Parenting

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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

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

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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?

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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?

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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?

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Child Doesn't Want Single Mom to Date

As a divorced woman, what can I do about my young child's resistance to my efforts to develop relationships with men and to have a social life outside the home? My son simply doesn't like to "share" me with anyone else. How can I best explain to him my reasons for desiring adult male companionship? He disliked my last boyfriend so much that I was forced to end the relationship.

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Separation Anxiety in Pre-Teen

Is it normal for a pre-adolescent child to become nervous, uneasy, or afraid when mom and dad aren't around? My daughter doesn't want me to leave the house without her, and says she misses me when we're apart. There have been no dramatic changes in our family life during the last few months, so I'm having a hard time understanding her behavior. Do you know why she might be acting this way?

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Parenting a Bipolar Teen

Do you have any advice for parents who are dealing with the challenge of raising a teenager who struggles with depression and bipolar disorder? We've tried everything we can think of to help our daughter, but so far our efforts haven't had much of an impact. Can you offer us some hope?

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Understanding Sex-Specific Differences Between Mom's and Dad's Roles

When it comes to parenting children effectively, are there any truly meaningful distinctions between the contributions of the mother and those of the father? As a dad, I'm actively involved with my kids on the weekends and evenings, and I even go to school meetings when I can. Is there something special I'm supposed to be doing as a father that's different from what my wife does as their mother?

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Dealing With a Child's Fear of the School Bus

How can we help our child overcome his terror of the school bus? The school is too far away for him to walk, and my wife and I both work, so it isn't feasible to drive him back and forth every day. What can we do?

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Prodigal Grown Child

How can we best relate to our grown child who has completely rejected his Christian faith and upbringing? After graduating from high school he moved in with his girlfriend and became involved with drug and alcohol abuse. Our hearts ache to reach out to him, but we don't want to appear to be condoning his lifestyle. What would you recommend?

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Guiding Teens Into Adulthood in the Modern World

Why is it so difficult raising adolescents nowadays? I understand that it's supposed to be a process of gradually letting go, granting them more independence, and setting them free to become the adults God wants them to be. But while I know all this in my head, there are days when I just can't put it into practice. Don't get me wrong. My teenagers are good kids who basically have their heads on straight. Even so, in situation after situation I find myself swooping in and seizing the reins despite my determination to adopt a more "hands off" approach. Is this normal? Why is it so hard to resist the temptation to take control?

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Respecting Your Teenager

How do I give my teenager the respect he deserves? I'll admit that we butt heads pretty often – he's the type that requires a lot of correction and guidance, and as a result ours isn't the most peaceful household on the block. But I honestly don't believe that I've ever done anything to denigrate him as a person. In spite of this, he's forever telling me that I don't "respect" him as I should. What does it mean for a parent to "respect" a child? I can't just let him have his own way all the time – can I?

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Boys and Guns

How should I respond to my son's fascination with firearms? At thirteen years of age he's already made himself an expert on anything that shoots – everything from pistols to semi-automatic rifles to bazookas. He doesn't own any real guns. But he does have an airsoft rifle and a paintball gun, and I think he spends too much time fooling around with them. As his mother I find all of this a bit unnerving. Should I be concerned? What's your perspective on boys and guns?

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"Night Terrors" and Satanic Strongholds

Could "night terrors" be demonic in origin? I have serious concerns about some of the advice your ministry and certain other Christian organizations are giving on this subject. We've confronted this problem in our family. Our son used to wake up screaming and go wandering through the house in the middle of the night. Experience has led me to the conclusion that a purely "psychological" or "therapeutic" approach is dangerously inadequate. Christians have lots of spiritual weapons at their disposal, and I've found them to be powerful in overcoming Satanic strongholds of this nature. As I see it, believers need to learn how to use the Word to take authority over tormenting demons.

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"Time Outs" As a Disciplinary Measure

How effective are "time outs"? Our son is entering toddlerhood and I'm not sure what type of discipline is best for different behaviors. My friends all seem to rely on "time outs" regardless of the nature of their kids' behavior. I'm not sure this is always the best method. When are "time outs" an appropriate means of discipline? When are they not? How can I tell the difference?

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Why Sons Need Their Father's Affection

Why do dads need to get involved with their sons on an emotional level? My father was a no-nonsense man who did not share much with me in the way of his feelings. He basically taught me how to work hard, be responsible and make my own way in life. My wife gets upset with me because I'm the same way with our son. We're at odds about this. For one thing, I don't think it's healthy for men to demonstrate affection toward each other. For another, I'm convinced that my dad's style of fathering made me tough and spurred me on to achieve more than I would have otherwise. What do you think?

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Helping Girls Prevent Date Rape

How do I talk to my teen daughter about the danger of date rape? I've heard that it's becoming more common, and this worries me as a parent. My daughter has already been involved in several dating situations. I want to know what I can do to prevent her from becoming a victim. How should I bring this up? And what's the best and most effective way of discussing the subject with her

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Dads and the Influence They Have on Their Daughters

As a father, what are some of the key roles that I play in the life of my daughter? What areas in her life should I focus on and what are some things I can do to create a healthy relationship between us?

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Our Child Is a Struggling College Freshman

Should we be concerned that our daughter is experiencing difficulties during her first year away at college? Her first semester academic performance was very poor. She's never been an exceptional student, but she is very intelligent and has always achieved good grades. That's why we're so concerned. We haven't seen evidence of any other troubling behaviors, so we're not quite sure what to make of the situation. How should we approach this? Should we threaten to withdraw funding for college?

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Our Daughter Is Marrying a Non-Christian

As a Christian father, should I give my daughter away at the wedding if she's marrying a non-believer? Over the more than twenty years of our marriage we've worked hard to raise her in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Her decision has come as a great disappointment to us. We love our daughter, but for us this is a question of conscience and faithfulness to biblical principles. In light of what Scripture says about being "unequally yoked," should I, as her father, support this marriage by "giving her away" at the wedding?

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