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Ask Mr. Dad: Easing back into school

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 14-year-old (high-school freshman) son is completely stressed out. In the past, he always looked forward to school, but for the past few weeks, he's been saying that he doesn't want to go. What can I do to help him?

A: For some kids, going to school is no big deal. But for plenty of others, like your son, it's incredibly ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Why 'good enough' is 'exactly enough'

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I just divorced, as amicably as possible. We've heard a lot about how children in divorced families act out, get bad grades in school, take drugs, have all sorts of mental health problems, and on and on. Frankly, both of us are worried that our children are never going to recover. Despite the divorce, we both want to...Read more

Ex-etiquette: His old love notes keep popping up

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I moved into my boyfriend's home about 8 months ago. He's lived by himself for ten years. He works nights and I'm alone. He has tons of books in our bedroom, formally his room. I've begun to read them at night before I go to bed. Evidently some of the books were presents from past girlfriends because there are cards and notes in a few of them...Read more

Ex-etiquette: 'It's not you, it's me'

Parents / Family Living /

Last night my boyfriend gave me the "It's not you, it's me," speech. It took me by surprise because we have been living together for 6 months and looking to buy a house together. My friends have told me that we are rushing things and he doesn't appear to really want to buy a house, but he was the one who suggested living together and buying the...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Mother requests respect at family Thanksgiving gathering

Parents / Family Living /

Q: Our Thanksgiving tradition is that my sisters and our families congregate at my Mom's home each year. My mother has been married a few times and for the last 6 months has been living with someone new in her home. Even though I live less than 10 miles away, I've only met him a few times. She does not invite me to her home.

My mother's marital...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: When enough is too much

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: We're a pretty busy family. Our three kids are in lots of extracurricular activities (Scouts, music, sports, drama) and we also do a lot of things together as a family. Lately, the kids have seemed more run down than usual. I'm feeling a little guilty because I suspect that it's because they've got so many things going on. How do ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Control vs. influence: They're not the same

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I have a 14-year-old son and I think it's high time to start preparing him for the future. We want to ensure that he's on the right career path, whether than means going to college, trade school, or something else after he graduates high school. Granted, he's only a freshman, but I'm concerned that he doesn't seem to have much ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Divorced woman fears adult daughter's reaction to new boyfriend at Thanksgiving dinner

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I have been divorced three times. There were extenuating circumstances with each one, from infidelity to simply not caring for my child, but the truth remains, I have been divorced three times. My oldest daughter, who is now well into her 30s, saw it all and makes it very difficult for me to date. She dislikes everyone for some reason and ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Your child is a brat … and it's your fault

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm a single dad with a 9-year-old daughter who's with me half the time. Before the divorce, she was a sweet kid and a pleasure to be around. But lately she's become a terror, throwing tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants -- and I think it's because her mother is spoiling her. How do I deal with her? And what can I say to ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Don't ignore the red flags

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I need advice. When I met my boyfriend, he said he was divorced, but when his ex wanted to move back in, I found out that he wasn't divorced, only separated. He said he was going back for the kids, he has two, but he also wanted to continue to see me. I told him no; make up your mind. He stayed with his wife. I ignored him for a month, but ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Teen girls and dating? Nope. Never. No Way. Okay, maybe

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 14-year-old daughter seems to believe that she needs to start dating. She says "all of her friends" are doing it, and feels left out. Fourteen just seems too young. I don't think anyone -- boy or girl -- should start till at least 16. I want to tell her "over my dead body" but I also don't want to be that dad. What can I do?

A:...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Should 4-year-old son attend estranged father's wedding?

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My child's father has only been present upon his own whim. He comes around every so often for an hour or two to make sure our 4-year-old son remembers who he is. He has a girlfriend who is now supposedly his fiance. Ironically, last week he was asking me to go back with him and if I said no he vowed to go through with the marriage. Evidently,...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Sharing holidays with the 'ex' feels unnatural

Parents / Family Living /

Q: So each year when Halloween rolls around your column talks about trick-or treating with your partner's ex and the kids and I always think, "How stupid. Who would really hang with their partner's ex on a holiday?" Well, now I've met someone who has an ex and three kids and they want me to go trick-or-treating with them this year and I'm ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Handling sticky holiday situations

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I have been with a man for 5 years. We're both divorced with kids and amicable ex relationships. He does every single holiday, kid's birthday, and adult birthday with his ex. Also, when his family comes to town, most events will include her. I'm fine with that. I'm always invited and strongly encouraged to attend. Occasionally the out of town...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Book, 'em, Dad-O

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 10-year-old son is quite smart and perfectly capable of reading, but it's always been a challenge for him. And unfortunately, his teachers aren't doing very much to help the situation other than send home notes and report cards saying that he's reading below his grade level. My wife and I both read a lot and we've tried ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Co-parenting help needed

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I have had a really hard time dealing with my three- year-old son's father. We have been apart for about a year. Although he's very impatient and gets frustrated easily we have been trying to share our son's time without a formal custody order. My son's father and I agreed we would not cut his hair. When we are in a hurry, I usually just wrap...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: 'Bad dad' can't connect with kids through play

Parents / Family Living /

A: Ok, first off, there's nothing wrong with you -- the fact that you're worried about this aspect of your personality says you're not a bad parent at all. Many of us were raised to believe that good parents play with their kids (and they do). However, the reverse -- that parents who don't get down and dirty with the little ones are bad parents ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Chores? What chores?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I are always reminding our tweens (ages 9 and 12) about their chores. They know exactly what they're supposed to be doing, but that doesn't keep them from "forgetting" -- even if it's something they've done three times a week for the last six months. We've discussed this with some of our friends who have kids about ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Can there be a 'just us' holiday time?

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I've been reading your column for some time. It seems you have been there and always point out things I don't see, so I thought I would ask about my situation. I live around the corner from my husband's ex. They co-parented their two kids -- a week with each parent -- before I got here and following your advice, I just got with the program. I...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Breastfeeding: Can there be too much of a good thing?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Our son just turned two and although he's eating plenty of "real" food, I still breastfeed him. My husband thinks it's a bit odd, but several friends and even some coworkers are shocked. Is there a specific age at which I should stop breastfeeding? Am I doing damage by breastfeeding a toddler?

A: Let's start with some background. ...Read more

 

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