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Ask Mr. Dad: Stepfather clearly is overstepping his bounds

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ex-etiquette: Sorry, you weren't invited to this party

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ex-etiquette: A picture is worth a thousand words

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ask Mr. Dad: The fertility game

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ask Mr. Dad: When it comes to education, dads matter; a lot

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter is in 2nd grade at a wonderful school, and we get a lot of email asking for parent volunteers to help out in the classroom or to do cleanups, fundraising, and other stuff to help the school. Almost all of that email is directed at mothers and makes a special point of explaining how important it is for mothers to take an...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Telling the kids: Intolerance is a two-way street

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Like many parents, I've struggled with how to talk to my 7- and 9-year old about the results of the presidential election. My husband and I voted for Trump, as did our kids in their school's mock election. Both have been physically and verbally bullied by their classmates, and several teachers have made fun of them. They've also ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Is relationship with stepsister OK?

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I am falling in love with my stepsister and I have a question about how to handle it. Before you go crazy on me, let me explain a couple of things that may make a difference in your response. First, we only lived together for a very short time three years ago, so we really didn't grow up together. Two, we are now legal adults. I am 29 and she...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Teen sibling rivalry

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My two teenagers are constantly at each other's throat. When they were little, our daughter (now 15) and our son (now 13) were best friends. But it seems like ever since they became actual teenagers, it's been painful to be around them. My wife and I treat them as equally as we can and we try to stay out of the middle. But it's ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Is hubby's behavior leftover love or good co-parenting?

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband is still in love with his ex. He says he's not, but I think he's lying. Evidently, she cheated and he left, but when she drops off the kids, he insists she come to the door. Sometimes he invites her in while the kids get their stuff. When he can't pick up the kids, she's the first one he calls -- never me. They always celebrate the...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Making science and math fun

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: When I was in grade school and middle school, I had real problems with math and science. Early on, I was pretty good at both, but after a while, I just couldn't see how knowing about quadratic equations, functions, and x and y coordinates, chemical reactions, and all the rest could possibly make my life any better. And I have to ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Breakup tests family allegiances

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex and I were together for 10 years. Over the years his sister and I became best friends, plus she does my hair. He cheated and I left and now he expects his sister and me to stop being friends and he wants her to stop doing my hair. We think he's ridiculous and both of us have told him no. He's furious and making everyone's life miserable...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Missing fatherhood before it even begins

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My first baby is due in a few months, but I'm going to miss the birth. I've been out of work for more than a year and just landed a great job. The problem is I need to go to across the country for a six-week training that starts on my baby's due date. The company is very family-friendly, but this session is mandatory. We burned ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Set a good example on Halloween

Parents / Family Living /

Q: In the past you have suggested divorced parents both go trick-or-treating with their kids. I hate my ex. We have been divorced for almost five years and she's still a selfish, obnoxious person and I don't want to be anywhere near her. I can't cover up my disgust and that can't be good for my children to witness -- but we did not put Halloween...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Approach holidays differently after divorce

Parents / Family Living /

Q: Although my husband grew up with divorced parents, I did not, but recently my parents also divorced and all are now with new partners or remarried. This means my husband and I have to travel to four different homes around the holidays. My husband takes this in his stride, but I'm stressing because we have a two year old and all this traveling...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The scientific case for the five-second rule

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: We're a few months away from becoming parents for the first time and we've been sanitizing our house to prepare it for our baby. We've got antibacterial soaps all over the place -- no one's going to touch our baby with dirty hands! We're planning to give away our dog -- we've had him for a long time and he's very sweet, but we're ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Good co-parenting would allow kids to attend grandmother's funeral

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My mother passed away unexpectedly earlier this week while our children, ages 10 and 12, were in their father's care. The kids were very close to her. I made him aware of her passing when I asked him to swap time with me so that the kids and I could attend her funeral out of state. He declined, and expected me to allow the children to stay ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Is your child screen dependent?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 13-year-old son is a complete screen addict. He's on his phone or a game console or a computer all the time. You've written a lot about how to get kids to unplug, and I know that as the parent, I can shut off his phone or remove the devices from the house. But things are complicated because he really does need to use the phone ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Postpartum depression affects men, too

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm a new dad, and a month or so after our son was born, my wife started acting strangely. Thanks to an article you wrote a while back, I recognized the signs of postpartum depression -- she was sleeping more than usual, putting on weight, crying a lot, losing interest in things she loved to do, and generally not liking motherhood....Read more

Ex-etiquette: Forbidding calls, texts to ex, sends wrong message

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex will not allow our children to call me or text me when they are with him. He doesn't know that our 10-year-old sneaks to make calls late at night and my oldest texts me from high school. This can't be good ex-etiquette. What do you suggest?

A: Of course it's not good ex-etiquette; the kids should be able to contact both of you anytime ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Distant daughter

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex and I share custody of our daughter, and lately I've noticed that my daughter never wants to talk to me when she is at her mother's house. She seems happy at my house and likes to talk to her mom when she calls, but distant and withdrawn from me when she's with her mom. I've discussed this with her mother, but since it's not happening ...Read more

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