"Children learn whatever you teach them, whether you've intended for them to learn it or not. "

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Parents' Hard-Line Stance Will Serve Their Sons Well

Posted on 12/9/2008

PARENTS' HARD-LINE STANCE WILL SERVE THEIR SONS WELL Every so often, and usually just as I am about to resign myself to the folly of postmodern parenting, I run across a story involving parents...

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Give Older Children Some Freedom

Posted on 10/21/2008

GIVE OLDER CHILDREN SOME FREEDOM TO ROAM From the time I was 12, my parents would let me walk from our house in Westchester, Ill., to the bus stop five blocks away, catch a bus to the...

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13-Year-Old Girl Disappointed with Dad

Posted on 8/12/2008

DAUGHTER'S DISAPPOINTED WITH DAD Q. My 13-year-old daughter's father is irresponsible. He frequently cancels visits and is often obviously lying about the reasons. Nonetheless, I've told her...

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14-Year-Old Girl's Inappropriate Clothing

Posted on 7/22/2008

TEEN'S TARTY CLOTHES Q: I have legal custody of my 14-year-old granddaughter. Her mother is in no position to deal with a child. She frequently criticizes my values and attempts to undermine my...

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13-Year-Old Boy Summer Boredom

Posted on 7/15/2008

SUMMER DOLDRUMS Q: I don't allow my 13-year-old son to watch TV or play computer/video games during the summer. Outside of the occasional thing done with a friend, he doesn't seem to have any...

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Teenage Girl Sneaks Out of the House and is Disrespectful

Posted on 4/1/2008

Q. Do you believe in sending children to military school? Our young teenage daughter has twice snuck out of the house in the middle of the night. We are shocked and hurt by her lack of respect for...

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Modesty With Teen Girls

Posted on 1/1/2008

Scene: The 2008 RALPH Awards, held at a highly secret location somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. On stage, at the brightly-lit podium, bathed in a glow befitting of their celebrity, stand two...

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13 - Year - Old - Girl - Micromanaging Bedtime

Posted on 12/4/2007

TEEN RESISTING SCHEDULED BEDTIME Q. We enforce a 10 p.m. bedtime for our 13-year-old. She has to go to bed one minute earlier the next night for every minute she is to bed later than 10 the...

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School Uniforms Restrict Kids Choices

Posted on 8/14/2007

SCHOOL UNIFORMS RESTRICT KIDS' CHOICES (THAT'S A GOOD THING) Whenever I hear parents arguing for their children's "right of expression," I can't help but suspect that these are parents who...

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15-Year-Old with Moody, Negative Attitude

Posted on 6/12/2007

NO SUCH THING AS A PROBLEM-FREE CHILD It is not the responsibility of parents to make sure that a child enters adulthood problem-free. That is an impossible dream, yet it seems many parents...

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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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8th Grader - Defiant, School Issues, and Video Games

Posted on 2/13/2007

THROW AWAY THE XBOX, AND YOU'LL CHANGE SON'S ATTITUDE Q:Our eighth-grade son is obviously intelligent, and is in his school's gifted and talented program. Furthermore, he scored in the top 5...

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High School Boy Likes Playing with Younger Kids

Posted on 10/31/2006

Young playmates Q: Our son, a high school sophomore, continues to play with neighborhood kids that are still in elementary school despite us asking him to hang with kids more his age. We have...

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Teen Wants to Live with Dad

Posted on 10/10/2006

TEENAGER WANTS TO GO LIVE WITH DAD Q: I have joint custody of my son who has threatened that when he turns 14 he is going to go live with his father, who's been encouraging this. My husband and...

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Teenage Articles: Co-Ed Slumber Party and Teenage Research

Posted on 4/4/2006

A 'SUPERVISED' CO-ED TEENAGE SLUMBER PARTY? VERY STUPID IDEA A journalist recently asked me to name some of the dumbest things I've heard concerning teenagers and their parents. I immediately...

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It's Never Too Late to Teach the Three R's

Posted on 3/17/2006

In order for a child to become successful at the three R's of reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic, their parents must first teach them the three R's of respect, responsibility, and...

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14-Year-Old Hanging Out with Older Boys

Posted on 2/14/2006

SINCE SON'S OLDER PALS ARE GOOD BOYS, DON'T FRET Q: Our 14-year-old son looks at least two years older and is more mature in many ways than most boys his age. He recently started hanging around...

