How do I deflate my teenage son’s oversized ego and curb the cockiness?

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Dear Shaunti,

I’m a single mom to two teenage boys, and because their dad was an arrogant man I’m highly sensitive to teenage cockiness. I really want to teach the boys humility. My 17 year old is fine, but my 15 year old is convinced he’s God’s gift to his school, every girl he meets, and the entire sport of soccer. It is driving me crazy. And the worst of it is: he actually is a great student, a charismatic boy, and an unusually gifted goalie. He works hard, but I feel like I can’t say “good job” because it will just go to his head. And he’s got such an inflated view of himself already. I feel like I need to let some of the air out of his ego by reminding him that he’s part of a team who are all doing well, or that his buddy got just as good grades as he did, or that the girl he liked was turned off by his bravado. But it hasn’t helped so far. What can I do to bring him down to earth? [Read more...]

When State Says Pot is OK, How Do I Convince My Child It Isn’t?

Teenagers smoking marijuana joint

Dear Shaunti,

We live in Colorado, where pot is now visible on every corner. For my teenagers, seeing someone smoking pot is as now as commonplace as seeing someone smoking cigarettes; it’s viewed as a harmless pastime. But it isn’t harmless, and I don’t want my kids to be enticed by drugs. My husband and I have even considered moving to another state. How am I supposed to keep my kids from becoming pot-heads when they are surrounded by them? [Read more...]

How can I get my teen to STOP relying on social media so much?

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Dear Shaunti,

My kids’ obsession with Instagram and other social media has gotten to ridiculous levels. My teenage daughter takes photos of her outfits before she goes to school and wears the option that got the most likes. She’s already placing far too much value on what her peers think of her, and social media is making it worse. I’m ready to throw her phone in the trash. How can I get her to stop relying on social media so much – especially for her self-identity? [Read more...]

Gain More Pull With Your Kids By Pushing Less

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Dear Shaunti, My 13-year-old daughter rocks at math and science.  She is at the top of her 8th grade class, and is one of the only girls in a robotics elective.   My husband and I have always told her she’ll make a great engineer or doctor someday, and she used to LOVE that.  But she [Read More...]

Drama-Free Guarantee: Talking to Teenage Boys

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Dear Shaunti, My oldest son is having a tough first year of high school – leaving his old friends, trying to make new ones, and dealing with some unfair teachers. I’m thankful that at least he’s talking to us about these struggles (I was worried that he wouldn’t) but when he explains the latest issue, [Read More...]

Conquer the Calendar Without Crushing Your Kids

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Dear Shaunti, My 8th grade son is getting involved in extra-curricular activities for the first time, finding out what he likes and making friends in a way he hasn’t before. Which is all great, but every new dodgeball clinic, basketball team and robotics program he signs up for is one more place I have to [Read More...]

And the Oscar Goes To…My Teen Drama Queen

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Dear Shaunti, I love my teenage daughter but how do I get her to stop being such a drama queen? Everything is a big tear-fest. She begged to play volleyball – but now when she doesn’t want to go to practices, she cries about the fact that none of the girls like her. And yesterday, [Read More...]


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