"If you think childrearing is difficult, it will be. "

Young Teen/Junior High (13-15 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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Bring Back Vocational Education in High Schools

Posted on 4/11/2017

During my sophomore year at Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois, my guidance counselor, Mr. Gusloff, refused my request to take auto shop because I was, he said, college-bound and my...

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How to Calm a Screaming...Teen?

Posted on 1/31/2017

Q: Our 15-year-old daughter has become, over the past year or so, quite a disruptive influence in our normally peaceful home. She was a gem until she entered high school when she almost overnight...

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Stay Dispassionate yet Approachable During Teen's Experimentation With Vaping

Posted on 1/18/2017

Q: I found a vaping pen hidden in my 13-year-old son's room and am at a loss as to how to deal with it. He is very susceptible to peer pressure and wants very badly to fit in with the "cool"...

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Take a Time-Out Before Engaging With Argumentative Child

Posted on 11/22/2016

Q: In last week’s column, you advised parents not to argue with teenagers. That’s fine and dandy advice, John, but you failed to tell your readers how to stay out of or end these arguments. For...

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A Non-Argumentative Teen Is a Happy One

Posted on 11/15/2016

My advice to The Wall Street Journal, the only news source to which I subscribe: Stop trying to be all things to all people. Specifically, stop giving parenting advice. The latest attempt by...

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Stepparents Should Have Authority over Teens, Too

Posted on 8/24/2016

Q: In a recent column, you advise that stepparents have complete disciplinary authority over all children who live in or visit the home, but do you feel the same policy should apply when the...

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We Shouldn't Always Shield Our Children From Pain

Posted on 6/9/2016

The depraved excepted, parents do not enjoy making children unhappy. Nevertheless, sometimes it is in a child's best interest that parents - while not deliberately trying to induce unhappiness -...

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Parents Should Sweat the Small Stuff

Posted on 6/7/2016

Q: While exploring your website, I ran across a column you wrote a while back about a 13-year-old who wanted a Mohawk haircut. You told the parents not to allow it, pointing out that if you give...

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Custody Issue: Teen Acts Aggressively Towards Mother

Posted on 1/12/2016

Q: My ex-husband and I have pretty much fifty-fifty custody of our 15-year-old son, who has become infected with his father’s disrespect for me. When he’s with me, he makes it very clear that he...

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Recent Questions

High School Freshman Vaping

Posted 1 week ago

Hi! My 14 year old freshman has been telling me how he vapes in the high school bathroom with friends. My husband and I do not smoke or vape and we have made it very clear that he needs to wait...

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Teen Prefers to Live with Daily Pot Smoking Dad

Posted 1 week ago

My just turned 13 year old son wants to see what living with Dad would be like after living with me and Stepdad (and visiting Dad and StepMom) over his childhood. Dad has a stable career and nice...

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Old School Blues

Posted 1 week ago

My daughters were homeschooled, public schooled, homeschooled again, and back in public school right down the street. They were pretty happy with school but the oldest was always hard to get out...

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Micromanagement Out, Mentoring In

Posted 3 weeks ago

Our 15 yr old comes in and out of moodiness and maturity. He is doing well in some school classes amd not so well in others. Your advice has been very helpful to me. There is a girl that he is...

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Bedtime for a teen.

Posted 4 weeks ago

I have a 9th grade stepson whose bio mother passed when he was 2. I married his dad when he was 5 and consequently raised him. About 2 years ago he became a problem. He committed an act of...

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Excessive Complaints from Teenage Girl

Posted on 9/15/2017

Hi. My question is about my thirteen year old daughter and her constant complaining whenever shes asked to do something that she doesn't want to do. She will get all.emmotional and complain and...

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Two home dilemma.

Posted on 9/13/2017

My 14 year old son is having a difficult time with me getting remarried. We have given him space and even dated for 2 years before we married. He is mad and I have mistakenly let him get away...

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Teenage Girl Talks of Changing Gender

Posted on 9/9/2017

I have a grand daughter who is now announcing herself as a transmute. Her mother is in a lesbian relationship with a wonderful partner and they are marrying this year. My daughter has set some...

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Screens are Everywhere!

Posted on 9/6/2017

I have a soon to be 13 year old grandson I have been raising since he was an infant. He was diagnosed ADD in first grade but delayed medication until 4th grade. The medication has really helped....

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14 yr old peer pressure

Posted on 8/29/2017

My 14 year old daughter has an 'interesting' group of friends at her government school, who seem to be able to manipulate their parents. We are zoned for this school and cannot afford a private...

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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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