Though middle schoolers are often distracted by friends, electronics, sports and extracurricular activities, reading is truly important. These new books are exciting enough to hold interests.
"The Wonderling" by Mira Bartok; Candlewick Press; 450 pages; $21.99.
The back of this fantastical tale reads, in mysterious, vintage lettering, "Have ...Read more
In my latest book, Grandma Was Right After All!, I take the top 25 parenting sayings of my youth and explain what they really meant. I do so because they’ve been distorted and demonized by the mental health community as psychologically harmful, which is balderdash given that child mental health is ten times worse today than it was in the 1950s...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My fun, bright, accomplished fifth-grader is stressed. She is teary at the drop of a hat, expresses feeling left out and articulates that she's overwhelmed by school. She says the trouble is keeping track of the multitude of notebooks and folders. She worries about upcoming work for the week and having so many things to ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Kerri De Nies received the news this spring from her son's pediatrician: Her chubby-cheeked toddler had a rare brain disorder.
She'd never heard of the disease -- adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD -- and she soon felt devastated and overwhelmed.
"I probably read everything you could possibly read online -- every single website," De ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My husband fancies himself something of a nutrition expert and has been insisting that everyone in our family -- that's him, our two sons, a daughter, and I -- drink three glasses of milk every day. He says we need the calcium and protein. But I've been reading lately that milk might not be quite as important as all that. Who's ...Read more
Q: I have this new girlfriend who I find very sexy. We are very attracted to each other. When is it okay for her to sleep over when the kids are at my house?
A: I'm not sure why this question is asked so often because it seems like a no-brainer to me. All you have to do is ask yourself what you want to portray to your kids. (Ex-etiquette for ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My three kids and my husband all whine and complain at mealtime. Everyone likes something different, and some are so picky they eat only a few foods. I feel as if I'm going to battle every meal. I offer this and then that and then something else. Everyone eats eventually, but it's miserable. Help me quickly! -- Lost
Dear ...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 warhorse with two Purple Hearts and a bevy of kids of all kinds being brave.
"Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala" by Lina Maslo; Balzer + ...Read more
Big BrotherFabian Robinson
Billsveiw Texas is a town in North Texas that has sports pride and there's nothing like Texas football. But beyond the glamour of the suburbs of billsveiw is the the so called inner city where crime and poverty are ignored but policed. In South billsveiw david Willis will do all he can to ...
Dear Family Coach: Although we know that our 8-year-old daughter loves her 10-year-old brother very much, her first reaction when he teases or otherwise annoys her is to yell and hit him. It's an immediate overreaction. She does warn him (by yelling), but if he doesn't stop (which he doesn't), she hits. How should we approach this? Both kids ...Read more
Question: Over the past year, our 4-year-old has developed several fears that have become quite disruptive. It started with a fear of dogs, which is inconvenient given that there are lots of dogs in our neighborhood. Since then she’s become afraid of noises at night, wind (she thinks a hurricane is coming), and dying in her sleep. ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: Back when I was in high school, all I wanted was to be independent. I wanted more responsibility, a job so I could have my own spending money, and I was obsessed with getting a girlfriend. Despite my parents' warnings, I experimented with drinking alcohol and, well, a few other things. I'm asking because my two teens have zero ...Read more
Q: I have been divorced for five years. It was an amicable divorce. We both have been in long-term relationships. Our kids are grown and have their own families. My ex is still a HUGE part of my family. Goes to events, holidays if I'm not there and my family spends time with him all the time. Call me selfish but, when does this end? While I'm ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My family is Jewish but not religious. Most of us are atheist or agnostic. We still celebrate all of the holidays because we consider ourselves culturally Jewish. We used to live in a Jewish area, so the schools were closed for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Now we live in an area with very few Jews, so the kids have school on...Read more
All kids love Halloween season. These new books will give them spooks and shivers, and most definitely happy thrills.
"Creepy Pair of Underwear" by Aaron Reynolds; pictures by Peter Brown; Simon & Schuster; 42 pages; $17.99.
At first I thought the title of this black and white and glowing green book was a bit odd, but upon perusing it fully,...Read more
I am a member of the last generation of American children who were no big deal. No one made a big deal over me, ever. Not my mother, my father, or anyone else. For my parents, raising me properly was a big deal, but I was not. It may come as a shock and surprise to some readers, but the process and the person are two different things.
Dear Family Coach: My sister-in-law keeps her 1-year-old daughter on the strictest schedule. She has to put her down for a nap and down to bed at exactly the right time. She freaks out if a family gathering runs a bit late. It's so frustrating, and it ends up stressing us all out. How can we encourage her to lighten up? -- Annoyed
Dear ...Read more
AUSTIN, Texas -- Jeff Mateer, President Donald Trump's nominee for federal judge and a top official in the Texas attorney general's office, has come under fire after CNN reported Wednesday that he called transgender children evidence of Satan's plan and argued that gay marriage would lead to bestiality and multiple-partner weddings.
The quotes ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My baby is 4 months old and my wife has been breastfeeding her since day one. She thinks it's about time for the baby to start eating real food. What are the best foods to feed her and how do we start?
A: Hold on. Four months is too soon to wean your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants have nothing but...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My teen son is a slob, and it drives me insane. The other day I decided to help him clean up. It took us four hours, but everything had a place and the room was spotless. Not a day later, it was back to a disaster area. I was hurt and felt that he was disrespectful to me by not trying to keep his room clean. Am I wrong? -- ...Read more
Monsters have expanded their appeal and come out to scare more often than just Halloween. These new books star monsters that are gentle, frightening and especially funny.
"I Want to Be in a Scary Story" by Sean Taylor; illustrated by Jean Jullien; Candlewick Press; 48 pages; $15.99.
The purple Little Monster agrees to be in a scary story but...Read more