"Don't ask a child a question if you don't mean for the child to have a choice in the matter. "

Young Adult (19-25 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Parent Involvement

Posted on 11/11/2014

Why are young adult children emancipating so much later than they did in 1970, when the average age of male emancipation (independent living, paying one’s own bills) was 21? Why do...

Read More

Biting Finger Nails: What to do?

Posted on 1/21/2014

Q: What can be done to stop a nineteen year old from biting his finger nails? This has been an ongoing habit from early childhood. He's obviously damaging his fingers and maybe even his teeth....

Read More

21-Year-Old Needs Walking Papers

Posted on 2/26/2013

Q: My husband and I have a 21-year-old daughter from his first marriage. She was suspended from college for bad grades and is waiting out her time until she can go back. Meanwhile, she works for...

Read More

Adult Child: What to do?

Posted on 12/11/2012

Q: We have an adult child who doesn't want to grow up. She quit college after two years and moved across the country. As we anticipated, she's having difficulty supporting herself. In fact, she...

Read More

19-Year-Old Girl Dating Sarcastic Boyfriend

Posted on 3/15/2011

Is it verbal abuse or just snide humor? It appears that a recent column of mine had an effect similar to a Rorschach inkblot: People read their own personal experiences and/or biases into it...

Read More

19-Year-Old Girl Dating Negative Boyfriend

Posted on 3/1/2011

Boyfriend just needs to grow up Q. Our 19-year-old daughter is dating a 19-year-old, who, in general, we like. He's not a partier, he's serious about his education, etc. The problem is that his...

Read More

Kids Hitting Parents

Posted on 2/22/2011

A hidden abuse problem: Kids who assault parents One of the more heartbreaking consequences of the "psychological" parenting philosophy and style that American parents began adopting in the...

Read More

20-Something Daughter Back Home

Posted on 1/26/2010

Parents need to teach adult daughter to take care of herself A colleague of mine used to say, "Don't ask a question if you don't want the answer." A reader recently asked me what rules she...

Read More

College Graduate Returning Home

Posted on 12/29/2009

IN FORMERLY EMPTY NEST, SHE'LL RUFFLE FEATHERS Q. What, if any, ground rules can and should parents set for a child returning to live at home after college graduation? My husband and I are...

Read More

Clarification on Military Accepting GEDs

Posted on 12/8/2009

CLARIFICATION ON MILITARY ACCEPTING GEDS A recent column in which I advised the parents of a teen to let him drop out of high school, get his GED, and join the Army has been challenged by some...

Read More
View All Articles

Recent Questions

Safety first.

Posted 6 days ago

On 4/19/17 I asked a question about my 18 year old step son saying he would hit me. I also said that my husband stated he would divorce me if I called the police on the boy if he does hit me. I...

Read More

Being responsible for adult children.

Posted 1 week ago

Our 19 year old son from my husband's first marriage returned home after his first college semester because he was having problems. We soon realized he had been on drugs. Our suspicion was...

Read More

Unresolved marital issues impact parenting.

Posted 1 week ago

My 18 year old step son caused a horrible scene at our family Easter gathering this weekend. His younger brother was in trouble for being rude and disrespectful to both his father and me. However...

Read More

Adult child's negative influence on minor siblings.

Posted on 3/29/2017

Dear John, What is your solution to this? We have an older, out of the house child (30 years old), who is sowing seeds of discontent with his younger siblings (teens) who still live at home. He...

Read More

Finances and the Bank of Mom and Dad

Posted on 3/28/2017

We have our first child in college. We are giving her a monthly stipend to pay for incidentals. Room, board and tuition are paid for both with money we saved and a scholarship she earned. She also...

Read More

Reestablishing Relationships with Rebellious Young Adults

Posted on 3/21/2017

Unsuccessful in how I stated this a week ago, so trying once more. Have one of our ten children, adopted from Eastern Europe, who after many infractions, was thrown out of the house by my husband,...

Read More

College student lessons.

Posted on 3/21/2017

Against our advice, our college student chose a roommate known to be prone to histrionics. Before the decision was made, we outlined all the potential ramifications but let her make the final...

Read More

Adult children continue to be parented.

Posted on 2/22/2017

Do you have any advise on how to recconect with an estranged adult child who is in their 30's? And yes, I made all the "giving your child self-esteem" mistakes in the 1980-2000 that you speak...

Read More

What to Do When Older Sister Is Mean to Younger Sister

Posted on 2/5/2017

Our older daughter continues to be a source of hurt to her younger sister. They are three years apart and both teens. They are both well liked in the community, praised by teachers, active in...

Read More

Can you change your adult child's destructive behavior?

Posted on 1/23/2017

What is the order of priority to hold adult children (21 age) accountable to who live at home while attending college? We have a 21 year old daughter who was kicked out of college for drugs. ...

Read More
View All Questions