Q: My husband and I have heard you speak and have read your book, "How to Parent So Children Will Learn." We are hoping you could help us with our oldest son. He is a fifth-grader with a late July birthday and takes sixth-grade math and science classes at our local middle school. He is considered twice-exceptional (2e) with a very high visual ...Read more
Q: My fiance and I are getting married this spring and we've run into a conflict concerning finances. Should we have joint or separate checking accounts after we're married? What are your thoughts?
Jim: Opinions on this question vary, but as I see it, a "yours and mine" mentality is not conducive to a healthy, happy marriage. A husband and wife...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My son's best friend is really into toy guns. I despise them. Recently, for my son's birthday, the friend's mother bought my son a gun so the boys can play together. I don't want to allow my son to play with it but I also don't want to give it away so another child perpetuates gunplay. I'm also worried about hurt feelings. ...Read more
These innovative, creative new books will inspire kids to use their imaginations, have fun and learn new things.
"The Forest Feast for Kids" by Erin Gleeson; Abrams Publishing; 112 pages; $19.95.
More and more children these days are opting to be vegetarians. Parents worry, though, about whether all their nutritional needs can be met without...Read more
Question: We would like to limit our 16-year-old son’s video game and cell phone time. We think homework should come first and then free time. He wants to relax with his video game and phone after school which frequently results in homework not being done before he must attend a two-hour team practice at 7:00 pm. That means he’s not ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My son is an amazing soccer player. He has been playing for years and is one of the best on the team. But he desperately wants to quit. How do I persuade my kid to play a sport at which he excels even though he says he hates it? --Sporty Mom
Dear Sporty: You don't. Just because someone excels doesn't mean they need to ...Read more
Q: I am a 78-year-old mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I recently learned that I will be a great-grandmother again, through my 21-year-old granddaughter is not married, has only a part-time job, no career direction or ambition, and still lives dependent upon her parents. I cannot say that much is better about her boyfriend. This baby...Read more
My daughter's father recently passed away after a courageous fight with cancer and I would like to deviate from my normal format and dedicate this week's column to him.
Although I've had years of education and work with divorced parents every day, most of the advice I give and what I have found really works comes from living it -- and working ...Read more
Murray the Moose Finds His MotherKelly Tovsen
The author uses Alaskan animals to relate to some of the trials children sometimes experience while growing up. In each story, the animal uses their own natural abilities to triumph over a particular fear or problem. Find out how Murray overcomes his fear of being separated ...
Dear Mr. Dad: This may seem like a very basic question, but what can I do to help my overweight 13-year-old twin daughters lose weight? It's not that they eat a lot of junk food -- they actually eat pretty well. The problem is that they consume huge portions and then have seconds and thirds. I've talked to them about how many calories and how ...Read more
Q: My niece and her ex-husband share joint custody of their very intelligent and very stubborn 4-year-old daughter. While my niece very tries very hard to set boundaries and consistent discipline for her daughter, her efforts are sabotaged by the ex-husband who always gives in to the little girl and does not discipline her. I think he is just ...Read more
Q: My husband and I have been married nearly 20 years, and frankly, the relationship has become somewhat stale and even boring. It seems like we're basically just going through the motions. We don't want a long checklist, but do you have one suggestion for something we can do to help?
Jim: I once asked author Ted Cunningham, "What's the best ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My baby is 7-months old and already a very picky eater. Scratch that -- she is only picky when I am feeding her. She eats cereal and baby food for my mother who babysits, but she only eats a bite or two with me. I am so frustrated and already dreading mealtimes. How can I get her to eat ... with me? -- Tried Everything
Help young readers understand the past with these tales of strength and perseverance. From the 40th anniversary release of a classic to the story of Selma to a fun book of poetry, these books pay homage to American heroes.
"Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" by Mildred D. Taylor; Dial/Penguin; 276 pages; $18.99.
40 years ago, Mildred D. Taylor ...Read more
Question: Our 3-year-old son is very sweet, loving, and generally well-behaved. Occasionally, however, he breaks into a huge tantrum during which he becomes uncontrollable. The word "possessed" comes to mind. He will suddenly snap from being sweet to being a demon and then back to being sweet and loving again. These tantrums don't occur ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I have one 6-year-old daughter, but she behaves as if she's split into two. At school, she is a perfect angel. The teacher loves her and often praises her kindness and good behavior. It is great to hear, but it almost comes as a shock. At home she fights me tooth and nail about everything and can be extremely challenging. ...Read more
Q. My 4 1/2-year-old son refuses to speak to other adults when his father or I are present. He talks to his teachers while at preschool, his friends and parents of his friends. He's very intelligent and knows all his letter sounds and how to read simple words. He did all these spontaneously. He recently had a kindergarten screening and refused ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My kids (7, 10, and 12) are excited to sign up for sports in a few weeks, but with all the talk about concussions, I'm more than a little concerned. Plus, I just saw the Will Smith movie, "Concussion," which scared me even more. Short of not allowing them to play at all, is there anything I can do to lower the risk that my kids ...Read more
Q: My ex and I live in a small town and we used to ride motorcycles on the weekends with a group of his friends and their wives. I love to ride and have my own bike. These people are now my best friends and now that my ex and I have broken up I have no one to ride with. It's really gotten me down. Recently a couple of the guys invited me to go ...Read more
Q: What can you do when your daughter competes against you instead of seeing you as the role model? She often accuses me of being "perfect."
A: I don't know for sure what is causing the competition between you and your daughter, so I'm only making guesses based on experiences with other families. There could be one of two likely dynamics taking...Read more
Q: My wife and I fight about money all the time. We both hate the conflict, but we feel stuck in this pattern -- especially since there never seems to be enough cash in the bank. What do you suggest?
Jim: Conflict over finances can be hard on a marriage. In fact, research shows couples who argue about money are twice as likely to divorce as ...Read more