"There are no argumentative children; only adults who argue with children."

Pre-Teen (11-12 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Teaching Financial Responsibility to Teens

Posted on 9/14/2021

Q: My two young teens are constantly begging me to buy them clothes. It’s become highly annoying. After reading your book on teenagers, I’ve decided to stop buying them any clothing and give them...

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The Biggest Problem Teachers Face Is Parents

Posted on 7/13/2021

When I ask a teacher, “What is the biggest problem you face?” the answer – there has never been an exception – is “parents.” That is certainly a recent phenomenon. My parents were...

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Four Steps To Give Argumentative Teenager the Last Word (and Restore Sanity)

Posted on 6/8/2021

Q: My fifteen-year-old daughter is slowly driving me insane! She argues with me about everything and always wants the last word. No matter how well I explain the “why?” of a decision to her, she...

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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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Recent Questions

Reading in the Morning or Reading in the Evening? Raising a Reader with Learning Challenges

Posted 1 week ago

I am homeschool my 7 year old child/grandchild. His Mother was diagnosed at age 7 with dyslexia and an auditory processing disorder by Dr Lucia Karnes which made me confident the assessment was...

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Time for A Garden Kick

Posted on 8/27/2021

We have our 12 year old son's phone locked for certain reasons. If his grades slip below a B we lock it so he can only call family, if he is disrespectful or doesn't complete his chores, his...

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"Anything for Attention and The Most Annoying Thing Ever"

Posted on 8/11/2021

I have a seven year old boy who is a copycat. There are adults around him who clear their throat, so now he is clearing his throat. It has become a habit and when he gets mad, he exaggerates it...

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Do What You Can Do

Posted on 7/30/2021

My stepsons are 12 and 14. We also have a 4 and 2 year old. Their mother has been generally uncooperative and at times hostile to us, and treats the boys very differently. She doesn’t seem to like...

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Coping with the pain of losing a parent

Posted on 7/19/2021

My daughter recently died of brain cancer. Her husband works full time and I am with the kids (ages 8, 9, 11 and 15) most of the time. I would like to know how to help them through the grieving...

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To Ballet, Or Not to Ballet?

Posted on 6/24/2021

I'm a homeschooling mom of two (ages almost 10 and 11). My daughters are involved in a Christian ballet school as an extra curricular activity. They have been going to ballet for about three...

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Too Much?

Posted on 4/26/2021

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 on 4/23/2021

My 11-year-old boy has Aspergers . He gets frustrated easily. What should I do?

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A "Hairy" Problem

Posted on 4/21/2021

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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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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