"Ask a child no questions, the child will tell you no lies. "

Young Teen/Junior High (13-15 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Make 'Em an Offer They Can't Refuse

Posted 4 weeks ago

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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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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Recent Questions

Junk Food Junkie

Posted 1 week ago

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 2 weeks ago

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 3 weeks ago

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 3 weeks ago

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 4 weeks ago

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 4 weeks ago

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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Sticks and Stones

Posted on 9/27/2018

I have a 12 year old boy in 7th grade. He started a new private school this year. He used to go to a Christian private school. When kids argued and treated each other badly at the other school I...

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Strive

Posted on 9/26/2018

My step-daughter 14 has been telling her mom and dad on and off for years that she does not feel part of our household and wants to stay at her mom's house. This conversation usually starts up...

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Estranged Teen Son

Posted on 9/25/2018

I am recently divorced, my ex had two adopted children(her sisters kids, given up and taken away because of drugs/prison)....the children(girl 8, boy 13 now) were very undisciplined which caused...

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Entitled, Self-Centered 14 YO Boy

Posted on 9/17/2018

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...

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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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