raising teens

When Isolation and Anxiety Take Its Toll: Expert Advice on Protecting Your Teen’s Mental Health

Taking Care of Your Child’s Mental Health During a Pandemic

your teen magazine

“Flattening the Second (Hidden) Curve: Our Emotional Well-Being”

Authority Magazine

“To optimize your wellness after retirement, make sure to stimulate yourself mentally”, with Dr. John Duffy and Beau Henderson

chicago tribune
What one psychologist, whose brother died by suicide, wants parents to know about the new law prompted by Naperville boy’s death.

Family Circle
How to Talk to Your Teen About the Dark Web

The Washington Post
Three ways to teach kids to find compassion and empathy behind the screen.

chicago tribune

La Grange psychologist on why ‘when I was your age’ doesn’t ring true, anymore

On Conscious Fatherhood

By Dr. John Duffy
A while back, I worked with a father who described a typical day in his home. His wife, the mother of their three children, does the lion’s share of the parenting. She prepares the meals, helps with the homework and puts the kids to bed each day. If his son or one of his daughters was going through something emotional, a bad grade, a breakup or some other social difficulty, well, Mom handled that as well. read more

new york times

Why Not Let Children Choose Their Own Names?

John Duffy, a psychologist and the author of “The Available Parent,” who lives in Chicago, said he noticed a rise in children with “place holder” names. He has worked with children who have been allowed and encouraged to change their names to ones that they feel represent them better. read more

your teen magazine

Getting Into The Top Colleges: Are Parents Pushing Too Hard?

The first day of high school for a ninth grader is a bit like the Olympics opening ceremony for athletes: a prelude to the biggest race of their lives. The finish line? Senior year. The winners? The chosen handful of students accepted by the nation’s top colleges, our most prestigious universities. Or, maybe not. read more

Huffington Post

11 Truths Only People With High-Functioning Depression Will Understand

When we think of depression, we might imagine a person clutching a box of tissues and completely unable to make it out the front door. But that stereotype is fundamentally untrue. Depression can manifest in many different ways, including what some people refer to as “high-functioning” depression. read more

Ask the Expert: My Teen and I are Battling Over Chores. How Can I Stop Nagging?
By Dr. John Duffy

I feel like my daughter and I are in this vicious cycle at the moment. I ask my 13-year-old to do something — say, clean up after herself when she makes lunch. She doesn’t do it, I ask her again, and she does it superficially. read more

Your Tango

Is Your Kid Is Addicted To Fortnite? What Parents Need To Know About ‘Video Game Addiction’ & Gaming Disorders
How often does your kid play?

I’m sick of fighting with my kids about Fortnite. read more

chicago tribune

Orland Square shooting highlights malls’ dilemma: keep shoppers safe while staying out of the way

The midweek scene at the Orland Square Mall was an odd mix of the serene and the surreal. Mall walkers took their usual laps around the brightly lit corridors. Store employees on lunch breaks at the food court munched on tacos and salads. read more

deseret news

Why parents fear tech more than drugs, alcohol and sexual activity for their teenagers

SALT LAKE CITY — Move over sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. The three biggest fears parents have for their teenagers today are technology, bullying and poor mental health. read more

chicago tribune

Helping your child comfort a grieving pal

Shortly before Christmas, a brother-and-sister duo whom my kids play with lost their dad unexpectedly. read more

The Downside of Happiness

My kids are on vacation this week with their dad and his wife, which means this is my annual hardest/easiest week of the year. read more

The Washington Post

Teaching a teen how his sullen looks can be mistaken for a bad attitude

“Instead of presuming a problem, sit down and have a conversation without forcing, controlling his choices about how to move forward,” Duffy says. read more

Stop Medicine Abuse

Ensuring Safety Through Available Parenting

In so many ways, these are very difficult times to be a parent. Our kids swim in different waters than we did a generation ago, and much of it is unchartered for us.  read more



Few things are cuter than the sight of your little boy holding hands with a little girl in his kindergarten classroom, or watching as your daughter puts her arm around a little boy from her tee-ball team. read more

your teen magazine

Should You Wake a Sleeping Teenager?

