Advice and discussions on raising a teenager, ages 13 to 18.

Anonymous posted in Books & Reading Nov 06

13 yr old hates reading

I didn’t read much with her when she was young big mistake on my part. She is 13 now and hates reading . I’ve tried everything . She has a horrible habit of even skipping the directions and assuming she knows what to do instead . I even get her books she would actually enjoy from the library and I try to look at them with her . Nope didn’t work. Ugh I give up! She is around family that read and... More

  • Jen
    Nov 19

    Audible audio books

  • David
    Dec 04

    Any possibility of struggles with dyslexia or other struggles? Maybe the dislike of reading stems from it being a difficult thing and finding a solution for that may open up the activity as being more fun?

Linda posted in Behavior Oct 19

How do I get my grandkids to share in chores and not fight so much?

I tried a chart but that didn’t work.

  • Linda
    Oct 19

    Sorry good my daughter will have to try that before they were giving a allowance every week but kids would not do chores they just wanted the money they got told no you earn it or nothing

  • Emily
    Oct 19

    I believe that’s what happened to my mom and why she became so strict on it! She would hold plates up to the light and make sure the were sparkling. I won’t be as hard on my daughter but I do think it taught me about money and how to save and earn it. If I wanted a toy or extra something I bought it myself and I earned it. It definitely felt better when I got it to.

Anonymous posted in Teenagers Sep 25

Teen self confidence

My nephew is having severe self esteem problems. His “friends” abandon him moment they get to school after carpool and tease him. He is a wonderful young man. He has kind of distanced himself from the family. Being a victim of bullying I know how it is. Do any parents have suggestions on how to “handle” ( using that word loosely) a child with trust and esteem issues. My sister and brother i... More

  • Household6
    Sep 30

    Try geocaching. Builds confidence in solving “puzzles” to find things. After a while he’ll want to hide his own. Teach him about resisting being available every time a friend wants to hang out. “Thanks, but I have plans.”

  • Anonymous
    Sep 30

    Thank you for all the advice and suggestions you all are wonderful

My teenage son and daughter share a bathroom and fight constantly about it.

He’s messier and leaves his things out and in her sink. She might take too long at night getting ready for bed. Any ideas to help?

  • Karli
    Sep 22

    Alternate who cleans what each week . Trash and toilet for one and counter and mirror for the other

  • Emily
    Sep 22

    If it's a double vanity I'd put tape down the middle. My parents did that for me and my sister. If someone's stuff ended up on the others side we cleaned both halves! We never strayed much into each other's space. We also used the layered plastic tubs for all our stuff on the bathroom counter and it was to be all put up when we left the bathroom or we had stuff taken away and mo... More

Tristan posted in Safety Aug 24

The monitoring app you added to your kids’ phone is a security nightmare.

Please don’t spy on your kids via their phones by adding (what is basically) malware and these janky apps that are poorly secured. 1) one app, TeenSafe, was found to be insecure and may have inadvertently shared your passwords: https://www.zdnet.com/article/teen-phone-monitoring-app-leaks-thousands-of-users-data/ 2) This is not a great way to build trust with your teens/kids. My work does th... More

Makeup or Not?

My daughter is starting the 6th grade next week, she asked me today if she can get some makeup? My first thought was yes, finally something we might bond over that I know since I don’t know sports but then. Is she to young what to start off with, does make up make her more noticeable and attractive to boys (don’t want that) or should I be more worried about her skin since I use make up but not... More

  • Desiree
    Aug 15

    I have to make sure mine wears sunscreen everyday so the moisturizer helps her remember. She would come home sunburned from pe being outside.

  • Nancy
    Sep 22

    My daughter and I bought her makeup when she was starting sixth grade. I think she thought a lot of girls would be wearing it. We bought very natural colors. She used very little and before long didn’t even bother because not many others were but she had fun learning.

