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Ask Mr. Dad: The disappearing tantrum trick

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 3-year old throws tantrums all the time. When she does it at home, I can handle it, but when we're out in public and she goes nuts, I find it very hard to cope. I've tried time outs, taking away treats, and pretty much everything else short of spanking, which I don't ever want to do. But she just keeps on resorting to tantrums ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Food preferences can be a bone of contention

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My partner has two teenagers who live with their mother in another state. We see them on breaks and two to three weeks in the summer. They seem to get along quite well with my son who is about their same age. My biggest problem is that they don't eat the same way as we do. I don't buy junk food and we have a consistent time for meals where we...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Family Finances: Is lack of money a type of pregnancy prevention?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have a son, and since we both come from large families, we were looking forward to creating one of our own. But there are two problems. First, we were hit hard by the recent recession, and have yet to recover. As a result, we don't feel right having children that we can't afford. Second, because our financial problems...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Counseling may help find tools to communicate

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My boyfriend of one year and I are considering moving in together. We have three kids -- my 13-year-old daughter and his two sons, 6 and 8. My daughter is not the easiest kid to be around. She recently got in trouble for losing her temper at school. I'm afraid if my boyfriend finds out he will think my daughter is a bad influence and not want...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The downside of getting high during pregnancy

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are in our early 30s and want to start a family. To be perfectly honest, we've been regular weed and tobacco smokers for years. To get ready for pregnancy, though, we both quit cigarettes cold turkey. Beyond that, we disagree. I think we should also give up marijuana. My wife has reluctantly agreed to stop smoking, ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Teens and the summer job; a perfect match

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I want to get a job this summer but my parents are refusing to give me permission. They say I'm too young, but I disagree. I'm turning 15 a week before school ends and some of my friends have had summer jobs for a few years. I'm jealous that they have their own money to spend and don't have to ask their parents for it, which I hate...Read more

Ex-etiquette: It's time for a change

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My kids' father and I do a pretty good job of co-parenting, but he does one thing that really bugs me -- he NEVER returns the kids' clothes. I ask him for them and he tells me I'm nuts. His house is a black hole. I've gotten to the point that I make them change before they go to his home. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: Certainly, not asking ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: I'm afraid that my baby will think I'm boring

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm a stay-at-home father and I'm committed to being very involved in my son's life. He just turned one and we usually have a great time together, but I'm starting to get worried that he's going to think I'm boring. What do I do to keep him entertained?

A: This is definitely on the list of top 10 questions I get from new dads. I ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Dealing with a manipulative teenager

Parents / Family Living /

My husband and I have a "yours, mine, and ours" conglomeration we call our family. Six months ago my husband's oldest daughter, age 17, decided to come live with us. It has been hard on our marriage, our other children, his relationship with his ex, my relationship with his ex, everyone is up in arms. He will not set boundaries for either of his...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: 3, 2, 1 … will you get out of here, already?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Our 28-year-old daughter lost her job a while back, and after burning through her savings, moved back in with me and my husband. That was nearly nine months ago. In the beginning, I enjoyed having her around, but at this point, she's definitely overstayed her welcome. Not only is she giving no indication that she'll be moving out, ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Kids and Caffeine? Naaah.

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I have been noticing kids who look much younger than high-school age buying Frappuccino-type drinks at Starbucks and similar coffee places. It worries me because I didn't think caffeine was good for children and didn't allow my own son to have any while he was a teenager. Is coffee really bad for children? If so, what is your ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Son is embarrassed by dad's girlfriend's attire

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I've known my ex since high school. We were married 20 years and have two teenage boys that live a week with me and a week with him. He recently started dating a woman that is only 7 years older than our oldest son. Evidently, she dresses like someone 7 years older than my oldest son and my son tells me he's embarrassed to have his friends ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Push anger, pride aside and put kids first

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My girlfriend and I are having a very tough time trying to co-parent with my ex. She's very angry I have moved on and rarely talks to me, never returns my phone calls or texts. If my girlfriend has to pick up the kids, it's World War III. I've read tons of books. The pop psychology is worthless. Give me some real-life ex-etiquette solutions. ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: On death and dying

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My father, who had been sick for quite some time, recently died. He and my 7-year old daughter were very close. Naturally, she's sad that Gramps isn't around anymore, but I know that she doesn't completely get why. Do you think she's old enough to grasp what death is? If so, what's the best way to talk with her about my dad in a ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Funny, you don't look like you're pregnant, Dad

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife is about four months pregnant and I'm really excited about becoming a new dad. The problem is that I've recently put on some weight (which is really weird, since I weigh exactly what I did in high school). I've also been having nosebleeds and I'm vomiting a lot (which is also weird, since I almost never do either one). I'm ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: A personal ex-etiquette experience

Parents / Family Living /

So that you, my readers, understand that I also face ex-etiquette dilemmas, here's an ex-etiquette issue I recently had to deal with myself. My daughter's father and I have been divorced for years but our daughter recently asked us both to travel from California to New York City to help her get settled in the next stage of her life. She ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Mom's insecurity is keeping daughter from stepmom

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My husband's ex will not allow their 2-year-old child to meet me because, she says, the child is too young. She thinks it will confuse the child and she will not know who her mother is. According to their court order, my husband is supposed to have equal custody, but since I moved in and we got married, his ex will only let him see their ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Divorced dads and babies: Are overnight visits okay?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are getting divorced, and while things are generally amicable, we're having some major disagreements about whether it's okay for our two young children, ages 3 and 1, to sleep over at my house. We both want what's best for our kids, but my wife says that because the kids are so young, they shouldn't be separated from ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Could BMI be TMI? Or maybe NEI (Not Enough Information).

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 17-year old son is very athletic and in great shape. But his BMI puts him in the obese category. His pediatrician isn't worried, but I am. How important is BMI?

A: BMI (Body Mass Index) has been around for more than 100 years, and over that time, medical professionals have found that it's a fairly good indicator of a patient's ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: My baby doesn't like her daddy

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I have a 2-year old daughter and we've both been very involved in raising her. But recently, she's started pushing him away and demanding that I do everything. She won't let him read her bedtime stories, take her to the park, feed her, get her dressed, or anything else -- all things that he's always done and, until a...Read more

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