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

Read More


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

Read More


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

Read More


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

Read More


How to Deal With Name-Calling

Dear Kid Whisperer,

How do I teach my 7-year-old kindness? I got very upset because he called his friend “fat”. I’m so disappointed and shocked! I don’t even think he cares he hurt his friend’s feelings. I’m constantly stressing about how we do not name call or use the word “fat” in our house. -Audrey, Cincinnati, Ohio

Read More


How to Deal With Bathtime Issues

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My two-and-a-half year old drinks the bathwater. It grosses me out. I worry about it making her sick, but, honestly, I know for sure that it is making me sick. Should I make her stop, or just let it go? If she should stop, how do I make her stop? I heard myself giving her a health seminar about the possible effects of this…probably not helpful for a toddler. -Mary, New Carlisle, Ohio

Read More


How to Teach Your Kid to Keep Track of Important Belongings

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a 16-year-old who has now lost three house keys. I have tried to figure out all kinds of ways for her to keep tabs on them, and none work. I am considering not giving any more keys and just have her walk out through the garage door and giving her a garage door opener. I feel like the opener is bigger and harder to lose. Other than that, I’m out of ideas. -Crystal, Springfield, Ohio

Read More


How to Deal With Teenage Theft

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My 15-year-old son charged $105 on my credit card for video games to download to his PlayStation 4. I am so upset I can’t see straight. I yelled at him and told him that I was so angry that I had no idea what I was going to do, which I feel stupid about now. How do I redeem myself? What do I do now? -Tyler, Houston, Texas

Read More