Q: My husband and I were married this past spring. We had a great summer and especially enjoyed doing things together during the weekend. Then came fall -- and with it college football season. I knew my husband was a fan, but now that we're married I'd prefer to be spending Saturdays doing things together that we're both interested in, ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My daughter is in sixth grade and just got her first cellphone. I am tempted to check her texts and Instagram account, but that feels like spying. How much privacy should I give her with her phone? -- Prying Dad
Dear Dad: Even toddlers know how to use iPhones and DVRs these days. But knowing how to play an app or watch a ...Read more
These slightly spooky tales will get your little ones in the mood for Halloween -- without scaring them silly.
"Happy Halloween, Witch's Cat!" by Harriet Muncaster; HarperCollins; 28 pages; $15.99.
Harriet Muncaster's charming picture book lives in a world of adorable miniatures with whimsical animation added that makes you feel like you're ...Read more
The following statement is true: A child’s natural response to the proper presentation of authority is obedience.
The following statement is also true: Most of today’s parents -- I’d estimate over 90 percent—do not act like authority figures.
A woman tells me her 5-year-old does not do what she tells him to do. I disagree, pointing out...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My son is 13, and we have always done Halloween as a family. This year he wants to trick-or-treat with his friends. We live in very safe area so I'm not worried about anything bad happening. But I am heartbroken we won't be celebrating as a family. Should he be with his friends or should I have him stay with the family? -- ...Read more
Q. This is the first year my husband and I have allowed our 12-year-old son to play tackle football. He is a very talented athlete and does well in this sport; however, he recently suffered a minor concussion during a game that has left us concerned about him continuing on with the team. We realize kids can get injured at any time doing most ...Read more
Q: Every so often Facebook sends me a suggestion for "friends" -- "People you might know." I saw my stepdaughter's name and visited her page. It's filled with pictures of the family, my husband included, but none of me. I reached out and asked to be a friend -- thinking I could keep up on Facebook. This was a week ago. I saw her yesterday and ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My 7-month old baby is happy and playful when he's at home. But when I take him to my new dads' group (yes, that's a real thing), he seems to have zero interest in interacting with the other kids. The same thing happens at the park or anywhere else where there are other babies. I'm worried that there's something wrong with him or ...Read more
The Case of the Halloween Heist (Magical Mystery Series) (Volume 1)Brenda Elser
When Eva, Lauren and Robert receive a mysterious note telling them that all the Halloween candy in their neighborhood has been stolen (and exchanged for dental floss?) they decide that the thief has messed with the wrong Junior Detectives!
They set off to track down and return the ...
Q. I have been searching the Internet for days trying to determine what is going on with my son, to no avail! He has always had "quirks," and people have described him as "odd," "flighty" and a "daydreamer." He is very interested in science, Legos and the video game Minecraft. When he was little, he would sit for hours and put together these ...Read more
Q: Do you think it's a good idea for husbands and wives to have regular activities apart from each other with their friends of the same sex? My husband feels a deep need to get together with his guy friends a couple of times each month, but I'd rather spend most of my time with him. I get out with some girlfriends a couple times a year, and this...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 3-year-old will not sit on the potty. He squats and hides in the corner so I know he has to go. But when I ask him if he needs the restroom he denies it. I am worried that he will still be in diapers by the time he needs to start preschool. This is really stressing me out. What can I do to get him to go? -- Untrained's ...Read more
Children have always been intrigued by music's greatest, from classical composers to jazz musicians to rock and roll idols. These new books for young readers chronicle some of music's finest, most innovative icons.
"Elvis: The Story of the Rock and Roll King" by Bonnie Christensen; Henry Holt; 32 pages; $16.99.
Youngsters will love knowing ...Read more
One of the problems I occasionally struggle with is that of giving unsatisfactory answers to people’s questions. By that, I mean answers I know are unsatisfactory in the sense that they do not promise solutions, but are nonetheless the best I can do.
A recent example: The parents of a 15-year-old boy ask me what to do about his pornography ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My daughter doesn't want to practice the piano. She used to love it and practiced often. But now it is a constant battle even though she says she still enjoys playing. I don't want to pay for lessons that she isn't taking full advantage of, but at the same time I'll be disappointed if she gives it up. How hard should I push?...Read more
Q. My 18-year-old daughter would like to honor a dear friend who tragically died in a car accident with a tattoo of that girl's favorite inspirational quote along the inside of her left arm. The quote is beautiful, but a bit long. I think it's sweet of my daughter to want to honor her friend, but I am opposed to her doing something as ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: I work pretty far away from my home and typically spend nearly two hours in the car each way. I also travel a lot for business. I know it's not a perfect situation, but I'm not in a position to make a change right now. The biggest problem is that I feel like I don't have a role in my children's life anymore. They're 7 and 10. When ...Read more
Q. My ex and I share our kids' time equally -- one week with me, one week with her. I just remarried and my new wife is very concerned that the kids are telling my ex what goes on in our home. She's instructed them to say nothing to their mom, and now they don't want to come back. I don't know what to do. What's good ex-etiquette?
A. It ...Read more
Q. My daughter is a first-grader who continuously behaves in an angry way toward me. Even when I ask her to do such a simple thing as turn off the light or flush the toilet, it's accompanied by her glaring at me and stomping her feet as she walks away. She does not behave this way toward my husband when he asks her to do the same things.
I am...Read more
Q: Should I share my marital frustrations and problems with my parents and siblings? We're a tight-knit family, and though my marriage isn't in crisis, sometimes I just need to vent.
Jim: Only if the sharing, venting and "support" they garner for you are likely to produce positive results in your marriage. But how do you determine this?
The ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My father is about to marry a woman I detest. My children love him, and he is a terrific grandpa. However, I do not want my children to call his new wife "Grandma." Is it OK if they call my dad Grandpa Joe but address his wife by her first name (sans grandma)? -- Disgruntled Son
Dear Disgruntled: Well, that depends on how ...Read more