Dear Mr. Dad: My wife is about four months pregnant and I'm really excited about becoming a new dad. The problem is that I've recently put on some weight (which is really weird, since I weigh exactly what I did in high school). I've also been having nosebleeds and I'm vomiting a lot (which is also weird, since I almost never do either one). I'm ...Read more
So that you, my readers, understand that I also face ex-etiquette dilemmas, here's an ex-etiquette issue I recently had to deal with myself. My daughter's father and I have been divorced for years but our daughter recently asked us both to travel from California to New York City to help her get settled in the next stage of her life. She ...Read more
Q: My husband is having disturbing flashbacks as a result of active combat duty during his time in the military. I'm just starting to learn about post-traumatic stress disorder. His condition has become much worse over the past several weeks, and our entire family is deeply worried. How can we best support him?
Jim: Your family is certainly not...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My child has terrible organizational skills, as do I. He has trouble keeping track of his work and belongings. Since I struggle as much as he does, how can I help him? -- Messy Mom
Dear Messy: It is a challenge to assist children with issues that plague us as well. But there is help out there for both of you.
Being ...Read more
It seems the time is ripe to remind girls how worthy and strong they are. These new books are about women who made history and fictional girls with impressive stories.
"100 Women Who Made History" by DK; DK Children; 128 pages; $16.99.
Many people don't know that March is Women's History Month. To celebrate, this big organized tome features ...Read more
There must be some relationship between aging and the "You've got to be kidding me!" response, if I am any indication, that is. What was once occasional has become almost daily.
My latest "YGTBKM!" was in response to a Wall Street Journal article ("New Instructions at High Schools: Take a Nap," February 9, 2017) on high school nap...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 11-year-old son attends an expensive private school. We're not as wealthy as many of his classmates' families. My son feels lacking by comparison. How do I help him appreciate what he has and give him some perspective? -- Discouraged Dad
Dear Dad: Perspective comes with distance and time. It is impossible for your son to...Read more
Q: My husband's ex will not allow their 2-year-old child to meet me because, she says, the child is too young. She thinks it will confuse the child and she will not know who her mother is. According to their court order, my husband is supposed to have equal custody, but since I moved in and we got married, his ex will only let him see their ...Read more
A Big Kid Bed is ComingLiz Fletcher
Louie is a super elephant who is always ready for adventure, but he's not too sure about his new 'big-kid bed.' Tired and weary, he decides to find his courage and give it a try. Then comes the biggest surprise of all ...
Help Your Child Easily Conquer New ...
These books will help children keep what they've learned fresh for the next few months.
"Ann and Nan are Anagrams: A Mixed-Up Word Dilemma" by Mark Shulman and Adam McCauley; Chronicle Books; 36 pages; $16.99.
An anagram is a fun way to mix up the letters of a word, resulting in a completely different meaning. "Words" becomes "sword"; "...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are getting divorced, and while things are generally amicable, we're having some major disagreements about whether it's okay for our two young children, ages 3 and 1, to sleep over at my house. We both want what's best for our kids, but my wife says that because the kids are so young, they shouldn't be separated from ...Read more
Q: How can I reconnect with my children after divorcing their mother and abandoning them? I regret to say that I walked out on my family several years ago. Since then, I've recognized my mistakes and changed my life (including coming to faith). I'd like to get back in touch with my kids, but they want nothing to do with me. Can you help?
Jim: ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My daughter is constantly wearing her headphones. She wears them around the house and in the car, even when it is just the two of us. She insists she can hear me when I'm speaking to her. How can I get her to take them off? -- Tuned Out Mom
Dear Tuned Out: I enjoy music as much as anyone, but I know that it is rude and ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I have two wonderful but very different children. One is extremely talkative and dominates all conversations. The other is quiet and never gets a word in. How can I manage family time so both boys have a chance to express themselves equally? -- Managing Parents
Dear Parents: There is no rule that says all children in a ...Read more
As regular readers of this column already know, I am completely, one hundred percent opposed to children, including teenagers still living at home, being in possession of smart phones. No parent has ever been able to give me a logical reason why a minor should enjoy such a privilege, if enjoy is even the proper word.
The most common rationale ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My 17-year old son is very athletic and in great shape. But his BMI puts him in the obese category. His pediatrician isn't worried, but I am. How important is BMI?
A: BMI (Body Mass Index) has been around for more than 100 years, and over that time, medical professionals have found that it's a fairly good indicator of a patient's ...Read more
Q: How can I forgive my deceased father for his cruel words and behavior? He treated me horribly when I was a kid, so my relationship with him was strained and distant until the day he died. I never worked things out with him in person, and now I'm struggling with feelings of anger, bitterness, guilt and remorse.
Jim: It's always difficult to ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I recently found out that my 10-year-old son is regularly being kicked at school. When I asked him why he didn't tell the teacher, he said he didn't want to because he thought it was better for the bully kick him instead of some of the other kids. He also said he was afraid the bully would tell the other children not to like...Read more
Stories about relationships between dogs and humans have always been popular. These books tell the comforting, adventurous and even life-saving stories of our loyal, loving four-footed friends.
"The Poet's Dog" by Patricia MacLachlan; HarperCollins; 88 pages; $14.99.
The prolific Patricia MacLachlan has penned a heart-tugger, a thoughtful ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 16-year-old daughter came home with a very visible tattoo. I didn't know she was getting it, and I didn't give her permission. I'm so disappointed because she is growing up to be a responsible and amazing young lady. I spoke to her about the impact of her decision and made an appointment to have it removed. Is it right to...Read more
Question: Our 15-year-old daughter has become, over the past year or so, quite a disruptive influence in our normally peaceful home. She was a gem until she entered high school when she almost overnight become disrespectful and combatively argumentative. If she disagrees with a decision we make, she will begin screaming at us, calling us ...Read more