Parenting

Answer

Modesty in the Home

When should my husband and I stop showering with our toddler-age children and changing clothes in front of them? Can you give us some guidelines for modesty in the home?

Read more

Answer

Healthy Family Humor

How can we enjoy the lighter side of life and encourage laughter in our home but do it in an appropriate and edifying way? Many of our friends find amusement in things that I personally consider offensive. Can you suggest any helpful guidelines for healthy humor within the family?

Read more

Answer

"Teasing" in the Family

Is it unhealthy to poke fun at ourselves and tease other family members? We've always enjoyed laughing together at our house, and sometimes that includes what some people refer to as "teasing." Friends of ours have expressed concern that we may be fostering an "unsafe" environment that doesn't promote respectful relationships. Do you think there's a problem with this kind of humor?

Read more

Answer

Encouraging Your Child's Sense of Humor

How do we help a child who seems to have no sense of humor? Except for our oldest son, who will soon be entering middle school, our entire family has always enjoyed the lighter side of things. Our younger kids are full of fun, and laughter regularly fills our home. By way of contrast, their big brother never seems to be amused by anything. He's always very serious-minded. I thought it was a phase that would pass, but to this day I can count on one hand the number of times we've heard him laugh. I'm concerned about how this will affect him socially. Even more importantly, I want him to enjoy life. Am I right to be concerned? Are there things we can do to encourage and help develop a sense of humor in him?

Read more

Answer

Modesty and Clothing Battles Between Parents and Teens

How do I handle conflicts over clothes and fashion with my teen daughter? This is becoming a real battleground at our house. She insists on wearing outfits that are inappropriate, immodest, and revealing. I won't even begin to tell you what we go through when it's time to shop for bathing suits. What can I do?

Read more

Answer

Dealing With a Teen Who Says Parents Don't Listen

How should we respond to our teenager when he claims that we don't care about what he has to say? We do try to give him our full attention whenever he talks to us, but he still complains that we're not listening. We don't think his accusations are fair, but we also want him to know that his concerns are important to us. How should we respond?

Read more

Answer

Stopping a Toddler From Hitting

How can I keep my 2-year-old daughter from "beating up" on her 10-month-old brother? She kicks him, punches him, bites him, screams at him, and whacks him with toys. It all began when he started crawling. This kind of thing goes on every day, several times a day. We've done everything we can think of to stop the behavior, but so far nothing seems to work. Do you have any suggestions or advice?

Read more

Answer

Teaching Kids the Meaning of Prayer

How can I help my 7-year-old daughter understand the proper use of prayer? I've tried to teach her that talking to God is simply a way of staying close to Him, but lately she's been using prayer to ask for everything she wants, such as getting a new toy, going to the movies, or winning a game she's playing with her friends. I don't want to put a damper on her faith, but at the same time I don't want her to misuse prayer. What should I say to her?

Read more

Answer

The Benefits of Family Mealtimes and How to Make Them Happen

Is it important for families to eat together? Everyone in our household is busy with outside activities – school sports, church youth group outings, committee meetings, late nights at the office, ballet lessons, band practice, etc., etc. We rarely have time to sit down at the dinner table together. Meals are usually squeezed into the brief moments between other commitments and eaten on the run. Is this a problem? If so, what do you think we should do about it?

Read more

Answer

Girls and Women Wearing Pants

Should I let my teenage girls wear pants? I was raised in a conservative Christian home where modesty in behavior and clothing were always stressed as matters of the highest importance for young girls. In particular, my mother made sure I understood that women should never wear pants, since "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 22:5). Nowadays women wear pants all the time - not only around the house or in the yard but even at church. I find this extremely upsetting and confusing. How do I teach my teenage daughters to dress appropriately in a society like this?

Read more

Answer

Husband Tired of Wife's Criticism over His Lack of Help With Kids

Is there some way to get my wife to stop complaining about the job I'm doing as a parent? I'm a young dad who's struggling to be a good husband and father, but no matter what I do my wife tells me that I'm not pulling my weight. If you ask me, I spend a lot of time with my kids. Every night when I come home I get down on the floor and play with them. I like to wrestle with my two-year-old son. But she expects me to do things I don't know how to do and never thought of doing – things like getting meals and changing diapers. I'm getting tired of her complaining. What should I do?

