Parenting

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Maximizing Enjoyment of Family Meals

How can we get the most out of our family dinner times? Our family recently committed to sharing mealtimes together at least three times a week. It was an adjustment in the beginning. There were a lot of rough spots, but I'm pleased to say that we're already seeing some positive results. At this point my major goal is to be intentional about making mealtimes meaningful. In particular, I want to find ways to make the very best use of the time we spend together. Do you have any suggestions for things we should be looking to accomplish as we gather at the table?

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Husband and Father Involved in Same-Sex Extramarital Affair

How do I tell my two school-age children that their daddy has left us for another man? Losing my husband has been devastating, as you can imagine, but I'm also concerned and burdened for my kids. I haven't told them anything yet. It's hard enough to have to explain that their father is gone, and I'm afraid the whole same-sex aspect of the situation will only exacerbate their pain and confusion. How do I help them understand and cope?

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Talking With Teens About Dad's Same-Sex Extramarital Affair

Can you advise me as to how I should talk to my teenage kids about their dad's homosexual affair? I've just been informed that he's divorcing me and leaving the family for another man. That's bad enough, but what especially concerns me is the thought of how this is likely to impact my kids. I'm trying to figure out how to explain that their father won't be living with us anymore, and I'm worried that the whole same-sex aspect of the situation will complicate the discussion beyond my capacity to handle it. What should I tell them?

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Parent Has Discovered That Their Child Is an Incest Victim

What should I do now that I've discovered that someone in the family has been coercing my child to participate in sexual acts? Where do I turn for help? As you can imagine, this shocking revelation has sent me reeling.

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Parent Reading a Teen's Journal

Is it acceptable for parents to read their teenage daughter's journal or diary or to go through things in her room if they have reasons to suspect that she might be involved in some kind of unhealthy or immoral activity? If so, how should we handle the situation if we do find evidence that something disturbing is going on?

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Parent of Two Kids Involved in an Incestuous Relationship

What should I do now that I've discovered that two of my children have been engaging in sexual activities with one another? Needless to say, my spouse and I are shocked beyond words. Where do we go from here?

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Parents Frustrated by Aggressive Toddler

How should I handle a three-year-old toddler who is mean and aggressive with other children? He's fine at home where there aren't any other children around. But when he's at church or with another family that has children his age, his behavior becomes ugly. On occasion his aggression takes a physical form – hitting, kicking, and biting. But most of the time he's just loud, won't play nicely, and is generally disruptive and uncooperative. What should I do?

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Kids and Entertainment: Teaching Discernment

How can I help my kids make wise media choices? I'm extremely frustrated with the growing toxicity of so-called "entertainment," but short of moving to the Amazon jungle or the middle of the Sahara desert, I can't completely shield my children from all of it. It seems the only answer is to equip them to analyze standard media fare in a thoughtful, Christian way. Can you help me do that?

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Mom and Dad Disagree About Child Discipline

How can my wife and I come to an agreement about child discipline? I've tried to teach my son a strong sense of discipline, but my wife often disagrees with my approach and methods. She says I'm "too hard on the boy." As you can imagine, this can sometimes become a sore spot in our marriage. How can I fulfill what I believe to be my obligations as a father while still honoring my wife and respecting her perspective?

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Developing Healthy Self-Esteem in Children

What are some things I can do to help develop a healthy self-image in my children? I don't want them to grow up thinking the world revolves around them, but I do want to instill in them a proper sense of self-respect and of their own value as persons. How should I go about it?

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Limiting Kids' Use of Video Games

How do I know if my son is spending too much time playing online computer games? If I let him, I think he would waste all of his waking hours doing this. I'm concerned about the Internet horror stories I've heard, and I wish I could broaden his interests. Do you have any suggestions?

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Helping Kids Carry Parental Values Into Adulthood

How can I instill a solid Christian character into my child? Most of the parenting materials I've seen have a great deal to say about discipline, mental and emotional health, obedience and order in the home. Unfortunately, there isn't much out there on the subject of character development, especially from a Christian perspective. Do you have any suggestions?

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Correcting Your Child's Bullying Behavior

How can we prevent our seven-year-old son from becoming a bully? I've noticed that he can be very pushy and often tries to dominate other kids. He always wants to be the "winner" — it's as if he has a need to prove himself. When provoked, he retaliates fiercely and has hurt other kids in the past. He's small for his age and is generally very popular at school, but I wonder how long that will last.

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Correcting Your Preschool Child's Bullying Behavior

How can we stop our preschooler from bullying other kids? Our 4-year-old is a bright and loving child, but he's also quite strong willed. His teachers have already talked to us several times about his uncooperative behavior — interrupting, ignoring instructions, etc. But now something more serious has happened. He recently pushed one student to the ground and hit two others. His only explanation was that these boys weren't his friends and weren't doing what he wanted! We don't allow this kind of behavior at home, but how can we make sure that he'll follow our instructions when Mom and Dad are not around?

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Guidelines for Attending Worship With Children

At what age do you recommend that we start introducing our child to the worship service at church? What's the best way to go about it?

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Teen Is Disrespectful but Wants Respect

As parents, how should we deal with a dismissive and smart-alecky adolescent? Our son says that we don't treat him with respect, but from my perspective the shoe is actually on the other foot - his behavior towards us is extremely disrespectful. What can we do to resolve this conflict?

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Developing Christian Character in Children

How can I raise my kids so that they will grow up to be genuinely godly adults? Most of the parenting materials I've seen have a great deal to say about discipline, mental and emotional health, obedience and order in the home. Unfortunately, there isn't much out there on the subject of character development, especially from a Christian perspective. Do you have any suggestions?

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Dad Who Grew Up Fatherless Needs Advice and Guidance

What does it take to be a good father? I grew up without a dad. Now I'm married with kids of my own, and I'm not sure I'm leading my family in the way God intended. Do you have any advice?

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Working Mom Struggling to Make Time for Kids

With everything it takes to work at the office and run a household, how can I find quality time to spend with my children? It seems like there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. Do you have any suggestions?

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Leaving Job to Become a Stay-at-Home Mom

Do you have any advice or suggestions for a mother who wants to make the transition from full-time career woman to stay-at-home mom? What can I do to make this change as smooth as possible for the entire family?

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Tackling Adolescent Rebellion

How do we deal with a defiant teenager? For some reason, our son has recently gone off the deep end. He's skipping out on school, drinking, smoking, and making all kinds of dangerously bad decisions. Nothing we say makes any difference in his behavior. The last straw came when we had to bail him out of jail on a charge of drunk driving and disturbing the peace. Where do we go from here?

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Understanding Adolescent Anger

Can you help me figure out where my teenage daughter's anger is coming from? A few years ago I would have described her as a soft-spoken, contented, happy-go-lucky little girl. Now she seems disgruntled most of the time and lashes out in fury at the drop of a hat. Sometimes I have no idea what I've said or done to aggravate her. Is this normal? What can I do about it?

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Anger Management for Teens

How can I help my adolescent son deal with his anger? It's easy to tell that he is very angry about something, but I have a sense that he's trying desperately to squash his feelings and keep a lid on his emotions. Try as I might, I can't get him to talk about it. What should I do?

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Mental Disorders in Kids

What should I expect from a child with a mental disorder? How can I know which behaviors he's capable of controlling and which behaviors I should simply accept and make allowances for? We're facing this situation with our teenage son, and we have no idea how to handle it. Can you help?

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