""No" is one of the most character-building words in the English language. Say it often, and mean it. "

Young Adult (19-25 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

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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Recent Questions

Teen Proofing with Cell Phones

Posted on 9/12/2018

I am currently reading John's book Teen Proofing. In chapter 3 he discusses the six C-words, curfew, cash, car, cohorts, conflict, and consequences. He gives detailed explanations of how he and...

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phone use for 23 yo

Posted on 9/10/2018

HI, My husband and I have been married 2 years. I have 2 boys, 15 and 17, who live with us half the time. He has 2 boys, 23 and 20, who are rarely at our house because they are in college. All 4...

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Adult Children Moving Back Home

Posted on 8/24/2018

What would be your set of household rules for 2 adult children living with you (one recently returned home after living 2 years with friends who is currently working part time and finishing school...

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Find aFriend for college student

Posted on 8/9/2018

What is your opinion about phone apps like "Find My Friends" that allows parents to know their children's location? I had never heard of this but when my oldest left to college, she introduced me...

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Figuring things out isn't easy.

Posted on 7/6/2018

I have been married for more than 25 years. My husband came with a daughter from his first marriage and we have two of our own. He is very permissive-extremely guilt ridden and operates from the...

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'Tis the Season of Leaving and Cleaving

Posted on 7/3/2018

My son has joined my practice which was always our plan. He brought his girlfriend (also a dr & now is wife) back. They lived with us for 2 years. I trained them, shared my practice & they kept...

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Husband and 19 yr old step son have no relationship

Posted on 6/4/2018

My husband and 19 year old son seem to have absolutely no relationship. (My husband adopted my kids) I’ve been urging them for years to go do stuff together, whatever. 2 weeks ago, our counselor...

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19 year old living at home

Posted on 5/24/2018

Our 19-year-old son went to college for 1/2 of his freshman year - then quit & came home when he realized he was in over his head. Since then, he's worked but not a ton. He owes about $10k in...

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Get everything in writing when it comes to loaning adult children money

Posted on 5/2/2018

Two and a half years ago my 37 year old daughter and her husband needed a car to move from New York to California since he had lost his job but had another in California. So I sold my daughter...

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19 year old has alcohol related issues at college

Posted on 4/29/2018

Our 19 year old college freshman daughter, lives at school, 45 minutes away. We just found out that she has been sexually assaulted on campus. Alcohol was involved. Until this point, she has been...

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