Q: I'm a busy working man. I know I should be spending more time with my family, and I really want to. But I'm stumped as to how I can fit it all in; there's just no place to cut anything. What can I do?
Jim: There's a hard truth that we sometimes have to face: We can always make time for whatever is most important to us. Once you decide what ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My daughter is a freshman in high school. She's addicted to makeup and wears it all the time. Sometimes she just plays around with it in her room for fun. She's gotten quite good at it. But her complexion is deteriorating. She doesn't seem to care, even as she breaks out. What can I do to get her to wear less makeup and care...Read more
There's no greater loss than the death of a child. Included this week is a helpful, empowering book for bereaved parents and a group of books to help children deal with the loss of a loved one.
"Surviving My First Year of Child Loss: Personal Stories from Grieving Parents" by Nathalie Himmelrich; Reach for the Sky; $17.99
This incredibly ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I've always been a very involved dad. But now that my children are in sixth and ninth grade, they no longer need me. I'm constantly begging them to do something with me, and when they can't, I make them feel guilty. I don't mean to do it. I'm just so sad they are so busy. I'm feeling rejected. What can I do to make the kids ...Read more
I am sometimes asked if I think the “parenting pendulum” is swinging back, however slowly, toward where it was sixty-plus years ago or at least toward a tolerable middle point.
Before I answer the question, the reader should understand that prior to the psychological parenting revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s, there was no periodic ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: I read your column on grammar mistakes, and I honestly don't know what the big deal is. You're obviously an elitist snob, so it makes a difference to you. But, what about the rest of us? Why should we care?
A: The response to last week's column on grammar mistakes was huge, and while a few readers agree with your assessment that I...Read more
Q. My wife is trying to get me to pay for all the divorce costs. We were married for two years. The wedding ring from our marriage is a family heirloom from my mother's side. I think my wife and I should split the cost of our divorce and when I told her that, she handed me the ring and said, "This should pay for anything I owe you." Our marriage...Read more
Q: I'm the father of a slightly "boy crazy" 14-year-old daughter. I'm really dreading the whole dating thing as she gets a little older. What can I do to prepare both of us?
Jim: Most fathers with daughters go through the same struggle watching their little girls grow up. I'd suggest you teach your daughter the proper role of dating by taking ...Read more
I'm Not Afraid of the Dark (A Chris Adventure Book) (Volume 1)J. Lew
Introducing Chris, a kid with a great imagination. Chris and his family has just moved into a new home and he's trying to adjust to his new surroundings. Like most kid's, their imagination gets the better of them when the lights are turned off. That's when the monsters come out to play.
Dear Family Coach: Lately, all of the news is having a disastrous effect on me. Every day, I become more and more depressed about world events, tragic shootings, police brutality and natural disasters. There is suffering all around, and I'm feeling hopeless. At the same time, I'm trying to protect my kids and put on a happy face. I worry I'm ...Read more
Kids ages of 8 to 12 or 13 can seem happy and well-adjusted on the outside but be full of fears and insecurities on the inside. These books help them see that other kids face the same challenges and that, by all means, they're normal no matter what. They also star boys, a demographic that's becoming harder and harder to reach with books.
Q: After two years of chemotherapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia, our 6-year-old daughter is now in remission. We’ve recently noticed she has difficulty focusing and staying on task. Otherwise, she is bright, happy and well-behaved. Her physician told us that chemotherapy involves neurotoxins that can cause focusing issues in children....Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 15-year-old daughter believes she is in love. Despite our objections, she says that she will see her "boyfriend" no matter what we say. I don't allow dating until age 16. And I think in my daughter's case, it needs to be more like 17 or 18. She struggles with depression and is very rebellious, disorganized and very naive....Read more
Q: My daughter's father was verbally abusive when we were together and continues to be to this day. Exchanging our child is the worst! Just yesterday he stood in the middle of the street and yelled profanities at me. I have tried to get along with him for years. He blames it on me. I blame it on him. We just can't co-parent. What's good ex-...Read more
Dear Readers: Those of you who've been reading this column for a while know that I'm something of a language purist. That said, I understand that English is constantly changing and try to stay current on the latest vocabulary words -- the folks at Merriam-Webster add about 1,000 every year -- and the ways we use them (five years ago, who had ...Read more
Q: I'm a newly married stepmom trying to build family connections -- but my husband's kids aren't exactly warming up to me. What can I do?
Jim: Being a stepmom may be one of the toughest jobs a woman can have. It can take a long time for kids to adjust to a new stepparent, no matter why the previous marriage ended. And in the meantime, home ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My kids are exposed to what seems to be an endless stream of devastating news. Natural disasters, mass shootings and other forms of unspeakable violence are impossible for them to avoid. It's so normal for them that they are starting to turn jaded. I don't want to freak them out or have them live in fear, but at the same ...Read more
Though middle schoolers are often distracted by friends, electronics, sports and extracurricular activities, reading is truly important. These new books are exciting enough to hold interests.
"The Wonderling" by Mira Bartok; Candlewick Press; 450 pages; $21.99.
The back of this fantastical tale reads, in mysterious, vintage lettering, "Have ...Read more
In my latest book, Grandma Was Right After All!, I take the top 25 parenting sayings of my youth and explain what they really meant. I do so because they’ve been distorted and demonized by the mental health community as psychologically harmful, which is balderdash given that child mental health is ten times worse today than it was in the 1950s...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My fun, bright, accomplished fifth-grader is stressed. She is teary at the drop of a hat, expresses feeling left out and articulates that she's overwhelmed by school. She says the trouble is keeping track of the multitude of notebooks and folders. She worries about upcoming work for the week and having so many things to ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Kerri De Nies received the news this spring from her son's pediatrician: Her chubby-cheeked toddler had a rare brain disorder.
She'd never heard of the disease -- adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD -- and she soon felt devastated and overwhelmed.
"I probably read everything you could possibly read online -- every single website," De ...Read more