Parenting

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Encouraging Healthy Habits at Home

How can I help my family develop a healthier lifestyle? We have young children, and I'd like to do everything I can during these early years to encourage everyone in the house - mom, dad, and kids - to develop habits that will give us many long, healthy, happy days together. Can you provide me with any helpful tips?

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Discerning Video Game Addiction in Kids

How can I tell whether or not my child is actually addicted to video and computer games? He spends a lot of time gaming, but it's hard to know whether it's really that serious of a problem. Should I be concerned?

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Media Guidelines in the Home

How can our family establish some workable media standards? I understand the need for thoughtful discernment in this area as opposed to mindless rules, but sometimes I feel the need for more solid guidelines in order to gauge the merits of movies and music and to weigh specific decisions about appropriate family entertainment. Can you suggest anything?

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Adoption and Sensory Processing Disorder

Can you help us understand why our five-year-old son, who was adopted out of a background of trauma and abuse, sometimes goes "out of control" for no apparent reason? Though we've done everything in our power to make him feel loved and secure, he has developed a number of serious behavioral problems. We've begun treating him for ADHD, but so far it doesn't seem to have helped. Can you suggest anything?

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Adoption: Identifying the Signs of Sensory Processing Disorder

How can I know if my child has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)? I'm an adoptive parent of a high-risk child. After studying some material gathered from your Web site and a number of other sources, I'm beginning to think that certain aspects of her behavior might be explained by this condition. In particular, it seems probable that some of her otherwise unexplainable outbursts and meltdowns might be triggered by sensory overload. How can I know for sure?

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Parents Can't Control Teen's Use of Marijuana

As parents, how should we respond to a teenager who argues that the recreational use of pot is socially acceptable, that the authorities aren't concerned about it anymore, and that it's on the verge of being legalized. We know he's been using marijuana, but when we confronted him about it he flatly refused to stop. We're not sure what to do next. Can you help?

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Dealing With a Teen who Struggles with Drug Addiction

Where can we turn for help with the challenge of confronting our adolescent son's problem with substance abuse? It might even be fair to say his abuse has escalated into a full-blown addiction. We're devastated and don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

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Parenting a Teen Who Struggles with Alcoholism

Where can we turn for advice and assistance in dealing with our adolescent son's drinking problem? Recently things have escalated to the point where I think it would fair to call him a full-blown alcoholic. His behavior is impacting everyone in the family and tearing our household apart. Can you help?

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When Your Grown Child Moves Back Home

How can we make our grown child's move back home a smooth and easy transition? Just as we were looking forward to the freedom of an "empty nest," our daughter decided that she needs to come back and "get her life together" before "moving on to the next step." The problem is that we don't know exactly what this means, and as a result we have no idea how long she's planning to stay. Do you have any advice for us?

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How to Avoid Spoiling Your Child

How can my husband and I make sure that we don't overindulge our cute little girl? She has a wonderful sweet personality and everyone in the family has been doting on her since she was born. But now that she's four years old, I'm wondering if she'll ever grow out of this "cute baby" phase. She loves being the center of attention and will "perform" on cue if given the opportunity. Is this normal, healthy behavior? Should we be concerned? What, if anything, should we be doing differently?

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Helping Children Understand God

How can I teach my kids anything about God when I don't fully understand who He is? This is something that most Christians seem to take for granted, but I have to confess that it's always been hard for me to grasp. Given my own difficulties in this area, how can I possibly be of any help to my children?

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Problems with Family Devotions

Do you have any suggestions for more effective ways to worship and study the Bible together as a family? We've tried hard to have regular devotions at our house, but it's been difficult and discouraging because our children seem so bored and uninvolved. Can you help us?

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Dad Wants Relationship with Children He Abandoned

How can I reconnect with my children after divorcing their mother and abandoning them? I regret to say that I walked out on my wife and family several years ago. Since then, I've found the Lord and realized my mistake. Now I'd like to get back in touch with my kids, but they don't want anything to do with me. What should I do?

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Pregnant Woman Is Afraid of Having Another Miscarriage

Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of carrying a baby to term after losing my first pregnancy? My doctor told me that about one in four pregnancies ends this way. But he didn't run any tests to find out what went wrong, and I can't bear the thought of having another miscarriage. Can you help me?

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Parent Suspects That Child Might Be Gay

If I have reasons to believe that my teenager might be homosexual, how should I approach him about it? He's made references to the subject on several occasions, so I'm beginning to have concerns. Should I just come straight out and ask him? What do you recommend?

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Relating to an Imprisoned Adult Child

How do we relate to an adult child in prison? It's painful to admit this, but through a series of unfortunate circumstances and poor choices, our grown son has been incarcerated. I can't even begin to describe how horrible we feel. How can we reach out and support him without enabling or appearing to condone what he's done?

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Understanding Teen Sexting

As a parent of a teenager, is "sexting" something that I need to be concerned about? I've heard a few stories about this on the news, but I've never felt that my daughter would be susceptible to temptations of this kind. We haven't talked about it because I'm really not up to speed on the technology, nor do I know exactly what's involved. Besides, she's a really good kid. Do you think I should bring up the subject with her?

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Teen Daughter Obsessed with Texting

Am I right to be concerned about my sixteen-year-old daughter's obsession with texting? In the past two weeks she has sent or received over 3,000 text messages. So far it hasn't affected her school grades, but I worry that this much texting is excessive and unhealthy. What should we do?

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Parent of Teen Involved in Sexting

What's the best way to stop a teenager from using her cell phone to send and receive sexually explicit messages and photos? We recently discovered that our daughter has become involved in "sexting". When confronted about this, she claimed that this kind of activity is harmless since it doesn't involve any physical sexual contact. How would you respond to this argument?

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Dealing with the Fallout of Teen Sexting

Is there anything my husband and I can do to undo or minimize the devastation our teenage daughter has experienced because of her involvement with "sexting"? Her life-and our entire family's-was turned upside-down when nude images of her were electronically circulated around her school. As you can imagine, the resulting emotional trauma has been overwhelming. On top of that, she's facing the possibility of criminal charges. Is there any help out there for us?

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How to Prevent Teens from Sexting

What are some things I can do to discourage my teen from engaging in "sexting"? I've become increasingly worried as I've read about the rise in this kind of activity among kids. I'm also aware that the consequences can be extremely serious. At the same time, I'm not sure that there's anything I can do to prevent it. What do you think?

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Teen Attitudes Toward Intercourse and Oral Sex

Is oral sex really sex? We stumbled upon an entry in our daughter's journal and discovered that she's been involved in oral sex. That was disconcerting enough, but when we confronted her she argued that oral sex isn't really sex at all, and that it's "safer" than vaginal intercourse. She even claims that she's still a virgin! What's your response?

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Contraception and Sexually Active Teens

Should I get my adolescent daughter started on birth control now that I know she's been having sex with her boyfriend? Needless to say, I'm extremely upset about this. They're both Christian believers, and they understand that pre-marital sex is wrong - they're just unable to control themselves. I don't want to appear to be condoning her actions, but I don't want an unplanned pregnancy either. How should I handle this?

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Dealing with a Sexually Active Adolescent

How should we handle the discovery that our teenager has been sexually active for the past several months? We're not happy about it, but we want to deal with the problem without alienating our child. What should we do?

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