I am a member of the last generation of American children who were no big deal. No one made a big deal over me, ever. Not my mother, my father, or anyone else. For my parents, raising me properly was a big deal, but I was not. It may come as a shock and surprise to some readers, but the process and the person are two different things.
Dear Family Coach: My sister-in-law keeps her 1-year-old daughter on the strictest schedule. She has to put her down for a nap and down to bed at exactly the right time. She freaks out if a family gathering runs a bit late. It's so frustrating, and it ends up stressing us all out. How can we encourage her to lighten up? -- Annoyed
Dear ...Read more
AUSTIN, Texas -- Jeff Mateer, President Donald Trump's nominee for federal judge and a top official in the Texas attorney general's office, has come under fire after CNN reported Wednesday that he called transgender children evidence of Satan's plan and argued that gay marriage would lead to bestiality and multiple-partner weddings.
The quotes ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My baby is 4 months old and my wife has been breastfeeding her since day one. She thinks it's about time for the baby to start eating real food. What are the best foods to feed her and how do we start?
A: Hold on. Four months is too soon to wean your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants have nothing but...Read more
Q: After 15 years of marriage, I'm starting to realize that I take my wife for granted. I want to start honoring her better, but I'm not sure where to start.
Jim: Here's an illustration that might come as a surprise: ballet. A friend once told me about a famous Russian choreographer who said, "The ballet is woman." What he meant is that the ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My teen son is a slob, and it drives me insane. The other day I decided to help him clean up. It took us four hours, but everything had a place and the room was spotless. Not a day later, it was back to a disaster area. I was hurt and felt that he was disrespectful to me by not trying to keep his room clean. Am I wrong? -- ...Read more
Monsters have expanded their appeal and come out to scare more often than just Halloween. These new books star monsters that are gentle, frightening and especially funny.
"I Want to Be in a Scary Story" by Sean Taylor; illustrated by Jean Jullien; Candlewick Press; 48 pages; $15.99.
The purple Little Monster agrees to be in a scary story but...Read more
Question: I get very frustrated with my children when they don’t obey me, even down to the simplest of instructions, and end up yelling. How does a parent stop yelling at her kids?
Answer: Thank you, thank you, thank you for asking this very pertinent and timely question. Yelling is commonplace among today’s parents (as ...Read more
Good Boy, Achilles!Eddie Ellis
Suppose God gave dogs a mission: Take care of humans. "Kirkus Reviews" described this story of a boy and his beloved puppy as ". . . sure to be inspirational for Christians, moving for dog lovers, and perfect for readers who are both. . ." Set on a small farm, “Good Boy, Achilles!” is ...
Dear Family Coach: A friend visited recently and brought a toy for both of my children. The 5-year-old received an awesome puzzle, and the 3-year-old received a dolphin bath toy. Unfortunately, my older son became obsessed with his brother's dolphin. He pushed his gift aside and obsessed over the dolphin. I tried to get them to share, but it ...Read more
Q: I am dating a new guy after 10 years of being with an abusive ex. By abusive, I mean he broke my jaw when I refused to make him dinner. He's very angry I've moved on (he cheated), so when I see him out and about, I cling to my boyfriend for dear life. Yesterday we were at the mall and there was my ex in the parking lot. He sees us together, I...Read more
Q: I recently started dating a wonderful man who has been very honest with me about his current living situation. He told me he's still living with his ex and her teenage son. They have been living together for a little more than a year, and when they decided to break-up, he felt uncomfortable asking her to leave because her son goes to the ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My best friend really wants to be a mother, but has given up on finding "Mr. Right," and has decided to have and raise a baby on her own. I've been following your work for a long time and have been telling her how important it is for babies to have male influences in their life. She says that dads don't contribute anything to kids'...Read more
Q: My wife just got a new job with a substantially better salary, and I received a significant promotion. We're empty-nesters and want to handle our increased income responsibly. (We haven't always been the best financial decision makers in the past.) What should we keep in mind?
Jim: This isn't really a question about the best way to use your ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I'm a stay-at-home dad, and most of my play dates have been with other dads so far. But I'm becoming friends with moms, too. We all have one big thing in common, but I just feel like it might be a little odd at first. If I invite a mom over with her child, are there certain things I should do as a Dad to sort of, I don't ...Read more
Children absorb stress. They know about political uneasiness, weather tragedies and racial issues. One of the best ways to combat their stress is for parents to read empowering, positive, thoughtful books to them. Here are a few.
"Salam Alaikum: A Message of Peace" by Harris J.; pictures by Ward Jenkins; Simon & Schuster; 32 pages; $17.99.
Responding to my recent columns on video games and smart phones, a reader asks what the problem is, thus proving that these devices can and do cause serious harm to one’s cognitive hardware. He, the father of two boys and a gamer himself, in effect claims that parents are imagining things and researchers are not finding what they are finding. ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I allowed my son to play high school football last year because he's a former soccer player, and the coach said he needed him to kick and punt. I was comfortable with that, and he had a great time. This year, however, the coach wants him to be the backup quarterback. My son is thrilled, of course. Football terrifies me ...Read more
Q: I am quite good friends with my husband's ex. At first, it was awkward as the kids went between homes, but as time has gone on, I find we have a lot in common. Recently she has started confiding in me -- she's having an affair with a mutual friend's husband. I am so conflicted. Where should my allegiance lie? If I tell our friend, it could ...Read more
Q: My parents recently got divorced because my mom was having an affair. Now she's moved in with this other man and plans to marry him within a few weeks. My husband and I are struggling with this situation. Should we readily accept her new husband?
Jim: It sounds like you're caught in an understandable conflict between two opposing elements. ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My children are grown now, but I feel deeply concerned by the hypervigilance that I see in today's parenting style. Playing unsupervised and out of sight of adults, and simply spending time alone (outdoors mostly) was crucial to my childhood years and my children's early years. Do you consider it a problem that today's ...Read more