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How to Stop Being a Pushover and Start Parenting

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have three children: 6, 8, and 14 years old. I know I am a pushover, and they know it too. The other moms in my friend group are pretty similar, and they are relaxed in their parenting styles. The difference seems to be that their kids are mostly well-behaved and mine aren’t. We get together at each other’s homes, and two of my kids are particularly poorly behaved.  I can see in their eyes and in their behavior that me talking to them doesn’t work. The other parents are starting to get annoyed and judgmental. I am just an agreeable person who doesn’t like conflict, even with my kids. What do I do now? -Kelly, Las Vegas, Nevada

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How to Handle Tweens Who Want to Use Social Media

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I’m a single dad and my daughter and I have had an ongoing fight for the last few years about social media. She is fourteen and wants to have social media accounts. I believe that social media is bad for children. I actually think it’s bad for everyone. I don’t even have a Facebook account. She is very distressed about it (all of her friends are on it) and I’m thinking about letting her have a Facebook account, even though I think the negatives of being on Facebook far outweigh the positives. What’s your advice? -Fred, Atlanta, Georgia

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How to Retrain Your Kid for Society

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My ten-year-old son is excited to start having friends over again now that pandemic restrictions are lifting, as am I. The problem is that he has issues with anger and impulse control. He used to get in fights with friends he had over, and he just got into a fight with his little brother. I have to make it work so that he can have friends over, because he needs to have this playtime for his own development of social skills, especially after the pandemic. How would you suggest I make this happen? -Kay, Dayton, Ohio

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How to Deal With Judgment From Other Adults

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My question is about adults. I take my seven-year-old to a nearby park every few days. I allow my child to explore and run around all over the large park, and I have now had a couple awkward interactions with parents who will deliver my child to me when my he goes out of my sight. They have said some vaguely judgmental things upon delivery, like: “I’m sure you didn’t mean to let him out of your sight.” Frankly, I don’t need to have my eyes on him all the time. He’s safe in the park. I don’t know what to say to these people. Anne, Los Angeles, California

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The Kid Whisperer Podcast Featuring Scott Ervin and Pat Kiely: Episode 6

Topics in this episode include:

Why don’t we talk about “teacher burnout?”

How do you handle a 17-year-old who refuses to contribute to your household?

What should I do when my kid fakes sick to stay home from school?

I feel like my students don’t like me. Am I just being insecure?

 

How to Handle a Kid Experiencing Separation Sadness

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My wife just went back to work in an office after working from home for the last year. I am still working from home and am also taking care of my three-year-old son. Whenever my wife leaves the apartment, he completely freaks out. He screams and yells and tries to will himself through our front door to follow her. He cries for hours as I try to tell him that she will be back, that she misses him too, etcetera. I’m not sure where to go from here. -Mike, Nashville, Tennessee

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How to Deal With a Moody Nine-Year-Old

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am at a loss with my nine-year-old daughter. She wakes up in a bad mood and stays in it all day. She mopes. She rolls her eyes when her father and I talk. We try to cheer her up. We talk to her about how to have a more positive attitude. Nothing helps, unless we take her to do something really fun, and that only works briefly. We are not sure what to do now. -Jennifer, Dayton, Ohio

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How to Gently Guide Kids in the Classroom

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a student in my fourth-grade class who has been diagnosed with severe anxiety and ADHD. These diagnoses are right on: everything I do seems to agitate him and nothing I do gets him to pay attention. What now? -Mary, Bar Harbor, Maine

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How to Set a Limit With Your Principal

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I asked you a question a few weeks ago about my third graders coming back from recess most days angry at each other. I told you about how their tattling about what happened at recess was wreaking havoc in the classroom after recess. You answered it, and that answer was very helpful. But now more students are coming to me every day with stories of chaos at recess, even kids getting in fights with no consequences, and sometimes adults not being aware of it. There are not enough adults out there, and the ones who are are not holding students accountable. I’m at a loss. -Mark, Lansing, Michigan

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