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Ex-etiquette: Stepdaughter's actions far more than a Facebook snub

Parents / Family Living /

Q: Every so often Facebook sends me a suggestion for "friends" -- "People you might know." I saw my stepdaughter's name and visited her page. It's filled with pictures of the family, my husband included, but none of me. I reached out and asked to be a friend -- thinking I could keep up on Facebook. This was a week ago. I saw her yesterday and ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Is my baby anti-social?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 7-month old baby is happy and playful when he's at home. But when I take him to my new dads' group (yes, that's a real thing), he seems to have zero interest in interacting with the other kids. The same thing happens at the park or anywhere else where there are other babies. I'm worried that there's something wrong with him or ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: 'Road warrior' Dad needs to stay connected with kids

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I work pretty far away from my home and typically spend nearly two hours in the car each way. I also travel a lot for business. I know it's not a perfect situation, but I'm not in a position to make a change right now. The biggest problem is that I feel like I don't have a role in my children's life anymore. They're 7 and 10. When ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Kids balk when new wife wants to set privacy rules

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I share our kids' time equally -- one week with me, one week with her. I just remarried and my new wife is very concerned that the kids are telling my ex what goes on in our home. She's instructed them to say nothing to their mom, and now they don't want to come back. I don't know what to do. What's good ex-etiquette?

A. It ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Fatherhood starts before your baby is born

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My girlfriend and I just found out that she's pregnant. She wants me to go to all the doctor visits with her, but I don't see the point. I know that it's important for me to be involved after the baby is born, and I intend to be. But aside from supporting my girlfriend, I don't get how I can actually be involved during the ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Close the door on living with boyfriend and his ex

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My boyfriend lives with his ex. He tells me they are just roommates now, but they dated for about six months. They have been roommates for about 10 months. I have been dating him for three months, but I have never been to his home. He recently asked me to move in, too. He says she would have a room of her own. What do you think?

A. I think ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Dealing with an ex in jail for abuse

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex is in jail for beating me up, and his family has been harassing me through social media because they want to see the kids. You are always talking about good ex-etiquette. Good ex-etiquette is for families who have some sense. My family is crazy, and I'm afraid what they will do -- and what my ex will do when he gets out of jail. I'm not...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Starting middle school is time for kids' responsibility

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I enjoy reading your columns every week. You recently wrote about kids making the transition from elementary to middle school. Your suggestion of keeping the communication lines open with teens is excellent. More listening than talking is very good indeed. But I think you focused too much on the parents and how they should stay in ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Is son's behavior really different (read better) with her ex?

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My 7-year-old son has always been a handful, but now that his father and I have separated, he's really acting up. His father says he never acts like that at his house, but I don't believe it. I'm thinking about sneaking over and observing through the windows. I know you'll probably tell me that's not good ex-etiquette, but I don't know what ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Ground rules for parenting in a religiously mixed marriage

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I are in a religiously mixed marriage. Before we had kids, it wasn't an issue and we usually just did our own thing. But ever since our daughter was born, everything seems a lot more complicated. Each of us is committed to our own religion and to our marriage. How are we supposed to raise our children?

A: Well, ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Keep or leave husband who lied bigtime about his finances?

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ask Mr. Dad: Some lessons for son's transition to middle school

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ex-etiquette: She let boyfriend move in without telling kids' dad

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ex-etiquette: Should couple keep running business together after they split?

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My partner and I have decided to split up after 11 years of being together. We have no children, but we do have a business we built from the ground up. Neither of us wants to give up the business, and we are considering continuing to work together once one of us moves out of the house. Do you think this is a good idea? What's good ex-...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Stay calm, and answer 5-year-old's questions about sex

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad. I have a five-year old daughter who is obsessed with sex. Every day she's got a new question that I don't know how to answer, like, "How do babies get in there?" and "What's sex?" She's fascinated by other kids' private parts and spends a lot of time touching her own. How can I answer her questions, and how can I keep her from ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: As marriage approaches, fiance's son is rebelling

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm engaged to an amazing man with a 9-year old son who's with him every other weekend. When I first started going out with his father, the boy and I got along great. But the closer we get to the marriage, the worse things get between us. I've tried to talk with him about it, but he just screams at me that, "You're not my mother!" ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: ABCs for helping son adjust to new school, family upheaval

Parents / Family Living /

Q. School is starting in a few weeks, and my son will be attending a different school. His mother and I just broke up. We have to sell the house and move. Do you have any tips to make changing schools easier on my son and on his mother and me?

A: Because the first rule of good ex-etiquette is put the children first, let's start with your son. ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Interacting with an ex who makes you come unglued

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ask Mr. Dad: Approach of due date has him expecting anxiety

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ex-etiquette: Restraining order, distance are roadblocks to child visits

Parents / Family Living /

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

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