Competition amongst the membership of the International Association of the Weird and Even Weirder for the Most Bizarre Idea of All Time has finally, after more than five decades of weird-mongering, come to an end – the rest of us can only hope, anyway. The winner is Deanne Carson of Australia who proposes that to advance a “culture of ...Read more
Q: My ex and I split up about four months ago. We were together almost ten years and had two sons together. She had an affair, I found out and moved my kids out the next day. She sees the boys intermittently, but it's difficult since she's living with the guy. Yesterday I found an open letter on Facebook from our family pet. The pet lives with ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: Before we had children, my husband and I talked about being equal partners around the house. But I find myself doing a lot more and 50 percent -- especially since what he does do, he doesn't do right. How can I get him to be more involved?
A: For most couples with kids, one of the biggest stressors is the division of labor in the ...Read more
Q: My husband and I both work full-time. We're having problems making ends meet, so we're looking for better jobs. Meanwhile, we're trying to make a little extra here and there, but it's becoming exhausting. Do you have any suggestions?
Jim: It's a common statement: The money comes in; the money goes out. And for a lot of us, there's not much ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I want my kids to be good readers and read as much as possible. What's the best way to make this happen? -- Literary Dad
Dear Dad: Being a good reader and enjoying reading are two totally different things. It is possible to be a proficient reader who understands nuances, subtext and complex vocabulary but not passionate about...Read more
These new picture books are creative and unique and make fantastic storytime, even on vacation.
"Frankie's Magical Day" by Michelle Romo; Abrams Appleseed; 22 pages; $12.99.
"Frankie's Magical Day" is the perfect sturdy, tote-along, busy-bee book for tots. It introduces a friendly round-faced girl who plays in the garden, shops in the ...Read more
When I was in college and grad school, other students – mostly the “jock” and fraternity crowds – called me all sorts of names because, being the lead singer in a popular campus rock band, I sported long hair and wore flamboyant outfits. This being BPC (before political correctness), the reader can imagine the epithets in question. ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My children often receive holiday cards with money inside in the mail from their grandparents. They usually spend the money on stupid stuff they don't need. One time my son gave a $50 bill to the American Heart Association, which is noble but I also thought a bit excessive. Should we let the kids spend their money on anything ...Read more
Nearly half of children nationwide experience at least one traumatic event before they reach age 17.
That's according to a recently released report examining trauma among children from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, compiled from government data.
That statistic doesn't surprise DeJernet Farder, who ...Read more
On June 11, Grammy-winning pop singer Rob Thomas will be the featured performer at Promises2Kids' annual "Dream On" gala in La Jolla.
But to those associated with Promises2Kids, the real star of the show is Deborah Marengo. The longtime donor and volunteer created the "Dream On" concerts 10 years ago.
Over the years, "Dream On" has become one ...Read more
VILLALBA, Puerto Rico -- Each time the clouds turn dark and a storm rolls in over this lush mountain village, Liz Torres' mind flashes to that terrifying night last summer.
She sees herself huddling in her basement with her parents, the bloodcurdling howl of Hurricane Maria's winds roaring outside. She remembers the storm ripping off the wooden...Read more
Q: I have a question about weddings. My fiance has two daughters, ages 5 and 7. Do they have to come to our wedding? I really want to start fresh, and besides no kids are invited. What's good ex-etiquette?
A: You're kidding, right? If not, please don't marry this man. You are not right for each other. Any woman he marries must understand it's ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: Like a lot of parents, I do my best. But I can't help but think that I could be doing better. How can I tell if I'm doing a good job or not?
A: The fact that you think you're not doing a good job and that you care enough to learn more is a pretty good indication that you are, in fact, a good parent (or at least a good-enough one)....Read more
Alexa, hold your horses.
Amazon Dot Echo Kids Edition started shipping this week, but children's advocates and others are asking parents to hold off on buying the $79 version of the company's market-leading smart home speaker. Like the Echo, the Dot Echo Kids Edition is voice-activated and powered by Alexa, the Amazon virtual assistant at the ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My son is scheduled to have his bar mitzvah next year, and it's a very important event for our family. Unfortunately, he doesn't see it that way. He never practices; he drags his feet to Hebrew school; and he has said repeatedly that he doesn't care about Judaism. What can I do to change his attitude? -- Kosher Pickle
Dear ...Read more
Looking for vibrant, interactive books with all the bells and whistles for preschools? These new innovative pop-up books make amazing gifts; one even plays the "happy birthday" tune.
"Ten Horse Farm" by Robert Sabuda; Candlewick Press; 20 pages; $29.99.
Robert Sabuda is the undisputed king of paper engineering. His newest book displays ...Read more
Question: My 4-year-old daughter, when I do something that upsets her, like reprimand her for something, begins to cry and tell me that I don’t love her anymore. (She’s actually very obedient and well-behaved, so the incidents in question are quite small.) When I’m finally able to calm her down, I reassure her of my love and explain...Read more
Q. My ex and I have a daughter, 14, and we have co-parented well for years. He remarried and now has three more children. Our daughter stays with him during the week for school and with me each weekend, longer in the summer.
He's very laid-back and his wife really runs the show. I often touch base with her because co-parenting with him is like ...Read more
Over the past two weeks, we've been talking about some of the many things teens need from their dad (and/or mom). While this is the conclusion of our series, in reality, there's no end to what our children need from us -- or to how many times you might have to satisfy what looks like the same need. As you know (or soon will), a 13-year-old is a ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My next-door neighbor is a single mom who works long hours. Her 13- and 15-year-old daughters are often alone. They are good kids. But I see random boys coming and going a lot, and I'm worried the girls are making bad choices. I'd like to tell the mom she needs to work less so she doesn't leave them alone as much. How can I ...Read more
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- Minnesota doctors call attention to Puerto Rican children's hidden scars