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The mistake that Sharon and I both made is we never set any boundaries.  (Ozzy Osbourne)

Children today are under enormous pressures rarely experienced by their parents or grandparents. Many of today's children are being enticed to grow up too quickly and are encountering challenges for which they are totally unprepared.

Children fare better when expectations on them are clear and firm.

Criticism is not a motivator.

Simple rules adhered to when children are young can prevent more serious problems later.

It's more effective to reward your child for being "good" (appropriate) than to punish him for being "bad" (inappropriate).

Wouldn't it be nice if children would simply listen and learn.

The challenge of adolescence is to balance the right of the parents to feel they are in charge with the need of the adolescent to gain independence.

Don't wait for him to turn 10 before you reveal that you are not in fact the hired help whose job it is to clean up after him.

If you (parents) tend to overreact to your child's misbehaviour - your child learns that he can't trust you. Mom, Dad, stay regulated!

Learn more.

Sleep Problems (part 3 – the middle of the night screamer)

A child who regularly wakens in the night and won’t go back to sleep without  a parent’s help is SO DRAINING!  The following technique is worthy of your consideration if you have a middle of the night screamer and you are sure that there is nothing wrong with the child ie. ill.

The Controlled Crying Technique

Step # 1 - when the child wakens and begins to cry, let him cry for 10 minutes

- if he doesn’t fall back to sleep in 10 minutes, go to him and offer Grade B comfort

- pick up and cuddle low key, demonstrate concern (but not too much)

- use FEW words

Step # 2 – when the child stops crying – put him down and promptly leave the room

- use NO words

Step # 3 – when he starts crying again – let him cry 3 minutes longer than before

- offer Grade B comfort as before and when he stops crying leave his room in the same

manner as before – NO words

Step # 4 – repeat step 3 (let him cry 3 minutes longer = 16 minutes)

- goal is to gradually build up the time between your comforting

- the child eventually figures out “my parents will come sometime, but this isn’t worth the


- I recommend that you do not exceed a 30 minute crying spell without offering comfort

(the comfort MUST be Grade B and use NO words)

Parents who have used this technique correctly have approximately a 90% cure rate within 7 nights. They report that children in the age range 1 year to 2 years have frequent relapses. Children over the age of 14 months display major showdowns on the first couple nights but the fuss is usually over by the 3rd night.

Giving the child the ability to self soothe and return to sleep unaided is a wonderful lifelong gift to the child and a welcome milestone for parents.

Rick Harper has been providing ideas for parents for over 40 years.

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+ Behaviour Management

This full day or 2 evening workshop will introduce you [...]

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+ Lick Your Kids

  “Lick Your Kids” (figuratively not literally) (2 hours) First [...]

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+ A Parent’s Guide to the Teenage Brain

  A teenager’s brain is not just an adult brain [...]

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+ Reading Rescue

A program for children with reading problems

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+ Taming a Toddler

Many parents wonder what hit them when their sweet little baby turns into an unreasonable toddler – ideas for dealing with mealtime, bedtime, temper tanturms, toilet training, noncompliance, etc.

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2720 Rath Street, Putnam, Ontario

Phone: (519) 485-4678
Fax: (519) 485-0281

Email: info@rickharper.ca


Parents' Comments

“Our daughter was the joy of our life until she turned 13, then all hell broke loose. Rick helped us understand what was happening to her and we made some adjustments that helped us get through it. She’s now in University and doing well.”

(D.A. – St. Thomas)