Home & Leisure

Ask Mr. Dad: Walking the walk — and crawling the crawl

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My best friend and I have 10-month-old boys who were born only a week apart. His started walking about a month ago but mine is still crawling and has absolutely no interest in walking. I know I shouldn't compare my baby to anyone else's, but it's hard not to. Is there anything I can do encourage my baby to walk?

A: Theoretically, ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Things get rough when his daughter visits

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband and I have a yours, mine family with kids ranging from 20 years old to 4 months old. Some are out of the house, plus we have two little ones at home. My husband's daughter is 12 and lives with her mom nearly 2,000 miles away.

Things have always been a little rough when his daughter spends the summers with us. Her dad and I have ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Ten rules of good ex-etiquette

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I read your column all the time, and in your answers, you often refer to Ex-Etiquette rule No. 7 or Ex-Etiquette Rule No. 5. What are you talking about? Are there really specific rules of good ex-etiquette?

A: I can honestly say that I am asked about "the rules" just about every day. The whole thing started years ago -- divorced parents ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Instilling a sense of wonder

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I remember being a child and constantly being amazed. But it seems like life is moving much more quickly these days and my own kids never get the luxury of just staring at the stars. Is there some way that today's overscheduled families can slow down and rekindle that sense of wonder?

A: Childhood is filled with all sorts of ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Focusing on overcoming distracted driving

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Almost every day, I see people behind the wheel talking on cell phones, and to be honest, it scares me. How big a problem is this and is there anything we can about it?

A: Distracted driving is a huge problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, there are three distinct ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Husband's daily conversations with ex leaves wife wondering about boundaries

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I have been married to my husband for a year, together for four. He was married previously for 18 years and has two adult children, ages 18 and 20. My husband either texts or speaks to his ex every day, and sometimes it's not about the kids. He's very quick to erase his conversations with her as I have access to his phone. Three months ago I ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Memorial service quandary

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband's ex just passed away. His adult children are planning the memorial service and expect him to attend. Apparently, there is a history of bad relations between my husband and his ex-wife's family. My husband is reluctant to attend the service for that reason, but I suspect he will probably attend for his kids' sake. Is it appropriate...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The prodigal father returns

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I was pregnant with my son when my then-boyfriend (who was using a lot of drugs back then) and I split up. I haven't heard from him in the three years since then and he obviously never had any interest in meeting our son -- at least until now (although he's been paying child support since the beginning). He's married and has a ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: 'My home is so uncomfortable'

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My son is 10-years old and quite rambunctious. It was fine before my boyfriend moved in, but now that he lives with us, my son seems to really get on his nerves. My boyfriend has no children of his own, loses his temper and snaps at my little guy when he does something he's not supposed to do. I find myself defending my child to my boyfriend ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Between life and death, choose life

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My boyfriend and I have been going out for several years and are quite serious. We've even talked about getting married. We both have adult children from previous marriages, but while I'm very close to my daughters, he's been estranged from his 25-year old son for more than 20 years, ever since he moved out. They've recently ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Elder abuse

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I am 74 years old and handicapped. My 43-year-old daughter moved in to my house with her boyfriend and was supposed to help me with basic caregiving. But instead, the two of them have turned my house into a dump, destroying my furniture, damaging the walls, and more. I made the mistake of giving my daughter access to my checking ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Bride-to-be: 'I don't want his ex near our wedding'

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My fiance would like to invite his ex to our wedding. He feels his ex would like to see their children, ages 18 and 20, dressed up, and thinks it's appropriate that she attend, too. My fiance acts like this is standard practice and is upset that I don't want his ex near our wedding. End the argument, please. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: If ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: When to stand up -- and when not to

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: With all the talk about #MeToo these days, I want to teach my children about the importance of standing up for themselves and what they believe in. When do you think is the right time to start, and how should I do it?

A: Teaching children to stand up for themselves and what they believe in is very important. But although the two ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: When — and how — to argue in front of the kids

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have always had a loud relationship. There's never any physical violence, but we do tend to argue a lot. One recent source of disagreements is whether it's okay to argue in front of our kids, who are 5 and 8. What's your take?

A: Conventional wisdom says that you shouldn't fight in front of your children. Kids may ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Feeling like the odd-man-out in relationship

Parents / Family Living /

Q: How do I deal with being the last to know EVERYTHING? It's like my fiance is still in a relationship with his ex and then there's me. For example, the kids had a doctor's appointment. They all ended up at our house afterward. Evidently, there were plans to go for ice cream after the doctor's, but everyone forgot to tell me. So, my guy, the ex...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Meditation isn't what you think

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: A few years ago, you wrote about the benefits of meditation for children. I honestly thought you were joking. But a counselor at my son's school just recommended it, saying it could help my son's severe anxiety. When I asked how to do it, he handed me a copy of your article! For the benefits of other readers, would you please ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Something's not right

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My boyfriend and I have been living together for two years. He has two children, ages 3 and 4 1/2 His ex will not allow the kids to come to our home. He must see them at her house. He's there all the time, morning and night, and sometimes he stays the night when she's out of town on business. I hate it (I've never even seen her) and I think ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Rethink a Valentine's Day announcement

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I've recently struck up a friendship with a guy I lived with five years ago. I left when I was pregnant and never told him. Our son is now four, and after recently seeing my ex I think I should tell him that Randy is his son. At our last meeting, things got sort of flirty again, and I think Valentine's Day might be a good time to get his ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The ambivalent father

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter is almost two and being a dad has been the greatest experience of my life. But lately, I look at my child and feel absolutely nothing. What's wrong with me, and what can I do to get my mojo back?

A: Over the course of the 20+ years I've been writing about parenting, there have been only a few things that I'm not sure I...Read more

Ex-etiquette: 'Why is my teen lying?'

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I just found out that when my daughter is at my house she texts her mother behind my back. I found her phone and checked her messages. She tells me she's happy when she's with me, but she tells her mother she "misses her and wants to come home." Why is she lying? I feel betrayed. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: We've got some first-class red ...Read more


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