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Ex-etiquette: Coddle the ex, offer solutions

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex was a stay at home mom and rarely went out. We break-up and all of a sudden she's partying and not coming home until late. My kids, age 15 and 16, complain that their mother is never home and I'm wondering if I should file for full custody. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: You can go back to court anytime you want, but before you do, let's...Read more

Make Music an Everyday Habit

Parents / Kids' Home Library /

Music relaxes, inspires and excites. These new children's music CDs are lovely, wacky and fun. Prices vary due to sales outlets and digital downloads versus CD options. All are available on iTunes and Amazon, but I always try to promote smaller vendors, and independent sellers and stores.

"Camp Songs with Ella Jenkins & Friends" from ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Talk to me, baby

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 13-month old says only two words: dada and mama. My best friend's son is two months younger and she's constantly bragging about how many words he knows. She's got me worried that there's something wrong with my baby. Do all kids start talking about the same age? Either way, what can I do to increase my baby's vocabulary.

A: As ...Read more

Single Adult Considers Whether To Adopt An Orphan

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: I'm a single adult who is deeply concerned about the plight of orphans in this country and around the world, and I'd like to do my part by adopting a child who needs a home. What is your advice?

Jim: I applaud your selfless attitude and your willingness to welcome a needy child into your home; the need for more adoptive parents is huge.

...Read more

Costume Dreams and Game Night Resistance

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: Last year, my daughter, who was 8 years old, wanted her own Halloween costume to be her favorite singer, Lady Gaga. The costume was sparkly and glittery and revealed a lot of skin. I was uncomfortable with it and promised to get it next year. I figured she'd forget, but she keeps mentioning her Lady Gaga costume, even though...Read more

Overeating Boys and a Strong-Willed Girl

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My boys, 10 and 11 years old, are terrific eaters. They love fruits and vegetables and trying all kinds of new foods. But their appetites have grown, and they seem to be getting a little chunky. How can I help them lose a few pounds without ruining their love of eating? -- Food Lover, Too

Dear Food Lover: Wow, you've ...Read more

Parents -- Do You Need More "Vitamin N"?

Parents / John Rosemond /

I call it “Vitamin N.” It is the word children need to hear most, but it is currently the word children hear least. It is arguably the most character-building word in the English language, but then helping children achieve great things (or creating the illusion that they are achieving great things) has eclipsed helping children build strong ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Summer water safety

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: One of my family's favorite things about summer is that we get to spend a lot of time in and around water, whether that's at the beach or in a swimming pool. But every year I hear about kids (and adults) who drown and I'm really getting worried -- especially since two of my children are very young. Are drownings getting more common...Read more

Talk To Your Teens About Marriage To Prepare Them For Adulthood

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: My son and daughter are 15 and 13, respectively. I'm trying to cover all the bases in helping them prepare for adulthood. Is there something you've seen parents neglect or just forget to talk about?

Jim: Parents rightfully want teenagers to learn important life lessons -- financial management, work ethic, etc. And those are good things to ...Read more

A Gentleman's Club and a Homesick Camper

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My son turns 18 in a couple of weeks, and for his birthday he asked me to take him to a strip club. I'm divorced from his mom, and he knows I go to gentleman's clubs every so often. But this feels sort of ... wrong. How should I handle this? -- A Gentleman

Dear Gentleman: A gentleman? I'm not so sure. As a woman, I have a ...Read more

New Empowering and Entertaining Books for Boys

Parents / Kids' Home Library /

These new chapter books will certainly interest boys ages 8 to 12. They include dog tales, a hiking adventure and a plea from a Navy Seal to work harder. Don't forget how important it is for kids to keep reading, especially during the summer.

"The Trail" by Meika Hashimoto; Scholastic Press; 229 pages; $16.99.

Meika Hashimoto's action-packed...Read more

Take The Parent-Nanny Test!

Parents / John Rosemond /

Do you need a parent-nanny? Not a nanny for your child, mind you, but one for YOU!

I recently introduced my readers to what I call “upside-down, inside-out and turned around backwards parent-view disorder” (the column in question is currently posted on The symptoms of this ubiquitous malady include pervasive ...Read more

Unholy Holocaust Remembrance and a Pet Snake

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My grandmother died in a concentration camp in the Holocaust. This might sound weird, but as a tribute to her memory, my 20-year-old daughter wants to find out her camp number and have it tattooed on her body. She views this as a beautiful ode, however, I am beyond horrified. Legally, I can't do anything. But what can I say ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Despite the benefits, college isn't for everyone

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: While I appreciate your recent column about the benefits of education, I encourage you to add the option for a career technical education (CTE) degree and/or certificate to possible educational endeavors. Not all students are destined for a four-year degree. Without the burden of substantial debt, large numbers of students can have...Read more

Husband Mistakenly Assumes His Anger Is Uncontrollable

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: I don't get violent when I'm angry, but I've always had a tendency to just "let it out" when I get frustrated with my wife and kids. That's how my parents lived and how I was raised. What's the problem?

Jim: A lot of people see anger as an uncontrollable emotion. But that's not true. Not only can you control how you express your anger, you ...Read more

Homosexual Mothers and a Crier

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: I'm a Christian, and I believe homosexuality is a sin. My daughter is friends with a girl who is being raised by two mothers. They seem like perfectly nice people, but I do not approve of their lifestyle and do not want their choices to rub off on my child. Is it OK for me to not let her see her friend, or at least keep her ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Don't ignore the red flags

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I was married for 13 years and have been separated for a year. I have two kids, ages 9 and 12. I have met someone I like -- finally -- but have only dated her once. We are both very busy and have not been able to arrange another date, but I know this relationship has potential. My kids have seen me texting her and have asked what's going on. ...Read more

Preschool Books Cool Enough for Adults

Parents / Kids' Home Library /

It's pretty nice that many children's book creators have figured out that they can make books to please the palates of both kids and parents. These new books for tots and preschoolers are witty, creative, smart and zesty.

"Triangle" by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen; Candlewick Press; 46 pages; $15.99.

The first in the dynamic duo's new trilogy...Read more

Picky Preschooler and Star-Crossed Teen

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: Our 3-year-old daughter is insanely picky. She eats nothing! We are serving her chicken fingers, meatballs, noodles, cheese and yogurt most of the time. She won't touch anything green. How do I get her to eat vegetables? -- Frustrated

Dear Frustrated: Your daughter doesn't eat nothing. While it may seem like she refuses ...Read more

Thoughts On "Time-Out"

Parents / John Rosemond /

For several reasons, I am not a fan of parenting magazines. First, they reinforce the impression that child-rearing is a very complicated affair, requiring consulting with “experts” on a regular basis (and yes, I am fully aware of the irony of that statement). Second, with every issue, said publications raise the Good Mommy Bar by giving ...Read more

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