"Give your children regular doses of Vitamin "N," as in "No." "

Young Teen/Junior High (13-15 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Should Son Switch Schools?

Posted 3 weeks ago

Q: Our 13-year-old eighth-grader says he doesn’t like the small private school he attends and wants us to put him in public high school next year. His grades are fine, he’s got several close...

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The Biggest Problem Teachers Face Is Parents

Posted on 7/13/2021

When I ask a teacher, “What is the biggest problem you face?” the answer – there has never been an exception – is “parents.” That is certainly a recent phenomenon. My parents were...

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Four Steps To Give Argumentative Teenager the Last Word (and Restore Sanity)

Posted on 6/8/2021

Q: My fifteen-year-old daughter is slowly driving me insane! She argues with me about everything and always wants the last word. No matter how well I explain the “why?” of a decision to her, she...

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Micromanaging Child Always Produces Conflicts

Posted on 2/23/2021

A therapist takes a 10-year-old boy into what she calls “therapy.” The young fellow is belligerently defiant toward his parents and throws titanic tantrums when things don’t go his way. At school...

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Beware of 'The Protocol'

Posted on 12/29/2020

Q: Our son is seven years old and in the second grade. His school went virtual this past Spring and we see no end to it, not in the near term at least. When he was going to a brick-and-mortar...

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Leverage an End To Daughter's Defiance

Posted on 12/14/2020

Q: Our 14-year-old daughter desperately wants to begin wearing makeup, which all, and I mean all, of her classmates are allowed to do. We have held off not only because of our beliefs but also...

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Parents Can Recover From Not Getting Over the 'Hump of Parenting'

Posted on 10/20/2020

Q: In a recent column, you identified toddlerhood as “the hump of parenting.” As a grandmother who managed to raise five kids who were out of the house in their early twenties and are responsible...

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The Realities of Smartphones and Teenagers

Posted on 9/20/2020

A mother in California seeks her pastor’s opinion on allowing her fifteen-year-old son to have a smartphone. The boy claims that if he can’t use social media, he will have no friends. Mom is...

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Why Small Classrooms Are Overrated

Posted on 5/5/2020

No rational person would argue that the smaller the class size, the better, right?” asked the radio talk show host. “I think I’m a rational person,” I said, “and I can offer proof...

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In Defense of Homeschooling

Posted on 4/28/2020

In his November 1863 address at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the men who lost their lives on that battlefield had done so in order that “government of the people, by the people and...

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Recent Questions

Do I Nag Him O'er and O'er? Quoth the Mother: Nevermore!!

Posted 2 days ago

Also, we are having major problems getting our 15 soon to be 16 year old out of bed in the mornings for school. We have changed his bed time to an earlier time and he still will not get up. We...

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Teen Changing Clothes After Leaving the House

Posted 2 weeks ago

15 year old daughter on video wearing short shorts at school. Our expectation has always been that pants are worn to school. She is changing clothes at school then changing back before she comes home.

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15 year old Daughter in Fistfight

Posted 2 weeks ago

15 year old daughter in a fistfight at school. Her story changes but the gist of it is that a girl she hadn't seen in 3 years wanted to talk to her (I doubt they hadn't spoken to each other in 3...

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Time for A Garden Kick

Posted on 8/27/2021

We have our 12 year old son's phone locked for certain reasons. If his grades slip below a B we lock it so he can only call family, if he is disrespectful or doesn't complete his chores, his...

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When Your Teen Cancels God

Posted on 8/1/2021

Our 15 year old (High IQ) grandson recently informed his mother (our daughter) that he does not believe in God. This has devastated her and us.She is divorced from his father and they have 50/50...

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Coping with the pain of losing a parent

Posted on 7/19/2021

My daughter recently died of brain cancer. Her husband works full time and I am with the kids (ages 8, 9, 11 and 15) most of the time. I would like to know how to help them through the grieving...

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Who's in Charge?

Posted on 5/10/2021

I gave my son (15) liberty to listen to music via YouTube. He likes rap and for awhile listened to clean versions of songs. But that recently changed. He told me that the song Rap Star by Polo G...

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Turn Wasting Time into Making Time

Posted on 5/6/2021

Our 14 year old son has been home schooled this year with a combination of online classes with teachers and online self paced classes. He is struggling with time management. He is behind in most...

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Coaching Kids Through Frustrations

Posted on 4/23/2021

My 11-year-old boy has Aspergers . He gets frustrated easily. What should I do?

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Use family meetings to address and solve problems.

Posted on 1/6/2021

Hello - I need some advice for dealing with moody and temperamental behavior in my 14 year old. I've read Teen Proofing and recognize that I may be a micromanager and am trying to step back and...

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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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