"The ultimate goal of raising children is to help them out of our lives and into successful lives of their own. "

Older Teen/High School (16-18 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Are College Visits Necessary?

Posted on 1/3/2018

Q: Our 17-year-old daughter wants to begin visiting colleges. She’s a high-school junior this year and this is when the college visitations begin. We’re feeling like the Grinches Who Stole...

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Celebrate Son's Chosen Education, Career Path

Posted on 12/13/2017

Q: Our 18-year-old son made only slightly better than average grades in high school and finished in the top half of his graduating class. He could have done better, but has a history of...

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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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Teen Using Pot Should Lose Car, Phone

Posted on 8/16/2017

Q: A few months after he got his driver’s license, we found a bag of marijuana in our 16-year-old son’s car. He swore it wasn’t his and that he didn’t know whose it was and that he’s never used...

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Stay the Course With Rebellious Teen

Posted on 5/23/2017

Q: Our 18-year-old daughter is a month away from high school graduation and she is failing nearly every class! About six months ago, she took up with a group of young adults who are less than...

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Teenage Boys Need Healthy Adult Role Models

Posted on 5/3/2017

When my son, Eric, began showing interest in girls, I reflected back upon the foibles and fiascoes of my adolescence and promised myself he would be better prepared for datinghood. Undertaking...

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Don't Fret About Teen Son With Average Grades

Posted on 4/18/2017

Q: Our 17-year-old son is an unmotivated student. A junior in high school, he is clearly capable of making straight A’s, but typically makes B’s and C’s. He plays on both the football and tennis...

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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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Success Is a Matter of Character, Not Grades

Posted on 2/15/2017

There must be some relationship between aging and the “You’ve got to be kidding me!” response, if I am any indication, that is. What was once occasional has become almost daily. ...

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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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Recent Questions

Lights Out for 16 Year Old?

Posted 5 days ago

Is it unreasonable to tell a 16-year-old boy he should have 'lights out' by 10:00? He works hard on school, despite not liking it, but often stays up until 1 or 2 a.m. doing homework or reading. ...

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Two out of Three

Posted 2 weeks ago

My 9+ year old talks back to teachers and classmates, calls other students names, won't follow directions of teachers and refuses to do what he's been told (one teacher captured it perfectly...

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Never too late to become a leader.

Posted on 2/20/2018

I have a 16-year-old son whom I have custody of 50% of the time. His father is very permissive and expects no chores. I am not and have expectations of household help. He consistently refuses,...

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Posted on 2/8/2018

My 16 year old has some very straight friends and some that are experimenting with drugs. I am suspicious all the time and have drug tested him which he has passed. The party house is across the...

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Three Angry Teens, One Frazzled Mom

Posted on 2/6/2018

I have a 17 year old, a 15 year old and a 13 year old all whom believe life completely and utterly revolves around them. the 17 year old boy refuses to look for work, he has let his learners...

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Teens and driving.

Posted on 1/30/2018

We told our 16 1/2 year old son that he must maintain a C-average and have no major behavioral violations for 3 months in order to obtain his driver's license. He does online schooling at home...

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What now?

Posted on 1/14/2018

Do you think i need to text her once in a while and ask how is she doing? I guess i just want to make sure that I do this right, this time, Should I still let her know I am here in her life no...

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Persistent Lying

Posted on 1/14/2018

I am having a continuous issue with my daughter lying about going to boys' houses. She always tells me she is going to a girl friend's but is really going to a boys. Our rules are 1. Be honest...

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Daughter choosing Dad

Posted on 1/13/2018

Now my daughter is with her biological father who rented an extended stay for himself and her close to school, so she can finish school now. It's her last year and she needs to start applying for...

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Angry daughter needs dose of reality.

Posted on 1/8/2018

Good day, we have tried lots of different things,this is the way she is now, alway angry, I dont know what to do except her bio dad to be with her now. What would be your recommendation for me, in...

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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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