Barbara posted in Behavior Aug 03

My Step-daughter makes me anxious

I've been married to my husband for 9 years. He has had full and sole custody of his daughter since 2005 when she was about 2.5. Her mom lived 3 states away. I met him in 2007 and we were married in 2009. As loving as she could be, she was also very defiant and had a lot of problems with anger, lying, etc. Actually all this talk of family separation makes me wonder if this transition from... More

  • Marsha
    Aug 03

    My 16 year old has so much attitude and anger from issues with her father. We’ve been divorced since she was about 5. I believe so much of her behavior focuses on her self esteem (lack of it) and she’s super sensitive. My suggestion, since you can really only control yourself, is to see where she is vulnerable and try to connect with her in that area. Maybe she loves to draw - so try to go to a... More

  • wonder mommy
    Aug 03

    This sounds like me. Me being your stepdaughter. I hated my father because I felt abandoned by him and his love when to my stepmother who I felt didn’t love me either. Your stepdaughter is a child. Keep trying to understand where the anger she has is coming from. The fact your asking for advice means you do care. Don’t stop caring, keep trying. Try to get her father involved. Don’t outcast her... More

Is there a long term reward for being the hated, mean, involved, responsible parent?

I can’t seem to get on the same page as my “co-parent”. I am against my 12 year old daughter (my son 15 the gamer could care less about them) having social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat while her mother could care less. I know some have age restrictions but they are non responsive when I contact them via email saying it’s my daughter who’s underage and I want to know ... More

  • Melissa
    Jul 03

    I feel you, Christopher! We have gone the rounds with my 13 year-old daughter and social media for more than a year. In our case, no matter what parental restrictions we set or how many talks we have about real-life consequences, she continuously finds a way to get around the system, open new accounts, and behave inappropriately online. I don’t think there’s an easy answer for you—there are s... More

  • Wendie
    Jul 04

    It sounds like you and your ex need to get together and talk about your parenting strategies. I know that's not always possible but if you can both come up with a plan and compromise on some of this it would make things much easier. I don't let my kids have sugary drinks early in the day or late at night and we have a no social media rule in our home. Also, electronic are plugged into ... More

Renee posted in Teenagers Jun 05

Kids fight with me about cleaning

How do I get them to help and clean better?

  • Kristin
    Jun 05

    My two oldest are a teen or almost teen.... I make then earn video game or computer time by cleaning. My middle is an aspy child so I have to give him one task at a time... or he'll get distracted.... the youngest is 2.... I usually help him. But he is getting it

Renee posted in Technology Jun 04

My daughter stays in her room and plays on Youtube all the time

What can I do to get her off of it?

  • Savanna
    Jun 05

    Have a game night, or at least two hours a day strictly for family, where their attention is family based. I don’t recommend just taking her phone away or doing anything drastic, as this could just cause more conflict where there doesn’t need to be any. As a personal tip, try Geocaching as a family! Geocaching is a giant treasure hunt that is available to everyone and you’d be surprised at how ... More

  • Kimberley
    Oct 18

    I agree, we have been geocaching for years. Love the gadget caches! No, even a waterpark pass didn't help with her this past summer .

What are your thoughts on a teen babysitter?

So, what are your thoughts on having a young babysitter? I am looking for a babysitter, and a family friend recommend their neighbor. I contacted her and she asked me if we could set up an interview. During the interview I learned that she is American Red Cross certified in babysitting and pediatric CPR/first aid/AED. She seems very responsible and held herself well. She also seemed to take thi... More

  • Diane
    May 28

    The age of your children and the number of children may be a consideration- if you are leaving an infant or very active child. So while a recommendation is wonderful, the neighbor may have had a different set of circumstances from yours when this child babysat. I like many of the responses in a previous and similar post- especially giving a trial run when you are home and trusting your gut. Bei... More

I have a teenage son with a mood disorder.

He presents well in public but it often falls apart at home. It's hard to even carry on a conversation with him because of paranoia, perceived criticism, arguments and inflexibile thinking. Any parents out there in the same boat. Tips?

  • Elbita
    May 28

    I have heard about the diet. @Christine, would you elaborate a little more.

  • Sophia
    May 28

    Consider taking him to see a psychiatrist or psychologist - they are the professionals and have seen lots of young adults like this and should be able to offer good advice.

Ava posted in Teenagers May 26

My 13 year old is going through puberty and I honestly don’t know how to explain it help?

  • Sophia
    May 28

    For young men, t's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families; What's Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask and It's Totally Normal

  • Champ
    Jun 02

    Just be honest as possible

Technology limit?

