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Ask Mr. Dad: Stepfather clearly is overstepping his bounds

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My former wife got remarried and had a baby not long after we got divorced. I was happy for her and tried to be as supportive as possible, but her husband isn't making that easy, and the two of them are cutting into my time with my daughter and seem to be trying to cut me out of her life altogether. To start with, he's been having ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Sorry, you weren't invited to this party

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex is having a small holiday get-together a couple of weeks before Christmas and all our kids and their significant others are going. Although we usually both go to all the family festivities, I haven't been invited to this one. Our youngest daughter says it was just an oversight and I should go, but I'm not so sure. I don't think my ex'...Read more

If You Introduce Kids To Santa, Then Tell Them About St. Nick

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: We're celebrating the first Christmas with our newborn twins. As they grow older, do you think we should let them believe in Santa Claus?

Jim: Our organization doesn't endorse any specific viewpoint regarding Santa, Christmas trees and other Western traditions. Some families enjoy these aspects of the Christmas season; others consider them ...Read more

Growing Pains and a Minihoarder

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 11-year-old son is really starting to be combative in our relationship. I know he's getting older and exploring his independent side, but the change feels abrupt. Part of me wants to straighten out this behavior, and the other part of me says let him be. What's the best way to deal his changing attitude? -- Confused

Dear...Read more

Lighthearted, Refreshing Holiday Books

Parents / Kids' Home Library /

Tis the season to lighten up and smile. These new wintry holiday season picture books are full of whimsy, humor and cool artwork.

"Walking in a Winter Wonderland" as sung by Peggy Lee; illustrated by Tim Hopgood; Henry Holt; 32 pages; $17.99.

Artist Tim Hopgood loves creating wonder-filled picture books, including his happy "What a Wonderful...Read more

Take John Rosemond's Postmodern Psychological Parenting Quiz

Parents / John Rosemond /

Some of the sources that inform today’s parenting do not come to immediately to mind when one thinks of raising children. Take Karl Marx (1818 – 1883), for example. Along with his buddy Friedrich Engels, Marx articulated the fundamental principles of communism. He proposed that capitalism was an economic and social system that exploited and ...Read more

PTA Meetings and Cellphone Snooping

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: I'm a work-from-home mommy without a nanny. I have endless respect for the stay-at-home parents who practically run my 9-year-old's school. However, sometimes I feel they don't respect me or my time. I volunteer to be the chair for the PTA's fall fundraiser because it means the world to my child. The stay-at-home PTA moms ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: A picture is worth a thousand words

Parents / Family Living /

Q: My ex-husband's new girlfriend has told our daughters that she is going to have a portrait taken of her with the girls as a Christmas present for their dad. They have only been seeing each other for three months! I felt myself fuming as my daughter announced that she was going shopping this week for matching outfits for the picture. I did not...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The fertility game

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are having trouble conceiving. After putting us through months of testing, the fertility doctor we're seeing says that the problem is on my end. I'm devastated. I just assumed that women were the ones who had fertility problems, and I feel like a complete failure, as if I'm not a man anymore. What can I do? Are there ...Read more

Financial Advice For Newly Single Adults

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: What are some of the most important financial concerns for a newly single adult with kids?

Jim: There are three vital questions you need to ask yourself: 1) What do I need to do and when? 2) How can I meet my needs and my children's needs? 3) Most importantly, whom can I trust as an adviser?

Insecurity over their budgetary situation often ...Read more

A Coed Sleepover Ends in a Drunken Mess

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 15-year-old daughter attended a coed sleepover party last weekend at the home of one of her good friends. Before the party, I spoke with the parents of the host to discuss supervision. They assured me they would both be at the party. On the night of the party I was called in the middle of the night to pick up my daughter....Read more

Feuding Siblings and a Surprise Pack of Cigarettes

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 6-year-old daughter is a sensitive little soul. My 8-year-old son is more unemotional. He can be rude and impatient with my daughter. Often, arguments erupt between them, and I tend to come to her defense to protect her. Should I let them sort it out on their own, or is it better to step in every time to help resolve the ...Read more

Snow Starts Soon. Be Prepared With Wintry Tales

Parents / Kids' Home Library /

Winter snow begins soon in many parts of the country. These frosty new picture books will excite young readers with stories involving cooler temperatures, especially considering the proximity of the December holidays.

"Guess How Much I Love You in the Winter" by Sam McBratney; illustrated by Anita Jeram; Candlewick Press; 12 pages; $18.99.

...Read more

Holiday movie preview: What to see over Thanksgiving weekend and beyond

Parents / Parenting News /

The mix of movies opening between the Thanksgiving holidays and the end of the year is as varied and diverse as can be, from heartfelt, hard-hitting human drama to screwball comedy to factory-honed sequels, sci-fi thrillers and big-budget animated romps.

The positioning for Oscar nominations, for Golden Globes slots, for critics group's kudos ...Read more

Watch out for these dangerous toys, consumer advocates say

Parents / Parenting News /

CHICAGO -- A battery problem similar to the one that plagued hoverboards and ignited countless fires could affect other children's toys that make their way under the Christmas tree this year.

"This is a newer trend in toy safety problems, with batteries and chargers that overheat," said Abe Scarr, director of the Illinois Public Interest ...Read more

A 'Hell's Kitchen' Thanksgiving? TV teaches us why we should be grateful

Parents / Parenting News /

So, Thanksgiving is here, but for some of us, it's not always easy to get into the spirit of the holiday. We tend to dwell on the negative and overlook all the things for which we should be grateful.

That's where TV comes in. Spend a few hours gazing at the screen, and you'll start to realize just how good you have it.

Example: Are you all ...Read more

Arguing With Teens, Part II

Parents / John Rosemond /

Question: In last week’s column, you advised parents not to argue with teenagers. That’s fine and dandy advice, John, but you failed to tell your readers how to stay out of or end these arguments. For example, my strong-willed, stubborn, argumentative 14-year-old daughter wants to argue with me about nearly every decision I make, every “No...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: When it comes to education, dads matter; a lot

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter is in 2nd grade at a wonderful school, and we get a lot of email asking for parent volunteers to help out in the classroom or to do cleanups, fundraising, and other stuff to help the school. Almost all of that email is directed at mothers and makes a special point of explaining how important it is for mothers to take an...Read more

Teach Kids To Be Grateful All Throughout The Year

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: I enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, but I want our kids to learn that it's more than just food, football, shopping and days off from school. Do you have any suggestions?

Jim: One of the secrets to a happy life is gratitude -- not just brief moments here and there where we acknowledge the good things in life. I'm talking about living a life of ...Read more

Intolerance in the Stands and Kids Who Won't Recycle

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: While watching my son's baseball game, I heard parents making disparaging comments about the opposing team's players. They joked about the first baseman's weight, and one made a racist joke about another player. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to make my son feel uncomfortable. But my younger son was sitting in ...Read more