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

Pre-Teen (11-12 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Micromanaging Child Always Produces Conflicts

Posted on 2/23/2021

A therapist takes a 10-year-old boy into what she calls “therapy.” The young fellow is belligerently defiant toward his parents and throws titanic tantrums when things don’t go his way. At school...

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Beware of 'The Protocol'

Posted on 12/29/2020

Q: Our son is seven years old and in the second grade. His school went virtual this past Spring and we see no end to it, not in the near term at least. When he was going to a brick-and-mortar...

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Parents Can Recover From Not Getting Over the 'Hump of Parenting'

Posted on 10/20/2020

Q: In a recent column, you identified toddlerhood as “the hump of parenting.” As a grandmother who managed to raise five kids who were out of the house in their early twenties and are responsible...

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The Realities of Smartphones and Teenagers

Posted on 9/20/2020

A mother in California seeks her pastor’s opinion on allowing her fifteen-year-old son to have a smartphone. The boy claims that if he can’t use social media, he will have no friends. Mom is...

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Why Small Classrooms Are Overrated

Posted on 5/5/2020

No rational person would argue that the smaller the class size, the better, right?” asked the radio talk show host. “I think I’m a rational person,” I said, “and I can offer proof...

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In Defense of Homeschooling

Posted on 4/28/2020

In his November 1863 address at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the men who lost their lives on that battlefield had done so in order that “government of the people, by the people and...

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Father's Visitation With Child Should Be Allowed

Posted on 1/15/2020

Q: Our ten-year-old granddaughter lives with us. We have custody of her but her father, our son, is now asking us for visitation privileges. I probably don’t need to tell you that both he and his...

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It Is Not Necessary to Help Your Child With Homework

Posted on 11/26/2019

After a recent talk in South Florida, women came up to me in droves asking, “How much should I help my children with their schoolwork?” That not one man asked the question...

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In Today's Parenting, Feelings Trump the Truth

Posted on 11/19/2019

Okay, it’s time to set the record straight, confront the gorilla in the proverbial room, call a spade a spade, and so on and so forth. I recently published a column on “The...

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Children Do Best in School When Parents Do Not Monitor Progress

Posted on 10/29/2019

The Portal. It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, the gateway to an alternative universe that lures, then traps the unwary in its nefarious web of illusion, where things are...

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Recent Questions

Too Much?

Posted 3 weeks ago

I have two daughters, ages 9 and 11. I have noticed that they have a short attention span when it comes to their free-time activities. For example, they may play with Legos for 20 minutes and...

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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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Another electronic challenge

Posted on 3/6/2021

I have a 12 year old daughter who i think is addicted to electronics. She makes it known she is bothered by members of the family and doesn’t want to participate in anything family related. I used...

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Fearful 11 Year Old Wearing Family Out

Posted on 2/7/2021

Our middle child who is 11, has had fears about bedtime and going to and staying asleep, on and off for the past few years. We’ve never let her sleep in our bed but have let her sleep on the floor...

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How much screen time for pre teen boy?

Posted on 1/17/2021

How long should a 11 1/5 year boy be allowed on electronics for pleasure a day.

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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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Difficult is Not Bad

Posted on 12/2/2020

I am homeschooling my Grandson, who is in first grade. He is a bright child, but not motivated for school. He has struggled with handwriting and anything which requires manual dexterity, or fine...

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Keep Delicate Conversations As Simple as Possible

Posted on 10/22/2020

Hello! I am wondering how, when the topic comes up, should I address same sex relationships with my kids (mainly my 8 year old son for now; I also have a 4 year old daughter). We are Catholic...

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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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