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Tracking Devices and Child's Right to Privacy

Posted on 11/22/2005

TEENS' SAFETY SHOULD ALWAYS TRUMP PRIVACY Have you heard the news? New-generation high-tech devices will allow you to track your kids' movements, what they are eating, and even whether or...

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11- and 14-Year-Old Computer Use

Posted on 9/13/2005

SUPERVISE CHILDREN'S INTERNET USE ESTABLISH FIRM GUIDELINES, AND THAT SHOULD INCLUDE LOOKING AT THEIR E-MAILS Q: My husband and I have allowed our 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son...

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Co-Ed Teen Sleepovers

Posted on 9/6/2005

2 FREQUENT QUESTIONS ON TEENS I've received a good number of inquiries of late concerning two subjects of interest to parents of teens. One is: "What do you think about co-ed...

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Should 15-Year-Old Try Alcohol at Home?

Posted on 6/28/2005

SHOULD WE LET OUR 15-YEAR-OLD TRY ALCOHOL AT HOME? Q: I have a very interesting problem and I am not sure how to handle it. My 15-year-old honor student, an all-around good kid, recently...

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Defiant 14-Year-Old

Posted on 5/10/2005

TEEN'S DEFIANCE NOT A REASON TO LIGHTEN TASTE OF REAL WORLD Q: The punishments I give my 14-year-old daughter - mostly for blatant defiance of the rules - seem to make her even more defiant....

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Mom Can't Control How Ex Handles 15-Year-Old's School Issues

Posted on 4/26/2005

MOM CAN'T CONTROL HOW EX-HUSBAND HANDLES SON Q: Two years ago, my husband and I separated after 25 years of marriage. We have a daughter who lives on her own and a 15-year-old son who chose...

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Adopted Brothers Can Handle the Truth About Older Sibling

Posted on 4/19/2005

ADOPTED TEENS CAN HANDLE TRUTH Q: Thirteen years ago, we adopted two brothers from Eastern Europe. They are now 14 and 16. Last year we were contacted by their older sister, age 24, who is...

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Teen's Hormones and Unruly Emotions

Posted on 2/1/2005

DON'T BLAME TEENAGERS' HORMONES FOR THEIR UNRULY EMOTIONS Q: During a recent talk show appearance, a psychologist said that runaway hormone levels often cause the rational part of the...

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15-Year-Old Buying Inappropriate Clothing

Posted on 12/21/2004

CONFISCATE DAUGHTER'S LOW-CUT TOPS IT'S OK TO VETO ITEMS SHE BUYS WITH ALLOWANCE Q: Our 15-year-old daughter uses her allowance to buy some of her own clothes. She recently purchased some...

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15-Year-Old's Socialization and Self-Esteem

Posted on 12/21/2004

Q: My 15-year-old son has low self-esteem and no close friends. I suppose those two things go hand-in-hand. He plays on the school soccer team with daily practices that take place nearly five...

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8th Grader Not Doing Well in School

Posted on 8/31/2004

SHOULD GIFTED CHILD GO BACK TO REGULAR SCHOOL? Q: Our daughter is in the eighth grade at a magnet school for gifted and talented students. Over the three years she's been there, her grades have...

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15-Year-Old Has Older Friends

Posted on 7/27/2004

DON'T OVERREACT TO SON'S CHOICE OF FRIENDS THE BOYS ARE OLDER, BUT THEY SOUND LIKE THEY'RE GOOD AND RESPONSIBLE Q: Our 15-year-old son looks at least two years older and is more mature in...

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14-Year-Old Has Friend Who is Trouble

Posted on 5/18/2004

PUT BALL IN SON'S COURT Q: Our 14-year-old son has been hanging around a friend who is constantly in trouble. Recently this kid and my son were out using their paintball guns, and the "friend"...

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14-Year-Old Make-up Issue

Posted on 1/13/2004

EYELINER OK, BUT KEEP EYE ON IT Q: Our 14-year-old daughter is in her first year of high school. Eyeliner seems very common among her peers, but she is wearing too much of it for our tastes....

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13-Year-Old Involved in New Age Religion

Posted on 10/21/2003

WICCAN FLIRTATION ISN'T MISBEHAVIOR Q: My 13-year-old daughter came home from boarding school last weekend and announced at a family dinner that she is a witch and a "wiccan." Then she told us...

