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
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
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
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, 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
Lose a bit of your belly each day by avoiding these 5 foods...
Q: My very bright son who was a National Merit Scholar is now a freshman in college. I sense anxiety in his voice despite his overconfident words. How can parents help their gifted children adjust to college and be sure they will succeed? We know he is very capable, but we are really worried for him and don't want to add to the pressure he ...Read more
Q: My second grade son chooses not to do his schoolwork sometimes. He distracts the class or plays with his pencil instead. Other days he is on task. How do I motivate him or change his behaviors, and what causes the changes from good to bad days and back again?
A: Since your son's avoidance behavior -- this clowning around or playing with ...Read more
Q: My 5-year-old child wakes up ready to go everyday by 6 a.m. even if he goes to bed at a normal time the night before. How do I teach him to listen to his body and stay asleep longer? Is it possible that some children just don't need very much sleep?
A: Your son who wakes early every morning may be listening to his body very well, and no ...Read more
The Christmas BearCatherine Wentworth Bellizzi
Timmy is no ordinary Teddy Bear. He comes into different people's lives and changes them forever. And what a perfect time for him to do his magic than at Christmastime? Follow Timmy in this rhyming, read-aloud story as he travels from the assembly line and into the hearts of those who need ...
Q: My daughter is a senior in high school and is very seriously starting to look at colleges for next year. She wants to pursue a communications degree and is looking at two different liberal arts colleges in our state. I am very proud that she is excited about going to college and is spending a considerable amount of time planning her future....Read more
Q: My son is 7 years old and really gives up easily, both in home tasks and at school. He also avoids competition unless he is sure he will win. What are some good ways to foster grit and tenacity in children that do not lead to arrogance?
A: It's no shock to anyone that having a good work ethic helps children succeed, nor is it surprising ...Read more
Q1: How do you handle a 5-year-old child who argues constantly and becomes emotionally out of control once you have told her no? Her crying tantrums get worse and worse.
Q2: We have a 10-year-old "lawyer." What is the best way to disarm his constant arguments? We have tried the "our home/our rules" approach, and he will listen to a point, but...Read more
Dear Readers: I recently responded to a parent who was considering grade retention for a child who was moving to a new school district. Since that column ran in early September, I have received a number of comments regarding the pros and cons of retention, including the following letters written by two educators. My response follows the ...Read more
Q: I have a daughter who is almost 6 years old, and her father lives several states away. When she was 2 years old, he signed away his rights to her because he had married another person and felt he would never have any contact with my daughter. When she turned 3, he asked if I would allow him to have a relationship with her. I thought this to...Read more
Q: I am becoming increasingly concerned that my daughter, who is a sophomore in high school, is bullying another girl in her class. For the past few weeks, I have been uncomfortable with conversations that I have overheard between my daughter and some of her friends and also from what I have witnessed by looking at her social media sites. I ...Read more
Q: About two months ago, my 6-year-old daughter started believing there was a monster in her closet, and I don't know where this idea came from. To alleviate her anxiety, I installed a night light in her closet and even went so far as to take the doors off so she could clearly see that nothing was hiding in there.
Bedtime has become a dreaded...Read more
Q. This is the first year my husband and I have allowed our 12-year-old son to play tackle football. He is a very talented athlete and does well in this sport; however, he recently suffered a minor concussion during a game that has left us concerned about him continuing on with the team. We realize kids can get injured at any time doing most ...Read more
Q. I have been searching the Internet for days trying to determine what is going on with my son, to no avail! He has always had "quirks," and people have described him as "odd," "flighty" and a "daydreamer." He is very interested in science, Legos and the video game Minecraft. When he was little, he would sit for hours and put together these ...Read more
Q. My 18-year-old daughter would like to honor a dear friend who tragically died in a car accident with a tattoo of that girl's favorite inspirational quote along the inside of her left arm. The quote is beautiful, but a bit long. I think it's sweet of my daughter to want to honor her friend, but I am opposed to her doing something as ...Read more
Q. My daughter is a first-grader who continuously behaves in an angry way toward me. Even when I ask her to do such a simple thing as turn off the light or flush the toilet, it's accompanied by her glaring at me and stomping her feet as she walks away. She does not behave this way toward my husband when he asks her to do the same things.
I am...Read more
Q. I am hoping you might be able to offer suggestions to encourage calm and focus in my 4-year-old daughter. She is easily frustrated and shouts or cries when things don't go her way. She has a wonderful imagination and is clearly a right-brain learner, but any left-brain tasks leave her cranky and in her words "bored." She will be 5 in ...Read more