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A Teacher Crush and Lousy Gift Givers

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My son is 12, and he clearly has a crush on his math teacher. I've noticed little notes he's written about her. I'm worried he will say something embarrassing or cross the line in some way. How should I approach this situation? -- Mom o' Loverboy

Dear Mom: I'm pretty sure this was a plotline for an episode of "The Brady ...Read more

Coach Dad and Fixing Family Dinner

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: I've been coaching my 10-year-old son's baseball team for a few years. I enjoy spending the time together, but it seems like I have a more difficult time coaching my own son. Do you have any tips for how I can be more effective with my own kid? -- Coach

Dear Coach: There is something heartwarming and nostalgic about a ...Read more

A Solo Concert and a Bully Intervention

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My daughter is turning 13 in a few weeks. Instead of a party, she wants to attend a Green Day concert without me. She'd like to invite two other girls to join her. I don't feel she is old enough to go on her own with friends. What do you think? -- Worrier

Dear Worrier: There are so many factors to consider when making this ...Read more

A Large Bank Account and a Fallen Hero

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 18-year-old son was in a terrible car accident a few years ago, and he received a large cash settlement. Since I am listed on his bank account, I can see how he is spending his money. I'm sick to learn that he is blowing it away on parties, pizza and T-shirts. I know it's his money, but is there anything I can do to ...Read more

Choosing a College and a Religious Divide

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: The time has come for my son to choose a college. He has it in his head that he wants to attend a small rural liberal arts college with limited offerings. My husband and I think this school would be a terrible fit for him. Should we allow him to make his own decision even if we think it's a bad one? -- Grad's Mom and Dad

...Read more

A Teen's Mustache and a Potty Obsession

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 13-year-old son has a mustache, and I cannot stand it. It's more fuzzy than bushy, and it makes him look much older than he is. I've been begging him to shave it, but he refuses. Even some kids at school are harassing him and calling him Mustachio. How can I get him to shave it for his own good? -- Mustachio's Mom

Dear ...Read more

Underage Drinking at Home and Teen Depression

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: I know my 17-year-old sometimes drinks beer when he goes out on the weekends. He is usually with a few friends in a less-than-ideal locale. I worry he will get in trouble with the police or in a drunk driving accident. I've been thinking of allowing him to drink with a few friends at our house instead. What do you think of ...Read more

Forbidding '13 Reasons Why' and Puberty

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 14-year-old daughter wants to watch this new series on Netflix called "13 Reasons Why." I've heard the show depicts a lot of difficult themes like suicide and drugs. I don't want her to see it. But all of her friends are watching it, and I'm getting a lot of pressure. Is it OK to insist she stay away from the show? -- ...Read more

A Family Secret and Underage Smoking

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My husband and I confided something private to our 10-year-old son. We told him this was a family matter and not to tell anyone. We've come to find out that he immediately told his entire class and teacher. We are horrified and feel totally violated. What punishment can I enforce to teach him a lesson? -- Secret Keeper

Dear...Read more

Late for Carpool and Concerns With Body Size

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: Every morning, my son makes his carpool wait while he gets his stuff together or finishes his breakfast. And every morning, I have to run around the house gathering his books and supplies to get him out the door. Sometimes they can't wait for him, so I have to drive him to school and then I'm late for work. What can I do to ...Read more

Homework Slackers and a Fake Identification Card

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: Neither of my kids (13- and 15-year-old boys) do any homework without prodding, and then they don't even bother to turn it in. It's like they have no ownership of their schoolwork. Please help me help them before they flunk out. -- Concerned Dad

Dear Concerned: I'll give you my recommendation, but I can tell you right now ...Read more

Brother Calls Sister Fat and Awful Piano Lessons

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 15-year-old son repeatedly calls his little sister "Fat A--." These words are demeaning and taking a toll on my shy and big-for-her-age 9-year-old daughter. We have made him apologize, taken privileges away, had him do push-ups and given him lots of other punishments. Do you have any suggestions to nip this in the bud? -- ...Read more

A School Trip Away from Home and College Tours

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My daughter is 13. At the end of the academic calendar, her school is going on a four-day class trip to Washington, D.C. She's a homebody and does not want to go. But I think it's important for her confidence, sense of self-worth, etc. I know I can't physically force her to go ... but can I make her go? -- Well-Traveled

...Read more

Curious About Death and Dog Naming

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: Lately, my 8-year-old son has been begging me to take him to a cemetery. He seems very curious about death, and I'm both uncomfortable and confused. We never talk about death or watch movies about death, yet it's on his mind. I can't imagine ushering him through a cemetery. What should I do? -- R.I.Parent

Dear R.I.P.: ...Read more

Mom's Excessive Worry and a Poor Sport

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: This is probably going to sound weird. My children are 5 and 7. They're happy, healthy and well-adjusted, but I'm always afraid they're about to die. I check their breathing several times per night. Sometimes I even call the school office to make sure they're OK. I hate being this way, but I can't help it. What is there to ...Read more

Long Drives with Technology and Senior Trips

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: When we go on vacation, the trips often include long drives. My wife thinks it's perfectly fine for the kids to use their electronic devices for a big chunk of the journey. She says it's their downtime. I strongly disagree. Why do they need to be staring at screens for so long? What do you think? -- Car-Sick Dad

Dear Dad: ...Read more

Getting a Job and Online Gaming Dangers

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My daughter is 16 and wants a job to save money for college. The other day, she interviewed at a local store. She will likely get the job. Unfortunately, I have a longstanding boycott of this establishment due to some of its policies. Should I stop her from working there or get out of her way? -- Activist Mom

Dear Mom: Step...Read more

When Your Child Is Sexted

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: A boy in my 14-year-old daughter's class sexted her a picture of his privates. He asked her a few times whether she wanted to see the picture, and she declined. But he wore her down, and eventually, she said it was OK to send the picture. How should we handle this? -- Freaked Out Parents

Dear Freaked: Unfortunately, young ...Read more

Forgetting Homework and Bottle Games

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: I just found out that my 10-year-old daughter has been forgetting to complete or submit school assignments. She does well on assignments when she does them. But she often gets sidetracked in her imagination or just forgets to turn in completed work. How can I help her get organized and stay focused before missing assignments...Read more

Lying About the Tooth Fairy and Family Time

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: I don't believe in lying to my children about anything. We take an active role in showing our kids that Cinderella is a fictional character, as is Mickey Mouse. This year, my oldest lost his first tooth. Unbeknownst to us, he was excited for the tooth fairy to come. The next morning, he cried heartily when nothing was under ...Read more


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