"How do you get a child to do what he's told the first time he's told? Don't ever repeat yourself. "

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

Who's in Charge?

Posted 1 week ago

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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Turn Wasting Time into Making Time

Posted 1 week ago

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 3 weeks ago

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

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A "Hairy" Problem

Posted 3 weeks ago

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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Senior Picture Haircut Battle

Posted on 3/22/2021

My seventeen year old son has been growing his hair out. It is time for his senior pictures and I want him to get a haircut. His girlfriend likes his hair, therefore he is reluctant to cut it. How...

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For 18 YO Good Actions Lead To Good Feelings

Posted on 3/10/2021

Our 18yr old son says that he is stressed out. He is finishing his senior year of high school which has not been a normal year with Covid and what politically has happened in the US, as well as...

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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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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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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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