"Parents cannot effectively communicate their love to a child unless they are also a source of effective authority. "

Teenage Issues

John's Most Recent Articles

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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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...

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Recent Questions

10 Year Old Testing Boundaries

Posted 1 week ago

I have been using the alpha speech. I make mistakes sometimes, escalating my voice because I'm frustrated. On the most part I'm pretty consistent. I noticed in alpha speech you do no use...

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Ok To Believe In Your Son and Still Not Believe Him

Posted 1 week ago

My teenager has been caught with marijuana. He said he was done with it and a few days later, we found more. I have read Johns book on raising teens and remember that he said their is a time to...

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Changing schools in high school

Posted 2 weeks ago

Our 15 year daughter has been in catholic school since she was 3 years old. Our intention was to put her in a public school for high school. We live in a middle to upper middler class...

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Is Child's Threat of Suicide a Cry for Help or for Attention?

Posted on 1/9/2020

My oldest is eleven and started middle school this year. Overall it has been a smooth transition. She has a great group of friends and likes school. She does not have a phone and has very limited...

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Relationship Reboot

Posted on 12/9/2019

This is a Part II to an early question submitted about a very strong-willed and increasingly mouthy 16-year old daughter. Please bear with someone who has subscribed for YEARS without submitting...

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The Struggle is Real

Posted on 11/6/2019

We have struggled with our child being ashamed to be seen with either of us (her parents) in public, to the point that she acts in a way that hurts us. She is now in middle school (7th grade);...

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End Micromanagement of Grades by Lowering the Boom

Posted on 10/15/2019

I have two sons (13 and 14 years old) and one step son (12 years old). They've gone to a Christian school their whole lives and are all saved. My issue is with my 13 year old. He is very smart as...

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Teach Tweenager How to Manage Anger

Posted on 10/8/2019

Hi There, My daughter will be 11 yo on February, she is such a sweet/sensetive girl who likes to please others, but when she becomes angry she can not control it , she melts down for a while then...

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Defining family morals.

Posted on 8/9/2019

My husband and I recently found out that our 16 year old son is having sex with his girlfriend. As you can imagine, we are extremely disappointed. We aren't sure what to do, if anything. Our...

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Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

Posted on 8/7/2019

How do you know when it's the right time to talk to your child about sex? We want to be ahead of the game and make sure he hears it from us, but don't want to do it too soon.

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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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