"If your child accuses you of being "mean," you must have done something right. "

Pre-Teen (11-12 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Teenage Girls and Boys Respond to Technology Differently

Posted 3 weeks ago

Q: We held off giving our oldest daughter a smartphone until she was fifteen, the age at which we allowed her older brother to have one. We read your column weekly in our hometown newspaper and...

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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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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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Recent Questions

End Micromanagement of Grades by Lowering the Boom

Posted 1 week ago

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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Be a Leader, Not a Suggester

Posted 2 weeks ago

Should I make my daughter do volunteer work? She needs service hours for confirmation but mostly needs an eye opener about helping others. I found a horse therapy stable that will let kids over 12...

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Teach Tweenager How to Manage Anger

Posted 2 weeks ago

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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Homework Not A Parent Problem

Posted on 9/21/2019

Our son is in 6th grade and gets good grades. However, each night it's a struggle to get him to complete his homework. Any suggestions on how to deal with his procrastination? Thanks.

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Sleeping in your own bed.

Posted on 9/7/2019

Our 11 year old son has been afraid of sleeping in his room alone for essentially since he moved from his crib to a big bed. He and his older sister (now 13) shared a bedroom for several years...

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Rules for Smartphone Use

Posted on 8/7/2019

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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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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