"A child without rules is like a fish out of water. "

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 3 weeks ago

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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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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Recent Questions

Mom Needs Legal Advice

Posted 6 days ago

My 13 year old daughter and my ex-husband are currently a problem. My ex has taken her to a therapist without telling me for the last 3 years and we have joint legal and physcial custody. Our...

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Chore In-completion

Posted 2 weeks ago

Our son will not complete any chore he asked to do. He will start a chore, (cleaning fish tanks and cleaning horse stalls) after being told many times but he doesn't complete it thoroughly after...

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Let Son Choose His Own Extracurricular Activities

Posted 3 weeks ago

My son is a great student and a talented athlete. He is in 8th grade and during middle school I made him play soccer, take band, run track and just this past year he decided (on his own!!) to try...

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Teacher took the Book of Chrome----off the hook at home??

Posted 3 weeks ago

My 14 year old son Is about to finish the eighth grade. His school issues each student a chromebook for classroom use. Today, I received an email saying that my son had been caught watching videos...

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Rude Teen Needs Wake-Up Call

Posted on 4/20/2018

My son just turned 13. Since he started 7th grade in September he has been rude, disrespectful and mean. Its like he goes out of his way to make me, my 11 y/o son and 8 y/o daughter upset. Every...

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14 year old boy with food issues

Posted on 4/16/2018

what resources do you recommend for the parents of a 14 year old boy who is engaged in an eating pattern which is headed to anorexia. we have a medical doctor, dietitian, and a sports trainer...

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The Self Esteem Monster

Posted on 4/10/2018

It seems lately I'm constantly trying to undo the last 10 years worth of damage that I've created. I take full responsibility for that but the question is always how. My daughters 12 and 9 have...

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Teen Resists Mom's Parenting; Chooses to Live with Dad

Posted on 4/6/2018

I have a 13 year old who lives primarily with me (mom and stepdad and half siblings.) She visits with her dad, stepmom, and other half siblings every other weekend. For the past several years, she...

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Power struggle with a teen.

Posted on 4/1/2018

Hello my 13 year old daughter pierced her ears at home after I told her I thought she was too young to have a second piercing. I have stripped her of all electronics and taken away her jewelry. I...

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No Clear Cut Answer for When to Blend a Family

Posted on 3/27/2018

hi there I have been dating my BF for about a year. I have never been around his kids yet although they do know of me and our children used to be friends before they moved away. My bf has spent a...

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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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