Here’s a common dilemma. Your teenager, who works hard all week long, likes to sleep in on weekends, often stumbling out of bed early afternoon. read more


How to Talk Safety with Your Kids

Help your kids understand the importance of safety with these 5 kid-friendly tips. read more

Brides Magazine

6 Ways to Help a Stressed Out Spouse

When we see our significant others stressed out, it can be easy to unintentionally smother them with our love and support. read more

How to Break It to Your Parents That You’re Eloping

While they may come to understand your decision, it’s unlikely your parents want you to elope. read more

Is Your Husband Siding With His Mother? Here’s What to Do

Is the woman who raised him always right in your husband’s eyes. read more

How Soon Should He Meet Your Parents?

You might be more nervous to introduce your man to your mother than you were to text him after your first date. read more

How to Set Post-Wedding Boundaries With Your Parents

We’ve all heard a friend-of-a-friend’s horror story: She was, um, busy with her husband on the kitchen floor when her key-toting parents walked into her home uninvited. read more

What to Do When Your Parents Back Out of Paying For Your Wedding

Your parents promised to pay for your wedding day, and then, for any number of reasons, backed out. read more

chicago tribune

Why turn to a site like Ashley Madison to cheat?

In an age where even federal employees aren’t exempt from hacks splashing around personal data, why turn to a website for an act that depends on discretion? read more

wall street journal

Children Put ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ on a First Name Basis

Hayden Mathias digs for her buzzing iPhone, and taps the FaceTime icon. “Oh, hey Dave,” the tall, blond haired eighth-grader says to the face filling her screen. read more

time magazine

Hit the Brakes! GPS Mom Is Watching

New big-brother devices for tracking teen drivers are meant to keep accidents and deaths among teen drives down. read more

real simple

The Best Parenting Advice On Living With Teenagers

“Curfew is easy! Have your teen set your alarm clock for the time that she’s due home. read more

your teen

Move Out Skills: Teaching Teenagers Self-Advocacy

Learning to self-advocate is a key step in becoming an adult. It means looking out for yourself, speaking up instead of letting others speak for you, and telling people what you need. read more

chicago tribune

La Grange author’s tips help with college separation

I became a parent for the first time 18 years ago this week. While my eldest son is now technically an adult (wait, WHAT?) read more

your teen
Why Your Teenager Should Be Babysitting

I’ve always been a huge a fan of babysitting. Ever since I was about 12, I spent countless hours watching kids and making some extra cash. read more.


What to Do When Kids Love Celebrities

When your pre-tween is fascinated with celebrities, should you worry? read more

Good Housekeeping

Answering The Trickiest Questions

Job loss, divorce, disease — they’re difficult topics to discuss with anyone, but with kids, special finesse is required. read more

The Boston Globe

Trying Out Slow Parenting

After work and on the weekends, I often take our boys on neighborhood adventures — to the playground, to the carousel, to the bookstore, to the deli to get popsicles. read more

chicago tribune

The Road To Dadville

“Change diapers, lie on the floor and be part of their lives. You have to adapt to what evolves. You’re set in your ways and get selfish with your time — now you have to be generous with your time.” read more


Cyrus Webb Presents “25 Books Every Man Should Read”

Conversations book club is excited to announce its first-ever reading list designed specifically for men. read more

your teen

When Sports Go Wrong For Teenagers (and Parents)

“There is an awful lot you can learn in sports that you will use the rest of your life,” explains John Duffy, a Chicago-area psychologist and author of The Available Parent. “You learn to play on a team. You learn to handle challenges. You learn to deal with adversity. read more

teen vogue

The Social Network

Thanks to sites like Facebook, it’s now easier than ever for you – and everyone else – to see when you’re excluded. read more

she knows

How to Deal: Your Teenage Daughter is Pregnant

“Pregnant teenage girls do not need lectures about ‘carelessness’, ‘stupidity’ or ‘disregard for family rules or values.‘ I have witnessed a lot of this type of shaming from parents, and it makes things worse.“ read more


What Should You Do When You Don’t Like Your Teens Friends?

