"Good parents take very, very good care of their marriage, lest their marriage become a mirage. "

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

Manipulation or Depression?

Posted 1 week ago

Manipulation or True Depression that needs help? My 15 year old son has for the last couple years been not very happy and lately very depressed. We assume because he's losing his electronics...

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You are trying to do what?

Posted 1 week ago

Hi. My 13 year old daughter has asked to speak with a counselor for her anxiety issues and depression issues. She has made statements of doing possible self harm. We are looking into someone...

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Teens dealing with "a constant barrage of negative things"

Posted 3 weeks ago

Hello! This is not exactly a child-rearing question but it pertains to everything about being a parent. How do we keep from drowning in the pain we witness our children going through? I have a...

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Time to Toughen Up with Teen

Posted 3 weeks ago

Dear John, you answered my question about my 14 ye old being kicked out of garden for 6 months now and she may be a rebel and we shouldn't start zig zag but stay the course. I'm a wimpy guilty...

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Teens and the Telephone

Posted 4 weeks ago

I have noticed that parents writing in about problems with kids and phones are repeatedly told to take the device away and the child can have it when they can purchase their own device. I don't...

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Kicked Out of the Garden... Now What?

Posted 1 month ago

Dear John, 14 yr girl. Generally respectful and responsible and obedient. However, long history of deception and manipulation. Homeschooler who is presently kicked out of garden for numerous...

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15 yo boy "running off"

Posted on 11/13/2017

I have a fifteen year old son who likes to run off for hours at a time with no notice as to where he is going when he gets in trouble or mad. Unfortunately, my wife and I struggle with "should we...

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13 yo daughter needs to leave 'The Garden"!

Posted on 11/9/2017

Should there be consequences if my 13 year old step-daughter refuses to do her chores (clean up her room and door her laundry), leaves notes on her door telling me/us to STFO, refuses to eat when...

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15-Year-Old Drastic Mood Changes

Posted on 10/30/2017

My 15 year old son is showing signs of mood changes--less energy and motivation with school work (he is homeschooled), outbursts of anger and anxiety in social settings with large groups of...

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Disrespectful , Thieving Teen

Posted on 10/24/2017

I am a Mom of 4 kids ages 15 girl, 13 boy, 10 girl, 8 boy. My oldest, at around age 9 stared eye rolling and disrespectful behaviors & it has only gotten worse. I limit electronics/TV/social...

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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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