Advice Blog

How to Help Your Students Deal with Bullies

Sign up for my double top secret bully one-liners!

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I teach fifth grade in Los Angeles, CA. I have a really rough group of kids. I read your blog religiously and I have had a lot of success using the skills that you describe. I am able to be more strict and more relaxed than at any other time in my 20 year career. I wanted to know if anything you teach can be used to get my students to stop bullying each other. They won’t mess with me anymore, so I feel like they have turned on each other! Any thoughts?

Read moreHow to Help Your Students Deal with Bullies

How to Stop Your Kid from Causing Problems with Another Kid

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have been all over the internet looking for a solution to my daughter’s problem with another student and was hoping you may be able to give some insight and suggestions. The problem is between my daughter and another girl. For the last 2 years, these two have annoyed, picked and argued. I have been to the school on several occasions to help come up with a solution to no avail, and just this last week it has become physical. They have started kicking each other in P.E., in the lunch line, and on their way to art. They also seem to have a type of “competition” going between themselves.

Read moreHow to Stop Your Kid from Causing Problems with Another Kid

How to Train Your Child to be Polite

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I was your server last night when you came into my restaurant with your wife and daughter. You told me that if I “Liked” you on Facebook and emailed you the question that I asked you, that you would answer it. So I did and I am. So now, how do you get your daughter to be so polite? She said “please” and “thank you” not only to you and your wife, but to me too. My daughter is much younger than your daughter, but I would like her to be that polite by the time she is two. -Anna, Dayton, Ohio

Read moreHow to Train Your Child to be Polite

How to Allow Your Child to Improve Through Struggle

Dear Kid Whisperer,
I am the parent of a very promising young lady. She is very smart and she is generally a very happy girl. She is going into her freshman year of high school. I often remark to my husband that she lives a charmed life. People like her and she is a very successful person. She just got her schedule for her first grading period. She completely fell apart. Her first period class is physical education. She says that she will “get sweaty and gross” and that it’s hard enough to be a freshman at this school, where kids really are known to be mean. What can I do to help her?
-Andrea, Euclid, Ohio

Read moreHow to Allow Your Child to Improve Through Struggle

How to Calmly Remove a Defiant Kid from a Public Place

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am so tired. I feel like I am the worst parent in the world and I hope that you can help me. I think that I make a lot of mistakes with my four year old, and the way that he acts is terrible, but the last few times that we have gone to the park, I have realized that I have hit rock bottom as a parent. I need help with everything, but maybe you could first help me with this park situation. He is okay the whole entire time that we are there, but when I tell him that it’s time to go, he yells “no” and continues to play. Yesterday he walked up to me and screamed “NO!” in my face and then ran away. I just sat there on a teeter- totter and cried. How is that for rock bottom? I am a bit heavy and I can’t run after him. Is there something wrong with my child? What do I do?

-Amy, Dayton, Ohio

Read moreHow to Calmly Remove a Defiant Kid from a Public Place

How to Get Kids to Do Schoolwork

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a (generally) well behaved 4th grade class, but I have one student who has serious anger issues. He gets angry, especially when he has to do work. I can see it coming a mile away. I always tell him that he could do the work if he just tried. This has had no effect. When he doesn’t have a tantrum and just does it, he’s actually done before a lot of other kids, which I always tell him. He’s very smart. His parents have sent him to therapy because of his anger. It has not helped at all. In fact, things have gotten worse since the therapy started. How do I get him to not throw a fit and just do the work?

Amy, Kansas City, Missouri

Read moreHow to Get Kids to Do Schoolwork

How to Train the Chronic Tantrum Thrower

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a (generally) well behaved 4th grade class, but I have one student who has serious anger issues. He gets angry, especially when he has to do work. I can see it coming a mile away. I always tell him that he could do the work if he just tried. This has had no effect. When he doesn’t have a tantrum and just does it, he’s actually done before a lot of other kids, which I always tell him. He’s very smart. His parents have sent him to therapy because of his anger. It has not helped at all. In fact, things have gotten worse since the therapy started. How do I get him to not throw a fit and just do the work?

Amy, Kansas City, Missouri

Read moreHow to Train the Chronic Tantrum Thrower

How to Create a Great Consequence When Your Kid is Acting Like a Real Jerk

Dear Kid Whisperer,

In the past, my son Tyler tended to be pretty peaceful, but as the summer has begun, he has started some kind of rivalry with our neighbor, Stephen. My son is six and Stephen is five. They argue so much that I won’t let my son play with Stephen anymore. So yesterday I heard screaming and I came outside to find my son standing at the edge of my yard screaming through our fence at Stephen. He was using a couple of four letter words that he had learned from his father. I yelled at him to come inside. He ignored me.

Read moreHow to Create a Great Consequence When Your Kid is Acting Like a Real Jerk