Read more

Answer

Young Child Fondles Genitals

Is it unusual, abnormal or immoral for my child to be touching or playing with his genitals? I've caught him at it several times at home, and once it even happened in public. What should I do?

Read more

Answer

Shy and Introverted Adolescent

What should I do if I fear my teenage son may be too withdrawn? When he was younger we thought it was just a phase and assumed he would gain more confidence as he matured and interacted more with his peers. So far those expectations haven't panned out. He doesn't seem to have any interest in developing relationships with friends his own age (or with anyone else in the family, for that matter). He spends most of his time alone with the television, his computer, or video games. What are we up against and how should we deal with it?

Read more

Answer

Dads and Moody Teenage Daughters

As a father, what can I do to improve my relationship with an emotionally erratic adolescent girl? This past year has been difficult for me. I've watched my daughter make the transformation from a kind, joyful, cooperative little girl to a sullen, argumentative, hard-to-get-along-with teen. Our relationship used to be a source of enjoyment for me. Now it's just difficult. How can I turn this situation around?

Read more

Answer

Understanding Teen Cutting

How should I respond to my adolescent daughter's cutting habit? I only recently discovered that she's been cutting herself. I've tried to let her know much this concerns me. I've even requested that she let me "monitor" the situation. But she is very sensitive and perceives this as criticism and lack of trust. I promised I wouldn't pry anymore, but I did ask her to talk to me whenever she feels compelled to cut herself. Do you think we can work this out between ourselves? Or is that a naive assumption?

Read more

Answer

Teens Taking a Year Off Before College

Do you think it's a good idea for our son to wait a year after graduating from high school before enrolling at the university? He's very responsible in a number of ways, but we're concerned about him losing momentum. What should we do?

Read more

Answer

Dealing With an Uncooperative School-Age Child

Is there a way to put a stop to the constant state of conflict I'm in with my school age child? I'm spending a lot of time trying to promote harmony and maintain a little order in our home, but when I ask my son to pitch in, I get either passive indifference or outright rebellion. Is there a way to break this negative pattern?

Read more

Answer

Parent Concerned About Teen Masturbation

How should parents approach an adolescent who is involved in sexual self-gratification? Without going into details, I can tell you that I have good reason to suppose that my teenager has been masturbating. Needless to say, this is extremely upsetting to me. I'm worried about my child's spiritual condition, and I have no idea what to say or how to deal with the problem. Can you help me?

Read more

Answer

My Spouse Physically Abuses Our Children

My husband has never been violent with me, but it is an entirely different story where our children are concerned. He is frequently lashes out at them physically, and has seriously injured them on more than one occasion. I want to protect them, but I'm terrified of how he may react if I challenge him. What can I do?

Read more

Answer

"Quality Time" vs. "Quantity Time" in Parenting

Is the quality of time I spend with my family more important than the quantity?

Read more

Answer

Cultivating Family Togetherness

Is it really important for families to spend time together? Like everyone else, I constantly feel as if I don't have enough hours in my day. Meanwhile, I've read lots of articles and been in on lots of conversations about what's better – quality or quantity "family time." Everyone in our house keeps a hectic schedule, and sometimes I find myself wondering: just how important is "family time" when you're simply trying to make ends meet and get through the demands of the day? Can you shed any light on this problem for me?

Read more

Answer

Sleepovers for Grade-Schoolers

What is your opinion about overnight group activities for elementary grade children? We want our kids to have fun and participate with their friends, but we're concerned about exposing them to inappropriate influences. Are we overreacting?

Read more

Answer

Single Mom Fears Boyfriend Isn't Good Father-Figure

As a single mother of a preschooler, should I continue a relationship with a man who doesn't strike me as having the potential to be a good dad? I've met a man at church who is a solid Christian, and we've developed strong feelings for one another, but I just don't know whether he would be the kind of father-figure my son needs. What should I do?

Read more

Answer

Young Child Has a Precocious Interest in Relationships With the Opposite Sex

Should I be worried when my preschooler talks about having a boyfriend? I wasn't too concerned until recently when she and a boy of the same age kept going off into a corner of the yard "to be alone" as they played with other neighborhood kids. What do you think about this?

Read more