“If a parent can lay aside his or her judgment, they may learn some valuable information not just about the relationship, but also about the core nature of the child.”   read more


Therapists Spill: How Being a Clinician Changed My Life

“I have the privilege of learning from the processes of change my clients go through. One client, for example, devised an affirming mantra for himself in session. He decided that, within each decision each day, he would “write the better story.” I have adopted this nearly daily in my life since then.” read more


Therapists Spill: The Hardest Part About Therapy

“I find the toughest part for me, and perhaps my clients as well, is creating movement among long held, maladaptive patterns of thoughts and beliefs. We create our deeply held thought patterns at a young age, and undoubtedly they serve a purpose for quite a while, sometimes years, even decades.” read more


Therapists Spill: 12 Ways To Accept Yourself

Dr. Duffy helps his clients hone in on their strengths and abilities by writing them down. “If you’re having a tough time coming up with your list, name one strength each day.” read more

img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-1993″ src=”https://drjohnduffy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/psychcentral.gif” alt=”psychcentral” width=”200″ height=”64″ />

Therapists Spill: My Mental Health Hero

In honor of World Mental Health Day today, five practitioners reveal the heroes who’ve influenced how they work — and even live their lives. read more


Therapists Reveal What Therapy Can do For You

“At times of high stress, even the most highly functioning among us loses perspective on the issues we suffer. Talking these issues through with a caring, attentive professional can provide immediate perspective,” read more

she knows

Teaching Children About The Presidential Election

“Make this a teachable moment,” says Dr. Duffy. “It’s the perfect opportunity to discuss how we treat others and want to be treated by them.“ read more

she knows

When Teens Cut: The Scary Truth Teens Can Easily Hide

“I’ve talked to many kids who have cut themselves, and the reasons vary quite a bit, from self-loathing to attention-seeking,” he says. “The most common explanation I hear, however, is that the cutting is a marked relief, a physical release of psychic pain. Most say they feel little or no physical pain at all.” read more

Augusta Family Magazine

Frenemies: Love-Hate, Hot-Cold, Pinkie-Promise Best Frenemies Until We Both Grow Old

Children who exhibit what John Duffy, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, calls emotional lability are prone to gravitate toward relationships with bouts of turmoil, crisis and strain. In addition, they may exaggerate frenemy tensions to a greater degree. read more

she knows

Parenting Guru: How Available Are You?

What’s the radical way to parent your tween or teen? Being unconditionally loving and accepting, says Dr. John Duffy, author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens. That means no lectures, criticizing or getting emotional. Can you do it? read more

she knows

Is MTV Reality TV Bad For Children?

“Most kids are just curious,” explains Dr. John Duffy, author of The Available Parent. You can be curious, too, about why your child finds the shows so enthralling. read more

she knows

Parenting A Gay Teen

“The best you can do is talk to your kids about sex and sexuality, and make homosexuality a part of that discussion. And keep that discussion open and ongoing. “Glee, for example, provides opportunities to talk about sex,” says Dr. Duffy. “Listen in a non-judgmental way to what your child has to say.” read more


Admissions Letters Week: Parent Insights

Dr. John Duffy, clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, has helped many families through the anxiety-ridden maze of college application, acceptance and rejection over the last 15 years.“I find that this process goes most smoothly when parents keep their own anxiety about the process in check, so that they can be more present and available to their already-anxious child,” he believes. read more


How Clinicians Practice Self-Care & 9 Tips for Readers

John Duffy, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and author of the book The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, defined self-care as “attending to your own needs such that you are content, focused, motivated, and ‘on your game.’” read more

she knows

Teach Your Teen How To Talk Again

The loss of regular language among our kids is a growing concern for Dr. John Duffy. “We will never be able to ‘beat’ the texting revolution, but we can control the way we communicate with and relate to our kids,” says Dr. Duffy, who offers these communication tips: read more


