Home & Leisure

Ask Mr. Dad: Playing dolls with your daughter will help her, and you

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: A few years ago, I read an article you wrote about why dads should play with their daughters. My husband is a pretty traditional guy and has a real problem playing with our four-year old the way she wants to play -- meaning tea parties and dolls -- not the way he does -- meaning sports and superheroes. How can I encourage him to ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: What's yours is mine, and other toddler rules

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter is almost two and refuses to share her toys. As if that weren't bad enough, she also snatches toys from any other kids within reaching distance. It's gotten to the point where I'm almost too embarrassed to allow her to go to other kids' houses on playdates or to have anyone else over to our house. How can I teach my ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: 4-year-old's behavior could be night terrors

Parents / Family Living /

Q. Lately my four-year-old child has been waking up in the middle of the night crying. He doesn't appear to know where he is and it takes quite a bit to calm him down. His mother and I just separated and he goes back and forth between our homes every couple of days and I attribute it to that, but I'm not sure, and I'm not sure what to do about ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Honoring parents, acknowledging stepparents

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My parents broke up years ago and chose new partners that are far better suited for them. I was raised by four people I knew loved me. I was never asked to choose homes or parents. However, Mother's Day and Father's Day poses a problem for me. Got any ideas how I can acknowledge my stepparents while not slighting my mom and dad? What's good ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The reasons behind 'Thirteen Reasons'

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I received an email from my 14-year-old son's school warning us about a TV show called "Thirteen Reasons Why," which apparently deals with a high-school girl who commits suicide. The school seems very concerned about the effect that the show -- which I'd never heard of -- could have on at-risk kids. I raised the issue with my son (...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Making plans together crucial for 6-year-old's sleeping habits

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My child's father and I broke up about a year and a half ago and it has been very traumatic for our son, age 6 -- so much so that he asks to sleep in my bed every night. His father says he's just fine at his house and sleeps in his own bed, but at my house he cries and gets very stressed out before bed. Now he's telling me he doesn't want to ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Life in the 21st century blended family

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My fiancee and I are both divorced, and between the two of us, there are four children from previous marriages. Mine are 7 and 5, his are 6 and 8. When my girlfriend and I first met each other's kids, things were great -- the children hit it off really well and liked hanging out together. And the adult-child relationships seemed to...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Fiancée wants your kids to 'go away.' Huge red flag!

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My wife died six years ago when my children were very young. I raised them so far by myself, and I've been very lonely. I have been dating a beautiful woman for the last six months who is considerably younger than me. My kids love her and she has consented to marry me -- but she just told me she wants my kids to go away to school. She says ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Playing the role

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad. My husband and I have two-year-old twins -- a girl and a boy -- and we both love spending time with them. But I've noticed that he and I have very different styles, in several ways. We do different activities with the kids. And I've also noticed that I do a better job of treating the kids the same, while he treats our son very ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: You're not in this alone

Parents / Family Living /

I'm divorced and my son lives a week with his mother and a week with me. He is in the 6th grade. He recently got in trouble at school for using a racial slur and insulted one of his best friends. Evidently, he saw a comedy routine on YouTube and thought to repeat it. I talked to the principal and his friend's mother and now he's grounded and ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The disappearing tantrum trick

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 3-year old throws tantrums all the time. When she does it at home, I can handle it, but when we're out in public and she goes nuts, I find it very hard to cope. I've tried time outs, taking away treats, and pretty much everything else short of spanking, which I don't ever want to do. But she just keeps on resorting to tantrums ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Food preferences can be a bone of contention

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My partner has two teenagers who live with their mother in another state. We see them on breaks and two to three weeks in the summer. They seem to get along quite well with my son who is about their same age. My biggest problem is that they don't eat the same way as we do. I don't buy junk food and we have a consistent time for meals where we...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Family Finances: Is lack of money a type of pregnancy prevention?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have a son, and since we both come from large families, we were looking forward to creating one of our own. But there are two problems. First, we were hit hard by the recent recession, and have yet to recover. As a result, we don't feel right having children that we can't afford. Second, because our financial problems...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Counseling may help find tools to communicate

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My boyfriend of one year and I are considering moving in together. We have three kids -- my 13-year-old daughter and his two sons, 6 and 8. My daughter is not the easiest kid to be around. She recently got in trouble for losing her temper at school. I'm afraid if my boyfriend finds out he will think my daughter is a bad influence and not want...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The downside of getting high during pregnancy

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are in our early 30s and want to start a family. To be perfectly honest, we've been regular weed and tobacco smokers for years. To get ready for pregnancy, though, we both quit cigarettes cold turkey. Beyond that, we disagree. I think we should also give up marijuana. My wife has reluctantly agreed to stop smoking, ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Teens and the summer job; a perfect match

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I want to get a job this summer but my parents are refusing to give me permission. They say I'm too young, but I disagree. I'm turning 15 a week before school ends and some of my friends have had summer jobs for a few years. I'm jealous that they have their own money to spend and don't have to ask their parents for it, which I hate...Read more

Ex-etiquette: It's time for a change

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My kids' father and I do a pretty good job of co-parenting, but he does one thing that really bugs me -- he NEVER returns the kids' clothes. I ask him for them and he tells me I'm nuts. His house is a black hole. I've gotten to the point that I make them change before they go to his home. What's good ex-etiquette?

A: Certainly, not asking ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: I'm afraid that my baby will think I'm boring

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm a stay-at-home father and I'm committed to being very involved in my son's life. He just turned one and we usually have a great time together, but I'm starting to get worried that he's going to think I'm boring. What do I do to keep him entertained?

A: This is definitely on the list of top 10 questions I get from new dads. I ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Dealing with a manipulative teenager

Parents / Family Living /

My husband and I have a "yours, mine, and ours" conglomeration we call our family. Six months ago my husband's oldest daughter, age 17, decided to come live with us. It has been hard on our marriage, our other children, his relationship with his ex, my relationship with his ex, everyone is up in arms. He will not set boundaries for either of his...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: 3, 2, 1 … will you get out of here, already?

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: Our 28-year-old daughter lost her job a while back, and after burning through her savings, moved back in with me and my husband. That was nearly nine months ago. In the beginning, I enjoyed having her around, but at this point, she's definitely overstayed her welcome. Not only is she giving no indication that she'll be moving out, ...Read more


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