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Ask Mr. Dad: 'Dads in the delivery room' conversation continues

Parents / Family Living /

Dear readers: My recent column addressing a question from an expectant father who was afraid to be in the delivery room because of "all the blood" generated a lot of response from readers. Here are a few of them, along with my response.

AE wrote: "All the blood? Really? I am a former NICU nurse and besides my own personal delivery experience, I...Read more

Ex-etiquette: What's in a name?

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex-wife was ordered to return to her maiden name after our divorce. She does sometimes. She continues to use my last name when applying for rental property (she was evicted). She was also admitted to the hospital and used my last name. Plus, she has remarried and tries using all three last names when trying to obtain credit. This can't ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: When 'good enough' is plenty

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm in the process of getting a divorce and everyone's telling me about how horrible divorce is for kids. Apparently, they have all sorts of behavioral problems, do worse in school, abuse drugs, are depressed and anxious, and on and on. I'm petrified and worried that no matter what I do, my kids are doomed. I want to be an amazing ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Wife judges husband who does chores for his ex

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I recently married to a man who has a daughter. His ex recently broke up with her long term partner and now has my hubby going over to do chores, like moving sofas or fixing the hot water heater. This ticks me off because not only does this woman rape us financially every month, but she intimidates my husband. He thinks that if he doesn't do ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Bonusparent should consult maid of honor or bride for wardrobe help

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I am the second wife of the father of a bride who is getting married in October. We are now divorced as well, but I got very close to the bride while I was married to her father, so I have been invited to the wedding. I know not to wear the same color as the bridal party and there's a dinner reception and cocktails after, so how formal do I ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Welcome to the sandwich generation

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My elderly father can't take care of himself any longer and has just moved in with us. My four-year old is complaining that I'm spending more time with my dad than with her, and my 16-year old is complaining about all the extra responsibilities he's had to take on. And, of course, my husband is feeling neglected too. I think I'm ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Support wife's wishes on how to deal with ex's terminal illness

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My wife has been divorced from her children's father for almost 20 years. He has never remarried. We have been married for 10. They have three children together, all adults with children of their own. Although I am a proponent of us all spending the holidays together for the sake of the grandkids, we do not socialize on a regular basis.

Fast...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Water: The miracle cure from your tap

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: This summer is shaping up to be a hot one and I'm concerned that my wife and kids (and probably myself) aren't drinking enough water. How much should we be drinking and why is it so important (I need facts to convince the skeptics in the family)?

A: You've probably heard that we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: No idea what to do … or why to be involved

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife is pregnant and I'm not sure I'm cut out to be a father. My wife and I have been talking and it's clear that she has high expectations. She wants me to be as involved as she is, playing with the baby, reading to it, feeding, changing, and everything else. The problem is that I'm just not interested in being that involved --...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Sex-talking ex

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband has been divorced from his first wife for 35 years. He has adult children and grandchildren. His ex visits for months at a time, which is great for the grandkids, but when she's here, she's far too familiar, talking about how good their sex life was and how she was the one to leave. It makes me so uncomfortable I don't want to go ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Fiancé wants 'his' son at wedding

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I am pregnant with my first child. I will soon be married to a guy who was with a woman for 7 years. His "son" is 6 and my fiance wants this kid to come to our wedding ceremony. I said no. He was never married to his mother and to continue to be involved on that level will just complicate our life. This is our day! My fiance is furious and ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Swim and water safety

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My family loves being in the water, whether it's a pool, a lake, the ocean, or even a bathtub! But every summer, sure as clockwork, stories of children drowning start popping up like mushrooms. It seems to me that drownings aren't really any more common than they used to be -- there's just more media coverage. But the big issue is ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Ready-made family requires meeting of the minds

Parents / Family Living /

How do I get past the fact that my live-in boyfriend still wants to hang with his daughter's mother for special occasions? His daughter just graduated the 8th grade and I had to endure a celebration from hell. Family from both sides were there reminiscing about stuff I had no interest in -- I felt like a complete outsider and this guy expects me...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The future of fathers

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: This Father's Day is over, but what advice do you have to keep dads involved every day?

A: As someone who spends a lot of time doing research on and writing about fathers -- and even more time trying to be a good dad -- I agree that the fact that the one day per year that's dedicated to dads has passed doesn't mean that dads are ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Support daughter's extracurricular activities

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My child's mother is constantly signing our 8-year-old daughter up for extracurricular activities on my time. I have very little time as it is, and she often cannot come to her scheduled visits because of practices and games. Evidently, she just loves softball. Her mother owes me so many weekends! I would like the opportunity to schedule ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Body image and eating disorders: Not for girls only

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm completely convinced that my son has an eating disorder. When he was little, he was always a little on the heavy side. At about 11 -- right when puberty hit -- he suddenly started dieting. At first, I was proud of him for taking charge of his own weight. He looked really good and seemed happier with himself. But he kept right ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Choosing sides when friends breakup

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband and I hang around with about five other couples. We all have kids and do a lot of kid-centered activities together. I have decided to throw a BBQ for Father's Day -- the guys can grill to their hearts content and the kids can swim. However, one of the couples is splitting up. It upsets us all, but also presents a problem -- my ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: In June … and year 'round … men's health starts at the top: His head

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I've read several of your columns that have touched on the health of men and boys, but you haven't spent much time talking about mental health. Is male mental health different than females'?

A: Very different. Within the broader men's health crisis, which, as you mention, I've written a lot about, there's one area where ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: There's a fascinating connection between language, rhythm and reading

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 2 1/2-year-old is learning lots of new words, but has trouble singing even the simplest song. And although he sometimes rocks in time to music, he's almost never on the beat. Is there a connection between language, music and rhythm, and is a problem with any of them a developmental red flag?

A: In a word, yes. During the second...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Is it wrong to invite my deceased wife's family to a barbecue?

Parents / Family Living /

Q: There is a long weekend coming up and my wife of three months and I are throwing a family barbecue. It's the first one we have thrown and the guest list has become somewhat awkward. I have remained quite good friends with my deceased first wife's family and would like to invite her parents (she was an only child). My wife says I must cut off ...Read more


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