"A child who can't take "no" for an answer always has parents who can't say it and mean it. "

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

PreTeen Lying and Sneaking Food

Posted on 6/21/2017

A 12 yr. old female is sneaking food which is not healthy for her as she' s on a gluten, soy, dairy free diet and then lying about it. Lying has also become a problem in itself. She's...

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11-yr-old tummy troubles or just seeking attention?

Posted on 6/17/2017

Our 11 year old daughter began expressing stomach discomfort in early spring (i.e. VERY frequent complaining). In the absence of obvious illness (diarrhea, pain in night w/disrupted sleep, etc..),...

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Tweens Disrespectful Brats

Posted on 6/12/2017

It is the first day of summer vacation. I have a 9 and 11 year old boy. I work part time from home. My plan for the summer was to brainstorm a summer bucket list with them and then schedule some...

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Son Destroys Everything in Room During Punishment

Posted on 6/9/2017

When we send our son to his bedroom for punishment, he starts to destroy everything in the room. We tried other punishments but nothing seems to phase him. If we take away his limited screen...

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11 yr old depression/self harm

Posted on 5/21/2017

Today our son (11, homeschooled) was nowhere to be found after a church luncheon. He was outside hiding behind the garage. When spotted he ran off the property, and he was chased by his dad and...

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9 year wants to know how woman get pregnant

Posted on 5/17/2017

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 on 5/17/2017

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 on 5/15/2017

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 on 5/15/2017

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 on 5/1/2017

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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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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