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15-Year-Old Refuses to Wear Bands on Braces

Posted on 8/5/2003

LIFE GETS SIMPLER WHEN PARENTS ARE STRICT I decided to depart from my usual format and let a reader write this column. Occasionally, I get letters from parents telling me how they've solved...

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15-Year-Old Lying and Playing the Victim

Posted on 6/3/2003

SILENT TREATMENT IS TEENAGER'S METHOD OF PLAYING THE VICTIM Q: We grounded our 15-year-old daughter because she watched an R-rated movie with a girlfriend while we were out for the evening. Her...

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10-Year-Old Bullied by 13- and 15-Year-Old

Posted on 1/1/2002

LET THE LAW STEP IN TO HANDLE BULLIES Sometimes, I hear a parenting story that just warms my heart, that just makes me want to jump up and shout "Amen!" Sometimes, having forgotten that I am no...

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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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14-Year-Old Argues and Wants Last Word with Parent

Posted on 9/26/2000

A WILY STRATEGY TO NIP ARGUMENTS IN THE BUD Q. My 14-year-old daughter is driving me nuts! Every single time I refuse to let her do something or give her something she wants, she starts an...

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13-Year-Old Cuts Up Sister's Panties

Posted on 8/15/2000

YOUNG TEEN'S FETISH DOESN'T MEAN HE'LL BE A PERVERT Q. My wife and I recently discovered that our 13-year-old son, on two separate occasions, went into our 10-year-old daughter's room and cut...

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13-Year-Old Homework Issue

Posted on 8/1/2000

TEENS WILL RESIST YOUR ATTEMPTS TO 'MICROMANAGE' THEIR LIVES Q. My 13-year-old son waits until the last possible moment to begin doing his homework. He no longer has a set bedtime, but he must...

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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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Parent Snooping in Teen's Stuff

Posted on 3/14/2000

Q. Is it OK for me to snoop in my teen-ager's books, notes, book-bag, diary, etc., if I suspect he may be up to something? If I find evidence of wrongdoing, how should I handle it? What if I find...

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14-Year-Old with Messy Room

Posted on 3/14/2000

Q. How does one get a teen-ager to keep a clean, neat room? My 14 year-old says it's his room to do with as he wants. Do you agree? A. Not on your life! From early on, my wife and I told our...

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13-Year-Old Wants Out of Job Agreement

Posted on 3/7/2000

IF 13-YEAR-OLD WANTS OUT OF JOB AGREEMENT, RELEASE HIM Q. Our 13 year-old son, an only child, is generally well-behaved and does well in school. This past summer, the three of us decided that...

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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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14-Year-Old Has Older Responsible Friends

Posted on 2/23/1999

SON'S FRIENDS RESPONSIBLE, OLDER? RELAX Q. Our 14-year-old son looks at least two years older and is more mature in many ways than most boys his age. He recently started hanging around with a...

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14-Year-Old Always Asking for Money

Posted on 1/19/1999

14-YEAR-OLD NEEDS TO TAKE CONTROL OF HIS OWN MONEY Q. Our 14-year-old son is forever asking us for money. He wants the latest clothes, shoes, CDs. He wants money for movies, video arcades,...

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14-Year-Old is Disrespectful and Hostile Toward Mom

Posted on 11/10/1998

DON'T LET YOUR HOSTILE SON TURN YOU INTO HIS TARGET Q. I'm a single mother with custody of my 14-year-old son. His father, whom he sees infrequently, has mental problems stemming from battle...

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14-Year-Old Hanging Out with Questionable Friends

Posted on 10/27/1998

HOW SON ERIC LEARNED TO PICK BETTER FRIENDS OK, enough already! Since my recent article on the controversy surrounding Judith Harris' book "The Nurture Assumption'' (which proposes that...

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Teen Issues: Co-Ed Sleeping Party and Adolescent Health

Posted on 8/18/1998

COED SLEEP' FOR TEENS IS A PARTICULARLY DUMB IDEA Q. What's the dumbest thing you've ever heard concerning teen-agers? A. Actually, there are two dumbest things: The first was a story...

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Teens Have No Fear

Posted on 6/23/1998

WHY SHOULD TEENS HAVE FEAR? ADULTS ARE IRRELEVANT While I was driving down the interstate the other day, a car flashed by on my left going at least 20 mph over the speed limit. For an instant,...

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