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

Older Teen/High School (16-18 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Don't Fret About Teen Son With Average Grades

Posted 1 week ago

Q: Our 17-year-old son is an unmotivated student. A junior in high school, he is clearly capable of making straight A’s, but typically makes B’s and C’s. He plays on both the football and tennis...

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Bring Back Vocational Education in High Schools

Posted 2 weeks ago

During my sophomore year at Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois, my guidance counselor, Mr. Gusloff, refused my request to take auto shop because I was, he said, college-bound and my...

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Success Is a Matter of Character, Not Grades

Posted on 2/15/2017

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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Recent Questions

Clues for teenage behaviors

Posted 4 days ago

attitude and/or behavior that would indicate a teen having an interest in or use of drugs or alchol.

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Post divorce parenting struggles.

Posted 1 week ago

I have a son (14) and daughter (16) who I share custody (40%) with my ex wife (60%). We have been divorced 5 years. We live about a mile apart. Daughter has decided now that she’s 16, she doesn’t...

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Step-family parenting challenges.

Posted 1 week ago

My husband and I have been married for nine years. We both had three children. My question is how to handle discipline when only half if the children have to follow the family rules. I love my...

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Launching that 18 year old.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Our oldest daughter just turned 18 and is soon graduating high school. She's a motivated straight A student, a good kid, & has dreams of college & a career. She is also lovesick & is becoming...

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16 yo Wants Hormone Therapy to Change Sex

Posted on 3/22/2017

What is your take on transgender teenagers who want to undergo hormone therapy. Beautiful 16 year old, highly intelligent girl wants to take testosterone to become a boy before going to college...

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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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Siblings and borrowing.

Posted on 3/12/2017

Our teenaged daughters know they are not to borrow clothes from one another without asking. The college daughter continually violates this, taking things without asking back to her dorm and even...

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Shocking Discovery

Posted on 3/5/2017

I recently found marijuana paraphernalia in my 18 year old daughter's room. She is a senior in high school and, up until this point, a very responsible and trustworthy child. She is an excellent...

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Teen Meltdown

Posted on 2/22/2017

I read on here to take a time out before engaging with a teen and making a decision. Then once giving your decision, being a 'robot' when responding. We have an intelligent, 6ft, almost 15 yr old...

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Appropriate Age for Cell Phone

Posted on 2/12/2017

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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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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