"Parents who always go out of their way for their children eventually lose their way. "

Pre-Teen (11-12 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

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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Impulse Control: A Hallmark of Life

Posted on 8/5/2014

A mom recently asked me what I would say to my son if he was twelve years old and wanted a Mohawk haircut for the summer. I told her I’d say no. “But is it really that...

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To Help or Not To Help?

Posted on 6/3/2014

I recently asked a group of 50 teachers: “Raise your hand if you agree that when a child comes to an adult asking for help with an academic problem, the adult should help.” ...

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Good Parenting Decisions

Posted on 5/20/2014

Q: For the first five years of her life, it was just me and my now 13-year-old daughter. I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. I wasn’t consistent; I didn’t hold her accountable; I was an...

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Too Old to Cuddle?

Posted on 4/15/2014

Q: My 11-year old son, an only child, continues to ask me to "snuggle" with him and scratch his back at bed time. This is a time for us to read aloud, chat about concerns or questions, and say...

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The "Hang in There Principle"

Posted on 11/26/2013

Q: My 11-year-old son cuts corners on everything. If he does a chore, he'll leave the cleaning products behind. If his bed his hard to make he hides the sheet in the closet and throws the blanket...

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Recent Questions

The Better Half

Posted 5 days ago

I have 2 step-daughters, ages 11 and 8, who spend half of their time with us and half with their mom. We don’t allow them to use any form of social media and have explained to them the dangers....

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The Extracurricular Activities Freight Train

Posted 1 week ago

I'm trying to put a slow down on the extracurricular activities by asking them to choose one or two. How much input should they be allowed in deciding which ones? For example, I think they need...

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The Self Esteem Monster

Posted 2 weeks ago

It seems lately I'm constantly trying to undo the last 10 years worth of damage that I've created. I take full responsibility for that but the question is always how. My daughters 12 and 9 have...

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Addressing Self Esteem

Posted 2 weeks ago

It seems lately I'm constantly trying to undo the last 10 years worth of damage that I've created. I take full responsibility for that but the question is always how. My daughters 12 and 9 have...

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No Clear Cut Answer for When to Blend a Family

Posted 4 weeks ago

hi there I have been dating my BF for about a year. I have never been around his kids yet although they do know of me and our children used to be friends before they moved away. My bf has spent a...

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Sass in the Second Stage

Posted on 3/12/2018

Hello, I'm confused about why in the second stage of parenting, ages 10 to 13, it appears that if a child yells at their parents or is disrespectful, there is an immediate consequence. For...

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An 11-year old Queen?

Posted on 2/21/2018

I home school our 11 year old daughter. She refuses to do any work if she does not feel like it. I will send her to her room and she will not go. I inform her that there will be a consequence if...

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11 yro having trouble following directions

Posted on 2/16/2018

The private school my children attend requires the use of tablets instead of books. My son has had trouble using it properly. It was stripped of all access to games and online media; however, he...

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Teens and Supplements

Posted on 2/15/2018

I am really enjoying John's book, Teen Proofing! Thanks, John! We have a brand new 12-year-old boy who has switched over from being kind, thoughtful, and sweet to being disrespectful,...

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Disobedient, Defiant Sixth Grader

Posted on 2/7/2018

We have an 11-yr-old son who is disobedient and defiant. He simply won't do what he is told to do. He is chronically late getting ready for school, often telling us he isn't going (6th grade...

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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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