Dear Family Coach: My kids attend religious school every Sunday. Every now and then the school requires parents to join a service. My husband and I feel that we did our time in religious school, and we really don't enjoy attending the services. We find a way to skip them. The kids are beginning to catch on. Are we being bad role models, or is ...Read more
Young ones and shy ones will benefit from a gentle dose of Halloween before the big day. These funny, non-scary books will introduce young kids to a sweet dress-up holiday that will soon be their favorite.
"The Haunted Mansion" with music by Buddy Baker and lyrics by Xavier Atencio; illustrations by James Gilleard; Disney Press; 32 pages; $17...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I'm a diehard Democrat, and my husband is a moderate Republican. We usually manage to keep politics at bay in our home, but this election cycle has been a struggle. Our kids are hearing a lot about the candidates at school and want to talk about the election. However, I am weary of the discussion getting out of hand. How can...Read more
Question: Over the past year or so, our 5-year-old has developed an extreme fear of going to the doctor or dentist. This came on suddenly, without a precipitating incident. The crying begins when we arrive at the appointment. When the doctor or nurse tries to examine him, he goes bonkers—screaming, hitting, kicking. He has to be held ...Read more
Q: My son and his wife of 10 years divorced two years ago. His ex-wife had three sons from a previous relationship, now well into adulthood and going to college. When they were married we considered her sons to be our grandsons. We celebrated Christmas and birthdays together and have always offered them the same presents as our biological ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My 13-year-old son's backpack weighs a ton (actually, 25 pounds, but it feels like a ton), and I'm afraid he's going to hurt himself hauling it around. You've talked about the dangers of overloaded packs before, but as far as I can tell, backpacks don't seem to be getting any smaller. I suggested that he get a wheelie backpack, but...Read more
Q: Our family always seems to be in a reactive mode -- it seems like there's some small but stressful crisis every day. My husband and I are both tired of this pattern, and how it's affecting us and our kids, but we feel stuck. Are there any strategies we can use to help?
Jim: Since it's football season again, and as a former quarterback, I'd ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My son is the king of procrastination. He often manages to complete his work at the very last minute. Other times he doesn't. But every time there is arguing, stress, nagging and at least one total freak out. How can I help my son break this habit? -- Procrastinator's Dad
Dear Dad: Procrastination in and of itself isn't a ...Read more
These new books educate and inspire kids about civil rights and the importance of equality for all. It's vital for children to know about those people in history who helped forge a path for equal rights. Young people today need to understand the message that kindness to all is of utmost importance, and that they are never too young to make a ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: My 12-year-old son received a birthday party invitation recently. He is not very friendly with this child, so he said he doesn't want to attend. The birthday boy isn't particularly popular, and I worry other kids will decline as well. Can I force my son to attend the party? -- Doing The Right Thing
Dear Doing: At 12 a child...Read more
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- On a hot summer day last month, Sydney, 15, and Laney, 8, were enjoying their last two weeks of freedom before school started. The sisters tried to do flips over a high bar at a local playground.
"You've got to pull your hips into the bar, like you've got to kick up like that," explained their mother, Selena.
"I tried to ...Read more
Ten books have been announced as the longlist contenders in young people's literature for the 2016 National Book Awards. This week, the National Book Foundation is announcing longlists in all four categories of its awards -- young people's literature is to be followed by poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Shortlists are to be announced in October, ...Read more
Amanda Johnson, a second-grade teacher in Laramie, Wyoming, has caused quite a stir both among her colleagues and constituents and—because her educational incorrectness was covered by national media—across the USA. Her claim to fifteen minutes of fame: Citing research purporting to show that homework does not improve overall achievement, Ms....Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: I'm in my early 70s now and just retired. I put in long hours and traveled a lot when I was working, so I wasn't around for my son and daughter as much as I wish I could have been. But now that I'm a grandfather, I don't want to miss an opportunity to build strong relationships with my grandkids. The problem is, I don't know how. ...Read more
Q: I divorced 5 years ago, after 26 years of marriage. I took my husband's last name, and we have three children (now grown). I kept my married name after divorce to have the same name as my children and because that was the name I eventually became known professionally. Now I am getting married to a man who has been married 3 times; I will be ...Read more
Q: I vividly remember exactly where I was 15 years ago when I heard about the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. My son was just an infant then; now he's reading about significant events like 9/11, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Yesterday, he asked me how people respond to these tragedies. What's your take?
Jim: The ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: We live in New York, and my in-laws live in Florida. My wife wants our children, ages 13 and 10, to fly by themselves to see Grandma and Grandpa this Christmas. I, however, am terrified. What if something happens, like an emergency landing or an unexpected 15-hour stopover in Milwaukee? Or, heaven forbid, a plane crash? I ...Read more
Fall is magical to kids; jumping in piles of leaves, donning that new cozy jacket, and anticipating Halloween's excitement. These books ease children into the cooler, crisper season.
"Wonderfall" by Michael Hall; HarperCollins; 40 pages; $17.99.
Short poems highlighted by titles with the word "fall" in each one -- Thankfall, Dutifall, ...Read more
Just when I am teetering on the edge of despair concerning the state of child rearing in America, dwelling much, much too obsessively on the damage being done to children and the nation by parents who won't allow their children to take full responsibility for themselves, a little beam of light finds its way through the darkness and rekindles my ...Read more
Dear Family Coach: I recently overheard my 13-year-old daughter and her friends talking, and they were using language I would never permit. It was one curse after another, after another. I am disgusted and bothered. We are a spiritual family that does not take the Lord's name in vain. What sort of disciplinary action would be appropriate? -- ...Read more
- Parents often battle to get their children mental health services at school
- US pediatricians pushing back on vaccine 'hesitancy'
- Experts say stepped-up monitoring is crucial as Zika's threat lasts beyond a baby's birth
- Foster kids get their time to shine with professional pictures, pampering
- The 10 books in the running for the 2016 National Book Award for young people's literature