Starting Summer Vacation Off Right

May 29th, 2021

Transitioning from school year to summer schedule can be challenging for some families. In this first letter, mom laments that their vacation planning is "never good enough" for the kids, who complain regardless. Including the kids in the planning process always goes a long way. In the second letter, mom is frantic to corral her brood after school is out for the summer. Taking account of structure, supervision, and accountability makes for smooth sailing through summer activities.

Is your child stressed out? What about mental health wellness checkups?

May 16th, 2021

The first letter is from a parent who is concerned about whether her child's nail-biting behavior is symptomatic of anxiety. What exactly is stress? My second letter is from a parent who asks if there is such a thing as mental health wellness checkups for the family. What great questions. Check out this podcast to see how I answer them. Blessings, Dr. Jon

Navigating Troubled Times

May 1st, 2021

Starting school and starting the teen years are two troubled times for all kids. Parents are tasked with helping them navigate these difficult terrains. In the first letter for today, I heard from a mom who wants tips on helping a good teen keep up the good work in school. Praise and revising homework patterns come to mind. In the second letter, the mom of a 5 year old victim of bullying in kindergarten is frantic to stop her child from being bullied. Practicing helpful confrontation and also asking the classroom teacher to have the guidance counselor give an anti-bullying presentation to the class will go a long way toward keeping her precious away from bullying.

Making Birthdays Special

April 17th, 2021

Both letters today are about making birthdays special for our kids. In the first, the parents set up a "free pass" birthday rule, where Alex was not punished for any rule infractions, but only on his birthday. Is this a good idea, a good way to make his birthday special? In the second letter, mom wants to know how to handle kid sister who expects to be a part of her big sister's sleepover birthday celebration, when big sister is saying "no way." Can mom find a win-win solution that makes the birthday celebration special for both children?

Downsizing, Getting Me Time

April 10th, 2021

Two more letters from viewers. First, how does a family downsize and still have a fun summertime? Second, how does an overworked, stressed out mom carve out me-time while still being there for her brood of children? Helping your kids understand the scope of these questions, and active listening their feelings for them, will make each situation more manageable. Send your questions to me at or email me at and I will include them in subsequent podcasts.

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What to do with a Good Student! Dealing with Bullies

March 20th, 2021

My first letter addresses adolescent issues with your teen who is really a good student, but seems to be slacking. Considering new homework rules and using the Principle of Responsible Freedom is the ticket. For my second letter, we switch to a petite 5 year old victim of bullying in her kindergarten class. Active listening, role-play, and proactive parenting will equip her to handle the bullying. Have other questions? Email me and I'll respond, both personally and on air. Blessings.

Transitions, Homework, Both a Hassle

March 6th, 2021

Two more letters. In the first one, mom asks how to help her child make the transition from 3rd grade to 4th grade. In the second one, mom is frantic about her son's gaming while he should be doing homework, and then lying to her about it. Active listening from the parent and defines rules, rewards, and consequences help parents through such hassles.

Transitions are Always Tough.

February 27th, 2021

While kids usually accept that they have to go to school, they don't always want to. Even natural transitions can make going to school tough. In the first letter, a mom asks questions about whether and how to get her twins off to preschool. Following that letter, a desperate mom is frantic about her middle schooler's meltdown. Navigating these tough times with our kids is what being there for them is all about.

Nighttime with Newborns, Family Discipline

February 20th, 2021

Being a new parent is the toughest job any of us ever have, for which we have NO training. With just our own parents for reference, we usually want to be just like them, or nothing like them. Navigating nighttime for newborns can be exhausting. Here, I offer some tips.


A basic questions all families face is this. Who's in charge? If you don't clearly define that you are in charge, your kids will run rough shod until you take control. Securing rules, boundaries, roles, and expectations is a start. Reward and consequence systems follow and families can be comforting and run smoothly for all.

Handling the Pandemic, Vaccination, Severe Illness

February 13th, 2021

Two letters I selected typify extremes of the spectrum. In the first, parents want to get back to their lives after being vaccinated. In the second, a little boy is devastated when his best friend is hospitalized. Being creative but cautious is the theme in each of these letters. While we can't let COVID-19 control our lives, we do need to take every precaution.

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