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
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
Q. My youngest daughter is 4 years old and a very picky eater. She won't try a food if she doesn't want to, which includes just about every vegetable, no matter how it is prepared. She'd rather go to bed early than eat even a bite of something I've prepared, and once, she went to bed at 6 p.m. and stayed there. If I prepare a meal with several...Read more
Q: I have been going through a divorce for four years. There's a lot of financial stuff and my ex is dragging his feet, so I've moved on to another relationship. My ex is demanding that my children not be around my boyfriend. I want to cooperate, but he moved in with me six months ago. I didn't tell my ex because he is so jealous and has a ...Read more
Each year at this time, a new group of students heads off to the exciting and challenging experience of pursuing their university education. The first year can be a difficult adjustment. They?re faced with more independence, more challenge and more responsibility than they?ve ever had before. Most students succeed, but many don?t. Based on my ...Read more
Q: How should I respond when my son tells me that my ex-husband has been making some very critical and unkind statements about me?
Jim: I'd first encourage you to figure out whether your ex-husband is truly guilty as charged. We all know kids are capable of exaggerating or making up stories, especially if they have some motive for pitting Mom ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My daughter is very smart and has always done well in school. She had an opportunity this year to move into the advanced honors classes but needed to get a certain GPA. She missed it by a very small margin because she handed in a few assignments late. I want to call the school to advocate on her behalf but my husband thinks ...Read more
Believe it or not, it's that time of the year again. And going back to school is made easier with books about other kids' back-to-school woes and triumphs. These are some of the newest end-of-summer reads.
"The School for Good and Evil: The Last Ever After" by Soman Chainani; HarperCollins; 655 pages; $16.99.
The epic conclusion of the novel...Read more
Question: Our 17-year-old has completely fallen apart! In less than a year, he’s gone from being an outstanding honors student, athlete, and well-mannered young man that all of his teachers, coaches, and friends raved about to being a mediocre (B/C with the occasional D) student who has decided he’s had enough of playing sports. His ...Read more