John Rosemond has worked with families, children, and parents since 1971 in the field of family psychology. In 1971, John earned his masters in psychology from Western Illinois University and was elected to the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. In 1999, his alma mater conferred upon John the Distinguished Alumni Award, given only once per year. Upon acceptance, he gave the commencement address.
From 1971-1979, he worked as a psychologist in Illinois and North Carolina and directed several mental-health programs for children.
From 1980-1990. John was in full-time practice as a family psychologist with Piedmont Psychological Associates in Gastonia.
Presently, his time is devoted to speaking and writing. John is syndicated in approximately 225 newspapers nationwide. He has written eleven best-selling parenting books. He is also one of America’s busiest and most popular speakers and most certainly the busiest and most popular in his field. He’s known for his sound advice, humor and easy, relaxed, engaging style.
In the past few years, John has appeared on numerous national television programs including 20/20, Good Morning America, The View, The Today Show, CNN, as well as numerous print interviews.
John was born in Asheville, NC, in 1947 to Emily and Jack Rosemond. When “Mr. Bobo” was still in the hospital, awaiting his mother’s recuperation, it is recorded in his baby book that he was visited by Lydia and Charlton Heston (who were working at the time in Asheville’s community theater and had become close friends of the Rosemonds), who brought him his first toy, a blue rubber elephant. The subtle suggestion obviously “took.”
So, the obvious question is “What’s with this Mr. Bobo thing?” While he was still in utero John’s parents began calling him “The Bobo.” When they saw that he was a male, they dubbed him Mr. Bobo. That later diminished to simply Bobo or Bo, as all of John’s friends call him today.
Before he was a year old, John’s parents moved back to Charleston, SC, where both of them had grown up. When he was three or thereabouts, his parents divorced and Mr. Bobo and his mom remained in Charleston until she remarried when he was seven. Her second husband, a medical school professor, took them to the suburbs of Chicago. John and his stepfather had their share of “issues” over the years, culminating in John going to live with his dad in Valdosta, GA, when he was fifteen. When he was seventeen and about to enter his senior year of high school, John’s father announced that he was taking a job in Augusta, GA. Rather than attend a third high school, John opted to return for his senior year to the high school he’d attended as a freshman and sophomore, Proviso West High School in Hillside, IL, where he graduated in 1965.
After a summer spent experimenting with juvenile delinquency, John entered Western Illinois University and promptly joined a rock ‘n’ roll band as their lead singer. Over the next few years, the band underwent numerous personnel changes, culminating in a band that called itself Haynor Street Mandela. During a performance in September of 1967, John noticed a particularly attractive coed leaning on stage, staring at him, or so he hoped. After the gig, they found one another, confessed their undying rock ‘n’ roll love for one another, and were married ten months later. John played in rock bands until 1972, during which time one of his bands, Herkemer Bog (remember, this was the 1960s), opened for REO Speedwagon on two occasions.By the time John finished graduate school, he and Willie had one child, Eric. Their second child, Amy, was born shortly thereafter, and shortly thereafter, John and Willie and Eric and Amy moved to Sylva, North Carolina, where John took his first job as a real, honest-to-goodness psychologist, working in a program that served children with behavior and learning problems. Two years later, in 1976, John and Willie moved to Gastonia, NC, where he became director of the local mental health center’s early intervention program. Almost immediately, he met the wife of the editor of the local newspaper, who suggested that one way to address the parenting needs of the community was to begin writing a newspaper column. “Um, okay,” John said, and that was that. Two years later, The Charlotte Observer persuaded John to begin writing for them and one year after that, the Observer placed the column in syndication.
John went into private practice in 1979. In 1989, his first book for Andrews McMeel, John Rosemond’s Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children was published. Because it was so very different in its approach than the parenting books in the market, it attracted lots of attention and controversy. Suddenly, John was receiving invitations to speak from all over the USA and even Canada and even Europe and Australia, so he left private practice in 1990 and has been full time as a writer and speaker ever since.
After writing ten books for Andrews McMeel, John wrote his first faith-based parenting book, Parenting by The Book, which was published by Howard Books (a subsidiary of Simon and Schuster) in 2007. In less than six months, PbTB sold so well that John was lured, willingly, into a three-book deal with Thomas Nelson, the biggest Christian publisher in the world. His first book for TN, The Diseasing of America’s Children: Exposing the ADHD Fiasco and Empowering Parents to Take Back Control, written with pediatrician Dr. Bose Ravenel, was published in 2008. The second book, The Well-Behaved Child: Discipline that Really Works! (Note to other parenting authors: The title is trademarked, so don’t even think of appropriating it!!!). John then realized that in the digital age, he could enjoy much greater creative control if he self-published, which is what he’s done with his latest, “Toilet Training Without Tantrums,” written with Diane Kottakis.
At present, John’s nationally-syndicated parenting column appears weekly in more than 200 newspapers nationwide including The Charlotte Observer, Miami Herald, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Hartford Courant, Omaha World-Herald, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Raleigh News and Observer, Durham Herald, and Albuquerque Journal. “All the best papers,” John remarks, noting that the way a newspaper earns the status of “best” is to run his column.
John is most definitely one of America’s most popular speakers in the parenting field. In a given year, he gives more than 150 talks to parent and professional audiences all over the map. His talks are provocative, informative, and always entertaining. John promises that his audiences will laugh…a lot.
John and Willie still live in Gastonia, in their modest Colonial saltbox. Eric and Amy are both happily married and have blessed John and Willie with seven grandchildren ranging in age from seven months to thirteen years. John and Willie both like to shop for antiques, travel, dote on their grandkids (Especially Willie, who has been named World’s Best Grandma, an award given annually by a parenting organization located in Gastonia, North Carolina, for thirteen straight years! Imagine that!), read, play with their Toy Schnauzer, Mazie (pronounced May-Z), and travel some more.
In 1992, John and Willie stumbled across a tiny little seaside cottage on a remote Bahamian island, population 50. They bought it and have spent the last sixteen years fixing it up. They now reside in the Bahamas, on their little acre of paradise, around four months a year, where John usually writes a book…or maybe not, depending on how well the fish are running.
All of his professional accomplishments aside, John is quick to remind folks that his real qualifications are that he’s been married to the same woman for forty years, is the father of two successful adults, and the grandfather of seven children…make that seven well-behaved grandchildren.