Blog Summary

This blog is a compilation of my musings on the parenting principles originated by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. My primary resource is On Becoming Childwise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. In my now 7 years as a mom, I have explored all parenting styles and have comfortably settled on Ezzo. Here you will find parenting advice that spans the Ezzo parenting spectrum–from couch time and roomtime to first-time obedience and verbal freedoms. Posts will cover the practical details of teaching the defiant toddler to obey to more philosophical thoughts on big-picture Ezzo parenting.

Since my boys are 7 and 4 at the time of this writing, my posts and real-life examples will be naturally geared toward this age. And while the blog is titled Childwise Chat, I will draw from other Ezzo books including Toddlerwise, Preschoolwise and occasionally Babywise (I and II). But one of the reasons I so fully believe in the Ezzo principles is that they are so timeless and can be applied to a child of almost any age.



  1. My daughter is in second grade. She has trouble doing her work in class. She does really well at home with homework, but for some reason she is not focusing in class. I would love any suggestions on how to help her focus in class. She is very social, so I know friends is part of it.

  2. Hi Leticia,

    I have a couple ideas. Are you able to work with her teacher on this? Has she tried anything in class such as moving her away from her close friends, moving her away from distracting hallways, etc.? You say she does well with homework, but I would do some more practice time at home. Create distractions during homework time that she will have to learn to overcome. Turn on the TV. Have a friend come over. If she can still concentrate (without too many reminders from you) and still get her homework done, this should translate well into the classroom.

    Also, be sure you are supporting the teacher. What kind of consequence does she get for not getting her work done? Bad grades, detention, anything like that? If a teacher issues a consequence, you must support the teacher and not undermine her authority by putting up a fight or bailing your daughter out. This will go a long way toward allowing the teacher to establish greater authority. If the teacher doesn’t issue any consequences, then I would take that upon myself as a parent. Check in with the teacher once a week and if the teacher says she had a bad week, take away some privilege. If she has a good week, take her out for ice cream or some other treat.

    One last thought is to consider her temperament and do some research on it. If she is so social, she’s likely a sanguine child. It will tell you a little more about her strengths and weaknesses and maybe even a few ideas to over come them. Here’s one link:

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

  3. Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I’m more of a visual learner.

  4. I have considered it. Unfortunately, this version of WordPress doesn’t support video, but it might be worth it to switch to a self-hosted version. Stay tuned…

  5. Hi, I have been introduced to GKGW just recently and I would certainly like to start applying it when raising my children (3 and 5=year old). Some of my close friends with little children take a different approach though, and we often witness extreme tantrums and disobedience from their children. They believe it’s just a phase and the child will outgrow. ( I absolutely not!) How do I explain to my children why their friends are allowed such behavior and all their parents do is yell at them, or spank them, or simply ignore them. It is also confusing for them to see other children, e.g. on the playground, being granted inappropriate freedoms for their age..It’s sometimes hard for me to find good answers immediately.

  6. Hi Ada. I’m sure we have all been there, with friends with different parenting methods and not knowing what to say to our children. If you follow these methods closely, you will come to the point where your word is your authority. Your kids should accept the simple explanation of, “I expect more of you and that’s not how we do things in our family.” If they whine or complain, nip it in the bud with something like, “I understand you are disappointed, but this is not up for negotiation.”

    Once you fully understand GKGW, find a good time to go into a longer explanation about how things are changing in your home now that you have discovered GKGW, especially with the older one. Explain to them your new rules and your new standard. Tell them that you have learned new things and will be setting the bar high for their behavior. But be sure to explain that it is for their benefit. Explain that you want them to become obedient, morally sound kids who people will enjoy being around. Tell them they are trading in yelling and spanking for smiles and praise! Good luck! I hope you find this blog helpful in your journey!

  7. Maureen, thanks a lot for your prompt reply and encouraging words:-)

  8. Allison Richartz says:

    Hi! We are struggling with our 2.5 year old staying in bed at bedtime. He is clearly tired, we keep a regular routine and everything and he slept in his crib up until only a couple months ago. In his crib, he always went to sleep like a dream. For the first month in his toddler bed he never got out of bed and asked permission to get out, just as if it were his crib. Then I guess he realized he could get out of it. I am WAY too sleepy to enforce staying in bed in the morning and after naps(he has started getting up on his own and coming out of his room, almost always at an acceptable time, if not, I put him back in bed), so hopefully that doesn’t impact bedtime. Anyway, did I miss a chapter in the prep for parenting course, toddler course, or first half of GKGW that we’ve completed so far?? Where can I find info on the Ezzo/Childwise method for getting a toddler to stay in his bed. We have him on a video monitor and we’ve tried going in and laying him back down without a word or just saying it’s bedtime, over and over and over… but this is taking longer and longer each time. So, we tried spanking and it worked the first night, took a couple times the next night, then the next couple nights I felt like it was way too much spanking and I know I did a proper spanking, but I started to wonder if it was waking him up too much and keeping him from going to sleep… We decided to go back to trying no spankings, no communication and sometimes it works, but sometimes he is just being downright defiant and laughing at us and then I want to spank again, but that would be inconsistent. LOL! Anyway, we have a LIST of things to work on that is growing as we are going through the GKGW course, but in the meantime, I need to get him going to bed the way he should. What is the right way to train a toddler to stay in his bed at bedtime? There must be special rules for this, because don’t we want to limit stimulation at bedtime? That’s what is throwing me! Thanks!
    P.S. So glad I found your page!!! I’ve had a hard time finding GKGW resources like this online! Do you know of any others that are as specific. I went to My Baby Sleep Guide and felt like it was loaded with sleep prop this sleep prop that… lol! That’s not Ezzo enough for me. ;) But I did use that site when my boy was an infant, before I started the parenting classes and SO glad I had that info then!!!

  9. Allison Richartz says:

    Found the BabyCenter groups! SO excited to get approved! :)

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