"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

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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Teenage Girls and Boys Respond to Technology Differently

Posted on 10/2/2019

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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Recent Questions

Pre- teen sent to principal's office

Posted 4 days ago

My 11 y/o daughter was just sent to the principal's office for carving a middle finger out of an eraser and saying that it represented her teacher. Princial said that she and other kids are...

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10 Year Old Testing Boundaries

Posted 2 weeks 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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Law enforcement in school settings

Posted 3 weeks ago

What is your opinion on the use of School Resource Officers and how children and teenagers are now being arrested and/or prosecuted for both major (fighting, assault on staff, vandalism, drugs,...

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Time for a Reset

Posted on 1/12/2020

Clarification to my follow up question: When you say impose consequences... often my consequences are extra chores. I do not know what else to offer as a consequence. They're too young to take...

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10-Year-Old Worries about Death

Posted on 1/12/2020

Hello- We have a 10 year old only child who has recently started crying and getting upset about what he will do when we die and how sad he will be. We have tried to reassure him but it’s become a...

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Alpha Speech is Key for Getting Kids to Obey

Posted on 1/10/2020

I have 2 girls, 9 & 6. They will not obey. They’ll lie that they did something and I have to verify completion or it’s never done. I used the ticket system and I had to take away every privilege...

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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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The Age-Gap Triplicate

Posted on 1/1/2020

My kids (11-girl, 10-girl, 3-boy) were driving me crazy with all the squabbling. Especially as the 3 year old gets older. All 3 kids are on the ticket system. I’ve read a lot of the q & a on here...

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Should we cancel Christmas?

Posted on 12/16/2019

We are a family with 4 kids (13 year old boy, 13 year old girl, 11 year old girl, 4 year old girl). None of them have any electronics (since October 2019). The three older ones did have cell...

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Does a 12yo really need a cellphone?

Posted on 12/2/2019

Our 12 year old entered junior high this year and is one of only about 3 kids in his grade that I know does NOT have a cell phone. We do not think he needs one and he has finally got off our back...

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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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