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Emancipation of Adult Children Can Be Messy

Posted on 6/4/2019

When children were raised, reared, or simply brought up, they emancipated “on time.” Upon high school graduation, children went to college, into the military, or became employed. Some, like my...

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Parent Involvement

Posted on 11/11/2014

Why are young adult children emancipating so much later than they did in 1970, when the average age of male emancipation (independent living, paying one’s own bills) was 21? Why do...

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Biting Finger Nails: What to do?

Posted on 1/21/2014

Q: What can be done to stop a nineteen year old from biting his finger nails? This has been an ongoing habit from early childhood. He's obviously damaging his fingers and maybe even his teeth....

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21-Year-Old Needs Walking Papers

Posted on 2/26/2013

Q: My husband and I have a 21-year-old daughter from his first marriage. She was suspended from college for bad grades and is waiting out her time until she can go back. Meanwhile, she works for...

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Adult Child: What to do?

Posted on 12/11/2012

Q: We have an adult child who doesn't want to grow up. She quit college after two years and moved across the country. As we anticipated, she's having difficulty supporting herself. In fact, she...

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19-Year-Old Girl Dating Sarcastic Boyfriend

Posted on 3/15/2011

Is it verbal abuse or just snide humor? It appears that a recent column of mine had an effect similar to a Rorschach inkblot: People read their own personal experiences and/or biases into it...

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19-Year-Old Girl Dating Negative Boyfriend

Posted on 3/1/2011

Boyfriend just needs to grow up Q. Our 19-year-old daughter is dating a 19-year-old, who, in general, we like. He's not a partier, he's serious about his education, etc. The problem is that his...

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Kids Hitting Parents

Posted on 2/22/2011

A hidden abuse problem: Kids who assault parents One of the more heartbreaking consequences of the "psychological" parenting philosophy and style that American parents began adopting in the...

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20-Something Daughter Back Home

Posted on 1/26/2010

Parents need to teach adult daughter to take care of herself A colleague of mine used to say, "Don't ask a question if you don't want the answer." A reader recently asked me what rules she...

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College Graduate Returning Home

Posted on 12/29/2009

IN FORMERLY EMPTY NEST, SHE'LL RUFFLE FEATHERS Q. What, if any, ground rules can and should parents set for a child returning to live at home after college graduation? My husband and I are...

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Clarification on Military Accepting GEDs

Posted on 12/8/2009

CLARIFICATION ON MILITARY ACCEPTING GEDS A recent column in which I advised the parents of a teen to let him drop out of high school, get his GED, and join the Army has been challenged by some...

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Planned Robbery - Just a Bad Choice?

Posted on 3/13/2007

SINCE WHEN IS A PLANNED ROBBERY JUST A 'BAD CHOICE'? Should people be held responsible for the choices they make? The mother of one of Atlanta's "Barbie Bandits" seems to think they should not....

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Are All Teens Crazy?

Posted on 2/27/2007

Are teenagers basically nuts? Michael J. Bradley thinks so. An educational psychologist and therapist, Bradley's the author of "Yes, Your Teen is Crazy! Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind."...

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American Parenting is Producing Children, not Adults

Posted on 10/4/2005

WHEN CHILDHOOD GOES ON TOO LONG A fellow who is unhappy with my point of view recently wrote a letter to John K. Rosemond which closed with "After all, it takes 18 to 20 years to 'grow a...

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19-Year-Old with Older Boyfriend

Posted on 6/28/2005

35-year-old boyfriend Q: Last year, our 19-year-old daughter became involved with a 35-year-old man who is divorced and has young children. We think he's very manipulative and is taking...

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Stop Enabling Adult Children

Posted on 11/4/2003

ADVICE FOR PARENTS OF IMMATURE ADULT CHILDREN Q: John, are you ever going to write a book to help parents deal with adult children who can't seem to "get it together"? A: No, because it...

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20-Year-Old Doesn't Like Parents' Restrictions and Rules

Posted on 3/25/2003

ADULT CHILD WINS POWER STRUGGLE Q: We have a 20-year-old daughter, an only child, who feels we have no right to restrict her behavior. For one, she refuses to go to church with us. Her curfew...

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19-Year-Old Drinking and Driving

Posted on 8/13/2002

GET TOUGH ON SON'S DRINKING, DRIVING Q: Our son is 19 and home for the summer from college. He goes out with his buddies and drinks and afterwards decides to drive home. We have talked with him...

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Teenagers and Drug Use

Posted on 12/11/2001

GETTING A TEEN OFF DRUGS TAKES FIRM HAND, NOT HAND WRINGING Over the past few months, quite a number of parents have asked my advice about teen-agers who are smoking pot, using hallucinogens...

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Don't Micromanage Teenagers

Posted on 7/4/2000

TEEN-AGERS LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE, NOT NAGGING Q. In a talk you recently gave in Ohio, you warned of the pitfalls of trying to micromanage a teen-ager. This is a new concept to me. Can you...

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Employers are Looking for People with Good Character and Responsibility

Posted on 10/12/1999

YOUR GOAL IS TO RAISE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT, NOT A PERPETUAL CHILD I don't often print an entire letter from a reader of this column, but every once in a while someone else says it better than I...

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Employers Want People Who Are Honest, Cooperative, Follows Directions, Positive Attitude

Posted on 8/24/1999

MOST OF ALL, EMPLOYERS SAY THEY SEARCH FOR CHARACTER I've had a particular piece of mail on my desk for two years now, and my sincere apologies go to the thoughtful person who sent it. It...

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Teens and Hormones

Posted on 4/6/1999

HORMONE LEVELS AREN'T MAKING TEENS RUN AMOK Q. A TV newsmagazine recently ran a segment where an expert claimed that runaway hormone levels during the early teens often cause the rational part...

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Today's Teens are More Prone to Serious Problems Than in Years Past

Posted on 5/27/1997

TEENS AND PARENTS AREN'T WHAT THEY ONCE WERE Q. Every week it seems, I hear yet another horror story about a teen-ager who's gone "off the deep end.'' In many cases, these are kids whose...

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24-Year-Old Living at Home

Posted on 5/29/1992

TEACH KIDS TO PAY UP FOR THEIR PROBLEMS; THE EFFORT PAYS OFF Some people never learn. Some adults, that is. Children learn quickly. Several months ago, during a reception, I fell into...

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Teens and Drugs

Posted on 1/28/1990

PARENTS, NOT PEERS, MUST SAY NO Just say no. Simple as that. Immunize teens against the negative peer forces that lead to drug use by forming drug-free clubs, doing "self-esteem...

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18-Year-Old Changes Name

Posted on 3/19/1989

DON'T FUSS OVER NAME CHANGE Q. Our 18-year-old daughter recently announced she has changed her name from Elaine to Porsche. She's never liked her name and often talked about changing it,...

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Give Teens More Freedom with Responsibility

Posted on 3/5/1989

RESPONSIBILITY COMES ALONG WITH FREEDOM When Eric and Amy were in their early teens, my wife and I made an astonishing announcement to each of them. We said, in effect, "We don't want to be...

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