Q: With Christmas drawing near, I'm really NOT looking forward to getting together with family, because there's a lot of unresolved conflict just beneath the surface. Do you have any advice for handling an awkward situation?
Jim: The beautiful thing about family is the deep connection that binds members together through thick and thin. From the...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My husband and I contribute a lot of time and money to our daughters' elementary school. Our efforts often go unacknowledged and unappreciated. Lately the requests have become extensive, including bringing in money or supplies for the classroom. We know the school is underfunded, and we are fortunate enough to be in a ...Read more
The best gifts for kids, hands down, are books and other reading materials. This is especially true now -- as reading levels are plummeting, kids need to get off their electronic devices and read absorbing tales. When choosing literary gifts to buy this season, consider giving a kids magazine subscription for Cricket Media, for this holiday ...Read more
The following true story was recently related to me by a credible individual who for obvious reasons will remain forever anonymous. I pass it on because it is a quintessential example of the general intemperance of today's parenting.
The scene opens in the white-collar home of a 14-year-old girl and her parents. She is an only child...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My nearly 5-year-old daughter got into a tussle at school. A boy hit her coat with a stick covered in mud. It's unclear whether it was an accident. In response, she and her friend ganged up to completely cover the boy in mud. The teachers required my daughter and her friend to be isolated for lunch and miss recess. My ...Read more
FAIRBURN, Ga. -- The sign still stands on a table in the hallway of Carol and James Berry's suburban home.
"As you enter this house, please leave your sadness and uncertainty outside the door. If you have fear, and anxiety, throw them away.
"Positive energy only! Love, well wishes, and encouragement are keys!"
That was the environment they ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My former wife got remarried and had a baby not long after we got divorced. I was happy for her and tried to be as supportive as possible, but her husband isn't making that easy, and the two of them are cutting into my time with my daughter and seem to be trying to cut me out of her life altogether. To start with, he's been having ...Read more
Q. My ex is having a small holiday get-together a couple of weeks before Christmas and all our kids and their significant others are going. Although we usually both go to all the family festivities, I haven't been invited to this one. Our youngest daughter says it was just an oversight and I should go, but I'm not so sure. I don't think my ex'...Read more
Q: We're celebrating the first Christmas with our newborn twins. As they grow older, do you think we should let them believe in Santa Claus?
Jim: Our organization doesn't endorse any specific viewpoint regarding Santa, Christmas trees and other Western traditions. Some families enjoy these aspects of the Christmas season; others consider them ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 11-year-old son is really starting to be combative in our relationship. I know he's getting older and exploring his independent side, but the change feels abrupt. Part of me wants to straighten out this behavior, and the other part of me says let him be. What's the best way to deal his changing attitude? -- Confused
Tis the season to lighten up and smile. These new wintry holiday season picture books are full of whimsy, humor and cool artwork.
"Walking in a Winter Wonderland" as sung by Peggy Lee; illustrated by Tim Hopgood; Henry Holt; 32 pages; $17.99.
Artist Tim Hopgood loves creating wonder-filled picture books, including his happy "What a Wonderful...Read more
Some of the sources that inform today’s parenting do not come to immediately to mind when one thinks of raising children. Take Karl Marx (1818 – 1883), for example. Along with his buddy Friedrich Engels, Marx articulated the fundamental principles of communism. He proposed that capitalism was an economic and social system that exploited and ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I'm a work-from-home mommy without a nanny. I have endless respect for the stay-at-home parents who practically run my 9-year-old's school. However, sometimes I feel they don't respect me or my time. I volunteer to be the chair for the PTA's fall fundraiser because it means the world to my child. The stay-at-home PTA moms ...Read more
Q: My ex-husband's new girlfriend has told our daughters that she is going to have a portrait taken of her with the girls as a Christmas present for their dad. They have only been seeing each other for three months! I felt myself fuming as my daughter announced that she was going shopping this week for matching outfits for the picture. I did not...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are having trouble conceiving. After putting us through months of testing, the fertility doctor we're seeing says that the problem is on my end. I'm devastated. I just assumed that women were the ones who had fertility problems, and I feel like a complete failure, as if I'm not a man anymore. What can I do? Are there ...Read more
Q: What are some of the most important financial concerns for a newly single adult with kids?
Jim: There are three vital questions you need to ask yourself: 1) What do I need to do and when? 2) How can I meet my needs and my children's needs? 3) Most importantly, whom can I trust as an adviser?
Insecurity over their budgetary situation often ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 15-year-old daughter attended a coed sleepover party last weekend at the home of one of her good friends. Before the party, I spoke with the parents of the host to discuss supervision. They assured me they would both be at the party. On the night of the party I was called in the middle of the night to pick up my daughter....Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 6-year-old daughter is a sensitive little soul. My 8-year-old son is more unemotional. He can be rude and impatient with my daughter. Often, arguments erupt between them, and I tend to come to her defense to protect her. Should I let them sort it out on their own, or is it better to step in every time to help resolve the ...Read more
Winter snow begins soon in many parts of the country. These frosty new picture books will excite young readers with stories involving cooler temperatures, especially considering the proximity of the December holidays.
"Guess How Much I Love You in the Winter" by Sam McBratney; illustrated by Anita Jeram; Candlewick Press; 12 pages; $18.99.
The mix of movies opening between the Thanksgiving holidays and the end of the year is as varied and diverse as can be, from heartfelt, hard-hitting human drama to screwball comedy to factory-honed sequels, sci-fi thrillers and big-budget animated romps.
The positioning for Oscar nominations, for Golden Globes slots, for critics group's kudos ...Read more
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