Dear Mr. Dad: A few years ago, I read an article you wrote about why dads should play with their daughters. My husband is a pretty traditional guy and has a real problem playing with our four-year old the way she wants to play -- meaning tea parties and dolls -- not the way he does -- meaning sports and superheroes. How can I encourage him to ...Read more
Q: Should I consider remarrying my ex-spouse for the sake of our child? We recently got divorced, but over the past few weeks I've become increasingly concerned about the impact of this family breakup upon our preschooler. As the dust settles, I wonder if maybe we could have made a better go of it.
Jim: Divorce often involves plenty of anger ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My daughter is turning 13 in a few weeks. Instead of a party, she wants to attend a Green Day concert without me. She'd like to invite two other girls to join her. I don't feel she is old enough to go on her own with friends. What do you think? -- Worrier
Dear Worrier: There are so many factors to consider when making this ...Read more
Seems like a good time to remind girls they can do everything boys can and are stronger than they may know. These new books introduce tough girls and women, and even a feminist baby.
"Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports" by Phil Bildner; illustrated by Brett Helquist; Candlewick Press; 40 pages; $16.99.
Chris ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 18-year-old son was in a terrible car accident a few years ago, and he received a large cash settlement. Since I am listed on his bank account, I can see how he is spending his money. I'm sick to learn that he is blowing it away on parties, pizza and T-shirts. I know it's his money, but is there anything I can do to ...Read more
By the time this column appears in most papers to which it is distributed, Mother’s Day 2017 will have come and gone. Nonetheless, I’m going to talk about mothers—one in particular.
To begin with, assuming one believes his or her mother is worthy of admiration, then said esteem ought to be expressed on a frequent basis and not reserved ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter is almost two and refuses to share her toys. As if that weren't bad enough, she also snatches toys from any other kids within reaching distance. It's gotten to the point where I'm almost too embarrassed to allow her to go to other kids' houses on playdates or to have anyone else over to our house. How can I teach my ...Read more
Q. Lately my four-year-old child has been waking up in the middle of the night crying. He doesn't appear to know where he is and it takes quite a bit to calm him down. His mother and I just separated and he goes back and forth between our homes every couple of days and I attribute it to that, but I'm not sure, and I'm not sure what to do about ...Read more
A Song ApartJeffrey H. Baer
A SONG APART revolves around Shannon Kistler, a teenaged pop singer, and Kevin Derow, her 19-year-old biggest fan. They met and fall in love unexpectedly while wishing society would accept them as they are. Then they realize they don’t need anyone else’s approval ...
Q: I studied art in college and married before graduation. Four years later, I spend my time preparing meals, wiping the noses of jelly-faced toddlers and mopping the kitchen floor -- while my still-single sorority sisters have thriving careers in graphic design and other artistic disciplines. I love my kids, but ... I admit I'm somewhat jealous...Read more
Dear Family Coach: The time has come for my son to choose a college. He has it in his head that he wants to attend a small rural liberal arts college with limited offerings. My husband and I think this school would be a terrible fit for him. Should we allow him to make his own decision even if we think it's a bad one? -- Grad's Mom and Dad
Fall into a young adult novel, and leave worries behind. These new teen reads are every bit as exciting and absorbing and brimming with timely tops as those aimed at older audiences.
"The Suffering Tree" by Elle Cosimano; Disney Hyperion; 357 pages; $17.99.
Elle Cosimano recently won praise for "Holding Smoke," now up for a Bram Stoker award...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 13-year-old son has a mustache, and I cannot stand it. It's more fuzzy than bushy, and it makes him look much older than he is. I've been begging him to shave it, but he refuses. Even some kids at school are harassing him and calling him Mustachio. How can I get him to shave it for his own good? -- Mustachio's Mom
Dear ...Read more
Q. My parents broke up years ago and chose new partners that are far better suited for them. I was raised by four people I knew loved me. I was never asked to choose homes or parents. However, Mother's Day and Father's Day poses a problem for me. Got any ideas how I can acknowledge my stepparents while not slighting my mom and dad? What's good ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: I received an email from my 14-year-old son's school warning us about a TV show called "Thirteen Reasons Why," which apparently deals with a high-school girl who commits suicide. The school seems very concerned about the effect that the show -- which I'd never heard of -- could have on at-risk kids. I raised the issue with my son (...Read more
Q: We're considering adopting a baby boy who was removed from his birth home due to abuse when only a few months old. He has been in the foster-care system for the past year. What kind of risks are we facing?
Jim: You deserve a lot of credit for your willingness to adopt a child from a troubled background. I want to encourage you in this ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I know my 17-year-old sometimes drinks beer when he goes out on the weekends. He is usually with a few friends in a less-than-ideal locale. I worry he will get in trouble with the police or in a drunk driving accident. I've been thinking of allowing him to drink with a few friends at our house instead. What do you think of ...Read more
Reading is more important now than ever. Don't let spring fever erase reading time! These imaginative reader series for elementary school kids ages 6 to 9 or 10 are short but very sweet -- and affordable.
"Wild Child: Forest's First Home" series by Tara Zann; Imprint/Macmillan; 138 pages and $5.99 each.
When Olive meets Forest, he was ...Read more
Dear American Parent (hopefully, you will recognize yourself),
It’s high time someone reminded you of the adage “The road to ‘Hades’ is paved with good intentions.”
I have watched you from near and far as you have gone about raising your children. You’re certainly a well-intentioned person, thus my reference...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 14-year-old daughter wants to watch this new series on Netflix called "13 Reasons Why." I've heard the show depicts a lot of difficult themes like suicide and drugs. I don't want her to see it. But all of her friends are watching it, and I'm getting a lot of pressure. Is it OK to insist she stay away from the show? -- ...Read more