Q: My fiance would like to invite his ex to our wedding. He feels his ex would like to see their children, ages 18 and 20, dressed up, and thinks it's appropriate that she attend, too. My fiance acts like this is standard practice and is upset that I don't want his ex near our wedding. End the argument, please. What's good ex-etiquette?
A: If ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My son's sports idol is a womanizing, arrogant jerk by most accounts. At only 10 years old, my son isn't aware of most of his hero's problems. Despite recent allegations of serial extramarital affairs, my son said he loves him anyway. As a woman, wife and mother, I'm troubled by this. But I don't want to ruin his hero for him....Read more
Animals need lots of appreciation; kids are the future stewards of the environment and its living things, so it's up to them to care. These new books are wondrous and appealing.
"New Shoes" by Sara Varon; First Second/Macmillan; 204 pages; $17.99.
Graphic- or comic-style books are all the rage. This one, from Sendak Fellowship recipient Sara...Read more
NEW YORK -- Earlier this year Jay Charles's twice-a-month paycheck jumped by $65, a result of the new U.S. law that cuts taxes almost $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Then he did the math.
It turns out Charles, a 48-year-old software developer in Blythewood, South Carolina, may not get a tax cut at all. He and his wife don't have children ...Read more
An individual who occupies a fairly high-level position in the mainstream media recently told one of my associates that I’m “old-fashioned.” She meant it as a slight, but I hardly took it that way. I do, in fact, espouse a child-rearing philosophy and approach that prevailed when I was a child. To my media critic, I’m a throwback.
When ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: With all the talk about #MeToo these days, I want to teach my children about the importance of standing up for themselves and what they believe in. When do you think is the right time to start, and how should I do it?
A: Teaching children to stand up for themselves and what they believe in is very important. But although the two ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My daughter couldn't find her glasses, so she offered to give her brother a crazy amount of money if he were to find them. He suggested that she check her backpack. When she did, she found her glasses. Now, my daughter refuses to pay my son the money she promised him. I feel she should have to pay up because, without her ...Read more
Laughter makes everything better. These new picture books tell hilarious, entertaining stories sure to evoke guffaws.
"A Busy Creature's Day Eating!" by Mo Willems; Disney-Hyperion; 28 pages; $17.99.
Best-selling humor author Mo Willems produces some of the most popular children's books on the market. This alphabet book stars a crazed purple...Read more
The Eye of Lariloth (The Breckonwood Chronicles Book 1)DiAnn Mills
🆕 N E W R E L E A S E 🆕
Twelve-year-old Arroah lives in the remote western province of Breckonwood. Her parents claim others seek to harm her because of the golden sword etched ...
Thirty-something years ago in this column, I offered a free (expenses-only) speaking engagement to any community that would abolish all adult-organized-and-run children’s sports programs (excepting those run by high schools) and replace them with programs organized and run by the children themselves.
Each child who signed up to play a certain...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have always had a loud relationship. There's never any physical violence, but we do tend to argue a lot. One recent source of disagreements is whether it's okay to argue in front of our kids, who are 5 and 8. What's your take?
A: Conventional wisdom says that you shouldn't fight in front of your children. Kids may ...Read more
Q: How do I deal with being the last to know EVERYTHING? It's like my fiance is still in a relationship with his ex and then there's me. For example, the kids had a doctor's appointment. They all ended up at our house afterward. Evidently, there were plans to go for ice cream after the doctor's, but everyone forgot to tell me. So, my guy, the ex...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My daughter, who is just 3, seems to have severe stranger danger and social anxiety. She struggles to use public bathrooms and attend fun activities like storytime. She won't participate, shuts down, clings to me and cries. Everyone looks at me like I beat her. Today we couldn't even coax her into looking at the dentist. I'm...Read more
With school shootings, wars, a seeming proliferation of bullying and bad behavior in the news, kids need some concrete examples of other strong, kind young people enacting positive change in the world. These new books will help inspire and energize kids.
"American Heart" by Laura Moriarty; HarperTeen; 402 pages; $17.99.
New York Times best-...Read more
Question: When our daughter, an only child, turned thirteen and entered the 8th grade, it was like a switch was flipped. Almost overnight, she went from being a sweet, respectful and obedient child who had never given us any serious problems to being petulant, sassy, and often belligerent. She wants nothing to do with us anymore and ...Read more
Question: You seem to be opposed to putting children into any sort of psychological therapy. That’s curious, especially given that you’re a child psychologist. What is your explanation for this and are there any situations in which you would be in favor of therapy for a child?
Answer: As I said in a recent column, I was...Read more
A true story: When my daughter, Amy, was a pre-teen, she became anxious about going to sleep because of fears of dying in the middle of the night. When I tucked her in (I was her preferred tucker-inner), she would tell me, usually tearfully, that she didn’t want to go to sleep for fear of never waking up.
As a good daddy is supposed to do, I ...Read more
We’re a month, more or less, into the new year and America has already suffered two school shootings. As usual, the usual voices are calling for increased restrictions on the buying and selling of guns. But guns are not the problem, a contention I can prove.
In 1963, at age 15, I packed my bags and went to live with my father in Valdosta, GA,...Read more
Four sentences into her Wall Street Journal article on recent research into spanking (“Spanking for Misbehavior? It Causes More!” December 17, 2017), the author, Susan Pinker, makes two grievous errors: first, she says that children under 7 cannot master their emotions; second, she says a fair amount of misbehavior on the part of a young ...Read more
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