"If your child accuses you of being "mean," you must have done something right. "

Older Teen/High School (16-18 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Success Is a Matter of Character, Not Grades

Posted 6 days ago

There must be some relationship between aging and the “You’ve got to be kidding me!” response, if I am any indication, that is. What was once occasional has become almost daily. ...

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Stay Dispassionate yet Approachable During Teen's Experimentation With Vaping

Posted on 1/18/2017

Q: I found a vaping pen hidden in my 13-year-old son's room and am at a loss as to how to deal with it. He is very susceptible to peer pressure and wants very badly to fit in with the "cool"...

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Take a Time-Out Before Engaging With Argumentative Child

Posted on 11/22/2016

Q: In last week’s column, you advised parents not to argue with teenagers. That’s fine and dandy advice, John, but you failed to tell your readers how to stay out of or end these arguments. For...

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A Non-Argumentative Teen Is a Happy One

Posted on 11/15/2016

My advice to The Wall Street Journal, the only news source to which I subscribe: Stop trying to be all things to all people. Specifically, stop giving parenting advice. The latest attempt by...

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Help for the Unmotivated Teen

Posted on 11/1/2016

Q: Our 17-year-old daughter is bright but puts very little effort into her schoolwork. For example, she currently has very low grades in several classes simply because of not turning in...

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Stepparents Should Have Authority over Teens, Too

Posted on 8/24/2016

Q: In a recent column, you advise that stepparents have complete disciplinary authority over all children who live in or visit the home, but do you feel the same policy should apply when the...

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Smart Car for Teens May Not Be the Smart Choice

Posted on 8/9/2016

Greg Fulton thinks his teenage daughter, who’s already hit three solid objects with her car—thankfully, no humans or other moving vehicles included—would do better with a car that comes equipped...

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Roll With Young Adult's Self-Absorption

Posted on 7/5/2016

Q: What can we reasonably expect of our 18-year-old daughter when she comes home on weekends from her summer job? She usually heads straight to her boyfriend's family’s home and rolls in around 3...

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Parents Should Sweat the Small Stuff

Posted on 6/7/2016

Q: While exploring your website, I ran across a column you wrote a while back about a 13-year-old who wanted a Mohawk haircut. You told the parents not to allow it, pointing out that if you give...

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Set Clear Parameters for Son Who Smokes Pot

Posted on 5/3/2016

Q: I caught my 16-year-old smoking pot. I took everything from him and told him that the next time I catch him, he’s out! What else can I or should I do? A: Where is he “out” to? You...

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Recent Questions

Appropriate Age for Cell Phone

Posted 1 week ago

You do not recommend teens have cell phones At what point, do you think it is ok for a person to have one? When they can work and pay for it themselves?

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16 yo thief needs strong response

Posted 1 week ago

I have read teen proofing once and am in the process of reading it again. But I do not know what to do about our teenage daughter. This afternoon after church I found my extra set of car keys in...

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Teen sex.

Posted 2 weeks ago

our 16 year old son has become sexually active with his girlfriend. This began last summer, they broke up for 4 months, but have resumed their relationship this past week. They were both virgins...

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What to Do When Older Sister Is Mean to Younger Sister

Posted 2 weeks ago

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...

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Ask them no questions...

Posted on 1/21/2017

My 15 year old has been lying. Last month it was about getting homework done after a busy weekend of chorus performances when she actually was planning on asking a pushover teacher for an...

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Immature Teen Has Cursing Problems

Posted on 1/18/2017

We have an immature 16-year-old with a potty mouth. This son of ours has mental delays as well. Strikes us as closer to 12 or so mentally. We have ten children, some adopted with handicaps. This...

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Teaching motivation.

Posted on 1/18/2017

My 16 year old son has struggled with learning disabilities throughout his academic career. Despite years of private tutoring, homeschooling, and 4 years at a private school specifically for...

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Teaching Teen Money Management

Posted on 1/12/2017

Our teenaged daughter is a hard worker and is great about saving her money. But she is about to blow it all on an exorbitantly priced prom dress to the tune of $500. As parents we feel it is our...

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Illicit teen boy sleepovers

Posted on 1/4/2017

What is your opinion on "sleepovers" for teenage boys? My son is a good kid but has chosen a friend group that is experimenting with alcohol and pot...Good kids with good parents, but wanting to...

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OTC Drug Tests

Posted on 1/3/2017

I found out that my 16 year old son has been smoking pot regularly. Based on John's recommendation, we are considering in home drug testing but I have a few concerns. Question... do OTC drug...

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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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