Dear Family Coach: My daughter is friendly with most of my friends' daughters. They have always been a tight-knit group. But recently some of the kids are starting to exclude her and can be mean. Should I talk to my friends about it to try and help her, or should I stay out of it? --In the Middle
Dear In the Middle: I'll take a wild guess ...Read more
A father tells me that he tries to give his son, age five and an only child, everything he wants because he wants his son to be happy. But he’s not. He’s petulant, moody, often sullen, and is having problems getting along with other children. Furthermore, he doesn’t seem to appreciate anything his parents do for him. He’s very demanding ...Read more
Q. Five years ago, my daughter, a single mom by choice, adopted my grandson from a Russian orphanage when he was 3 years old. Now that he's in school, he is a little behind his other classmates, plus he is one of the younger children in his class. My daughter will soon be starting a new job in another community and feels it's in her son's best...Read more
Q. My 7-year-old son has always been a handful, but now that his father and I have separated, he's really acting up. His father says he never acts like that at his house, but I don't believe it. I'm thinking about sneaking over and observing through the windows. I know you'll probably tell me that's not good ex-etiquette, but I don't know what ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I are in a religiously mixed marriage. Before we had kids, it wasn't an issue and we usually just did our own thing. But ever since our daughter was born, everything seems a lot more complicated. Each of us is committed to our own religion and to our marriage. How are we supposed to raise our children?
A: Well, ...Read more
Q. My 13-year-old son was recently shoved by a boy about his age at a local park because this other boy incorrectly thought my son had taken his basketball. When he confronted my son about taking the ball and my son denied it, this boy then shoved my son's shoulders so hard that my son fell down backward. When my son stood back up and asked ...Read more
Q: The pace of life has hit high gear with school now in full swing. With the kids' endless activities and homework requirements, I sometimes wonder if they should have the added burden of doing chores. What do you think?
Jim: My own feeling is that children ought to perform certain tasks around the house simply because they are part of the ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My husband works hard all week and on Sundays likes to set aside five hours to watch football. He is a sports fanatic. Unfortunately, the rest of the family is not. I want him to enjoy himself but not at the expense of dumping the kids on me. I'm starting to get resentful, and he isn't hearing me when I try to discuss this. ...Read more
The Jack of Souls (The Unseen Moon Series) (Volume 1)Stephen Merlino
* MULTIPLE AWARD WINNER
* MULTIPLE AMAZON BESTSELLER LISTS
* A NEW ROGUE AND KNIGHT FANTASY SERIES
An outcast rogue must break a curse laid on his fate, or die on his next birthday. A tale of magic, mischief, and the triumph of tricksters.
Winner of the...
Introducing imaginative poetry books to young readers is a great way to get them back into the reading mode.
"Hypnotize a Tiger" by Calef Brown; Henry Holt; 138 pages; $17.99.
Author/artist Calef Brown calls himself an "Enthusiologist," which is apparent in this lively book of whimsy and quirky verses. His 138 pages of oddities bring up ...Read more
In a recent column, I referred to “attachment parenting babble,” which is to say, I called a spade a spade. The column in question concerned parents whose three children had been sleeping with them for eight years. In one night, these parents ended the arrangement. They did so by simply telling the kids that co-sleeping was over. They did ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: Sometimes I keep little secrets about my sons from my partner, mainly because I know she wouldn't agree with my choices. For example, she thinks I give the kids too many sweets, so I forget to mention the ice cream after school. I always felt this was harmless but now I'm not sure. Is it so wrong to occasionally omit ...Read more
Q. I have a 5-year-old son with some behavior problems. He's always been easily frustrated, even though he picks up new skills easily. He reads well and seems naturally athletic. If he feels he can't do something, he'll get angry and put very little effort into it. Some days it takes him a few minutes to do his homework; other days he'll cry ...Read more
Q. After being married for a year I found out my husband was further in debt than he confided prior to our marriage. I now understand why he never wanted to buy a house -- he's hundreds of thousands in debt. If he had been honest I would have married him anyway, just would have waited until his finances were more in order. I couldn't take it, ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My son is starting middle school next week. His previous school was K-5 so this is a new one for him. He's nervous and, honestly, so am I. He's a smart kid but has always had trouble finishing assignments and turning work in on time. I'm worried that if he does the same in middle school, he'll be setting himself up for even more ...Read more
No one wants to be the parent of a child going viral in a video, screaming in a restaurant or throwing a tantrum in the cereal aisle. So how can parents form a foundation that fights back against a culture in which it seems kids are entitled to anything? Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of "The 'Me, Me, Me' ...Read more
Q. I have a strange, even uncomfortable question about my 16-year-old daughter. I've always been a conservative dresser, and I question the choice and style of clothes my daughter wears. I don't know the best way to suggest to her to "tone" down her dress. She's a very attractive girl, and her low-rise jeans and abdomen-exposing shirts really ...Read more
Q: Should we be concerned about our son's abusive behavior? We're constantly on him about hitting his younger siblings, and lately he's also been hurting the dog.
Jim: Our counselors recommend that you first look for stressors that might be causing your son to act out in this way. Is there tension or dysfunction at home? Conflict between Mom ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 12-year-old daughter is not a hugger. She usually shies away and sometimes recoils when people try to give her a squeeze. I feel that one-armed lean-ins are rude to do to our family or close friends. But my wife excuses this behavior, saying hugging makes my daughter feel uncomfortable. I think my wife is giving her an out....Read more
When older siblings head back to school, younger siblings often feel lonely and sad. These new innovative board tales should help them do just what their brothers and sisters are doing -- reading and enjoying books.
"Dinoblock" by Christopher Franceschelli; art by Peskimo; Abrams Appleseed; 46 pages; $16.95.
This talented pair's predecessor,...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I have two young children who are difficult to punish because their punishments are also painful for me. For example, if they get into trouble and I take away TV time on Sunday morning, it also makes my life harder. How can I punish my kids without punishing myself? -- Grounded Mommy
Dear Grounded: Finding the right ...Read more