"Children need parents who know where they stand as well as where they want their children to stand. "

Pre-Teen (11-12 years)

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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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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Exchange Arrangements Stressful to Pre-Teen Daughter

Posted on 9/12/2018

Q: I am reading your book “The Well-Behaved Child” and have a question that it doesn’t address. I am a single mom with children from two different fathers. One of my ex-husbands (my son’s father)...

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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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Micromanaging Weakens Child's Success in School

Posted on 8/22/2017

Q: Our son attends first grade at the local public school. At the beginning of the school year, all the parents were basically told that we are expected to go to the school’s parent website every...

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Take the Drama out of Math Homework

Posted on 8/30/2016

Q: Our sixth-grade son has always been an excellent math student. This year, however, he melts down every time he does math homework. Within minutes, he becomes highly agitated, begins crying,...

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Selecting the Right Private School

Posted on 8/16/2016

Q: We are looking for a private school for our 4-year-old. Regardless of the school we ultimately choose, we want to keep him there through eighth grade at least. We live in an suburban area so...

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Misplacing a Sense of Purpose

Posted on 12/9/2014

Q: My buddy’s wife walks their 11-year-old into the classroom each day. Then she takes out his assignments and helps him get ready. We’re talking about a very capable kid who has no...

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Pull-Ups & Adoption Age

Posted on 9/16/2014

Q: My 23-month-old son does well with potty training when we’re at home. We use a “potty bell” and he goes every 90 minutes or so. When we’re away from home, however, he seems clueless. He...

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Recent Questions

Rules for Smartphone Use

Posted 2 weeks ago

My 10-year-old daughter has a smartphone - I know, I know, mistake #1. Her dad is overseas, so this allows her to FaceTime him. I'm trying to backtrack here because she has no motivation to do...

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Negative thoughts about self at twelve.

Posted on 6/24/2019

My twelve year old daughter is currently doing a Bible study. She was asked to list 5 things she believed about herself. She listed all negative things. "I'm ugly, I'm dumb, I'm an...

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Beating the Bullies

Posted on 6/20/2019

Here’s a topic I’ve been struggling with that I just saw John address in a Facebook post – mean kids. My oldest son (9) was complaining about some kids at his summer camp saying things like...

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Will Tablet Contribute to Budding Addiction?

Posted on 5/12/2019

My 11-year-old son wants a tablet. He gets great grades and we let him play some video games on his Wii. We notice he seems to be addicted. When we tell him to stop, he does what we say and...

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Nothing major.

Posted on 5/4/2019

My son is in 7th grade. He is at a new school. He has gotten into a little trouble here and there. Talking in class, nothing major. He recently said a boy in PE hit him with a ball and he hit him...

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6th Grade Boy Has Problem to Solve

Posted on 5/2/2019

My 6th-grade child has no drive. He is making poor grades, and I think we are caring too much...so he doesn’t have to care. My question is: how do we make HIM care?!

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Growing as a Goalie and Growing in Life

Posted on 4/8/2019

My 11 year old son has been playing soccer for 7 years. He has had great success in his position and is well liked by his coaches & teammates. Recently he’s been told he will likely be moved up...

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iScreen, uScreen, We all Scream 4 more Screens

Posted on 3/22/2019

Notwithstanding the answer to my preview question, my 11-year-old son exhibits an addiction to computers and we restrict his exposure because of this. Currently, we have one computer in the house...

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Sibling Conflict and Bizarre Behavior

Posted on 3/20/2019

One day at church, my husband noticed my 11 YO daughter pinching her hand when he stopped our daughters having a silent squabble in the pew. Her younger sister is 16 months younger and often they...

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Mom, Make The Next Play

Posted on 3/12/2019

I am happy to say that the meeting went well and again and my son has agreed to make some changes. He even offered what he could do to make changes. With that being said, the rules he made for...

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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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