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Ex-etiquette: Stop trying to control parents' relationship with ex

Parents / Family Living /

Q. Why would my ex-wife continue to have a relationship with my in-laws after four years of being divorced? I understand we have kids, but it’s beginning to be troublesome now that I’m in a serious relationship and thinking about getting married again. What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. It sounds like intellectually you understand why she’s ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Go to court, but to put a parenting plan in place

Parents / Family Living /

Q. What would family court think of my ex, a mother who prompted our separation (we were never married, but have two children together) and then three months later proceeds to move in with my brother? What’s good ex-etiquette about that?

A. I don’t know the specifics of your case, and I have learned from years of experience to never form an...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: How to stay away from the blame game

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I have a bonus family. My husband has two kids and I have two kids. We’ve added a son three years ago. We have tried your suggestion of a family discussion to air differences, but things seem to spin out of control. What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. Family discussions are great ways to problem-solve, but bonusfamilies must be careful that ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: Military spouses need plenty of support, too

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Despite all the press coverage of our pullout from Afghanistan, U.S. servicemembers are still deployed all over the world — and I’m one of them. I’m in the Navy and am about to deploy for six months. I’ve read your book, "The Military Father," and learned a lot of great stuff about keeping up my relationship with my kids ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: How to answer 'Who do you like best?'

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I have two bonus children with whom I am very close. My husband and I also added another daughter three years ago. I try to have alone time with all of them and inevitably one will ask, “Who do you like best?” I’m always at a loss for exactly what to say. What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. It’s human nature for a child to wonder if he or...Read more

Antonio Guillem/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Talk to ex before making plans to trade scheduled time with son

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I barely get along, and it’s because of things like this … I bought tickets a month in advance to go to a special venue on Friday the 13th with my son. It happens to be on the weekend my son is scheduled to be with his dad. (Dad sees Derek every other weekend.) I thought a month would be enough time to secure a trade, but when I...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: How to handle exchanges when you don't want to see an ex's new partner

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex left me about a year and a half ago. I lost my job and that was it. We share our 6-year-old daughter equally. My ex now lives with a new guy. He came with her to the last exchange. I told him not to come again and it blew up. I was yelling, my ex was yelling, and so was he. My daughter was crying. It was a mess. I don’t know why he ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: Sex, gender are not the same

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: A few years ago, a friend sent me a column of yours that dealt with the issue of gender identity and sexual orientation and pronouns. I didn’t pay much attention to it then, but everyone at my office is now announcing their “preferred pronouns” in their email signatures and my own daughter now says she’s nonbinary and wants...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: 'Don't tell Dad'

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My children’s father has a very bad temper. Over the years my kids have asked me, “Don’t to tell Dad,” for fear he would get angry. I have kept a few minor things in confidence, but now my 15-year-old daughter has debilitating cramps when she is on her period and her doctor has prescribed birth control pills to control the problematic...Read more

Antonio Guillem/TNS

Ex-etiquette: What's mine is his?

Parents / Family Living /

Q. After three years together, my ex and I broke up four months ago. I was so mad that I didn’t take anything except my car, which was mine before I moved in. He still lives in the house, has my sofa and has all my pots and pans and I’m the one who cooks! He also still has hundreds of dollars in kitchen utensils and spices. The dust has ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Mother should attend kids' games

Parents / Family Living /

Q. Why does my boyfriend’s ex have to be everywhere we go? She even goes to his kids’ games when they are scheduled to be with him. I tell him she’s not supposed to be around if the kids aren’t scheduled to be with her, but he disagrees. I told him I was writing to you so he can hear how wrong this is. So, what’s good ex-etiquette?

A....Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Formal mental health diagnosis doesn't mean sole custody is written in stone

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I had a miserable 10 years with my ex. We tried counseling, but my ex stopped it when things got too close for comfort. I am convinced she is a narcissist. She checks all the boxes. Would this be enough of a reason to get sole custody of my kids? What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. I have to tell you, currently, there seems to be an abundance of ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Talk to dad about sharing custody of son

Parents / Family Living /

Q. The father of my child and I just broke up. Our son is 3. I feel like since our son is so young, he should live with me. His father doesn’t agree and wants to keep him for two or three days at a time. I think this is outrageous and I’m afraid to let my son go with his father because he won’t bring him back when I want him to.

What’s...Read more

Jim Mcdowall/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Dad can't expect daughter to make concessions for his choices

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My soon-to-be in-laws just threw a wonderful party announcing their son's and my engagement. My entire family attended. We have not been together in over six years. My dad asked us all not to post pictures of him standing next to my mother because it would upset his longtime girlfriend, who was not invited and therefore not in attendance. (My...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Ways to make dad, bonusdad feel loved at wedding

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I’m getting married in a year but I’m starting the preparations now. I’m at a loss how to handle walking down the aisle. I have a dad and a bonusdad I love. Although they get along great, I think it will really upset my dad if I ask them both to walk with me. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. ...Read more

Handout/TNS/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: Staying involved as a grandfather

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I’ll admit it — I wasn’t the greatest dad to my kids. But now I’m a grandfather and want to do a better job. Got any suggestions?

A: Sure! Here are some excellent ways to be an active, involved part of your grandchild’s life.

– Stay connected. Call, write, e-mail, fax. Do whatever you have to do to keep in close (but ...Read more

 

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