With all the political craziness of late, kids can become as confused and as stressed as their parents. These books can help them find comfort and realize that even as children, they have power.
"What Can a Citizen Do?" by Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris; Chronicle Books; 48 pages; $17.99.
Shawn Harris' quirky but warm illustrations show off a ...Read more
An early childhood educator of thirty-eight years standing left a message asking if I had advice for encouraging cooperation from parents. She reports what every veteran teacher (defined as having twenty years or more classroom experience) I have spoken with over the past forty years reports: to wit, that it is the rare parent who does not ...Read more
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
Though simply reading helps prepare children for the return to learning, books that specifically address going back to school can markedly reduce youngsters' fears and concerns. These new picture books aim to do just that.
"Ready or Not, Woolbur Goes to School!" by Leslie Helakoski; illustrated by Lee Harper; HarperCollins; 28 pages; $17.99. ...Read more
“Potty training is a nightmare.” So begins advice from Meghan Leahy, advice columnist for The Washington Post. More accurately, potty training has, of late, BECOME a nightmare, thanks to advice of the sort Ms. Leahy dishes. Her approach? Do nothing. The child will eventually use the potty on his own. That may be true, but what Leahy fails to...Read more
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
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
Books about bravery and standing up for what you believe in are more important now than ever before. These thoughtful books celebrate girls, one in space and another fighting for educational justice; a bevy of kids of all kinds being brave; and a war horse with two Purple Hearts.
"Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala" by Lina Maslo; Balzer + ...Read more
Question: I am stepfather to my wife’s only child, age 8, from her first marriage. My wife always and in every way puts her son before our marriage. We went through counseling several years ago and things got better for a while, but then began slipping back into child-comes-first mode. Believe me, we have a near-perfect marriage ...Read more
PHILADELPHIA -- On her 21st birthday, Rabbah Johnson experienced a first: not a legal cocktail, but a roller coaster ride at Six Flags.
She'd never been on one before and knew she wanted to change that. The incoming junior at Temple University had never had alcohol, either, but that didn't concern her much.
"It's something I never did, and I'm...Read more
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
Before school starts, gifting a special book that screams "WOW!" is a smart way to get children excited to read again. These new coffee table-worthy tomes are too cool.
"Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan; illustrated by John Rocco; Disney Hyperion; 226 pages; $39.99.
"The Lightning Thief," the first book ...Read more
When Baby Boomers get together we often talk about our observations of parenting in these postmodern times, one of which is that today’s parents seem, as a rule, to want to be liked by their children, to want to be their children’s friends. That, we agree, is very odd. What is lacking in the life of an adult that they want to be liked by a ...Read more
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
Here are some of the best new summer reads for middle-grade and teen readers:
"The Turning" by Emily Whitman; HarperCollins; 380 pages; $16.99.
Aran is a selkie who lives on the open sea with his clan. He has never quite fully belonged, though, as he was born without a selkie skin and is stuck in human form. So he can't move powerfully ...Read more
Most of the stuff today's parents worry about - and let's face facts...the worrier in question, the worrier supreme, is almost always the mother (not because of some weakness, but simply because she consumes parenting media that, as a rule, generate lots of worry) - is not worth the emotional energy. Left alone, it will "come out in the wash," ...Read more
Nearly one in five U.S. children is obese, according to the most recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A new study by Pennsylvania State University that linked overeating to the brain's response to food rewards may help to shed light on the national epidemic that can lead to Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, ...Read more
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
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
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
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