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Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: How to problem-solve when met with spite

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I am getting married in a year and we are struggling with the guest list. My parents are divorced, and that makes the guest list complicated. My dad, who is paying for the wedding, gets along fine with my mom, but hates her sister, her husband, and my grandma and grandpa. Something happened during their divorce, and he never forgave them. He ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: When co-parenting seems impossible, seek professional help

Parents / Family Living /

Q. When my ex and I were together we had some pretty heated arguments. So, my question is, if we weren’t respectful when we were together, how do you expect us to be respectful now that we have broken up? He badmouths me constantly. Co-parenting is next to impossible so, I suggested co-parenting counseling. I doubt we can sit through it, ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: How to avoid paternity fraud

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m in the early stages of what is going to be a very contested divorce. One of the core issues is that my soon-to-be-ex-wife admitted that she’s been having an affair for the past four years. As if that weren’t bad enough, we have two children that were born during that time, and she’s pregnant with another. I’m quite ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: If you don't know your co-parent well, approach it like a business relationship

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I don’t really know my son’s father. We met at a party and I don’t remember much else. Fast forward, our son, Ian, is 4. (We had a DNA test.) Both of our lives are now very different — he is married with another child. I am a single mother. You always talk about problem solving and co-parenting. How do you problem-solve and co-parent ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Don't attempt to control what 6-year-old son shares

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My child’s mother and I share custody of our 6-year-old son. I don’t like my ex knowing my business, so our rule is, “What happens here, stays here,” but my son still tells his mother everything and also tells me things I’m sure she would prefer I not know. What is a good way to stop the flow of information from one house to another...Read more

Yana Bahuk/TNS

Ex-etiquette: How to prepare for a long-awaited child visit

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My son and I have barely seen each other since the beginning of the pandemic and it has really put a strain on our relationship. Being that I live a couple hours away, I held off seeing him on weekends because of the lockdown.

Summer is right around the corner, and his mother and I have agreed he could stay with me for a month to make up ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: Can you discipline stepchildren? Should you?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I recently got remarried and really want to make my relationship with my new wife a success. One of the things I love about her is that she’s a great mother. I really like her kids (7 and 11), but ever since we got married, they treat me horribly. They’re rude, refuse to do what I ask, and constantly run to their mom to tell ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: What to do when the fighting continues after breaking up

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex tells me she is a better parent than I am — a better bookkeeper, housekeeper, driver, and the kids don’t want to come see me because she has a better house. She’s even more desirable; evidently, the guys are at her door. Every day she finds something else to bitch at me about. I thought when you break up all this stops. What’s ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: She feels like an afterthought, even on Mother's Day

Parents / Family Living /

Q. Here’s my life: My ex remarried five years ago. We had two kids, they now have one more. Our kids go back and forth between the homes, week with me, week with them. We get along fine, but sometime my ex’s wife takes over and acts like all the kids are hers. She makes decisions without consulting me and it makes me very angry. If anything,...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: How to overcome picky eating

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m a single dad and I love to cook. I make a special point of preparing meals I think my kids will like — or at least eat! But time after time I find myself dumping perfectly good, untouched food into leftover containers, or worse, into the trash. The kids seem to want nothing but macaroni and cheese, and I’m worried that ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: After wife's death, lead with love

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I have been blessed with two very loving families. I had two children in my first family, received primary custody of them after my divorce and when I remarried, combined her children with mine for my second family. We all got along so well and for years celebrated life together. Then my second wife got sick. I took care of her for years and ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: In a COVID-19 lockdown conflict, model calm behavior for kids

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My partner and I combined families two years ago. Both of us have kids, and we have slowly gotten them on similar schedules so we have some private time together. Then COVID-19 hit and all this togetherness has made things terrible between us. Last night an argument spiraled out of control and she slapped me across the face. Luckily the kids ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: Love (or lack thereof) in the time of COVID-19

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Now that the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be coming to an end, I’m curious about whether it has had much of an impact on family relationships, both between mom and dad and between parents and their children.

A: I hope you’re right about the pandemic coming to an end. More than 100 million Americans have had at least one vaccine ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: How to stop the fight

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I have tried to talk to my children’s mother about some concerns I have, but she immediately gets defensive. It turns into a shouting match and nothing gets accomplished. Now, she is reluctant to tell me anything about the kids when they are with her because it ends in a fight. How can we change this? What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. I like ...Read more

TNS

Ex-etiquette: Invite ex to the wedding?

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My fiancee wants to invite her child’s godfather to our wedding. Problem is her child’s godfather is also her ex. I can tell it’s the child that keeps them in contact. He’s very close to her, but I’m wondering if it’s really necessary that he come to our wedding. What’s good ex-etiquette?

A. As I have said before, good ex-...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Resentful over money

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex just moved from the home in which we used to live to another more expensive neighborhood. She now lives in a much nicer townhouse. When I asked her why she moved, she said now that our oldest daughter is starting school, the school district was better. I don’t believe that. I think she’s using my money (child support) to live high, ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS/TNS

Ask Mr. Dad: The greatest gift you can give to your children

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Of all the non-material things parents can give to their children, what do you think is the most important?

A: Well, that’s about as close to an impossible question as I’ve ever been asked. Of course, happiness comes to mind. But then so does the ability to form close, loving relationships. So does success (whatever that means...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Uproar over dad's new girlfriend

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My son’s mother and I have been in a custody battle ever since we broke up a year ago. We can’t agree and she often won’t let my son come see me when it's his turn to be at my house. A few months ago, I met a wonderful woman, and she has been at my home the last few times my son has been here. He evidently told his mother, and she has ...Read more

 

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