"Children need parents who know where they stand as well as where they want their children to stand. "

Older Teen/High School (16-18 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

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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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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Father's Visitation With Child Should Be Allowed

Posted on 1/15/2020

Q: Our ten-year-old granddaughter lives with us. We have custody of her but her father, our son, is now asking us for visitation privileges. I probably don’t need to tell you that both he and his...

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It Is Not Necessary to Help Your Child With Homework

Posted on 11/26/2019

After a recent talk in South Florida, women came up to me in droves asking, “How much should I help my children with their schoolwork?” That not one man asked the question...

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Children Do Best in School When Parents Do Not Monitor Progress

Posted on 10/29/2019

The Portal. It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, the gateway to an alternative universe that lures, then traps the unwary in its nefarious web of illusion, where things are...

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Teenage Girls and Boys Respond to Technology Differently

Posted on 10/2/2019

Q: We held off giving our oldest daughter a smartphone until she was fifteen, the age at which we allowed her older brother to have one. We read your column weekly in our hometown newspaper and...

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Teen Not a Suicide Risk

Posted on 7/23/2019

My recent column pertaining to a 12-year-old who told his parents he’d thought about suicide several times over the past six months stirred a fair number of folks to respond. Feelings toward the...

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Recent Questions

Setting Self Aside--A Teen's Family Obligation

Posted 2 weeks ago

My husband works out of town every other week. He is out of town for the Easter holiday. He does not have a relationship with my older son, who is living at home during this college semester. He...

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Senior Picture Haircut Battle

Posted on 3/22/2021

My seventeen year old son has been growing his hair out. It is time for his senior pictures and I want him to get a haircut. His girlfriend likes his hair, therefore he is reluctant to cut it. How...

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For 18 YO Good Actions Lead To Good Feelings

Posted on 3/10/2021

Our 18yr old son says that he is stressed out. He is finishing his senior year of high school which has not been a normal year with Covid and what politically has happened in the US, as well as...

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Task avoider

Posted on 1/13/2021

Hi, John and Team! My husband and I cannot get our 17 yo old son to complete the most basic of tasks regarding his room! On a daily basis, we expect him to make his bed, keep dirty clothes in...

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Encouraging Peace

Posted on 1/11/2021

My son is 19 and is living at home while attending college. His father has a narcissistic personality disorder. He lives and works in another state but travels home every other week. There is...

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Being Disrespectful is Worse than Rap Music

Posted on 1/4/2021

My 16 year old son listens to rap & when we realized it was explicit, we put controls on his phone. He still listens to some very negative stuff. He has always been very strong willed & is...

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Avoid Micromanaging Tweens Peer Group

Posted on 12/15/2020

What should I do if my daughters only friends are bad influences on her and not people I want her being friends with? One is a lesbian, one has anxiety issues and they both are obsessed with Tik...

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Shyness Not A Character Defect

Posted on 12/13/2020

My daughter (age 16) is extremely shy and always has been. Recently due to my divorce situation, we had to relocate and so making friends has been a struggle. However, I have observed her...

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Sibling Relationship Stuck in Rough Water

Posted on 12/7/2020

We have a 21 year old son, who is still in college. He has severe animus toward his 17 year old sister, and has had it for the past 6-8 years. Little sister, for all practical purposes, is very...

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Daughter's Dating Unsettling For Parent

Posted on 11/18/2020

Do you have any advice on teen dating? Specifically how to handle an unhealthy relationship that you are watching your teen daughter engage in?

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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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