"To be an effective disciplinarian, you must be a model of self-discipline. "

Pre-Teen (11-12 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Micromanaging Weakens Child's Success in School

Posted on 8/22/2017

Q: Our son attends first grade at the local public school. At the beginning of the school year, all the parents were basically told that we are expected to go to the school’s parent website every...

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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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Recent Questions

Excessive Complaining

Posted 5 days ago

My question is about my thirteen-year-old daughter and her constant complaining whenever she's asked to do something that she doesn't want to do. She will get emotional and complain and argue, and...

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13 year old, 5 year old Squabbles

Posted 2 weeks ago

Hi ☺my question is about sibling conflict between my thirteen-year-old daughter and five-year-old son. They are constantly fighting! And they are basically just rude and disrespectful towards each...

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11 yr old Effort and Responsibility

Posted 2 weeks ago

I am the Dad of an 11 year old (6th grade). She is not giving good effort at school. My wife and I have told her it is her responsibility and she needs to get help from the teachers, study...

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Should Mom address home behavior or Math grade first?

Posted 3 weeks ago

Our 11 yr old daughter (6th grade) has some small/medium behaviors at home we would like to get under control with a Weekly Chart, but also is having trouble in Math at school (C)...other subjects...

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11 Year Old Is Disrespectful And "Plays the Victim"

Posted on 8/23/2017

My 11 year old daughter is playing the victim. Nothing is ever her fault and she takes no responsibility for anything. She's petulant, disrespectful and downright rude to peers, coaches, adults...

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Bullying or Belittling?

Posted on 8/10/2017

Sibling Bullying vs. Belittling Our 12 and 10 ½ year old sons are very different kids. We call the oldest “the lawyer.” He’s an over-achiever, good in sports, and highly...

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!1 Year Old Trouble Adjusting

Posted on 7/22/2017

My son is 11 yo. He has autism. Tonight he told me that he should not live because he will never be able to achieve his dreams, that he will not be able to have a wife and children because he...

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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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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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