Home & Leisure

Creating Good Readers and Brushing a Toddler's Teeth

Parents / The Family Coach /

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

Letting Kids Handle Their Money and a Tattler

Parents / The Family Coach /

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

An Uncooperative Bar Mitzvah Boy and a Budding Rapper

Parents / The Family Coach /

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

Promiscuous Neighbors and Occasional Formula Feeding

Parents / The Family Coach /

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

Sexy Songs and a Son's Diary

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 8-year-old kid loves Katy Perry songs, which are seemingly all about sex. However, we've been innocently singing along in the car and having a blast. Well, that is until recently, when I heard her singing about a menage a trois in public. My husband and I were mortified. Do I have to put an end to this, and if so, how? -- ...Read more

A Sunday Sleepover and Conflicting Stories

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 14-year-old daughter was invited to a birthday pool party at a local resort. It's being held on a Sunday night. The girls are expected to sleep over and miss school on Monday. I told my daughter she could attend the party but I would be picking her up at 10:30 p.m. Of course, she threw a fit. Am I being unreasonable? -- ...Read more

Fearing ADHD Meds and a Hair Catastrophe

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My daughter has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She showed the signs for several years. However, recently, she has had much more trouble in school, and even with her friends. Her doctor recommended she try medication to help control some of her behavior, but we are really against it. There are ...Read more

Visible Tattoos and a Sugary Breakfast Habit

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My son will be 18 in a few months. He has been accepted into college and will be moving to a big city in the fall. He says that once at college, he's going to get a tattoo on his hand or wrist. I don't mind a tattoo, but I'm concerned about him losing job possibilities because of his tattoo being too visible. But he will be 18...Read more

Lonely Mom and Dealing With Miscarriage

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: I have two kids. When my oldest was born, I had lots of friends to meet for play dates. Those friends provided me with a lot of social and emotional support. I never realized how much until I had my second son. My youngest has a severe form of autism. He is difficult to be around, and thus, I have pretty much lost all of my ...Read more

Snooping Mistakes and a Pesky Pacifier

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 16-year-old daughter tells us nothing about her life. So when she goes to bed, I sometimes browse through her cellphone. At first I just noticed typical teenage girl gossip. But then I read about a boy she likes and is trying to attract by wearing tight clothing and sending him racy Snapchats. How can I address this with ...Read more

Potty-Training Resistance and a Nickname

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My nearly 4-year-old daughter is not potty trained. At preschool she is prompted to use to toilet every hour or so, and she successfully tinkles. But at home she refuses to tell us when she needs to go and has a tantrum when we suggest she sit on the potty. She has never pooped on the potty at school or at home. She just goes ...Read more

A Falling Hero and Perfect Profanity

Parents / The Family Coach /

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

A Broken Promise and Nighttime Cellphone Rules

Parents / The Family Coach /

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

Extreme Stranger Danger and Crazy Neighbors

Parents / The Family Coach /

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


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