Q. My younger brother, who is 35 years old, recently revealed that he's transgendered and is thinking about changing his sex. Besides being blown away and shocked by this information, I'm concerned about when and how I should explain this to my children, ages 2 and 5. I know it isn't time now; however, my brother is starting to wear a little ...Read more
Q.: I understand the importance of both parents interacting in the best interest of their child, but anticipating a conversation with my son's father makes my stomach queasy. So much so that I recently suggested he pick our son up at my mother's house. Is that good ex-etiquette?
A.: That's not a bad idea if your relationship is so volatile ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: I'm 34 and my wife is just a few weeks away from giving birth to our first baby. I'm excited about becoming a dad, but my anxiety levels over the past week have been through the roof, and sometimes I feel like I'm having a heart attack. On top of my shortness of breath and dizziness, I'm also breaking out in hives. I've seen my ...Read more
Q. My son just finished first grade, and I could not help but notice during the many year-end activities that a little girl in his class sucks her thumb constantly. I recently asked my son whether this is something she does often, and he replied that she has sucked her thumb since preschool. While this little girl's habit did not seem to ...Read more
Q: My husband is a workaholic -- he spends very little time with our sons and me, but when I approach him, he simply says, "Things will be better soon." Do you have any suggestions?
Jim: Men are wired to provide for our wives and children. But because we're imperfect human beings, that natural, God-given desire can sometimes become distorted. ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I went to our local public pool with my daughters. I was appalled when I saw a mother change her 7-year-old twin boys into bathing suits poolside. There are private changing rooms, and I felt uncomfortable for both myself and the children. What's your take on this? -- Embarrassed
Dear Embarrassed: I have to wonder why this ...Read more
Everybody needs a little guidance, and these books help kids learn more about photography; jewelry-making; helping communities through circus acts; and about being a "Really Professional Internet Person."
"Guide to Photography" by Nancy Honovich and Annie Griffiths; National Geographic Kids; 160 pages; $14.99.
National Geographic's books for...Read more
Question: Our 8-year-old is scheduled to enter third grade at a public school this coming fall. Last year, he did very well; nonetheless, his second grade teacher was convinced he had ADHD. At a meeting with the principal, school psychologist, school social worker, and the head of the special education department, lots of pressure was put...Read more
The Emperor, His Bride and the Dragon Robe [Kindle Edition]Lisa Sankar-Zhu
Beautifully illustrated, this fairy tale is about a brave young Chinese emperor and two beautiful young women, who are suddenly thrust the incredible, once-in-a-life-time opportunity of marrying the emperor and becoming the next empress of China. Their journeys take them to the grand palace...
Dear Family Coach: My 8-year-old daughter has a normal bedtime of 8 p.m., but it feels like every other kid in the neighborhood is still outside playing when she's heading to bed. I don't want to judge other parents, but their kids need to go to bed, too. How can I make it easier for her to come to bed when her friends are still out and about?...Read more
Q. I have a 9-year-old grandson who is highly sensitive. He is gifted and very intelligent in school, excels at math and reads at a very high level. The problem is that he is not athletic and is very sensitive. He has tried certain sports, but becomes very emotional if he makes an out or things don't go right. He will start to cry, which ...Read more
Q. My ex and I have two children under three. She now lives an hour and half away from me. It was a difficult break-up, and there's a restraining order against me that lists the kids. I have high blood pressure, and I also had a stroke right around the time she left. Rehabilitation was difficult, but I'm back driving now and working as a ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I are new parents, and our baby is going to have his first birthday in a few weeks. We both work in tech and we're really excited about getting a tablet for him. There seem to be so many options out there and we're a little overwhelmed. Should we get an iPad or is there a better choice for toddlers?
A: Yes, the ...Read more
TAMPA, Fla. -- Five-year-old Lakota Lockhart talks about Batman nonstop. When his mom, Krystal, can wedge in a word, she describes what life has been like since Lakota was born with a rare central nervous system disorder that causes his breathing to stop every time he falls asleep.
She said they're lucky Lakota was born across the street, at ...Read more
Q: Now that I'm in my mid-20s, how can I help my mom understand I'm not a kid anymore? She seems unwilling or unable to recognize that I'm now an adult. What can I do?
Jim: Many parents have difficulty allowing a son or daughter to separate from the parent-child relationship and move ahead into full adulthood. There can be any number of factors...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My teenage daughter is the only one of her friends without a smartphone. She calls her flip phone a "dumb phone" and is embarrassed. But we don't want her stuck playing on a device all day and night. Who's right? -- No Phone Dad
Dear No Phone: I commend your willingness to parent the way you see fit and not by committee. ...Read more
It's important to read aloud to young children even in the summer months when pools and backyards beckon. Here are some of this summer's brightest new picture books.
"You're a Crab!: A Moody Day Book" by Jenny Whitehead; Henry Holt & Company; 32 pages; $16.99.
Preschoolers' bad moods can wreak havocs on young families. But their tantrums and...Read more
Q: Our 4-year-old daughter will not eat dinner, no matter what. At most, she takes a few bites of what I fix and then says she doesn’t like it. This has been going on for over a year. I’ve taken favorite things away from her, sent her to bed early, even spanked. Nothing has worked and to be honest I’m getting increasingly frustrated...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I like to eat dinner with my children, but that means we usually sit down at the table around 7:30 p.m. Several of my friends have told me they think this is far too late for the kids. To make it worse, my kids have expressed the same opinion. What time should young children eat dinner? -- Feeling Guilty Dad
Dear Guilty: ...Read more
Q. I am the mother of four school-age children, and I am writing to you today to seek advice in making mornings at home less stressful. All I seem to do is yell from the time my children get up until I drop them off at school, which overwhelms me with guilt throughout my workday. No matter how much I prepare the evening before, I still always ...Read more
Q. My child's mother and I were never married. We weren't even together by the time our son was born. He is now eighteen months old, and we share custody. Let me be blunt. She's a terrible mother. She smokes pot all the time -- always has. She has never been able to hold down a job. I'm afraid my son will get hurt because she doesn't pay ...Read more