Open adoptions problematic with teens

Q:Our 14-year-old son, who was adopted by open adoption, now wants to go live with his birth mother. She was completely out of the picture until a couple of years ago when she suddenly showed up, tell ...

Something to sleep on

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. My l ...

Handling vaping teens

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 “coo ...

How to parent pot-smoking teen

Q: We recently discovered our 16-year-old son has been smoking marijuana on a regular basis. At first, we intended to begin using an over-the-counter drug test but then learned teens have figured out ...

On the road to entitlement

I recently asked a married couple who have three kids, none of whom are yet teens, “Who are the most important people in your family?” Like all good moms and dads of this brave new millenn ...

Nightmares not cause for fright

Q: Our 5-year-old has suddenly started waking up with nightmares. He’s not able to describe them with any clarity, however, so we don’t know what the content of them is. The most he’ ...

Only child should be no big deal

The following true story was recently related to me by a credible individual who for obvious reasons will remain forever anonymous. I pass it on because it is a quintessential example of the general i ...

Look in mirror for cause of problem

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 ...

Don't argue with your kids

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 WSJ to co ...

Discipline requires authority

One of the disadvantages of this job is that I rarely have enough space in which to say all that I’d like to say. Take last week’s column in which I said “Consequences should be empl ...

Grandfather doesn't always know best

Q: Our 17-year-old daughter is bright but puts very little effort into her schoolwork. For example, she currently has very low grades in several classes simply because of not turning in assignments. H ...

A word from the bully pulpit

Noting that October is Bullying Prevention Month, several editors have asked if I am willing to write an apropos column. I am and for two reasons feel eminently qualified to do so.My first qualificati ...

Going nuclear

Q: Dinner with our three kids always, and I mean always, turns into a disaster. Typically, the oldest, 11, begins to needle the youngest, 6, and then, when the middle one, 9, figures out which of them ...

Today's destructive parenting

In the late 1960s, America came to a fork in the parenting road and took the road never traveled. My generation did what no generation in any culture at any time in history had ever done: we broke wit ...

Make child take ownership of problem

Q: Over the past year or so, our 5-year-old has developed an extreme fear of going to the doctor or dentist. This came on suddenly, without a precipitating incident. The crying begins when we arrive a ...

A glimmer of hope

Just when I am teetering on the edge of despair concerning the state of child rearing in America, dwelling much, much too obsessively on the damage being done to children and the nation by parents who ...

It all adds up to being a tweenager

Q: Our sixth-grade son has always been an excellent math student. This year, however, he melts down every time he does math homework. Within minutes, he becomes highly agitated, begins crying and says ...