"There are no argumentative children; only adults who argue with children."

Teenage Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

Just 'Stop It!'

Posted on 10/12/2021

I often find myself telling parents that they need to stop doing something that is counterproductive and, in most cases, contributing significantly to whatever parenting problem is bedeviling...

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Should Son Switch Schools?

Posted on 10/5/2021

Q: Our 13-year-old eighth-grader says he doesn’t like the small private school he attends and wants us to put him in public high school next year. His grades are fine, he’s got several close...

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How To Help Your Child Get More Grit

Posted on 9/7/2021

It’s all over the web, that “grit” thing. Seems like every day, I get some promo for a webinar on how to get more grit, project more grit, or get in touch with your inner grit. So, allow me to...

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Four Steps To Give Argumentative Teenager the Last Word (and Restore Sanity)

Posted on 6/8/2021

Q: My fifteen-year-old daughter is slowly driving me insane! She argues with me about everything and always wants the last word. No matter how well I explain the “why?” of a decision to her, she...

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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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Recent Questions

Do I Nag Him O'er and O'er? Quoth the Mother: Nevermore!!

Posted on 10/26/2021

We are having major problems getting our 15 soon to be 16 year old out of bed in the mornings for school. We have changed his bed time to an earlier time and he still will not get up. We have to...

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Who Are You? (And what have you done with our daughter?)

Posted on 10/26/2021

Since June 2020, my daughter (who is now 14) has become someone I no longer recognize. When school was closed due to COVID-19, I made the terrible choice and let her have her phone 24/7, which has...

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15 year old Daughter in Fistfight

Posted on 10/8/2021

15 year old daughter in a fistfight at school. Her story changes but the gist of it is that a girl she hadn't seen in 3 years wanted to talk to her (I doubt they hadn't spoken to each other in 3...

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Let's Celebrate Independence Day! "Movin' On Up" may mean "Movin' on Out" for 19-yr old

Posted on 9/25/2021

My daughters boyfriend is the youngest child in his family. He is 19 and working a full time job and is a 2nd degree blackbelt and is involved in his dojo. Since he has been dating my daughter I...

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Time for A Garden Kick

Posted on 8/27/2021

We have our 12 year old son's phone locked for certain reasons. If his grades slip below a B we lock it so he can only call family, if he is disrespectful or doesn't complete his chores, his...

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Who's in Charge?

Posted on 5/10/2021

I gave my son (15) liberty to listen to music via YouTube. He likes rap and for awhile listened to clean versions of songs. But that recently changed. He told me that the song Rap Star by Polo G...

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Grandparent worries.

Posted on 5/10/2021

What can you do when your just turned 17 yr old son decides he doesn't want to do what it takes to succeed in school and wants to quit? What do you do when this boy starts breaking curfews and...

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Turn Wasting Time into Making Time

Posted on 5/6/2021

Our 14 year old son has been home schooled this year with a combination of online classes with teachers and online self paced classes. He is struggling with time management. He is behind in most...

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Coaching Kids Through Frustrations

Posted on 4/23/2021

My 11-year-old boy has Aspergers . He gets frustrated easily. What should I do?

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A "Hairy" Problem

Posted on 4/21/2021

I have a sixth grade girl who is constantly, yes constantly, playing with her long hair. Playing means pulling it in front of her face and separating it, examining each individual hair, examining...

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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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