Parenting

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Parent Believes Teen Is Involved in Premarital Sex

What's the best way to confront our teenage daughter with our discovery that she has become sexually involved with her boyfriend? We found an entry in her journal describing a sexual encounter. We can't allow this behavior to go unaddressed, but we don't want to create a wedge and close the door to future communication. What do you suggest?

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Taking Young Children to a Funeral Service

Would you recommend that we take our three young children, ages three, four, and six, to their grandfather's funeral? My father-in-law is terminally ill and is not expected to live for more than a few weeks. As my husband and I begin preparing ourselves, both practically and emotionally, for his passing, I'm wondering what arrangements we should make for the kids. Should we have them attend the services?

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When to Tell Your Kids You're Pregnant

When should I tell my children that we're having baby? We have two daughters, ages two and four, and my husband and I are anxious to share the news with them. At the same time, we have reasons for being concerned about the possibility of another miscarriage (I had one about six months ago). When is the best time to bring it up? And what should we say if a miscarriage occurs?

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Parenting After Divorce

How can I parent my child most effectively when our family has been divided by divorce? I'm a single mother of a four-year-old son. He goes to stay with his father, who left me when I was pregnant with him, every other weekend. When he comes home, he cries for his dad. This really hurts me because I've raised him alone, and as a result I've had all the hard work (like discipline). I also have two other children by another man, so it's harder for me to give this child as much love and attention as my ex-husband does. To tell the truth, I think he spoils him. After these visits I end up crying and feel emotionally devastated for several days. I would appreciate your help with this.

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How a Father's Presence Affects the Status of Women

Does your emphasis on the importance of a father's presence in the home imply that the mother's role is less crucial in raising children? There are many single moms raising children by themselves, and I can't help wondering if you view these families as "inferior" or "second-class." Doesn't your high regard for the father's role diminish your assessment of the mother's? Isn't mom just as important as dad? How can women ever hope to better their lot in the world if we always expect them to stand in the shadow of their men? These questions are important to me as a woman who wants to make a positive contribution to the life of her community.

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Fathers and the Influence They Have on Their Sons

As a dad, what are some of the key roles that I play in the life of my son? What areas in his life should I focus on and what are some things I can do to cultivate a healthy relationship between us?

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Praying Together As a Family

How can we make family prayer a priority? We're a Christian family and my spouse and I are eager to raise our kids in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Can you give us some helpful pointers in this area? Our children are small, and it's been a real struggle to make prayer times engaging for them. Do you think we should keep trying? Or should we just wait until they're older?

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Parents Fear Child Is Struggling With Faith While at College

How can I help my son hold on to his faith in college? He's a junior at the university, and I'm very concerned about the state of his relationship - or lack thereof - with the Lord. His faith doesn't seem to mean as much to him as it did during his high school years. Now he's thinking of taking a philosophy course in metaphysics. I don't even know what "metaphysics" is, but I'm worried. How can I encourage him in his faith?

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Grown Child Has Made Poor Decisions

What can we do to encourage our adult son to grow up? He's made some very poor choices in terms of lifestyle, jobs, living arrangements, and friends. After raising him in the Christian faith, we're deeply disappointed. At the same time we can't help feeling guilty and wondering where we went wrong. Is there anything we can do to reverse the situation without overstepping appropriate boundaries?

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Sexually Active Adult Child Bringing Partner Home

Should we allow our unmarried adult daughter to share a room with her boyfriend in our house? She lives out of town, and she plans to bring this man home with her for Christmas. To our disappointment, they have been sexually active for some time, and I know they'll expect to sleep in the same room while they're here. How should we respond?

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Parental Authority Over a Grown Child

Now that our son is past eighteen, should he still obey us? The Bible says that children should "obey" and "submit to" their parents (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20), but he says that because he's an adult, this commandment no longer applies to him. How do you feel about this? At what point does an adult child become fully independent of his parents' control?

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Recovering Alcoholic Wants Relationship with Children

As a new Christian who is in the process of kicking a lifelong drinking habit, how can I restore my relationship with my children? A number of years ago my struggles with alcoholism finally destroyed my marriage and family. I really regret the mess I've made, but I've recently found the Lord and am currently in recovery. Now I'd like to reconnect with my kids, but they don't want anything to do with me. What should I do?

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Single-Parent Adoption

Should I, as a single parent, be thinking seriously about adopting another child? How does your ministry feel about this?

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Equipping Teens With a Christian Worldview

How can we help our adolescent son find biblical answers to his deep questions about social justice, the meaning of life, the existence of God, and his own purpose as an individual? We want to point him in the right direction on these important issues and equip him with a solid Christian worldview. Can you help us?

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Confronting Abusive Language Between Teen Boyfriend and Girlfriend

Am I being too sensitive about the put-downs and insults my daughter and her boyfriend toss back and forth at each other? She acts like it's no big deal, but I'm alarmed and don't consider this to be healthy behavior. What do you think?

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Dad Serving As Son's Sports Coach Is Causing Tension

How should I deal with the tension that has arisen between my child and his sports coach, who also happens to be his father? The season is starting up again, and I'm dreading the inevitable fights between them. My son doesn't want to disappoint his dad, but he's getting nothing out of this particular sport. What do you suggest?

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Angry Father, Angry Sons

How can I help our young sons control their tempers? My husband comes from a long line of "angry men," and I'm beginning to see the same tendency in our kids. What should I do?

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Children's Doubts About God

How can we help a young child who is struggling with his faith? Last night during our prayer time my young son tearfully confessed that he's having trouble believing in God. How should I address this?

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Compensating Kids for Chores

Is it appropriate to pay our school-aged children for doing household tasks? When I was growing up I always received an allowance, but my spouse says that kids need to work without being paid because that's part of being a family. What do you think?

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Raising Financially Responsible Kids

How can we help our kids become more responsible with their money? Can you suggest a workable budget plan that we can use to teach them the true value of a dollar?

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Toddler Throws Uncontrollable Tantrums

What should we do when our toddler explodes in a fit so violent that it's just about impossible to calm her down? She has always been strong-willed and prone to tantrums, but just recently there have been occasions when she has become so frustrated that her behavior has spiraled completely out of control. At such times she wildly hits everything and everyone within reach, including herself. What do you suggest?

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Too Much Parenting Advice from Well-Meaning Friends

Is there a way to get concerned friends and family members to back off and stop telling us how to raise our child? My spouse and I are new parents and are overwhelmed by all the tips we've been receiving. Sometimes people even contradict each other. I feel like telling them to mind their own business. Is that wrong?

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Helping a Toddler Adjust to a New Baby

How can we help our two-year-old get used to the idea of having a new baby sister? He whines and cries for Mommy all the time, and lately he's been misbehaving as a way of getting our attention. How can we help him feel loved and secure?

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Eliminating the Stress of Potty Training

Is potty training a child always such a difficult and challenging experience? We've been trying to potty-train our son since he turned two years old. So far we haven't had much success, and the stress level in our household is at an all-time high. After several months, we're still not making any progress. Is this normal?

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