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Ask Mr. Dad: When to wean

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ex-etiquette: Abusive ex unnerves her

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ex-etiquette: He's a great guy, but still lives with his ex

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ask Mr. Dad: Importance of dads

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ex-etiquette: Pledge your allegiance

Parents / Family Living /

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

Ask Mr. Dad: Back to sleep is the only way

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Our baby boy was born just a month ago and, although we were told at the hospital to put him down to sleep on his back, my wife says that it's safer for him on his tummy because it will keep him from choking. Who's right? Please help.

A: You are. In their first year, babies should go to sleep on their back, period.

In 1994, after...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Annoyed by behavior of boyfriend's ex

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My boyfriend's ex comes over unannounced around dinner time with the excuse that she has to drop off something for the kids. She completely ignores me in my own home, speaks only to the kids and my boyfriend, and then leaves without ever acknowledging my presence. It feels so rude, and my boyfriend sees nothing wrong with it. What's good ex-...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Ex sends late-night, non-emergency texts

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My boyfriend's ex texts him in the middle of the night. It's not romantic; it's usually something like, "Don't forget Jason's soccer game is tomorrow," but it drives me crazy. He doesn't see anything wrong with it and will not say anything to her. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: Can't say I haven't been on both the giving and receiving end of ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Stranger danger: Myths and facts

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Every time there's an amber alert or new story about a kidnapping or sex trafficking or the murder of a child, my kids panic -- and, honestly, so do I. I have no idea how to keep my children safe, and the whole don't-talk-to-strangers thing seems pretty useless. Is there anything I can do to protect my children and reassure them?

...Read more

Ex-etiquette: The distance between us

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I like Southern California, and so my wife and I decided to move from the San Francisco Bay area to Santa Monica five months ago. Our child-custody order states that I see my children from my previous marriage every other weekend, and I am primarily responsible for transportation. There was a meeting place established -- I drive 2/3 of the ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: 4 ways be a role model in challenging times

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Everyone says that as parents, we're supposed to be good role models for our kids. That sounds like a great idea, but why do so many parents (and other people) behave in such awful ways? The phrase "good role model" seems easy enough to understand, but maybe it's not. In your view, what, exactly is a "good role model" supposed to ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Kindergarten: It all starts now

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter is starting kindergarten next month. We've been talking about how much fun she's going to have and she seems really excited about the whole thing. But here's where it gets strange: I'm pretty nervous. What can we (the adults) do to get over our nervousness? And is there anything else we can do to get our daughter ready?...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Irrational behavior might be a mental disorder

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I have been married to my husband for 30 years. We have raised a family and are very happy. His ex-wife -- they had no kids together -- lived on the other side of the country until her husband of 35 years became terminally ill and she decided to move "closer to family." She moved a mile from our home and just showed up one day acting like she...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Does my teen have an evil twin?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: If I wasn't in the delivery room for my daughter's birth, I'd swear that she had a secret, identical twin. Sometimes she's delightful and lovely to be around, other times, she's a nightmare. Some days she seems to love us and need us, other days she's hateful and nasty. People keep telling me to relax, that's she's just a normal ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Include all kids in gift-giving, grandma

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I have recently remarried and now have four children -- two from my wife's first marriage and two from my first marriage. The problem is my mother. She loves my children very much but doesn't really feel my wife's kids are part of her family. She will bring presents for my kids and forget hers. It's very hurtful, and I don't know what to do ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Discuss family traditions before wedding

Parents / Family Living /

Question: My husband recently took his son on a backpacking trip. It's a family tradition that I thought was going to stop now that we are married. When they returned, I found out that my husband's ex-wife's father and brother also went along. I feel uncomfortable with my husband continuing to associate with his ex's family. I feel like they are...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Wanted: Male elementary school teachers

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My twins (one boy, one girl), are starting fourth grade in the fall and we just found out that their teacher is a woman. That isn't a problem, of course, but when my wife and I started talking about this, we realized that the twins have never had a male teacher, and that our older kids -- one in middle school, one in high school --...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Coddle the ex, offer solutions

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex was a stay at home mom and rarely went out. We break-up and all of a sudden she's partying and not coming home until late. My kids, age 15 and 16, complain that their mother is never home and I'm wondering if I should file for full custody. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: You can go back to court anytime you want, but before you do, let's...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Talk to me, baby

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 13-month old says only two words: dada and mama. My best friend's son is two months younger and she's constantly bragging about how many words he knows. She's got me worried that there's something wrong with my baby. Do all kids start talking about the same age? Either way, what can I do to increase my baby's vocabulary.

A: As ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Play nice, even when ex is holding dogs as ransom

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I always laughed when people shared their animals after a breakup. It seemed so silly to me to share a dog, but here I am three months after my breakup with my longtime girlfriend and I miss my dogs. She kept them because I didn't immediately have a place to stay, but now I do and I'd like to adjust our agreement. She won't hear of it and ...Read more

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