Home & Leisure

Ask Mr. Dad: The benefits of sports

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: You've talked a lot about kids and sports. Why are sports so important?

A: Kids these days have it tougher than we did when we were their age. Today's kids live in a world where social media puts every aspect of their lives under a harsh microscope -- something we and our parents and grandparents never experienced. One in three ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: 48 ways to show her you care

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: You often talk about how to be an involved dad, but how can I be an involved husband, especially while my wife is pregnant?

A: Here are some ideas that will boost your popularity at home and make your wife the envy of all of her friends, pregnant or otherwise:

-- Offer to give her back rubs and foot massages.

-- Suggest ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Sober mom wants daughter back

Parents / Family Living /

Q: Years ago I had a drug problem and let my daughter live with her dad with the understanding that when I got my life together I would take my daughter back. That was four years ago. She's 12 now, I've been clean and sober for two years, and I am ready to be her mom again. I'm happy to say she's doing well -- great grades and lots of friends. I...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Toilet training without tears (yours or your child's)

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My baby is nearly two. When's the right time to start potty training and how do we do it?

A: I've always maintained that changing diapers is a highly underrated bonding experience -- especially for dads. But no matter how fondly you recall the experience, most of us are delighted when we can put that stage behind us.

Although ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Ex is uncomfortable visiting our kids at my parents' home

Parents / Family Living /

Q: A year ago my ex had an affair and left me and our two children to live with her. He has always wanted to see the kids, but because of his bad judgment I think I should supervise his visits and they should be in the home I now share with my parents. He agreed for a while, but now says he feels awkward visiting at my parents' home and doesn't ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Pent-up revenge

Parents / Family Living /

I have been divorced for 17 years. His mother was the driving force behind our divorce. She hurt me in so many ways, it's hard to list.

A problem recently came up with my son, he is 25 and has made some terrible choices. My former in-laws normally dote on our son, but they have now turned their backs on him. Because of this, and all that my ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The myth of the biologically unfit father

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: While I appreciate your column and your attempts to get dads more involved, the simple fact is that women are biologically better suited than men to be parents. Your response?

A: Sorry, but you're dead wrong.

Margaret Mead once said that fathers are a biological necessity, but a social accident. And throughout much of the ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Nothing to fear but fear

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 15-month-old baby is suddenly afraid of everything -- including a lot of things he wasn't afraid of just a few weeks ago. He's scared of the bathtub, getting his hair cut, the vacuum cleaner, the dark, and even our dog (the same dog that he actually rode on recently. What's going on and what can we do to help our son?

A: Don't ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Your new boyfriend is someone's husband

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My new boyfriend apparently split with his wife a week ago, but he has dinner at the table twice a week and she was texting him tattoos he may like. His Facebook page says he's married. I feel like I am not being told the truth in many ways. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: I know most of you out there are reading this question and thinking, "...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Sleeping arrangements

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Everyone I ask has a different opinion about whether it's okay to share a bed with a baby. My biggest concern is safety. What's the bottom line?

A: The short answer to your question is a resounding "It depends." For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended against bed sharing (sometimes called "the family bed") ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Talking pregnancy

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I just found out she's pregnant. I thought the pregnancy was going to bring us together, but we've been arguing a lot lately. Either that or silence. Is this normal? Either way, what can we do to get back on track?

A: Pregnancy is a time of great joy and anticipation -- and of great stress. And even though you and your...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Joining a blended family with teenagers

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad. I'm marrying a woman who has two teenagers from her previous marriage. This is my first marriage and, although I like her kids, I'm a little worried about how I'll do as a stepfather of teens. Any suggestions?

A: About half of all marriages are remarriages for at least one of the partners, many of whom, like your fiancee, have ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Mom abandoned kids 15 years ago, wants to attend college graduations

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My wife abandoned me and our three children 15 years ago. They were 8, 7, and 5 when she left. I think she was having a problem with painkillers. There were a lot of signs. I never got a divorce because I was told that she had to be present in court for the divorce to be legal. I live in the same home and have the same phone number. But, that...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: How to be a good dad … even from the road

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm a professional baseball player and during the season, I'm on the road a lot. I love my job, but I hate being away from my kids (ages 6, 9, and 13) -- and I know they're not happy about it either. How can I stay connected to them when I'm away?

A: What a great question. Besides missing their kids, a lot of sports pros who spend...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Sharing a bed

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I'm wondering exactly how to handle this situation and I thought you might be able to help. My husband dies unexpectedly in a car accident three years ago. I have a daughter who is now 4. Since it's been just she and me, we often sleep together. It was a difficult transition for both of us when her daddy died. I've recently met someone I ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Fatherhood is full of surprises

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I just found out that my girlfriend is pregnant. I have no idea what to expect. Can you give me a few hints?

A: Congratulations -- you're in for a long, wild ride! Becoming a dad involves new responsibilities, new pressures, and new expectations to live up to. For some of us, this little jolt of reality comes early, before we ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: My ex had a deputy serve court orders in front of our kids

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex is constantly nagging me. He didn't like what I was doing and threatened to take me back to court. I told him to go ahead. Well, he had a deputy serve me at an exchange right in front of our girls. They were frightened when they saw the police officer and now they don't want to go to his home. He thinks it's because of something I've ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: 22 discipline ideas that really work, part 2

Parents / Family Living /

Last week I introduced the first 11 of my 22 field-tested strategies for disciplining toddlers. Here are the remaining 11.

Get down to your child's level. When you're talking to your child -- specially to criticize -- kneel or sit. You'll still be big enough that he'll know who the boss is.

Don't lecture. Instead, ask questions to engage the ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: 22 discipline ideas that really work, part 1

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: You've talked about how futile it is to discipline an infant. That makes sense. But what about toddlers?

A: At one time or another, all parents struggle with discipline -- establishing limits, enforcing limits, and getting their kids to speak to them respectfully and do what they're supposed to do. But discipline isn't only about ...Read more


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