"Parents cannot effectively communicate their love to a child unless they are also a source of effective authority. "

Young Teen/Junior High (13-15 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Micromanaging Weakens Child's Success in School

Posted 4 weeks ago

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

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...

Read More

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...

Read More
View All Articles

Recent Questions

Excessive Complaints from Teenage Girl

Posted 5 days ago

Hi. My question is about my thirteen year old daughter and her constant complaining whenever shes asked to do something that she doesn't want to do. She will get all.emmotional and complain and...

Read More

Two home dilemma.

Posted 1 week ago

My 14 year old son is having a difficult time with me getting remarried. We have given him space and even dated for 2 years before we married. He is mad and I have mistakenly let him get away...

Read More

Teenage Girl Talks of Changing Gender

Posted 1 week ago

I have a grand daughter who is now announcing herself as a transmute. Her mother is in a lesbian relationship with a wonderful partner and they are marrying this year. My daughter has set some...

Read More

Screens are Everywhere!

Posted 2 weeks ago

I have a soon to be 13 year old grandson I have been raising since he was an infant. He was diagnosed ADD in first grade but delayed medication until 4th grade. The medication has really helped....

Read More

14 yr old peer pressure

Posted 3 weeks ago

My 14 year old daughter has an 'interesting' group of friends at her government school, who seem to be able to manipulate their parents. We are zoned for this school and cannot afford a private...

Read More

When a Child Chooses the Wrong Friends

Posted 3 weeks ago

My 14-year-old son started in a new, academically-driven private school for high school. He became friends immediately with his peer group on the football team and we've allowed him some new...

Read More

Challenges of the two parent home.

Posted on 7/24/2017

Hello, I have 2 boys, 14 and 16 years old. I am divorced from their father. Their father and I have a civil relationship regarding the boys. We have always disagreed in the general rearing of the...

Read More

Sibling Conflict

Posted on 7/22/2017

Our 13-year-old son teases his eight year old sister to no end. She reacts dramatically to the teasing (he loves getting a rise out of her, so I'm sure her reaction is his reward). She'll scream...

Read More

10 yo girl adores/imitates bad boy 14 yo brother

Posted on 7/2/2017

My 10-yr old daughter adores her 14-yr old brother. My son (the 14-yr old), however, is currently going through a period (I hope it's just a period) where he is being deceitful, sneaky, and...

Read More

Shoplifting teen blames Mom

Posted on 7/2/2017

I'm feeling guilty. In the last couple of months my son has been in trouble with the police,(for shoplifting) and at school. Home life has been very difficult. I have made him take responsibility,...

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