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Ask Mr. Dad: Joint custody -- even for toddlers -- is the best option

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are getting divorced. She has filed for sole custody of our two children, ages 2 and 4. I've always been a very involved dad and my wife knows how important my kids are to me. I asked why she's asking for sole custody and she says that her lawyers told her that it's better for young children to be with their mothers ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Is it legal to keeps kids from being with dad?

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My wife and I broke up recently. She moved out, took the kids with her and has kept them away for two months. I had to move in with my parents but there's plenty of room for the kids. I can't imagine not seeing them on Christmas, even for a couple of hours. Is this legal? What's good ex-etiquette?

A: The only reason I can think of that ...Read more

Newlyweds Have Different Ideas Of How To Celebrate Christmas

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: My new husband and I are excited for our first Christmas as a married couple. But we're having differences of opinion over how we should celebrate. Is that normal?

Jim: Christmas is an exciting time of year for most newlyweds. But transitioning from "his traditions" and "her traditions" to "our traditions" isn't always easy. He probably has ...Read more

Marriage Problems

Parents / John Rosemond /

Just about every marriage has its share of bad times; then again, some marriages simply go bad. The reasons for the latter include abuse, adultery, alcoholism (and other forms of chemical self-indulgence, aka addiction), and emotional and/or physical abandonment. Not to say that any one of those can’t be overcome, but they are four of the top ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Tech for toddlers: don't. But if you absolutely must …

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: A few weeks ago, you talked about how bad technology is for toddlers. My wife and I generally like your advice, but in this case, we think you're wrong. Tech is everywhere -- even little kids are learning to code --and we want our baby to be as prepared as possible to survive in the world. And part of that means getting him ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Ex's new girlfriend has her way for Christmas

Parents / Family Living /

Q. Every year my ex has a Christmas party. He invites me, plus our kids -- all adults, yours, mine, and ours, and all have kids of their own. We have done this for years. He hires Santa for the grandkids. It's really fun. This year he has a new woman in his life and I wasn't invited. As a matter of fact, I was told it would be inappropriate if I...Read more

Handwritten Note A Lovely Gift During The Christmas Season

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: My father is a retired engineer and has virtually everything he wants, so it's almost impossible to buy presents for him. He insists we shouldn't get him anything for Christmas. But I want our children to learn to be giving, and we all want to honor Grandpa. Do you have any advice?

Jim: They say the way to a man's heart is through his ...Read more

Self Centered Teenager; Smart Phones

Parents / John Rosemond /

Question: Our 15-year-old daughter is very demanding and, to be honest, self-centered. One of the things she does is ask one of us for something and demand an instant decision, as in, “Can I go to the mall with my friends?” If she doesn’t get the right answer, she begins to yell and become disrespectful and/or she goes to the ...Read more

Toddlers who wandered out of daycare are picked up by motorists on busy road, police say

Parents / Parenting News /

Several children, between 2 and 3 years old, were unsupervised when they were spotted wandering along a busy North Carolina road Tuesday, police say.

Six toddlers had wandered away from their daycare at Winston-Salem's Pinedale Christian Church, and five of them were near or on a road where the speed limit is 55 mph, WGHP reported.

Two ...Read more

Animal intervention program helps kids by teaching them to help animals

Parents / Parenting News /

Dillon Craig was confused when the cat in his arms began to vibrate at the neck -- he had never held a purring feline before.

Kristi Cooney, the president of Good Sense Dogs, was there to explain to the 18 year old that it just meant the cat was happy.

Craig, like most of the kids Cooney works with, had limited experience with animals before ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Media messages affect us

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm a new dad and have been reading to my baby. But I've started to notice that most of the parents in children's books are moms. There are some books where dad is the main parent, but most of the time we're not there at all. My wife says that the media is just reflecting reality. I disagree. What do you think?

A: First things ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: The Santa clause

Parents / Family Living /

Q: About a year ago I married a man with a lovely little four-year-old girl. Since his ex and he share equal custody, I am with this child for a week at a time every other week. It has worked out well and we adore each other. My husband and I wanted to take her to take pictures with Santa, and told her we would go this Saturday when she is with ...Read more

Suicide Now The Second-Leading Cause Of Death Among Teens

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: Some close friends of ours recently lost their teenage son to suicide. All of us are devastated, and our friends are racked with guilt. We're also concerned about how this will affect other kids; what can we do?

Jim: I understand; not that long ago, there were five suicides at my sons' relatively small high school in less than two years. The...Read more

10 new children's books to savor this season

Parents / Parenting News /

If your family is like mine, certain holiday storybooks come out once a year to savor under the covers. Maybe you also like to give books to an eager reader or reader-to-be. We've selected 10 new titles that celebrate Christmastime, winter, traditions and the season of giving.

'Tough Cookie'

Written and illustrated by Edward Hemingway -- ...Read more

Young Daughter Doesn't Like School

Parents / John Rosemond /

Q: Our 9-year-old daughter recently announced to us that she doesn’t like school, doesn’t want to go, and doesn’t want to do the work. We’ve been unable to get a coherent reason out of her and her third-grade teacher tells us that she seems well-adjusted, has friends, and is doing above-average work, which is probably her best....Read more

Cart with a Heart brings joyful respite to the families of hospitalized kids

Parents / Parenting News /

For the past 10 months, Susan Deal Pederson has spent nearly every day on the seventh floor of the UC Davis Medical Center, sitting beside her grandson, Chaz, who is being treated for brain cancer.

The 5-year-old has received chemotherapy and radiation treatments and recently battled a nearly fatal fungal infection caused by his weakened immune...Read more

Some spices may be a source of lead exposure in kids, study finds

Parents / Parenting News /

Paint chips in older homes, contaminated soil and water pumped though lead pipes are all known sources of lead exposure for children. Now, you might add to that list spices such as turmeric, chili powder and vanilla.

In a small study, researchers in North Carolina found lead contamination in spices, herbal remedies and ceremonial powders in the...Read more

In a small Washington town with no youth shelters, one woman keeps kids off the streets

Parents / Parenting News /

Jesus Acosta was one of the toughest kids Kim Rinehardt had ever worked with at Shelton's alternative high school -- yet there he was, walking up to the podium in ripped jeans and Jordans to give a graduation speech before heading to Central Washington University with scholarships.

"So I'm guessing everybody here in this crowd has been on a ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Should he buy Christmas presents for his ex 'from the kids'

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband I would like you to weigh in on a disagreement we are having. I think he should no longer buy Christmas presents for his ex "from the kids" now that she has remarried. I think her new husband should do that. My husband disagrees and feels it continues to be his responsibility. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: Good ex-etiquette is good...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Technology for toddlers

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: The holidays are just around the corner and I'm thinking of giving my 18-month-old my old iPad. She loves playing with it and I think she should have her own. My husband disagrees. What do you think?

A: I'd hold off for a while. There's a lot of information out there on technology's effect on children, but very little on toddlers ...Read more


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