Home & Leisure

Ask Mr. Dad: Helping a new stepmother

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I have three children and have been divorced for several years. My girlfriend of six months and I are thinking about getting married. But I'm concerned about her relationship with my kids. It's not that she doesn't like them -- I'm sure she does. It's just that she always seems shy and reserved around them. I really want us to be a...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Select special name for bonus parent

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I recently picked my daughter up from her father's home after the Christmas Break only to hear her call out the car window as we left, "Bye Mom!" I did my best to cover up my shock, but oh my gosh, I never thought I would have to face this. I do not want my child calling anyone else, "Mom." What's good ex-etiquette?

A: It is rare that a mom ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Stop fighting in front of son

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I have a son and have been trying to co-parent for five years. There have been ups and downs -- she was resentful that I did not suggest marriage, but we hardly knew each other and I didn't think that would be the answer. Things have gotten really bad since I got married last year and my wife is now pregnant. The exchanges are ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Girl just wants her daddy back

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My mother died when I was a baby and I've lived my whole life (I'm 13) with my dad and we have a very close relationship -- or at least I thought we did. A month or so ago, he told me that he'd finally found the woman of his dreams and that he's getting married again. I want to be happy for him but all I feel is sadness. It feels ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Sometimes it's good to be a loser

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My kids are 9 and 11 and they're fortunate enough to be good at almost everything they do. But if something comes up that they don't pick up immediately -- whether it's a sport, a board game, an art project or something else -- they tend to get frustrated and quit. How can I get them to understand that losing -- or at least not ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Red flags in dealing with late partner's family

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My husband passed eight years ago after 30 years of marriage. I'm now in a committed relationship and I've made it clear to my new partner that I have no intention of marrying. He seems resigned to that and it rarely comes up. Here's my problem: Over the years I have become friends with one of my brothers-in-law. While I live in the U.S., he ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Should you learn a second language? Bien sur!

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I are both American and speak only English. We've heard that it's good to expose children to other languages. Is it really? If so, when and how do we do it?

A: There's absolutely no question that learning a second language is good for kids (and adults). Here's how:

It boosts academic achievement. Literally dozens ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Let holidays be magical for kids even after breakup

Parents / Family Living /

Q: This is our first holiday since my kids' dad and I split up. I still live in the family home that the kids have lived in all their lives. I kept most everything, including the decorations. The kids are scheduled to be with their dad. He has very little furniture -- the kids sleep on a single air mattress when they see him and he does not have...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Special kids need special dads

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Our 5-year-old daughter has several special needs. My wife and I love her unconditionally, but I have to admit that parenting her has affected our marriage. Part of the tension comes from the fact that she and I don't respond to the stress the same way. Do you think there's anything we can do to get on the same page?

A: The best ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: 'Tis that time of year; be careful what you wish for

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex and I have a daughter, plus I literally raised his three children from his first marriage. After 15 years together he ran off with someone else, but after a long and drawn out mid-life crisis he has decided I'm the one. I ignore his advances most of the time, but when the tree is lit, the carolers sing, and the kids talk about the way ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Stepfather clearly is overstepping his bounds

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My former wife got remarried and had a baby not long after we got divorced. I was happy for her and tried to be as supportive as possible, but her husband isn't making that easy, and the two of them are cutting into my time with my daughter and seem to be trying to cut me out of her life altogether. To start with, he's been having ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Sorry, you weren't invited to this party

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex is having a small holiday get-together a couple of weeks before Christmas and all our kids and their significant others are going. Although we usually both go to all the family festivities, I haven't been invited to this one. Our youngest daughter says it was just an oversight and I should go, but I'm not so sure. I don't think my ex'...Read more

Ex-etiquette: A picture is worth a thousand words

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex-husband's new girlfriend has told our daughters that she is going to have a portrait taken of her with the girls as a Christmas present for their dad. They have only been seeing each other for three months! I felt myself fuming as my daughter announced that she was going shopping this week for matching outfits for the picture. I did not...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The fertility game

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are having trouble conceiving. After putting us through months of testing, the fertility doctor we're seeing says that the problem is on my end. I'm devastated. I just assumed that women were the ones who had fertility problems, and I feel like a complete failure, as if I'm not a man anymore. What can I do? Are there ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: When it comes to education, dads matter; a lot

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter is in 2nd grade at a wonderful school, and we get a lot of email asking for parent volunteers to help out in the classroom or to do cleanups, fundraising, and other stuff to help the school. Almost all of that email is directed at mothers and makes a special point of explaining how important it is for mothers to take an...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Telling the kids: Intolerance is a two-way street

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Like many parents, I've struggled with how to talk to my 7- and 9-year old about the results of the presidential election. My husband and I voted for Trump, as did our kids in their school's mock election. Both have been physically and verbally bullied by their classmates, and several teachers have made fun of them. They've also ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Is relationship with stepsister OK?

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I am falling in love with my stepsister and I have a question about how to handle it. Before you go crazy on me, let me explain a couple of things that may make a difference in your response. First, we only lived together for a very short time three years ago, so we really didn't grow up together. Two, we are now legal adults. I am 29 and she...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Teen sibling rivalry

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My two teenagers are constantly at each other's throat. When they were little, our daughter (now 15) and our son (now 13) were best friends. But it seems like ever since they became actual teenagers, it's been painful to be around them. My wife and I treat them as equally as we can and we try to stay out of the middle. But it's ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Is hubby's behavior leftover love or good co-parenting?

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband is still in love with his ex. He says he's not, but I think he's lying. Evidently, she cheated and he left, but when she drops off the kids, he insists she come to the door. Sometimes he invites her in while the kids get their stuff. When he can't pick up the kids, she's the first one he calls -- never me. They always celebrate the...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Making science and math fun

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: When I was in grade school and middle school, I had real problems with math and science. Early on, I was pretty good at both, but after a while, I just couldn't see how knowing about quadratic equations, functions, and x and y coordinates, chemical reactions, and all the rest could possibly make my life any better. And I have to ...Read more

Sponsored News from LA Times

Social Connections


Specktickles Archie Chuckle Bros Jerry King Cartoons Mother Goose & Grimm Lisa Benson