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Parents Have Fallen in Love With Giving Choices

Parents / Sylvia Rimm /

Q: Our only child is a 6-year-old kindergartener. How do we turn the "V" in the "V of Love" that you have spoken and written about back up the right way? Also, because he is oversensitive, how do we encourage him to try new things and take risks?

A: Parents and even teachers seem to have fallen in love with the concept of giving children ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Son doesn't want to see ex; what should I do?

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I have been divorced for 10 years, and we share equal custody of our three sons. Our oldest son, 15, and his father recently had a fight, and my son refuses to speak to him and no longer wants to go back and forth between homes. His father has called me and told me to make our son talk to him. His father is a jerk, and I ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Time to volunteer and take the kids

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I have to admit that my wife and I have been a bit self-centered in our adult lives, focusing on our work, earning money and supporting the family. We've done quite well financially, and we've both decided that we should start giving something back to our community. We want to get our kids involved, too, but they're pretty young ...Read more

Child Has Uneven Abilities

Parents / Sylvia Rimm /

Q: My son has above-average ability but slow processing speed. He experiences frustration and confidence problems because he understands what he is learning but can't always write or verbalize this understanding. What can his teachers and we, his family, do to support him?

A: There are many ways you can help your son and many possible causes ...Read more

Remember What Memorial Day Is Really About This Weekend

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: Sadly, our family has allowed Memorial Day to become nothing more than a day to celebrate the onset of summer, play in the sunshine and eat too much. What can we do to encourage a meaningful experience and to reclaim a sense of what the day is truly about?

Jim: I appreciate your question because there have been some years where I've been ...Read more

Animal Appreciation Tales for Youngsters

Parents / Kids' Home Library /

Kids who are knowledgeable about animals also tend to have an affinity for them and a passion for being kind to the environment. These new picture books introduce creatures many children may not know, but will certainly learn to love.

"Emu" by Claire Saxby; illustrated by Graham Byrne; Candlewick Press; 28 pages; $16.99.

Most notable about ...Read more

Parents who use cellphones on playgrounds feel guilty, study finds

Parents / Parenting News /

SEATTLE -- Though not all parents steal glances at their cellphones while watching children at the playground, many of those who do feel guilty about being glued to a screen rather than the monkey bars.

That's according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington, who spent days watching hundreds of parents and caretakers ...Read more

Adoption Advice For Couple

Parents / John Rosemond /

Question: We have two children, ages 9 and 5, and are considering adopting a third, perhaps an older child, even a teenager. Do you have any advice for us?

Answer: Do I ever, beginning with a caution against believing what you are told by adoption specialists about the supposed vulnerability of adopted children to all manner of psychological ...Read more

Arguments Between Sisters Are Typical

Parents / Sylvia Rimm /

Q: My 6- and 8-year-old daughters argue and fight over any matter, big or small, important or not. My 8-year-old also sometimes takes on the role of parent and tries to instruct or punish her younger sister. Could you offer any advice or solutions as to how I can help improve their relationship?

A: Most siblings do a bit of arguing, and it is...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Second wife peeved that Mom still included in family events

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I just finished reading your book "Ex-Etiquette for Parents." Kudos for this clear and concise guide to etiquette for blended families and showing how it can be done!

Having been a bonusmom for 18 years now, I was proud to read that we did many things "right" in terms of co-parenting. My husband and ex-wife did not communicate or work ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Dad worried that son plays with dolls

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm worried about my eight-year-old son. He loves sports and does a lot of "boy" things, but sometimes I find him playing with dolls. Does this mean he's gay? Is there a way to tell this early on? And if he is gay, what should we do?

A: Whew, that's a lot of questions, so let's dive right in. Boys play with dolls all the time -- ...Read more

Mother Needs to Move On

Parents / Sylvia Rimm /

Q: My 10-year-old niece recently confided in me that she feels "sick to her stomach" whenever an event is coming up where her divorced parents will both be in attendance. Her mother (my sister) and her husband divorced three years ago. Her father has since remarried, and my sister has remained single. My niece said her father's new wife is ...Read more

Teen May Feel More Comfortable Talking To Doctor Alone

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: Should I insist on being in the exam room when my child visits a doctor? Recently, I took my 14-year-old daughter for a checkup and was told to wait outside. To be honest, I'm concerned about messages my daughter might receive that may run counter to my values.

Jim: We understand why you felt uncomfortable at being excluded from the room ...Read more

Love-Themed Tales for Young Readers

Parents / Kids' Home Library /

Books about love, whether for a family member, a friend, a special someone or even a tree, don't need to be limited to Valentine's Day. These reads are special gifts that keep on giving year-round.

"Luna and Me" by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw; Henry Holt; 38 pages; $18.99.

Inspired by the real-life story of Julia Butterfly Hill's courageous ...Read more

Grandkids Who Aren't Disciplined

Parents / John Rosemond /

Q: My husband and I need your advice. We are parents to one adult daughter who has three children ages 10, 7, and 4. They live about three hours away and up until two years ago we saw them fairly often. Our visits were often very uncomfortable, however, because she and her husband do not discipline the children. As a consequence, they are...Read more

Boy Feels Like a Girl

Parents / Sylvia Rimm /

Q: My 7-year-old son has always seemed like a typical little boy but has told me recently that sometimes he feels like a girl. I paused when he said this because I have noticed him developing mannerisms that to me appear more feminine than masculine. I asked him whether someone told him he looks or acts like a girl, and he said no.

He plays ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Morning sickness knows no hours

Parents / Family Living /

Mr. Dad: My girlfriend is about a month pregnant -- her second baby but my first. I'm concerned because she's nauseated and vomiting all day long. She calls it "morning sickness" and says she had the same thing with her first baby and that it's normal. But doesn't the name imply that the problems should be limited to the morning? Either way, ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: What to tell 'Dad' when fling leads to pregnancy

Parents / Family Living /

Q. About two months ago I met a guy in an airport bar on my way across the country. We had a great evening, exchanged phone numbers afterwards and went our separate ways. Here's the problem: I'm pregnant -- and I've decided to keep my baby. Here's the question: Do I have to tell him? I don't want anything from him. I do quite well financially ...Read more

Electronics Are Changing Our Children

Parents / Sylvia Rimm /

Q: As summer approaches, I am seeking advice as to how I can interest my sons in spending more time outdoors. They are plenty old enough to play in the yard by themselves or with each other, and I can't stand the thought of them sitting in the house all day when it's beautiful outside because their electronics have a greater pull over them ...Read more

Mother's Day Can Be A Lonely Holiday For Many

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: It's Mother's Day, and I can't remember ever feeling so lonely. I recently lost my mother, who died suddenly this past Christmas. On top of that, my husband and I are still childless after two years and thousands of dollars' worth of infertility treatments. I just want this day to be over.

Jim: I hurt with you. Today is always emotional for ...Read more