""No" is one of the most character-building words in the English language. Say it often, and mean it. "

Young Teen/Junior High (13-15 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Beware of 'The Protocol'

Posted 2 weeks ago

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...

Read More

Leverage an End To Daughter's Defiance

Posted on 12/14/2020

Q: Our 14-year-old daughter desperately wants to begin wearing makeup, which all, and I mean all, of her classmates are allowed to do. We have held off not only because of our beliefs but also...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More
View All Articles

Recent Questions

Use family meetings to address and solve problems.

Posted 1 week ago

Hello - I need some advice for dealing with moody and temperamental behavior in my 14 year old. I've read Teen Proofing and recognize that I may be a micromanager and am trying to step back and...

Read More

Fostering responsible decision making in your teen

Posted 2 weeks ago

Dear Mr. John. My almost fourteen years old is a very musical talented boy. He can play piano and guitar by ear. However, he barely play the instruments, or practice enough to learn a complete...

Read More

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...

Read More

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....

Read More

Loss of Grandfather Angers 13 year old Granddaughter

Posted on 12/5/2020

My 13 year old grandchild has been mad about everything since her grandfather died last year. Her grades are suffering and she has no interest in anything except playing on her phone. She has...

Read More

Daughter's Dating Unsettling For Parent

Posted on 11/18/2020

Do you have any advice on teen dating? Specifically how to handle an unhealthy relationship that you are watching your teen daughter engage in?

Read More

Time to Take the Bull by the Horns

Posted on 11/2/2020

I strongly suspect my son (almost 16) has stolen money from me on a few occasions recently. A month ago $300 disappeared from my purse while we were away on a trip. At the time I thought it must...

Read More

Normal? Problem? Normal Problem?

Posted on 10/31/2020

Hello! I'm worried about my almost-14-YO daughter. Her grades remain good and she is still on her soccer team. She does not have a smartphone or tablet. Our wifi is off every night starting at 10...

Read More

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...

Read More

Teens and Technology: Education is Key for Safety

Posted on 10/14/2020

We have not allowed our 3 children ages 12, 14 and 15 to have cell phones. They also do not have Social Media accounts. They are allowed to text or FaceTime friends or cousins using our phones. ...

Read More
View All Questions

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...

Read More
View All Audio