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Bohdana Smiian/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Make a plan to avoid outbursts in front of son

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I had an amicable split. After a year or so, we put together a parenting plan that worked, but we left off Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. That means our son may be scheduled to spend Father’s Day with me and visa versa. It doesn’t happen all the time, but this year, it did. In the interest of “good ex-etiquette” I ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: How to be supportive when your co-parent is ill

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It makes it very difficult to co-parent. Will the courts grant me full custody when the other parent has a diagnosis like that? What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. Lots of people struggle with mental illness. If a parent is struggling and there is a question of primary custody, it’s the parent’s...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: Talking to your stepson about his dad

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My parents divorced when I was a teen, and I had a difficult relationship with my alcoholic father, which impacted my self-worth and adult relationships for years. Now, as a stepfather, I see my young-adult stepson dealing with similar issues—especially feelings of disappointment and anger—around his deceased birth father, who ...Read more

Vitezslav Sispera/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Too flirty with his ex?

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My wife and I have been married for 6 months. I’m very close to my ex—she’s the mother of our three children and the kids go back and forth between our homes. My wife was going through my phone and found some texts with my ex that she thought were too flirty and went ballistic. She said I’m too close to my ex and now really hates ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Get professional's help to prepare to tell son the truth about his parentage

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I got pregnant right out of high school. My son’s father was equally as young and did not want to take on the responsibility. He enlisted in the army, and I have not seen him in nine years. I married my husband when my son was almost 2 and my husband has raised our son as his own. We also have two other boys. My ex was evidently surfing ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Lead with love and compromise in the name of your child

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My child’s mother and I hooked up at a party our last year of college. We were never officially together, although we tried to be once she found out she was pregnant. We are from different cultures and do not see eye to eye about how to raise our son. I am stricter and want my son to follow my traditions, but his mother does not support ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Keeping the lines of communication open

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I broke up three years ago. We have a daughter who is now 4. About a year and a half ago, my wife and I had another little girl. My ex is very jealous, and our daughter has told me that her mommy has told her my youngest daughter is not her sister. It’s very confusing for a 4-year-old and I’m appalled that she would do such a ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Don't make kids choose a side

Parents / Family Living /

Q. Mother’s Day was interesting at our house this year. I’ve been married to the kids’ dad for most of their lives. They are now 15 and 17 and were scheduled to be with us but decided to be with their mother for most of the day. This was a little weird because normally they spend more time here with us even though the custody agreement ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Understanding detransitioning

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: As the parent of a child who identifies as trans, I appreciate your evenhanded approach to talking about sexual identity, gender identity and sexual orientation. My child, who’s 10 and hasn’t started puberty yet, socially transitioned a year or so ago and everyone in the family has gotten used to the idea. But now they want to ...Read more

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: Understanding detransitioning

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: As the parent of a child who identifies as trans, I appreciate your evenhanded approach to talking about sexual identity, gender identity and sexual orientation. My child, who’s 10 and hasn’t stated puberty yet, socially transitioned a year or so ago and everyone in the family has gotten used to the idea. But now they (my child...Read more

Jamie Stokes/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Grown children not happy about dad's new love

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My wife of 38 years died five years ago after a very long bout with cancer. I have three married children. It was a happy marriage, and the kids miss their mother very much. I do, too, but after living with her cancer for five years, once she passed, I was ready to just have some fun. Two years ago, I finally met someone. I feel very ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Let mom know how you feel about combined Mother's Day brunch

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My husband has two children, ages 6 and 8. They live with us every few days. The back and forth is crazy, but they are young, and I know it’s probably not a good idea for them to be away from either parent for very long. The kids usually stay with their mother on Mother’s Day, but this year she asked if we would like to join her and her ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Consider cat's and child's needs in custody plan

Parents / Family Living /

Q. Is it normal when parents split up to also share custody of the cat as well as share custody of the children? My daughter is so attached to her cat and is really having trouble leaving it at her mother’s home when it’s time to come back to my home. Should I go to court for this one? What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. Normal? That is an ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Don't introduce new partner to kids on holidays or during family traditions

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I divorced after a very public display of infidelity. Everyone knew or found out and my kids were devastated. Even though they were adults, they had a very difficult time with our divorce. After five years, I have finally met someone new. I like him very much. He will be staying with me over the upcoming holiday, and I would like to...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Son's refusal to see depressed mom is a call for help

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My children’s mother always struggled with depression, but I never saw her as bad as she was at the height of the pandemic. She could not get out of bed. We share our 15-year-old son equally and it got to the point that he refused to go back to his mother’s home. I think his refusal made her worse, but he said he didn’t know how to take...Read more

 

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