Hi. ! I have a 13 year old stepdaughter . I’m very blessed to have a great relationship with her. :) my question is though how Can I get her to not be on her phone 24/7? I would love advice from other parents how they’ve dealt with this and how it’s worked out for them . Myself and her father have agreed to take her phone away every day at 5pm so it’ll one —- make her finish any chores she has... More

  • Britt
    May 19

    While I agree phones from minors needs to be taken away overnight it does seem to be a little early in the afternoon. Especially if she’s been at school all day where she isn’t supposed to be on her phone either. I’d say take the phone (if you must) when she walks in the door until hw and chores are completed. And if you want her to spend quality time with you guys have game nights (board, card... More

  • Kristina
    May 20

    I have my son earn screen time by reading. If he reads for an hour he can be on his phone for an hour etc...

Anonymous posted in Teenagers May 07

What do you do with a teenage boy who refuses to follow rules and fakes sick to miss school?

He also will get physical with his mother when she tries to make him go to school or do anything. She is a single mom and really struggling.

  • Renee
    Jun 04

    Make a Dr appointment take him. And if that dont work drive him to police station and tell tge cop. They will scare him

  • Nicole
    Nov 09

    The rule in our house is that you have to go to school and if you really are sick the nurse will call and send you home. She hates that rule because she’ll do anything to make herself have a fever. But we are trying to show her that school is her job and you can’t call in sick whenever you want.

On parenting teens and the value of simply being there

“With younger children, we have plenty of opportunities to put our parenting muscles to work. We can read stories together, make up knock-knock jokes, build towers, or go to the museum. Our youngsters still like to join us for a trip to a grocery store and they usually come to us first with their questions or problems. But with teenagers, it’s not always easy to know how to connect. By their n... More

  • Grandma
    May 11

    My grandsons need to spend some time with me

Anonymous posted in Teenagers Apr 09

I need advice on a subject that can be controversial. My 14yr old girl developed early, by 11 she already had her period. Right now our concerns are chest related. She is currently a 38dd and complains of back ache. No wonder. However she does have genuine pain for a legitimate reason. She has shown interest in a breast reduction to relieve her pain. I’m conflicted seeing she is still in the gr... More

  • Anne
    Jun 04

    Good luck anon!

  • Kayla
    Sep 01

    I started at nine and and had about the same cup size. At 14 many doctors wouldn't do it, but it would be worth bringing up at a doctors appointment. In the mean time, take her a place that actually sizes for bras and splurge on something that is actually going to give the support she needs. That will help tremendously. Victoria secret does, but they aren't always the best, I suggest la... More

So anyone noticed a complete change in family dynamics when one child goes to a friends house for a day? (Teenage child)

  • Diane
    Apr 09

    Something even as simple as an afternoon going to the public library to explore the books, videos and magazines together and taking a walk to explore the neighborhood might help that one not worry about spending money to spend alone time with you.

  • David
    Apr 24

    George: don’t feel guilty. Having anybody in your life with special needs is difficult. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a quiet moment or thinking about the things you could do when you are not required to be helping them. Parenting is both a wonderful and incredibly difficult job. And like any other job, we all deserve a little vacation (or just a sick day) from time to time.

I have a daughter that's been cutting herself any thoughts on how to approach this

  • Jadess
    Apr 22

    I’ve dealt with cutting myself since I was 13. I’m 24 now. I have family members going through similar issues. All I can really tell you. Is to please try to assure her that you’re always there. And dont get upset when she does come to you ( my mom always got mad when I’d come to her. Which made no sense) maybe counseling I was in therapy for years. On and off. I stopped medication it just neve... More

  • Lexx
    May 16

    Let her know you love her and are proud of her that there is nothing you would change about her. explain to her that you want to help her through this. And like everyone is saying get her some professional help and dont stop taking her until everything is better maybe even a little after that.

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Apr 05

Teen daughter came out and told me she was a lesbian. I took it okay but her dad not so much and now she feels like her dad doesn't love her. Him and I have gotten into a really bad argument about this and haven't spoken to each other in days. What should I do to make them come together and talk about this issue?

  • Lisa
    May 06

    When my sister came out,she called and said she needed to talk to me. She came over and since a roommate was home, she wanted privacy we took a walk. This was soon after Mom had died of cancer and our other sister had been murdered, so I was really worried. But when she said she was gay, all I could think was what was the big news? She laughed and said that everyone else pretty much had the sam... More

  • Chantal
    Oct 07

    You honestly can’t force anyone to accept someone else lifestyle...but have the convo with him nd tell him that his daughter is hurting because she believes he doesn’t love her

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