Parenting

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The Truth about Childbirth

What's it like to go through labor and childbirth? I'm in the last trimester of my pregnancy, and I've been getting a little anxious. I've heard horror stories about incredible pain, fainting husbands, and screaming wives. Is it really that bad?

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What to Expect When Pregnant for the First Time

How will pregnancy affect my moods, my energy, and my mental outlook? How will it impact my relationship with my spouse? I've just become pregnant for the first time and I'm not quite sure what to expect.

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Intentional Childlessness

Is it okay not to have kids? My spouse and I have been doing some serious thinking about the whole parenting thing, and we're not sure we want to get involved. How do you feel about childlessness as an intentional lifestyle choice?

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Decisions Related to Starting a Family

Do you have any advice for a young, recently married couple who are thinking seriously about having children? When should we start? How many kids should we plan on having? How far apart should they be spaced?

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What to Do When Your Teen Girl Isn't Asked to the Prom

What can I do to bolster the self-esteem of my teenage daughter who is feeling crushed after not being asked to the prom? I've never seen her this low before, and I'm feeling like I need to take steps to build her back up again. Can you help me?

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Music Standards for Adolescents

Is there any way we can limit or control the kind of music our teenager listens to? I could really use some help setting fair and reasonable standards in this area. I'm disturbed by some of the "artists" he likes, the image they project, and the lyrics of the songs they sing. What should I do?

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Teens, Friends, and Family Time

What should we do when our adolescent son is never available to take part in family activities because he's spending all of his time with friends? Is his behavior normal? Is it unreasonable of us to expect him to participate in family life?

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Preschoolers Playing "Doctor"

Is there any reason for parents to be concerned about innocent sexual exploration on the part of very small children? The reason I ask is that I recently discovered my preschooler playing "doctor" with a neighborhood friend. I've always believed that this kind of thing was normal in young kids, but when I found my own child involved, I felt uncomfortable and didn't know what to say. Are such feelings justified?

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Child Has a Negative Attitude

What can we do to help our son develop a more positive outlook on life? He complains about everything and seldom seems happy. His negative attitude is affecting his school work, and I'm sure it's hurting his ability to make friends as well.

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Explaining the Birth Process to a Preschooler

How can we prepare our toddler for the upcoming birth of a new baby? What's the best way to explain the birthing process so that he can understand it? I'd like to be as honest as possible with him, but I also want to be careful not to give him more information than he needs. Any suggestions?

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Obesity in Children

Do you have any ideas for helping a pre-teen child who is seriously overweight? He loves food and gets extremely disappointed when we turn down his requests for snacks and treats. He also becomes depressed after several days of healthy eating. How can we reverse this trend?

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Strategies for Covering the Cost of Higher Education

What should we do about paying for college? This is our son's senior year in high school. We have yet to discuss specifics, but he obviously assumes that we'll be footing the entire bill. Though he's only an average student, he seems to be making some pretty big plans and entertaining some extremely high hopes for the next four years. I'm not sure that our financial resources are sufficient to cover his expectations. Even if they are, his current academic performance isn't overly reassuring in the face of that kind of investment. What do you think we should do?

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Bedwetting

How can we stop our child from wetting the bed? What do we need to know about the causes of this behavior? Our son is well past the age of potty-training, yet I still have to change his bedding several times a week. I've lost my patience with him more than once, and I can tell he's hurt by it. Is there a solution to this problem?

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Child Has Behavioral Problems at Preschool

How can we encourage our child to cooperate and follow his preschool teacher's instructions? He becomes defiant when there's a change in the schedule or when the teacher asks him to switch activities. He wants to do things his own way and on his own time. How do we break him of this?

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Kids and Toy Guns

What's your perspective on boys playing with plastic rifles and pistols and other make-believe firearms? I've always been against toy guns because I think they encourage a tendency toward violent behavior later in life. Some of my friends don't agree. What do you think?

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Caring for a Colicky Baby

How can I know whether my screaming baby has colic? He cries inconsolably for at least three hours straight every night, and nothing I do seems to help. What exactly is colic, and what are the tell-tale symptoms? Can you help me figure out what's going on?

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Strong-Willed Child Exhibits Biting Behavior

What do you do about a kid who attacks other people with his teeth? Our strong-willed toddler has been displaying this negative behavior with increasing frequency over the past couple of months. How do we put a stop to it?

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Dealing With a Child's Night Terrors

Do you have any advice for handling toddler who wanders into our room in the middle of the night screaming, moaning, thrashing wildly, and jabbering incoherently? He doesn't seem to know us when these Night Terrors get a grip of him. When we try to comfort him, he just pushes us away. Is there anything we can do to help him?

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Helping a Shy Preschooler Become More Confident

How can I encourage my bashful preschooler to open up and break out of his shell? He's soft-spoken, reserved, and afraid of walking into a room full of people. He used to cry when we'd take him to the church nursery, and now he resists being left at his daycare center. Is there something we can do to make it easier for him to interact with others?

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Children and Violence in the News

Can the nightly news reports about war, murder, rape, and urban gang activity have a negative effect on kids? I try not to let my children watch too much of this, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Am I right to be concerned?

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Talking to a Young Child About Sex

At what age should I begin teaching my child about the "facts of life?" He's still small - in fact, I would have assumed that he's not old enough for "the talk" yet. The problem is that he's already been hearing a lot about the subject. It's obvious that he has picked up certain words from television and other kids in the neighborhood. All things considered, I'd rather that he heard it from me first. Any suggestions?

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Infant Resists Sleep

Can you share any ideas for getting a newborn to sleep? For some reason, our baby fights to stay awake, especially when we put her in the crib or bassinet. The only place that isn't problematic is the cradle swing, and the only time things go smoothly is after a late-night feeding. How should we handle this?

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Depression During a Pregnancy

I've heard a lot about the post-partum blues, but is it normal to be feeling emotionally down before the baby arrives? I'm currently about three-quarters of the way through my pregnancy, and lately I've been very low and sad. Is there anything I can do about this?

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Single Parent Desires Help and Companionship

As a single mom with three young children, is it okay for me to want another person around to help carry the load? I used to feel pretty self-sufficient, but the burden of doing it all by myself is getting heavier. I work full-time, take online college courses and I'm active in church. Do you have any advice for someone in my situation?

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