"A father's contribution to his children is primarily a measure of how much he adores their mother. "

Young Teen/Junior High (13-15 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Simple Solutions for Teens, Tantrums and Smartphones

Posted on 12/4/2018

Q: Our 15-year-old daughter is very demanding and, to be honest, self-centered. One of the things she does is ask one of us for something and demand an instant decision, as in, “Can I go to the...

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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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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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Take Smartphone Away from Sassy Teen

Posted on 2/21/2018

Q: When our daughter, an only child, turned thirteen and entered the 8th grade, it was like a switch was flipped. Almost overnight, she went from being a sweet, respectful and obedient child who...

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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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Recent Questions

Some problems require more intense attention.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Hello, My question involves a 15 year old with a tragic story. She lost her father at 2 and a half to a freak accident on the job and then three years later she lost her mother to skin cancer. ...

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14 year old farmer's son is disrespectful to Mother

Posted 2 weeks ago

My son, who turned 14 in November, has become very disrespectful to his mother. We live on a farm and the place is not clean to his liking. He thinks his mother is lazy, won't pick up after...

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Mom frustrated with resistant 13-year-old daughter

Posted on 12/14/2018

My 13 year old daughter has always had an issue with team sports .She is having self esteem issues and wants to lose weight .She participates in horse riding once a week as the distance is usually...

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Fitting In

Posted on 12/5/2018

Hi have a soon to be 13 year old. He is in a new school, his old school was a Christian school. It has been somewhat of a struggle in middle school. From being the new student and being exposed to...

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Junk Food Junkie

Posted on 11/6/2018

We have made some nutritional changes to the family diet at home. We are limiting sugar and providing healthier snacks and fruits and veggies for all of us. However, I have reason to believe...

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Peers Will Make or Break 15 YO Girl

Posted on 10/24/2018

15 year old daughter confessed to me last night that she went to the park before school and had sex with a boy a few weeks ago. She has had her period, so she doesn't believe she is pregnant. She...

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The Pestering Teen...

Posted on 10/22/2018

We are struggling with my 14 year old son. He constantly pesters sister dad and myself. We take away all electronic devices and that does not solve the problem. He is getting more stubborn every...

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What to do when households have different rules for teen stepson?

Posted on 10/19/2018

My husband and I follow your columns (my mother quoted you regularly growing up, sometimes to our dismay) but now as a stepmother and father to a teenage boy, we find ourselves in a tough spot. We...

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Is Mom Micro-managing?

Posted on 10/15/2018

I just found my 14 y/o daughter has been hiding an electronic tablet in her room. She uses it "for homework and to talk to friends via instagram". She brought it from her dads house. She says I...

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Ah, the promises of a 13 year old...

Posted on 10/15/2018

What is your opinion on a 13 year old having an Instagram account? My son has promised he will keep his account private, share his password with me and only follow people he knows personally if I...

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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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