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

Teenage Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

Today’s Kids Suffer a Lack of Common Sense in Their Lives

Posted on 12/22/2020

A journalist asks, “What is the biggest challenge facing today’s children?” “The real world,” I said. For the last fifty years or so, good parenting has been defined...

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Teen Not a Suicide Risk

Posted on 7/23/2019

My recent column pertaining to a 12-year-old who told his parents he’d thought about suicide several times over the past six months stirred a fair number of folks to respond. Feelings toward the...

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How to Talk to Teens About Internet Pornography

Posted on 7/16/2019

Q: We recently discovered that our 12-year-old has been visiting pornography sites of all sorts on the Internet. When we caught him red-handed, he began crying and said he is addicted. Apparently,...

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Simple Solutions for Teens, Tantrums and Smartphones

Posted on 12/4/2018

Q: Our 15-year-old daughter is very demanding and, to be honest, self-centered. One of the things she does is ask one of us for something and demand an instant decision, as in, “Can I go to the...

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Make 'Em an Offer They Can't Refuse

Posted on 10/16/2018

When I was a child, my most important possession was my bicycle, followed closely by my radio. My bike was how I got around. I rode it to school, friend’s houses, pick-up...

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15-Year-Old Daughter Should Not Get Private Time With 20-Year-Old Boyfriend

Posted on 6/13/2018

Q: Our 15-year-old daughter has told us she’s in love with a 20-year-old guy who is in the Army and intending to make the Army his career. We’ve met him, and he is extremely respectful and...

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Respect for Adults Is Good for Kids' Mental Health

Posted on 6/6/2018

Rates of child and teen depression and suicide continue to rise, as they have for fifty years. As regular readers of this column know, I do not agree in the least with current explanations, much...

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The Peer Group: When to Do Something, What to Do, and When to Do Nothing

Posted on 5/1/2018

No question about it, the peer group exerts great influence on teenagers. From the way they dress to the way they carry their books, the stamp of peer pressure is upon them. If the influence is...

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Car Gives Eric a Chance to Grow Up

Posted on 4/27/2018

"Dad! I've decided what kind of car I want to get when I'm 16! Look at this!" "Eric," I said, brushing away the copy of Car Trader he'd stuck in my face, "I've told you a hundred times, I'm not...

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Take Smartphone Away from Sassy Teen

Posted on 2/21/2018

Q: When our daughter, an only child, turned thirteen and entered the 8th grade, it was like a switch was flipped. Almost overnight, she went from being a sweet, respectful and obedient child who...

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Recent Questions

Encouraging Peace

Posted on 1/11/2021

My son is 19 and is living at home while attending college. His father has a narcissistic personality disorder. He lives and works in another state but travels home every other week. There is...

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Being Disrespectful is Worse than Rap Music

Posted on 1/4/2021

My 16 year old son listens to rap & when we realized it was explicit, we put controls on his phone. He still listens to some very negative stuff. He has always been very strong willed & is...

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Dating Advice

Posted on 12/29/2020

My nineteen year old son, who is being treated for depression and anxiety is dating an 18 year old girl. They both live at home. My son is a freshman in college. The girlfriend is a senior in high...

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Avoid Micromanaging Tweens Peer Group

Posted on 12/15/2020

What should I do if my daughters only friends are bad influences on her and not people I want her being friends with? One is a lesbian, one has anxiety issues and they both are obsessed with Tik...

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Honest Conversations

Posted on 12/12/2020

My nephew has confided in my son (11yr old- cousin), that he is Bisexual. His parents have recently divorced- March will be 2 years (mother left) and my brother is a single parent of 4 children....

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Loss of Grandfather Angers 13 year old Granddaughter

Posted on 12/5/2020

My 13 year old grandchild has been mad about everything since her grandfather died last year. Her grades are suffering and she has no interest in anything except playing on her phone. She has...

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Daughter's Dating Unsettling For Parent

Posted on 11/18/2020

Do you have any advice on teen dating? Specifically how to handle an unhealthy relationship that you are watching your teen daughter engage in?

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Time to Take the Bull by the Horns

Posted on 11/2/2020

I strongly suspect my son (almost 16) has stolen money from me on a few occasions recently. A month ago $300 disappeared from my purse while we were away on a trip. At the time I thought it must...

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Normal? Problem? Normal Problem?

Posted on 10/31/2020

Hello! I'm worried about my almost-14-YO daughter. Her grades remain good and she is still on her soccer team. She does not have a smartphone or tablet. Our wifi is off every night starting at 10...

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The Time for Tough Love is NOW

Posted on 10/31/2020

My son is 19 years old and has been graduated from high school for 1 1/2 years. His teen years were a struggle with almost not graduating, drug use and getting into trouble with the law. He no...

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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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