"Give your children regular doses of Vitamin "N," as in "No." "

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

9 year wants to know how woman get pregnant

Posted 1 week ago

I have a soon to be 9 year old adopted daughter (who was adopted at birth) that is starting to ask a lot of questions about how a woman gets pregnant. She is adamant that she wants to adopt...

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Son Obsessed with Pokemon

Posted 1 week ago

Hello! Our son is obsessed! Obsessed with one thing at a time to the point of not completing school work to do it. Right now it's Pokemon. He has a screen time limit - one 30 min show after...

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9 year old has tantrums & hits and bites the teacher

Posted 2 weeks ago

9 year old is second of 4 children all of which are very intelligent. This 9 year old started throwing temper tantrums at home and school in Kindergarten. He was put in IEP because of behavior...

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11 yo, Depressed, Won't Do School Work

Posted 2 weeks ago

We read him the riot act and lowered the boom. It's the first time our son (11) has been grounded. He has been refusing to do his school work. He sits and stares at his math book for hours, even...

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Pre-Teen's New Found Rigidity

Posted 4 weeks ago

My 11-year-old boy will some days be extremely legalistic. This morning he said he needed to read the Bible for 13 million hours, look up a YouTube video to know how to make his bed perfectly, not...

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Authority Issues with a 12 year old

Posted on 4/19/2017

My 12 year old girl has a real issue with her authority, she talks back when asked to do anything that she does not want to do. My mother-in-law, My husband and I are continually having to talk...

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Grumpy 11 year old woes.

Posted on 4/17/2017

We home school our 11 and 8 year old sons. Have done so all the way through, except for one year of Christian school. We have been having problems especially with our 11-year-old, being grumpy,...

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Squabbling Sisters

Posted on 4/4/2017

Hello. I have 9 and 11-YO daughters. I was so excited to have two girls and envisioned them being best friends growing up together. Not the case. They fight all the time and my 11-YO has become...

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Tug of war with an 11 year old.

Posted on 3/31/2017

My 11 year old daughter's grades have plummeted. She is capable but unmotivated. It started as one late assignment here or there and has now become out of control. She now has F's and a D and has...

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What's a School Counselor to Do?

Posted on 3/13/2017

Hi John, I'm a K-12 School Counselor and schools today have many challenges. One of them involves working with kids in junior high and high school who are failing, school is not working for...

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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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