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Ex-etiquette: Ex posts 'missing you' letter on Facebook from family pet to son

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex and I split up about four months ago. We were together almost ten years and had two sons together. She had an affair, I found out and moved my kids out the next day. She sees the boys intermittently, but it's difficult since she's living with the guy. Yesterday I found an open letter on Facebook from our family pet. The pet lives with ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Eight things women can do to get fathers more involved, part 1

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Before we had children, my husband and I talked about being equal partners around the house. But I find myself doing a lot more and 50 percent -- especially since what he does do, he doesn't do right. How can I get him to be more involved?

A: For most couples with kids, one of the biggest stressors is the division of labor in the ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Do his kids have to come to our wedding?

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I have a question about weddings. My fiance has two daughters, ages 5 and 7. Do they have to come to our wedding? I really want to start fresh, and besides no kids are invited. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: You're kidding, right? If not, please don't marry this man. You are not right for each other. Any woman he marries must understand it's ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Signs that you're a good parent — even if you think you're not

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Like a lot of parents, I do my best. But I can't help but think that I could be doing better. How can I tell if I'm doing a good job or not?

A: The fact that you think you're not doing a good job and that you care enough to learn more is a pretty good indication that you are, in fact, a good parent (or at least a good-enough one)....Read more

Ex-etiquette: Talk to ex, ex's wife about co-parenting

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I have a daughter, 14, and we have co-parented well for years. He remarried and now has three more children. Our daughter stays with him during the week for school and with me each weekend, longer in the summer.

He's very laid-back and his wife really runs the show. I often touch base with her because co-parenting with him is like ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: What adolescents need from their fathers, part 3

Parents / Family Living /

Over the past two weeks, we've been talking about some of the many things teens need from their dad (and/or mom). While this is the conclusion of our series, in reality, there's no end to what our children need from us -- or to how many times you might have to satisfy what looks like the same need. As you know (or soon will), a 13-year-old is a ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Fighting is not good ex-etiquette

Parents / Family Living /

Q: It's very difficult to get along with my child's mother. I try, but she is constantly putting up roadblocks that prevent us from calmly interacting. From not returning my phone calls to making plans on my weekends -- it's always a fight, even though we share our daughter's time equally. I think if I have full custody I won't have to deal with...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: What adolescents need from their fathers, part 2

Parents / Family Living /

Last week, we introduced the topic of what adolescents need from their fathers (and, as many readers pointed out, mothers as well). That was just the beginning of the list. Here are a few more things to keep in mind as you parent your teen.

Encourage exercise and good nutrition. Your teen may be too big to wrestle with, but that doesn't mean ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: My husband's ex wants to borrow my dress

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I have been trying to cultivate a more casual relationship with my husband's ex. We share the kids's time in 7-day blocks -- a week with us and a week with her and I figured a more casual interaction would help the cause. But, yesterday she asked to borrow my favorite dress for an event we'll both attend. She knows I won't be wearing it -- ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: What adolescents need from their fathers

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad. I'm the dad of 12-year old boy-girl twins. I've already noticed that my relationship with them has changed, but I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to stay involved as they enter the teen years. What do they need most from me and how can I gently steer them in the right direction?

A: Great question! There are all sorts ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Walking the walk — and crawling the crawl

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My best friend and I have 10-month-old boys who were born only a week apart. His started walking about a month ago but mine is still crawling and has absolutely no interest in walking. I know I shouldn't compare my baby to anyone else's, but it's hard not to. Is there anything I can do encourage my baby to walk?

A: Theoretically, ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Things get rough when his daughter visits

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband and I have a yours, mine family with kids ranging from 20 years old to 4 months old. Some are out of the house, plus we have two little ones at home. My husband's daughter is 12 and lives with her mom nearly 2,000 miles away.

Things have always been a little rough when his daughter spends the summers with us. Her dad and I have ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Ten rules of good ex-etiquette

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I read your column all the time, and in your answers, you often refer to Ex-Etiquette rule No. 7 or Ex-Etiquette Rule No. 5. What are you talking about? Are there really specific rules of good ex-etiquette?

A: I can honestly say that I am asked about "the rules" just about every day. The whole thing started years ago -- divorced parents ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Instilling a sense of wonder

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I remember being a child and constantly being amazed. But it seems like life is moving much more quickly these days and my own kids never get the luxury of just staring at the stars. Is there some way that today's overscheduled families can slow down and rekindle that sense of wonder?

A: Childhood is filled with all sorts of ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Focusing on overcoming distracted driving

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Almost every day, I see people behind the wheel talking on cell phones, and to be honest, it scares me. How big a problem is this and is there anything we can about it?

A: Distracted driving is a huge problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, there are three distinct ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Husband's daily conversations with ex leaves wife wondering about boundaries

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I have been married to my husband for a year, together for four. He was married previously for 18 years and has two adult children, ages 18 and 20. My husband either texts or speaks to his ex every day, and sometimes it's not about the kids. He's very quick to erase his conversations with her as I have access to his phone. Three months ago I ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Memorial service quandary

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband's ex just passed away. His adult children are planning the memorial service and expect him to attend. Apparently, there is a history of bad relations between my husband and his ex-wife's family. My husband is reluctant to attend the service for that reason, but I suspect he will probably attend for his kids' sake. Is it appropriate...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The prodigal father returns

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I was pregnant with my son when my then-boyfriend (who was using a lot of drugs back then) and I split up. I haven't heard from him in the three years since then and he obviously never had any interest in meeting our son -- at least until now (although he's been paying child support since the beginning). He's married and has a ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: 'My home is so uncomfortable'

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My son is 10-years old and quite rambunctious. It was fine before my boyfriend moved in, but now that he lives with us, my son seems to really get on his nerves. My boyfriend has no children of his own, loses his temper and snaps at my little guy when he does something he's not supposed to do. I find myself defending my child to my boyfriend ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Between life and death, choose life

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My boyfriend and I have been going out for several years and are quite serious. We've even talked about getting married. We both have adult children from previous marriages, but while I'm very close to my daughters, he's been estranged from his 25-year old son for more than 20 years, ever since he moved out. They've recently ...Read more


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