"Children learn whatever you teach them, whether you've intended for them to learn it or not. "

Young Teen/Junior High (13-15 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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"...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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 -...

Read More
View All Articles

Recent Questions

Entitled, Self-Centered 14 YO Boy

Posted 3 days ago

I have a question re. how to handle my son's awful behavior. He is 14 years old. His Father and I switched custody 6 months ago through mediation, following a lawsuit that my son requested because...

Read More

Teen Proofing with Cell Phones

Posted 1 week ago

I am currently reading John's book Teen Proofing. In chapter 3 he discusses the six C-words, curfew, cash, car, cohorts, conflict, and consequences. He gives detailed explanations of how he and...

Read More

Parenting Teen on Autism Spectrum

Posted 1 week ago

Currently raising 5th 13 year old, other children’s ages 18-31, have read Teen Proofing several times and purchased book for friends. What Teen Proofing publication can John recommend to help me...

Read More

13 year old abusing computer privileges

Posted 3 weeks ago

I'm having a technology issue with my almost 13 year old. We have placed guidelines and restrictions on her computer use but she continues to abuse her privileges. She went all summer with no...

Read More

Middle School Behaviors

Posted 4 weeks ago

Is there a section on this site for teachers? Where can I find information about dealing with behaviors in a school setting specifically middle school?

Read More

Unmotivated Teenage Boy

Posted on 8/12/2018

My teenage son is not interested in engaging in anything that requires effort. He gives up on everything he tries after just one attempt and after much coaxing and prodding, refuses to try again....

Read More

Puberty/Lingerie

Posted on 8/2/2018

I found young girls bras and panties in my 13 year old son's closet. I then noticed some of my clothes were missing, bra panties, camisols, tops. I attempted to talk to him about this but he won't...

Read More

Pull the Plug on Social Media

Posted on 7/19/2018

Hi, I have a 15 year old daughter that has a SnapChat account. She recently went to camp for a month that doesn’t allow cell phones. While at camp she asked a friend to keep up with her streaks...

Read More

The magic wand of threats

Posted on 7/18/2018

I have a 13 year old step son. He's threatened suicide for 2 years now and now he's threatening to hurt others, including his mom, his father and me. We have him talking to a therapist and...

Read More

Nixing Negative Talk

Posted on 7/11/2018

My 13 year old son is Negative Nellie and complains about everything. And by everything I mean everything. This behavior really started in February of this year when we sold our home but has...

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