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

Teenage Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

Simple Solutions for Teens, Tantrums and Smartphones

Posted 1 week ago

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Strike While the Iron Is Cold

Posted on 11/17/2017

Recently, a mother asked how she and her husband could make their 16-year-old son stop talking disrespectfully to them. So far, she said, they'd complained, threatened and occasionally taken his...

Read More

Stay the Course With Rebellious Teen

Posted on 5/23/2017

Q: Our 18-year-old daughter is a month away from high school graduation and she is failing nearly every class! About six months ago, she took up with a group of young adults who are less than...

Read More

Teenage Boys Need Healthy Adult Role Models

Posted on 5/3/2017

When my son, Eric, began showing interest in girls, I reflected back upon the foibles and fiascoes of my adolescence and promised myself he would be better prepared for datinghood. Undertaking...

Read More
View All Articles

Recent Questions

16 year old lacks motivation

Posted 5 days ago

My son has become increasingly argumentative and disrespectful. He only seems to care about material things. He is now 16 years old and he is working with a job coach to help him with getting a...

Read More

Fitting In

Posted 1 week ago

Hi have a soon to be 13 year old. He is in a new school, his old school was a Christian school. It has been somewhat of a struggle in middle school. From being the new student and being exposed to...

Read More

To Curfew or Not To Curfew

Posted on 11/7/2018

My 18 yr old daughter attends college but lives at home. She makes stellar grades and is attending on a merit scholarship. She does chores around the house. She is a responsible person. My...

Read More

Dad's Not on Board

Posted on 11/4/2018

Hi there, Susan Morley recently answered a question I posed concerning my son who has been caught with vape materials. She recommended strict consequences which I want to impose. His father,...

Read More

Worried Grandmother

Posted on 11/3/2018

My granddaughter has OCD and has a therapist and a psychiatrist (who prescribes meds). I read your article stating you feel that kids with anxiety, mental health issues do not need meds. Does...

Read More

Teenager Vaping

Posted on 10/30/2018

Hello, My son is 17 and will be 18 in 3 months. He spends 1/2 his time at my house and 1/2 his time at his dad's house. His dad and I have found vape pods 3-4 times over the past 2 years and have...

Read More

The Pestering Teen...

Posted on 10/22/2018

We are struggling with my 14 year old son. He constantly pesters sister dad and myself. We take away all electronic devices and that does not solve the problem. He is getting more stubborn every...

Read More

The High School Experiment

Posted on 10/22/2018

I feel like I ask the same questions all the time. My 12th grader is stressing me out, he is barely making his grades in school coming in at B, C, D's and E's. He's a good kid but I suspect...

Read More

What to do when households have different rules for teen stepson?

Posted on 10/19/2018

My husband and I follow your columns (my mother quoted you regularly growing up, sometimes to our dismay) but now as a stepmother and father to a teenage boy, we find ourselves in a tough spot. We...

Read More

Is Mom Micro-managing?

Posted on 10/15/2018

I just found my 14 y/o daughter has been hiding an electronic tablet in her room. She uses it "for homework and to talk to friends via instagram". She brought it from her dads house. She says I...

Read More
View All Questions

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...

Read More
View All Audio