Adventures In Private Practice: Parenting Expert Dr. John Duffy

When it comes to parenting and family relationships, particularly during the tween and teen years, Clinical Psychologist Dr. John Duffy has become the go-to expert. Learn more about how Dr. Duffy’s parenting niche found him, how he manages the stress of being “the boss” and how he’s built a thriving private practice. read more


When Grown Kids Return to the Nest …

Before boxes are unpacked, it’s important to establish separate living areas to allow for privacy, says John Duffy, Chicago-based family therapist and author of “The Available Parent.” “Privacy becomes a greater issue now, for both parents and adult child, than it was even a few years back,” Duffy said. “All of them are, after all, adults now.” read more

she knows

Character Education for Parents

“The greatest influence on the behavior of our children is our own behavior as parents,” says Dr. John Duffy, clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens. “Our role modeling is a more powerful influence on our kids than many parents realize.” read more


Letting Go of Control

Are you and your spouse clashing over parenting duties? Find out how to co-parent in peace!  read more


Happy Parents = Happy Kids

“I’ve had many an ashamed husband or wife on my couch admitting to a modicum of bitterness at the loss of attention and affection from their spouse,” Duffy said. “I’ve heard more than once the fear that the child will ‘take my place in the heart of my partner.’” read more

Enough Time Moms

Busy Mom Saved By the Books

A book written by Dr. John Duffy always grounds and reassures me.  It is called: The Available Parent Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens. I use parts of his book as mantras. “Remain available to your child through the teenage years and you lay a foundation for a healthy loving relationship.”  Amen. read more


Therapists Spill: Why I Love Being a Clinician

There are a few reasons I love being a psychotherapist. First, I find it to be a singular honor and privilege to play a part in the stories of my clients. read more


Letting Go: How to Give Your Child More Independence

With Halloween approaching, is it a safe idea to allow kids to go out on their own? read more


The Empty Nester’s Guide to Kids & Money

When Pam Boutelle moved from her home in Kansas City to marry her once high school sweetheart who now lives in Virginia, she left behind far more than her life-long home – she left her grown kids and grandkids too. read more


What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting A Private Practice

If you’re considering going into private practice, it’s always smart to talk to other clinicians who have been there. When I opened my practice years ago, I had very little business experience. Luckily, I did a few things right that allowed me to be profitable… read more

Natural Choice Directory

Ten Years Later: How 9/11 Changed Our Nation

The morning of September 11, 2001 is forever seared into our nation’s collective consciousness. Horrific loss of life, massive destruction of landmarks, and infiltration of our air travel system rocked our very foundation, shattering any sense of security we may have had. read more


Avoiding the Custody Shuffle

My parents split up when I was a toddler, and I’ve always felt lucky that I was too young to feel the full sting of my “normal” being torn in two.

While divorce alleviates the intolerable tensions of a sour marriage, the children of divorcing couples rarely feel the same relief. Mom and dad’s breakup rocks their notion of “family,” and ping-ponging between dual residences upends their sense of “home.” read more

Keen Reader – Interviews

Q: How important is reading for building empathy?

A: In my experience, two things happen when teenagers read, either fiction or non-fiction. First, they do learn to empathize with the people they read about, and many teens choose to read about people they feel they can relate to. It’s so healthy for kids to lose themselves in the stories of others for a while. Also, teens often understand themselves ever-more-clearly, and feel better understood themselves, when they read. read more


The School Year: Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster

When Christine Hammond picked up her first-grade daughter from school one day, she sensed that something was wrong. Her suspicions were confirmed when her daughter cried uncontrollably for 20 minutes while sitting in the car. read more

sacramento parent

When Your Child’s The New Kid

Your child walks into the crowded cafeteria and scans the room looking for an open table. Suddenly all eyes are on her. The room goes quiet. Her peers have stopped mid-sentence, mid-bite, to stare at “the new kid.”  read more


Taking Your Teen to a Therapist

It’s hard enough knowing when you need to see a therapist and navigating the entire process from picking a professional to making the most of your time once you do. read more


Are You Living Vicariously Through Your Kids?

