The subject of today’s lesson is so-called experts who don’t know what they’re talking about.
As the reader might already have guessed, the so-called experts in question are known as parenting experts. Most people of this ilk have credentials in various fields of mental health. So do I. In my case, the field is psychology, which I happen ...Read more
Q: I am writing to you to seek advice regarding my 12-year-old daughter who is presently in eighth grade. She is a very bright child and started kindergarten at age four. Although she was more than ready to start school academically, we quickly learned that she was not ready to be away from home for the length of a school day, and she did not ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My 12-year old daughter has become obsessed with designer labels. Basic Levis and generic shoes aren't good enough anymore. And if I so much as mention the word "Walmart," she won't even speak to me. What is going on with her? I find her materialism revolting. Is there anything I can do to stop it?
A: It's pretty obvious that ...Read more
Q: I read your column every week and my ex and I do pretty well co-parenting the kids. I try to follow the rules you suggest because they are logical and are kid focused. It seems you advocate spending the holidays together. We never have and I'm not so sure I want to. The kids have accepted alternating years. So are we failing miserably ...Read more
Q: My son is 5 years old and expects to be perfect all the time. Whenever an activity, project or event does not go his way, he will pout and say things like, "I will never do this again!" This is frustrating to us as his parents. How would you deal with this?
A: While there aren't a lot of 5-year-old hard workers, children that age can begin...Read more
Lose a bit of your belly each day by avoiding these 5 foods...
Q: How can I teach my children good manners? This is something I'm determined to instill in my kids, but it's not easy. How do I teach them to treat people respectfully when the rest of the culture seems to care less and less for the feelings, sensibilities and rights of others?
Jim: Manners and etiquette are often conceived of in...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My family is throwing a party for my father's 65th birthday, and my mother told me to cut my 13-year-old son's hair or not bring him along. Do I haul my kid to a barber over his objections, or is it OK to leave him at home? Help! -- In The Middle Dad
Dear In the Middle: It must be incredibly sad to see your parents throw ...Read more
A recent caller to my syndicated radio show (Saturdays, 6 pm EST, American Family Radio) objected to advice I dispensed concerning a teenage girl who was exhibiting a number of narcissistic and even sociopathic behaviors, including lying and the abuse of animals.
The caller—a young lady in her 20s—pointed out that the girl’s behavior ...Read more
Kitters Finds a Friend: A Kitten Called KittersBob Guelfi
Kitters is an adorable orange tabby who learns important life lessons through her daily experiences. Her dreams and natural curiosity draw her into adventures that always end in a valuable truth for you and I. Children and cat lovers of all ages will love this series with it's vibrant ...
Dear Family Coach: My daughter is 15. She's been dating a boy in school, and I met him once and he seemed fine. Then, two days ago, she came home from a movie with a hickey on her neck. I freaked out, but I'm not sure what to do. Can I punish her, or prevent her from seeing this boy again? It's just really inappropriate and embarrassing. -- ...Read more
Q: Our seven-year-old son is in third grade. When given an open-ended question, he tends to respond with an answer he believes the teacher wants to hear instead of what he actually thinks. It's as though he has "figured out the system." How should we handle this? Is this okay?
A: If your son has figured out the system of how to please his ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: What happened in Paris last week has me shocked, upset and frightened. The death and destruction are hard enough for my wife and me to grasp and to explain to our children, ages 7 and 10. But it's getting increasingly difficult to answer their questions about Islam and to keep them from demonizing Muslims. We tried avoiding the ...Read more
Q. I was with my ex for about five years. The last few years were sort of rocky, and we have finally decided to break-up. I have a daughter from a previous relationship who's with her dad this year. This is the first Thanksgiving I am completely alone. My parents live on the other side of the country. I can't afford to fly. I'm all by myself ...Read more
Q: My child goes to a Spanish immersion charter school that has a music and art program with the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The school believes that their curriculum already offers an enriched education due to the foreign language, music and art classes that are included. Should I be satisfied? Will my very bright son be ...Read more
Q: How can we tell if a baby sitter has acted inappropriately with our kids? We're concerned that our baby sitter may have abused our child.
Jim: I feel for you in this difficult and uncertain situation. According to our counselors at Focus on the Family, how you should approach it and what you should be looking for depends on the age of your ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: On several occasions my daughter has come home from school perplexed about something the principal said on the loudspeaker about tragic anniversaries of events like the Newtown massacre or 9/11. I prefer these conversations happen with us, rather than with kids at school, or at least start with us. But I also want to shield ...Read more
These new books for kids will help motivate and advise young readers. They also tackle very vital and timely subjects, such as guns and bullies.
"Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns" by Harper Teen; 348 pages; $17.99.
"One powerful subject. Sixteen different voices" is how this bold new book describes itself. Sixteen acclaimed authors...Read more
Question: My just-turned 3-year-old daughter has started biting other children in her preschool program. I put her in for three mornings a week thinking she could benefit from a group social experience, but it seems to be backfiring. She bites some other child—the same one, usually—almost every day. When it happens, her teacher ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I have been working somewhat long hours ever since I had my son, who is now 7. I miss him terribly during the day. When I am with him I tend to spoil him a bit with treats and toys, and I still let him sleep with me at night. My friends say I am indulgent to overcompensate for being a working mother. It works for me but I ...Read more
For Katie Silberman, the turning point came when a house painter accidentally ripped out the TV cables.
Silberman and her husband, never big TV fans, had fallen into the habit of letting their sons, Lincoln, then 7, and Haven, 4, watch television. Now, with the electronic box quiet at last, they saw a chance for a fresh start. They told the ...Read more
Q: How can we, as teachers, motivate or encourage our very bright teenage students who think that "grades are not important, the world can offer nothing good and life is just a routine?"
A: Tweens and teens can struggle with deep questions during their pre-adult years. Perhaps when you think back to your own adolescent years you may recall a ...Read more