Q. Five years ago, my daughter, a single mom by choice, adopted my grandson from a Russian orphanage when he was 3 years old. Now that he's in school, he is a little behind his other classmates, plus he is one of the younger children in his class. My daughter will soon be starting a new job in another community and feels it's in her son's best...Read more
Q. My 13-year-old son was recently shoved by a boy about his age at a local park because this other boy incorrectly thought my son had taken his basketball. When he confronted my son about taking the ball and my son denied it, this boy then shoved my son's shoulders so hard that my son fell down backward. When my son stood back up and asked ...Read more
Q. I have a 5-year-old son with some behavior problems. He's always been easily frustrated, even though he picks up new skills easily. He reads well and seems naturally athletic. If he feels he can't do something, he'll get angry and put very little effort into it. Some days it takes him a few minutes to do his homework; other days he'll cry ...Read more
Q. I have a strange, even uncomfortable question about my 16-year-old daughter. I've always been a conservative dresser, and I question the choice and style of clothes my daughter wears. I don't know the best way to suggest to her to "tone" down her dress. She's a very attractive girl, and her low-rise jeans and abdomen-exposing shirts really ...Read more
Q. My youngest daughter is 4 years old and a very picky eater. She won't try a food if she doesn't want to, which includes just about every vegetable, no matter how it is prepared. She'd rather go to bed early than eat even a bite of something I've prepared, and once, she went to bed at 6 p.m. and stayed there. If I prepare a meal with several...Read more
Each year at this time, a new group of students heads off to the exciting and challenging experience of pursuing their university education. The first year can be a difficult adjustment. They?re faced with more independence, more challenge and more responsibility than they?ve ever had before. Most students succeed, but many don?t. Based on my ...Read more
Q. I am concerned about the way my 5-year-old neighbor interacts with animals. I have always viewed him as somewhat of an odd child, but I worry when I see him continuously wrapping his arms around his dog's neck and doing the same thing to other dogs in the neighborhood, including my own dog. His parents repeatedly tell him to stop hugging ...Read more
Q. What do I say, as a 67-year-old grandmother, when my 8-year-old grandson tells me his father drinks too much? He also says his father is "no fun" because all he does is drink and watch television. My grandson's father is my son-in-law.
I read your column religiously and value your advice. I haven't any idea at all how to address this and ...Read more
Q. I am a single mother who lives with another single mother, and together we are raising a 7-year-old girl who is struggling and a 5-year-old gifted child. The 7-year-old shows no confidence in her reading, and I wanted to know whether doing activities like spelling in the car with both girls is adversely affecting the struggling child? When ...Read more
Q. My younger brother, who is 35 years old, recently revealed that he's transgendered and is thinking about changing his sex. Besides being blown away and shocked by this information, I'm concerned about when and how I should explain this to my children, ages 2 and 5. I know it isn't time now; however, my brother is starting to wear a little ...Read more
Q. My son just finished first grade, and I could not help but notice during the many year-end activities that a little girl in his class sucks her thumb constantly. I recently asked my son whether this is something she does often, and he replied that she has sucked her thumb since preschool. While this little girl's habit did not seem to ...Read more
Q. I have a 9-year-old grandson who is highly sensitive. He is gifted and very intelligent in school, excels at math and reads at a very high level. The problem is that he is not athletic and is very sensitive. He has tried certain sports, but becomes very emotional if he makes an out or things don't go right. He will start to cry, which ...Read more
Q. I am the mother of four school-age children, and I am writing to you today to seek advice in making mornings at home less stressful. All I seem to do is yell from the time my children get up until I drop them off at school, which overwhelms me with guilt throughout my workday. No matter how much I prepare the evening before, I still always ...Read more
Q. My son and a close friend of his are in 7th grade. My son's friend is kind to me and respectful to his teachers, but talks back to his parents very disrespectfully and even yells and swears at his mother. His parents are not pushovers and have tried diligently to correct their son's behavior, to no avail. They have not yet taken him to ...Read more
Q. I discovered your literature while searching the Internet for insight into my life and current circumstances (as an adjunct to formal therapy), and what was written in your book "Why Bright Kids Get Poor Grades and What You Can Do About It" (Great Potential Press, 2008) resonated strongly with me. Parts of this book felt like a narration of...Read more
The following question was submitted recently by a reader in response to a Sylvia Rimm on Raising Kids column published in February 2015. Dr. Rimm's response follows:
Q. Even though my five children are all in their 40s, I still read your column, as I have four grandchildren. It distressed me to read your advice about an 8th-grade boy you ...Read more
Q. At the age of 4, I was labeled through testing as being gifted. I was then "branded" the genius of the family, which often made me the center of attention. This caused me to place a huge amount of pressure on myself, and my mom also pressured me to be the first in my family to earn a college diploma. This attention did not sit well with my ...Read more
Q. Our son maintains a very busy schedule by his own choice, and we find it difficult to establish a routine. This lack of routine exacerbates the issue of my husband's and my different parenting styles. How do parents "get on the same page" and show a united front even though our priorities are different?
A. I assume your busy son is either ...Read more
Q: What advice would you give to help a middle-school girl make friends and establish relationships with other females in her peer group?
A: Middle-grade social life can, at times, feel absolutely wonderful, but at other times, terrible and lonely. It's a time for best friends, cliques and likely some hurt feelings. Helping girls set ...Read more
Q: What would you do for a child who feels alone at school because he realizes he is smarter than most of the other kids? He is in 3rd grade and comes home and says he does not have any friends because no one likes him. He attends a public school, and applying to private school has not worked out because of his behavioral problems. Also, ...Read more