In his book, The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, psychologist John Duffy, PsyD, talks about an adolescent client named John, who’s a star football player. read more


Got a Shy Kid? Here’s How to Help Him Make Friends

Make Friends with Fellow Parents

Getting involved with a parents’ group can help you and your child make friends, says clinical psychologist John Duffy, author of The Available Parent.   read more

eHow Family

The World of Parents and their Tweens

The tween years can be an exciting yet treacherous time for a child. Beyond an increased awareness of physical and emotional changes, these 8- to 12-year-olds clinging to childlike innocence are pushed into the world of adolescence. read more

she knows

Helping the introverted child make friends

Some children are loud and boisterous, quickly making friends. But others are more introspective, losing themselves in their thoughts and taking pleasure in the company of books, art supplies and other solitary activities. They aren’t necessarily shy, but they are different — introverted. read more

Santa Barbara Independent

The Brand Canyon

What To Do When Your Kid Wants Brand Name Clothing. read more


Parenting Predicaments 101

The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens is a refreshing take on parenting. Dr. John Duffy, family counselor, life coach and “top teen expert” (an honorific all the more remarkable for its near impossibility) proposes proven techniques to negotiate the ever-changing, seismic shifts of puberty and beyond. read more


TMI Parenting Anxiety

When less information online is more

Dr. John Duffy, author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, argues that the glut of product and Internet-induced knowledge is not just hurting parents, it’s hurting kids. read more

wired magazine

Does Legislation Guarantee Our Children Online Safety?

Under the proposal, social networking sites would have to allow users to establish their privacy settings–like who could view their profile and what information would be public to everyone on the Internet–when they register to join the site, instead of after they join.  read more


Connecting with Teens in a Small Screen World

We are on vacation in Florida with another family. Three young teenagers are on board, my 13-year-old included. A number of times over the past week, I have peered over to see each of their beautiful faces lost in a 3½ inch screen: a Nintendo DS, iPhone, iPod Touch, or any other iThing! read more


Excerpt from “The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens”

The Good-Enough Teenager

“Love me like you would have if I had turned out the way you pictured.”

—Amy, 15

The challenge for you is to acknowledge and accept your children right now, where they are. Too often, we expect our children to be different than they choose to be. read more


Your Little Ones Aren’t So Little Anymore!

Let’s be clear here about one very important point. Your teenager will screw up. Your teenager should screw up. Your teenager needs to screw up in order to learn, to grow. read more

Chicago Parent

How to get siblings to get along: 8 tips to do the trick

We’ve all dreamed of them. Many of us have actually seen them. But how do we actually raise them? I’m talking about siblings who get along. Those mysterious brothers and sisters who enjoy being together and have each other’s back. read more

Mybitsandbleeps’s Blog

Connecting with Teens in a Small Screen World

We are on vacation in Florida with another family. Three young teenagers are on board, my 13-year-old included. A number of times over the past week, I have peered over to see each of their beautiful faces lost in a 3 ½ inch screen: a Nintendo DS, iPhone, iPod Touch, or any other thing! read more

eHow Family

Your Turn: Games to Foster Better Sibling Relationships

A squabble over toys or a disagreement about house rules may seem pretty typical between a brother and sister. However, when the arguing escalates and disrupts home life for the entire family, it may indicate that sibling rivalry is rearing its ugly head. read more

she knows

Why Parents Allow Kids to Drink

Underage drinking is against the law and can lead to dangerous behavior and tragedy. Yet many parents are not only aware that their kids drink, they allow it. read more


9 Ways to Make the Most Out of Therapy


Clients also worry about what others will think. They wonder what’ll happen if their co-workers or friends find out they’re going to therapy. They might automatically assume others will think they’re “weak, flawed [or] crazy,” comments Chicago psychologist and life coach John Duffy, Ph.D. Read more

your teen magazine