Advice Blog

How to Give Your Kids Proper Guidance on Chores

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I follow you on Facebook, and love what you shared about kids who do chores being healthier and stronger people than kids that don’t do chores. I now have my 7 and 9 year-old doing chores, but they are so terrible at doing them that I think it would be easier to just do the chores myself. What am I doing wrong? -Christie, Moscow, Idaho

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How Principals Can Set Limits With Their Superintendents

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have come to your conferences and I follow you on Facebook. I agree with you completely that everything that is asked of teachers in the form of testing, paperwork, etc., is totally unrealistic and does not help students or teachers. As a building principal, I see that the demands are destroying my staff and my school. So, what do I do to help them? -Anonymous Principal, Somewhere in a State Somewhere

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How to Make Sure Your Kid Only Speaks to You Using Kind Words

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a 3.5 year old who treats me horribly. The way she talks to me is awful, and it’s embarrassing. I am 23 weeks pregnant and my husband is military and is often out of town. I am totally exhausted. I feel like I have tried everything and am trying to avoid confrontation, which feels wrong. What do I do? -Anjelica, Austin, Texas

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How to Enforce Table Manners With Kids (and Adults!)

Dear Kid Whisperer,

How do I get my 7-year old kid and 38-year old husband to chew with their mouths closed at the dinner table? My usual approach is to say “please chew with your mouth closed” to no one in particular shortly after we’ve sat down to eat. But that’s getting old. I really want it to just be standard behavior, no matter when or where they are eating. Also, for the record- my husband is fully aware that he is guilty of the behavior and has encouraged me to correct him. Suggestions? -Sabrina, Phoenix, Arizona

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How to Deal With a Student Who Constantly Blurts Out

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a child in my 3rd grade classroom who makes sounds with his mouth off and on all day. It’s driving me crazy and it’s driving the students around him crazy. He did this all last year as well. He has been evaluated and they say there is nothing causing this besides the fact that he likes doing it. OK, he likes making sounds. Great…now how do I make him stop? -Brenda, Lima, Ohio

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How to Deal With Temper Tantrums in the Car

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My husband and I read your column and have been using your strategies for maintaining a calm home environment with success with our seven-year old, who seems more prone to tantrums than his brothers and sisters. Removing him from the environment does work well, but what about when we want to create a tantrum-free environment in a moving car? -Kristen, Athens, Ohio

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How to Stop Accidentally Encouraging Temper Tantrums

Dear Kid Whisperer,

When my five-year-old daughter does not get her way and becomes angry, sometimes she escalates until she needs help calming down. We do this thing called “flowers and cake” where she smells the flowers then blows out the candles (getting her to take deep breaths). She seems to be escalating more and more lately, though.

Do we just stay the course with this? Will it eventually work itself out? Do we just need patience or are there other ideas that you have to deal with the escalating? -Tim, San Francisco, California

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How to Immediately Curb Sibling Bickering

Dear Kid Whisperer,

Today my 6-year old was fighting with his brother. I told him to go in his room, but he would not go. I have attended one of your conferences, so I knew to delay the consequence. I felt like I was losing control by delaying, since he kept fighting with his brother and he refused to go to his room (he’s too big to carry in there). What consequences would I use for this? -Tonia, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

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