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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

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Improve relationship with ex to spend more time with daughter

Parents / Family Living /

Q. Every time I ask my daughter’s mother for extra time with my daughter, she drags her feet, probably because we don’t get along so well, but my daughter always seems to either have homework or cheerleading practice or a soccer game. I’m just an “every-other-weekend dad.” I’ve tried going back to court. It helped a little, but my ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Birthday shopping for a partner's ex? Lead with love

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My partner has a very cordial relationship with her ex. They adopted a child together and share custody now, so I am with their son quite often. I have had a strained relationship with my partner’s ex, and something has come up recently that has really thrown me. My partner travels for work and has very little down time. She will not be ...Read more

Sorapop Udomsri/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: How to handle co-parent's bad-mouthing

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex was always verbally abusive. He would call me terrible names and never cared if the kids were around. Now that we have broken up, he’s upped the ante. The kids are coming home with terrible stories and I’m confident he’s saying terrible things about me to the kids. What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. Good ex-etiquette rule #3, “Don�...Read more

Tero Vesalainen/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Avoid these words when you want to problem-solve with a co-parent

Parents / Family Living /

Q. When my children’s mother and I broke up four years ago, we made a pact that we would never go back to court. But as time went on, it got more difficult to discuss things rationally. I know I should reach out to her when we have something to discuss, but it always escalates to a fight. So I avoid it, which just makes things worse. Then I ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: Dating for single parents

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I’ve been divorced from my ex-husband for about three years and I’m at the point where I want to start dating again. My kids (7 and 11) and I have a very close relationship and we talk about everything. But whenever I mention dating, instead of being happy for me, they get angry and withdrawn. What can I do to make them a ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Talk to ex about introducing new partners to son

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I divorced a year ago. We met each other when we were in high school and though we often had different opinions on various things, I thought I knew him. Our 7-year-old son recently told me that over the last few weekends my ex has had a different woman spend the night every time he visits. I am shocked and I’m not sure what to do....Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Putting kids first after breakups is the unselfish thing to do

Parents / Family Living /

Q. Although I have been married to one man for 30 years, I read your column every week. You seem to always bring it back to “Put the children first.” My thought is maybe if parents put their relationship first instead of everything focused on the kids, there would be fewer divorces! What do you think of that?

A. I think there may be a ...Read more

 

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