun of it. I thought “fantastic, I know just how to solve this”. So I said “Bummer, it takes a lot to make a pencil, and since you’ve been taking so much of my energy anyway, let’s give it back by sharpening pencils.” This was during recess, because it’s the only time available. Well…he loved doing it!!! He asked me for more!!!! Talk about my blood boiling. This was not how I pictured this going. What are your suggestions to react when they seem to enjoy what’s supposed to be a not fun consequence? I need help with this kiddo! Thanks for all you do and for your great ideas. -Lilly, Nashville, TN

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How to Teach Responsibility Using Consequences Instead of Words

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a generally well-behaved 12 year old son, but I feel like I have to say everything fifteen times to get him to do anything. I don’t know if this is because he is purposely disobeying me or just absent-minded, but I am exhausted by the amount of times I have to repeat myself. – Mary, Dayton Ohio

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How to Deal with Kids Being Disrespectful to Adults

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a middle school principal. I had a situation in the lunch room where one of our eighth graders was making fun of a custodian by calling him “baldy”. Both the custodian and I reacted by yelling at the kid. As he and his friends started to laugh, I realized that it wasn’t the best move. My idle threats of suspending kids who were laughing stopped most of the laughing, and me physically intimidating the remaining two laughers by getting in their faces quieted the rest. I realized that what I did was not effective, but I’m not sure what to do next time to not put myself in that position. – Malik, Los Angeles, California

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How to Guide Your Kids to Own and Create Their Own Happiness

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I’m at loss. My four year old is either emotionally damaged, a pessimist, or I’m doing something wrong. Every now and then he says things like “Nobody loves me”, “I’m a bad boy”, and “Nobody wants to play with me”. I don’t know what to do or say. I’ve tried reasoning with him and explaining things. I’ve tried telling him how many people love him. I tell him that he isn’t a bad boy, and that sometimes other kids like to play by themselves or with other kids. I even tried ignoring or saying something along the lines that it was his problem and/or he needs to figure out himself. It makes me either so sad or so mad when he says things like that. Please help. –Carol, New York, New York

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