How to Handle Phone Calls from Your Child’s Teacher

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am really frustrated with my son’s school. He is in 3rd grade and every week or so they call me to tattle on my son. They call me to tell me that he isn’t listening, or that he isn’t doing his work. Yesterday, they called after school to tell me that he was being disruptive. Sometimes it’s the teacher, sometimes it’s the principal, but they keep calling and they have suggested that I give him a consequence. Isn’t that their job? He is generally OK at home, and when he’s not, there are consequences. I’m not sure how to deal with this. -Cheyenne, Dayton, Ohio

Read More


How to Deal With a Kid Who Intentionally Destroys Things

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a 6-year old who likes to destroy things. She has ruined a coffee table (sanding down the edges with a pencil), ruined a carpet (scissors), and ruined a wall (markers). We have talked to her over and over, trying to find out why she’s doing it. She says she doesn’t know. Is she needing more attention? Is she angry? We want to find the root cause of this behavior so we can stop it. We are starting to lose our patience with her at times. What do you think? -Jaime, New Albany, Ohio

Read More


How to Deal With a Kid Who is Addicted to Screens

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My seven-year-old son loves his iPad so much that he has started to ignore the rest of the world. He doesn’t care about anything else. We recognized this as a problem, but my husband and I have had a very hard time taking the iPad away. My son goes into hysterics when we do, and he will scream and yell until he gets it back. We went to family therapy about this. We tried talking to him about how using the iPad so much is bad for him and how he should play outside, or go to a friend’s house, etc. This does not help. What should we do?    -Tana, Des Moines, Iowa

Read More


How to Handle a Kid Who Refuses to Wear a Coat

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My four-year old loves to go out and play outside without a coat or long pants, even when it is 5 degrees out. I used to yell at him and lecture him. Then a friend told me I should just let the natural consequence of being cold happen so that he would get cold enough and put on appropriate clothing. I tried that. He went outside for 45 minutes straight in 5-degree weather and played happily. Thinking that someone would call children’s services on me, I had him come inside and forced him to put on winter clothes while we yelled at each other. Now what? -Jeanne, St. Paul, MN

Read More


How to Train your Kids to Remember the Things they Need

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am so tired of taking things to my kids after they forget them at home. So far I have delivered a cheerleading outfit, homework folders, and yesterday, I delivered basketball shoes. No matter how much I remind them, they still forget everything. I can’t let my kids not have these things. They need them so they can participate in activities, school, and sports. I also don’t want to keep driving 15 minutes one way to school three times a week because they can’t remember anything. Please help.

-Beth, Des Moines, Iowa

Read More


How to Retrain Your Kid to Stop Bothering Adults

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My 11-year-old daughter is extremely nosy, butts into adult conversations, and tends to stand with adults even when kids are around. She even adds commentary that isn’t her business and sometimes honestly it just doesn’t make sense. I often have to get MEAN and yell in order to get my point across and to get her to go away and go be with the kids as opposed to the adults. What is a logical consequence, and how can I break her from this before it gets her in trouble?

-Kim, Abilene, Texas

Read More


How to Help Your Kid Remember Things

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My fourth grader is very smart, but very forgetful. He usually leaves his lunch at home and often forgets his homework, either at school or at home. I have ten questions that I will use to prompt him to remember to do things and be more responsible, but I often end up bringing him his homework or lunch or both. I’ve tried everything to try to get him to be organized. Is there anything else that I can do? -Kim, Biloxi, Mississippi

Read More


How to Use an Effective Alternative to Time-Out

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I use Time-Out with my kids: when they do something bad, I put them in their room. When I have a chance, I go and tell them what they did wrong so that they know and then I tell them to knock it off. Then they can come back. Basically, it used to work, and now it doesn’t. I have my 11-year-old in her room practically all the time now. No idea what to change or do differently. -Austin, Lexington, Kentucky

Read More