"As children grow older, parents must give them greater freedom, including greater freedom to make mistakes. "

Pre-Teen (11-12 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Take the Drama out of Math Homework

Posted on 8/30/2016

Q: Our sixth-grade son has always been an excellent math student. This year, however, he melts down every time he does math homework. Within minutes, he becomes highly agitated, begins crying,...

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Selecting the Right Private School

Posted on 8/16/2016

Q: We are looking for a private school for our 4-year-old. Regardless of the school we ultimately choose, we want to keep him there through eighth grade at least. We live in an suburban area so...

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Misplacing a Sense of Purpose

Posted on 12/9/2014

Q: My buddy’s wife walks their 11-year-old into the classroom each day. Then she takes out his assignments and helps him get ready. We’re talking about a very capable kid who has no...

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Pull-Ups & Adoption Age

Posted on 9/16/2014

Q: My 23-month-old son does well with potty training when we’re at home. We use a “potty bell” and he goes every 90 minutes or so. When we’re away from home, however, he seems clueless. He...

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Impulse Control: A Hallmark of Life

Posted on 8/5/2014

A mom recently asked me what I would say to my son if he was twelve years old and wanted a Mohawk haircut for the summer. I told her I’d say no. “But is it really that...

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To Help or Not To Help?

Posted on 6/3/2014

I recently asked a group of 50 teachers: “Raise your hand if you agree that when a child comes to an adult asking for help with an academic problem, the adult should help.” ...

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Good Parenting Decisions

Posted on 5/20/2014

Q: For the first five years of her life, it was just me and my now 13-year-old daughter. I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. I wasn’t consistent; I didn’t hold her accountable; I was an...

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Too Old to Cuddle?

Posted on 4/15/2014

Q: My 11-year old son, an only child, continues to ask me to "snuggle" with him and scratch his back at bed time. This is a time for us to read aloud, chat about concerns or questions, and say...

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The "Hang in There Principle"

Posted on 11/26/2013

Q: My 11-year-old son cuts corners on everything. If he does a chore, he'll leave the cleaning products behind. If his bed his hard to make he hides the sheet in the closet and throws the blanket...

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Their Biology Makes Them Do It!

Posted on 10/22/2013

The "their biology makes them do it!" hypothesis concerning the oft-horrid behavior of today's teens keeps on rolling along, charming parents of said teens into the comforting belief that...

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Recent Questions

12 yo Social Life Taking Over Grades

Posted 1 week ago

My 12 yo daughter has gone from straight A's in elementary school to C's & D's in middle school. It's not because she can't do the work, she chooses not to. Her friends and social life seem to be...

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12 yo Rage Out of Control

Posted 1 week ago

My 12 year old son has occasional anger issues and when he gets spun up (usually after I say no to him about something unreasonable) he gets into an extreme almost rage type anger. He has...

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Neglecting hygiene at 11.

Posted on 1/25/2017

We have a particularly disgusting problem happening in our home. Our 11 year old is practicing zero hygiene including: not using soap or shampoo in the shower (just standing under the spray), not...

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11 Year Old Bra Issues

Posted on 1/3/2017

My 11 year old daughter needs to start wearing a bra but is refusing. She has always had sensory issues with clothes, ie socks, tight-fitting clothes such as jeans, shoes even, very particular...

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11 yo Sneakiness

Posted on 1/2/2017

My oldest daughter has developed some very sneaky behavior. The minute my back is turned or I'm out of the house for a few minutes she's pulling something. Mostly its been with electronics, taking...

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13 Year Old Vaping

Posted on 1/2/2017

Hi! I found a vape pen hidden in my 13 year old son's room and am at a loss as to how to handle this. I know he is very succeptible to peer pressure and wants very badly to fit in and with the...

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Distraught dad of tweens

Posted on 12/30/2016

Please help - i am the father of a 12 year old girl and a 10 year old boy. They are both spoilt brats who only care about their enjoyment. 1)They are very rude and dont listen. 2)They dont...

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11 yo Won't Do Schoolwork

Posted on 12/20/2016

My 11 year old son attends a catholic school where is has always done well. He started sixth grade this year and now has several teachers and an increased homework load that includes long term...

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expectations of 12 yo girl may be too high

Posted on 11/13/2016

My 12 -year old daughter can't take criticism or correction. She will be hurt, felt that the world has collapsed, feel worthless, diffident, stammer, cry and turn her head down when my husband and...

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6th Grade Daily Report Card Not Working

Posted on 11/7/2016

Our son started 6th grade this year and is doing very well in all his classes - save one. He is falling further and further behind in his Advanced Math class. He has always been a strong math...

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Audio

Parenting the Strong Willed Teen Audio File

Posted on 1/8/2015

This is an entertaining and informative talk on understanding and managing even the most petulant of today’s teenagers. The talk was recorded live before an audience in San Diego, CA and is based...

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