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Ex-etiquette: Red flags over godfather surprise

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My girlfriend of two years has just told me that her ex is her son's godfather. They have been broken up for more than five years. I found out because he was present at her son's birthday party, and when I questioned her about it, everything came out. I was surprised because we have talked about our exes and I know the birth father is not ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Abortion: An issue that affects all of us

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I remember a thoughtful column you wrote a few years ago about abortion and the need for men and women to talk about it. I'm wondering whether your thinking has changed in light of the draconian anti-abortion laws in Georgia, Alabama and other places. I'm also wondering what you think about the laws in other states (New York, for ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Is it OK to ground a disobedient child from seeing biological parent?

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My daughter is grounded for a month because of her lying and missing school work. Should she be able to go to her biological father's house over the weekend? He only sees her every few months and he is what I call a Disneyland Dad. What should I do? What's good ex-etiquette?

A: My first reaction to your question was, "Is she serious?" and I ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Boys and girls: Nature vs. nurture?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I have a boy and a girl and we try as much as we can to treat them the same way. We don't limit our daughter's wardrobe to pink and our son's to blue and we've banned gender-stereotyped toys from the house. But our daughter still behaves like a stereotypical girl and our son like a boy. What did we do wrong?

A: In a...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Keep family harmony with Bonusmom's Day

Parents / Family Living /

Q: When I had my daughter I looked forward to Mother's Day. Every year she would pick me flowers from the garden and we had a tea party in the back yard. As she grew older it became breakfast, but her dad and I ended up divorcing and he remarried and now Mother's Day is not the same. His wife asks if she can just spend a couple hours with my ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Bonding with tweens

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I am having difficulty communicating with my 11-year-old son. When I ask him questions, he barely answers with one syllable grunts and is completely uninterested in spending any more time with me than he has to. What can I do to build a better relationship with a child who thinks his father isn't cool?

A: The good news is that ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: When is it appropriate to tell a child about biological parent?

Parents / Family Living /

When I was 17, I had a child with a friend from high school. We were experimenting and it seemed like no big deal. She was going to have an abortion, then at the last minute decided to keep the baby. I was young, stupid and not supportive. I saw him only a few times before I went into the air force. I have not talked to his mother since, ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: What children need

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I've been dating a wonderful man and think he's "the one." The only issue is that he has a two-year-old child. I never wanted to be a parent (I'm not sure I even liked kids), but that's changed. I think I'm ready to be a stepmother and even have a child of my own, once he puts a ring on it. But my friends say I'm getting in over my...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The atomic bomb in divorce cases

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are getting divorced. There are a lot of complex financial issues to work through, and we're meeting regularly with a court-appointed mediator. So far, the process has taken more than a year, and although it's been painful, things were proceeding along in a fairly friendly way. Or at least I thought they were. At the ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Mom's laundry list of dad's shortfalls needs cleaning

Parents / Family Living /

Recently, I had two parents sitting in my office disgusted with one another. The mother walked in with a laundry list that the father was doing wrong -- starting with not cleaning their 8-month-old twins properly.

"They are going to get UTI's if he's not more careful. I think he needs supervised visits!" The current parenting plan included two...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Infertility: Not just for women only

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: A few years ago, you wrote a column about male infertility. I remember being surprised, since I'd always thought women were the only ones who had fertility problems. But now, after several years of being unable to conceive, I just found out that, just like the man who'd written to you back then, that the issue is mine. And, like ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The most common cancer among boys and young men is almost completely preventable

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm a single mother and my teenage son rather sheepishly told me that he thinks there's something wrong "down there." When I asked what he meant, he said something doesn't feel right. He's not the kind of kid who complains about his health very much, so I took him to his pediatrician who referred us to a urologist to do some tests...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Bonusdaughter seems to dislike me

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband and I have been married 10 years. We met two years after his divorce. I have no children and he has three adult daughters. The oldest two are open and respectful of me, but the youngest simply acts nasty and makes inappropriate comments when visiting our home. How do I deal with a bonusdaughter who seems to dislike me, for reasons ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Traveling with someone else's kids

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are planning our summer vacation and are considering inviting one of our daughter's friends to join us. I know it sounds like a great idea, but I'm sure there are all sorts of potential pitfalls. What do we need to watch out for?

A: You're right. There are plenty of ways your plan could go awry. Here are a few steps ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Quit complaining about your nagging wife … she may be saving your life

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I've read a few of your articles where you talked about how fighting isn't always a bad thing in couples. But what about nagging? My wife and I have a pretty peaceful marriage, except when it comes to my health. I have diabetes and she's constantly riding me to eat this and not that, get more exercise, check my glucose levels, and ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The Dad Effect … there's more to fatherhood than what's in dad's wallet

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I think I know how you're going to answer this question, but my wife and I have been arguing (in a friendly way) about whether moms are naturally better parents than dads. She says yes, but I disagree. What's your take?

A: For decades, conventional wisdom told us that when it came to child development, mothers were the most ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Good behavior after divorce

Parents / Family Living /

Q: Five years ago my ex ended our marriage, but he has kept in touch with my youngest daughter (we married when she was 12 and she lived with us). She now has 3 children -- my grandchildren -- and wants her stepdad to play a role in their lives. He's been living with someone for the past 4 years. He has avoided any contact with me except for a ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Explaining the 'Put the children first' rule

Parents / Family Living /

Q: You always say, "Put the children first" is the primary rule of good ex-etiquette. I've been in my bonusdaughter's life since she was a year old. My husband and his ex share equal custody. When my bonusdaughter was four she asked if she could call me "mom." It was completely her idea, but her mother absolutely forbid it. My bonusdaughter was ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: 14-year-old's Mom is unpredictable

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My 14-year-old daughter recently told me she no longer wants to visit her mother. She sees her every other week. Mother was diagnosed bipolar disorder two years ago, did not agree with the diagnosis, and refuses to take medication. According to my daughter, her mother is very unpredictable and picks fights with her. Last visit mother sat on ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Too much protein, not enough fiber

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: It seems that almost every product out there claims to be high in protein. Do we really need so much protein?

A: In a word, No.

There's no question that protein is important. It plays a role in just about everything that goes on in our body, keeping our bones and muscles strong; our nails, skin, and hair looking good; our ...Read more


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