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Ask Mr. Dad: Tech for toddlers: don't. But if you absolutely must …

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: A few weeks ago, you talked about how bad technology is for toddlers. My wife and I generally like your advice, but in this case, we think you're wrong. Tech is everywhere -- even little kids are learning to code --and we want our baby to be as prepared as possible to survive in the world. And part of that means getting him ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Ex's new girlfriend has her way for Christmas

Parents / Family Living /

Q. Every year my ex has a Christmas party. He invites me, plus our kids -- all adults, yours, mine, and ours, and all have kids of their own. We have done this for years. He hires Santa for the grandkids. It's really fun. This year he has a new woman in his life and I wasn't invited. As a matter of fact, I was told it would be inappropriate if I...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Media messages affect us

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm a new dad and have been reading to my baby. But I've started to notice that most of the parents in children's books are moms. There are some books where dad is the main parent, but most of the time we're not there at all. My wife says that the media is just reflecting reality. I disagree. What do you think?

A: First things ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: The Santa clause

Parents / Family Living /

Q: About a year ago I married a man with a lovely little four-year-old girl. Since his ex and he share equal custody, I am with this child for a week at a time every other week. It has worked out well and we adore each other. My husband and I wanted to take her to take pictures with Santa, and told her we would go this Saturday when she is with ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Should he buy Christmas presents for his ex 'from the kids'

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband I would like you to weigh in on a disagreement we are having. I think he should no longer buy Christmas presents for his ex "from the kids" now that she has remarried. I think her new husband should do that. My husband disagrees and feels it continues to be his responsibility. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: Good ex-etiquette is good...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Technology for toddlers

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: The holidays are just around the corner and I'm thinking of giving my 18-month-old my old iPad. She loves playing with it and I think she should have her own. My husband disagrees. What do you think?

A: I'd hold off for a while. There's a lot of information out there on technology's effect on children, but very little on toddlers ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Gender vs. sex. Yes, there's a difference

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 13-year old son told my husband and me that his gender identity is "non-binary" and that he wants to start using different pronouns -- "they" and "their" instead of "he" and "him." We asked whether that means he's gay, but he just laughed and said that there's a big difference between gender identity and sexual orientation. I'm ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: For the holidays

Parents / Family Living /

I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year and last month we decided to move in together. He was married previously, has two children, and they share equal custody of the kids. I see the kids every other week, and we get along great, but I have yet to meet his ex. According to my boyfriend, his parents invite her to all their family's get...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Title IX: A good thing gone bad

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: In one of your columns a month or so ago, you took a swipe at Title IX, which most people think has done a great job of bringing equity to college sports. You even called it "dangerous." I don't see what there is to complain about. Please explain.

A: Thank you for asking. You're right: I did complain about Title IX and I did, ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: 'I hate my life, I want to go back to my ex'

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I recently remarried, but I'm miserable. My husband drives me crazy, his ex-wife is psycho, and his children run the show. After three years and eleven months, my ex has realized the error of his ways and has been calling me. He tells me he's sorry that he ran off with "that woman" and wants to go back together. I hate my life, I want to go ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Couple splitting-up; contemplating doing the same with kids

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex and I have four children. We are separating and thinking about splitting the children -- two go with him, two go with me. It's just too much for us to try to raise four kids by ourselves. We have three girls, ages 15, 14, and 8, and a son age 11. We can't agree which ones should go with which parent. Do you have some suggestions? What's...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Keys to becoming a better dad

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: This may sound a little stupid, but I'm not sure how to be a more involved dad. I work a lot and my wife is a stay-at-home mom. She seems to have everything under control all the time, and there doesn't seem to be much of a role for me. What can I do to be a better dad?

A: That's not stupid at all. A lot of guys are faced with the...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Estranged father wants custody of son

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I sincerely believe my son would be better off with me. I did not see him much when he was very young -- we had him when we were 17 and 18. He is now 7 and in the last year I have spent a lot of time with him. His mother parties way too much and posts herself getting drunk on Facebook. It's time he lives with me. I'm going to court in two ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: She wants another baby, but he doesn't

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad. We have an almost two-year old who keeps us pretty busy. Recently, though, my wife has been talking about having a second child. I'm honestly not that thrilled about the idea. We barely have enough time to take care of ourselves and our baby. How are we supposed to add a fourth person to our family?

A: For a lot of couples, the ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: How to leave the house without freaking out the baby

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 18-month-old has suddenly started freaking out whenever my husband or I leave him with anyone -- even places he knows well and with people he's known for a long time. What's going on?

A: Try to think about things from your baby's perspective for a second: For most of his life, he controlled everything that happened in his world...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Unilateral decision on child's activity is wrong

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I have been divorced for 6 years. Our daughter has been playing competitive soccer for the last two years. Her father was her coach and they traveled all over the state. She excelled, I will admit that, but it just got too much for our family -- and it's very expensive. I have two other children with my current husband, so I made ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Bedwetting 8-year old. When is enough, enough?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 8-year old still wets her bed at night. She's really embarrassed about it and doesn't want to have sleepovers, either at our home or -- especially -- anywhere else. She's really stressed about it, which I imagine is just making the problem worse. How common is it for an 8-year old to be wetting her bed at night? How can we ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Explaining split-up to an 8-yr-old kid

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My 8-year-old son is constantly asking if his dad and I are going to go back together. Every time he comes home from his dad's he asks, "Mommy, when are we going to move back in with Daddy?" I finally sat down with him and told him that I will always love his father because he gave me him, but we are not going to go back together. That didn't...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: That's it: Only 173 'last warnings' left…

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I have always tried to emphasize good study habits to our 13-year old daughter. But no matter what we say or how many times we say it, she goes into her room, closes the door, and plays on her phone or texts her friends instead of doing her homework. There has to be something we can do to get her to take her ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Overcoming prejudice and encouraging diversity

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter is in 7th grade and has been coming home with stories about her classmates using the most bigoted and hateful language about other students and other people in general. Peer pressure is a big thing in middle school and we're afraid that she's going to pick up some of these attitudes. What can we do?

A: Having already ...Read more


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