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Ex-etiquette: Partners with children come as a package deal

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I've been with my husband for four years, but married for only one. We've combined our families -- but there's a problem. I have two daughters and he has three daughters, plus a son that was born to his ex-wife as a result of her cheating. They attempted reconciliation and my husband chose to raise the boy as his own, but they eventually ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Time for parents to put differences aside, work together

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I are always at odds when it comes to time with our child. She constantly plans things on my time and it makes it difficult to get my son to come over. Now with this coronavirus emergency, the schools are closed and she has him "sheltered in place" saying it's dangerous for him to come over to my home. I need help! What's good ex-...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Custody and coronavirus

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I share our child's time. We live around the corner from each other. My 88-year-old mother also lives with me and loves seeing our son on a regular basis, but with this coronavirus dictating our lives, my ex won't let my son come over on is regular visitation time. She says it is to protect my mother, but I think she just wants him ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Teens, young adults and coronavirus: A perfect storm

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My older children are away at college in another state and, as far as I'm concerned, they're behaving irresponsibly with regard to the coronavirus. Rather than come home and obey social distancing recommendations when their campuses cancelled classes, they opted to hang out with their classmates and have an extended spring break on...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Reframing children's reminiscing about Dad can ease discomfort

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I've been remarried for two years to a woman with four children, all adults. She has been divorced for over six years and we live in her former family home. Her kids and their significant others come to our home each Sunday for dinner. Each time, after dinner, the kids start to tell stories about their dad. It appears he is an eccentric and ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Would you please just go to sleep? In your own bed? Pretty please?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Our 2-year-old daughter was really excited about her new big-girl bed when we got it a few weeks ago. But now she won't sleep in it. My husband and I aren't sure how it happens, but our daughter seems to end up in our bed almost every night. We're trying not to get upset at her, but we really need our sleep. Do you have any ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Solid family life starts with parents' united front

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My girlfriend and I will be moving in together in the next few months. We are combining four children in all -- she has a boy and a girl and so do I. My children are older and they are adamant about not sharing a room with "little kids." I have promised them that they would not have to. My girlfriend does not agree. There is a basement that I...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Dealing with mutual friends after divorce

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I had a terrible divorce that eventually became amicable, thank goodness, but I moved away as a result and have not been back to the small town I lived in for two years. My ex cheated, it was awful, end of story. My friends have all stayed friends with my ex -- which is fine -- but they want to have a party when I come into town and they want...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Co-parenting should always be your goal

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I feel as if I am being replaced. My 12-year-old daughter just told me that she would like to live with her father and bonus mom full time. She currently sees them on the weekends, but asks to see them more often. I always let her, but it doesn't seem to be enough. She did not see her dad for the first few years of her life -- he was in the ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Daddy diaper changing

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm about to become a dad and I'm worried about something that might seem a little silly: I've never even touched a real baby, let alone changed one's diaper. How do I do it?

A: Not a silly question at all. By the time your baby gets potty trained, he or she will have gone through about 10,000 diapers (more for boys than for girls...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Setting boundaries with an ex

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My wife is still very dependent on her ex. He is very handy and I am not. When something needs to be fixed around the house, she calls him for advice and he usually just comes over and fixes it. I tell her to just call a repair man and she says it's a waste of money. Her kids like him to come over, but I find the whole set up embarrassing. ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: A Valentine from beyond the grave

Parents / Family Living /

Q. This sounds like a movie script, but my wife of three years has received a Valentine from her deceased husband every year since we have been married. I guess he set it up with a service or something before he died, but, like clockwork on, or the day before, my wife receives a Valentine's Day card proclaiming her deceased husband's undying ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: 2 things that cause after-breakup havoc

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex cheated 10 years ago. We had been married for more than 20 years and it was quite a shock. My daughter was 15 and also hurt very badly by his indiscretion. I've forgiven him as a person and we're very good friends, but I have no desire for reconciliation. My daughter, now 25, sees us together and thinks the ease in which we relate means...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The dad effect: There's more to fatherhood than what's in dad's wallet

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I've gotten into some heated arguments with friends and family about the importance of fathers in their children's lives. I know you've talked about that a lot. Could you summarize some of the benefits so I can make a stronger case?

A: For many decades, conventional wisdom told us that when it came to child development, mothers ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Favoritism is often at the root of family problems

Parents / Family Living /

Q: Please settle an argument. My wife will barely talk to me at this point and I don't know what to do. I have one son that lives on the other side of the country. He visits every summer for three months and also on a break here and there. He was here over Christmas break and all hell broke loose. My wife says her kids resent me -- and him -- ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Holidays can be hectic

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I remarried two years ago. I have been working quite well with my husband's ex-wife, but we just hit a roadblock over the holidays and would like your take on things. Last year the holidays were easier to navigate because my kids schedule matched my husband's kids' schedule, but this year there were all sorts of changes that had to be made ...Read more


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