Q: My 16-year-old daughter has blossomed into a beautiful young lady -- and it seems I'm not the only one who's noticed. She's getting more and more attention from boys her age, and I suspect it won't be long before she'll be dating. As her dad, what's my role in interacting with and vetting any potential suitors?
Jim: Well, I strongly advise ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: Our beloved 12-year-old dog has a painful terminal illness, and we have to put her down. How can we explain to our children why we have to act now instead of letting her die on her own? -- Devastated Mom and Dad
Dear Mom and Dad: This is pretty complicated. Death is a difficult and painful subject to discuss when it happens...Read more
The USA Olympic teams exceeded expectations a few weeks ago. These books carry the country's patriotism by showcasing its beauty, history and strength.
"Around America to Win the Vote" by Mara Rockliff; illustrated by Hadley Hooper; Candlewick Press; 40 pages; $16.99.
In 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set out in a little, yellow car ...Read more
Question: In a recent column, you advise that stepparents have complete disciplinary authority over all children who live in or visit the home, but do you feel the same policy should apply when the stepparent joins the family when the kids are teenagers instead of younger children?
Answer: Your question is of great importance...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I have been the classroom mom for my two children several times. This year they both asked me to be the room parent. I wanted to take a year off, but now I'm considering saying yes to both rooms. How can I say no to one or both children without disappointing them? -- Room Mom
Dear Room Mom: You probably can't say no to one ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: I'm divorced and have three children from that marriage. I'm engaged to a great guy and we're very happy. The one trouble area is that he never seems quite comfortable around my kids (he doesn't have any of his own) and often tells me that he doesn't feel like he truly belongs. How can I help him feel like a real member of the ...Read more
Q: My ex has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and he's fine when he takes his meds, but when he doesn't, he's extremely unpredictable and he scares me a little. That's the reason we broke up -- I never knew what to expect. Lately he's been contacting me again with a lot of "remember whens" and I sort of feel like he's stalking me. I don't ...Read more
Q: I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father. I've abstained from alcohol because of it, but are there other issues I should be concerned about? I don't want this part of my past affecting my own family.
Jim: As someone who's also been influenced by painful and dysfunctional family experiences, I admire your courage in wanting to confront ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My kids have a goldfish that won't die. The bowl is disgustingly dirty, and it smells. I hate that little fish. Can I dispose of it and tell the kids he died while they were at school? -- Fish-Fry Mom
Dear Fish-Fry: I can picture exactly how you got into this mess. You were at the neighborhood carnival, and your adoring ...Read more
Disney Publishing Worldwide has evolved from movie- and TV-related spinoff books to valuable, high-quality fiction. These new books will appeal to middle schoolers with a thirst for adventure. Also on slate are two books fraught with topical issues and emotion.
"Tales From the Haunted Mansion: Volume 1, The Fearsome Foursome" by Amicus Arcane...Read more
Question: We are looking for a private school for our 4-year-old. Regardless of the school we ultimately choose, we want to keep him there through eighth grade at least. We live in an suburban area so we have a lot of options to choose from. Our son is intelligent, creative, and very imaginative. Do you have a recommendation?
Answer: ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: A friend told me that she requested for our daughters to be in the same classroom this year. She never asked me about the decision, and neither did the school. I would have preferred for our girls to be in different rooms. What can I do now? -- Ignored Parent
Dear Ignored: The micromanaging and social engineering in today's...Read more
WASHINGTON -- By now, Karen Wilk thought she would have sold her five-bedroom house in Colts Neck, N.J., and downsized to a smaller home. But she has had to put those plans on hold because her 23-year-old daughter, who is finishing her college degree while working part-time, still lives with her. Wilk's 27-year-old son moved out two years ago.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, every 13 seconds, someone in the U.S. sustains a traumatic brain injury, which is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The most common type of TBI is a concussion.
Concussions can happen to anyone, but children and athletes are at a ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: During the last Olympics, you wrote about how Procter & Gamble's "Thank You, Mom" campaign ignores dads and their importance in their children's lives. I was hoping that they would have made some changes, but they're at it again. Why is this still going on?
A: I honestly wish I knew. Even my kids have been asking me why P&G never ...Read more
Q: My boyfriend has a two-year-old child and I have no kids of my own. Things started off wonderfully. She visits every Sunday and every other weekend she spends the night Saturday to Sunday. I love his child very much but there are sometimes I do not want her around. She can be very defiant and frustrating and insists on sleeping in our room. ...Read more
Q: Does sexual fulfillment decrease as we get older? My spouse and I are in our 60s, and I'm concerned normal aging issues might have negative implications for our relationship in the bedroom.
Jim: Many people seem to believe that libido inevitably fades with age, and that elderly couples who are still interested in sex are abnormal. This idea ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: There is constant tattling in my home. My daughters tattle on each other, usually for the dumbest reasons. They are now 9 and 12 years old, and I'm ready to be done with the tattletales. What's the best way to approach this? -- Snitches' Mom
Dear Mom: Your children want to have a leg up on each other in your eyes. Tattling ...Read more
These lively picture books will remind students that school can be fun and exciting. From Pete the Cat to an awesome otter to an apprehensive kindergartner, in these new reads, everybody returns to school for new experiences.
"Otter Goes to School" by Sam Garton; Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins; 32 pages; $17.99.
Otter and her pals, Giraffe, ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My wife and I both work, so we have a nanny three days a week. Some of the time my wife works from home. Our 2-year-old gets along well with the nanny, but when Mom is home she clings to her. If she is brought to another room, she kicks and screams. When Mom tries to close the door to the office she has a complete meltdown ...Read more
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- ADHD now classified as a specific disability under federal civil rights law