Parenting

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Explaining Father's Imprisonment to the Kids

How do I tell my young children that their dad won't be around for a long time because he's going to jail? He just received a two-year prison term. Is there a gentle way to break this to them and help them understand?

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Cost, Time, and Peer Pressures of Extracurricular Activities

In light of our tight financial situation, how should we handle all of the costly "extras" at our child's school? Here's the latest example: we received a note from my child's kindergarten teacher informing us that the school would be producing yearbooks that cost $30.00. We declined to buy one, only to learn that our child was the only student in the class who didn't get one. Our lives and our financial resources are consumed with our kids' events and activities, which quite frankly seem over the top in terms of cost. How can we set some reasonable boundaries without embarrassing our children or depriving them of opportunities?

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Parental Guilt Over Child's Academic Failure

How do we manage our deep sense of failure as parents after learning that our son is being held back a year in school? How do we help him understand why he didn't pass his grade level? What should we do if the other kids start to tease him about it?

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Grown Child Living at Home Doesn't Want to Attend Church

Should we force our eighteen-year-old son to worship with us? He's saved and has walked with the Lord for many years. Unfortunately, he has recently decided to stop going to church. Since he lives in our home and we still support him, we tend to believe he should follow the rules we establish. At the same time, we don't want to sour him on the Christian faith and drive him away from the Lord. What would you advise?

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Grandparents Show Favoritism

What's the best way to handle grandparents who play favorites? For many years my parents have been partial to our oldest child. At first their favoritism showed itself in small ways, but now our youngest child has noticed and is beginning to ask questions. How can we best address this situation?

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Preschool Pros and Cons

Do you think it's a good idea to take a small child out of the home and place him in an institutional setting for a number of hours every week? We've been considering preschool for our little boy, but we're not sure if the pros outweigh the cons. What's your perspective?

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Parenting a Child With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Do you have any advice for handling an elementary school age child whose life is dominated by senseless little rituals? It's become clear to us that our daughter's behavior is consistently obsessive-compulsive in nature. For example, she won't go to bed before checking the front door at least ten times to make sure that it's locked. She's anxious and worried all the time, and it's starting to drive me crazy! Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Spacing of Children

Are kids happier when they're closer in age, or is it better to plan them farther apart? What are your thoughts on the spacing of children?

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Parenting When Friends and Relatives Have Different Values

How can we raise our kids effectively when so many of our friends and family members hold perspectives and values that conflict with our beliefs? We're a strong Christian family and we require our children to live by Christian standards of behavior. But not everyone shares our faith, and it's frustrating to feel as if aunts, uncles and neighbors are working against you and undoing all the lessons you're trying to teach your kids at home. What should we do?

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Parenting Twins

Is there anything special we need to know about raising twins? We just became the proud parents of two precious children, and we'd like to get our family off on the right foot. Any advice or suggestions?

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Encouragement for Parent of Strong-Willed Child

Is there any hope for the parent of a defiant, strong-willed child? I go through life feeling frazzled, dazed, and tired to the bone. Every day – almost every hour! – brings another confrontation, and sometimes I feel as if I don't have the strength to go on. Any suggestions?

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Strong-Willed Child Won't Stay in Bed

How can we get our defiant toddler to lie down and go to sleep at night? He's a handful at any time and under any circumstances, but nothing can top his uncooperative behavior at bedtime. No matter how many times we put him to bed, he gets up again and again. I feel as if I'm losing my mind for lack of sleep. What can we do about this?

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When Should Discipline Begin?

How soon should a parent start responding to behavioral problems in the early childhood years? I'm especially interested in hearing your thoughts on the issue of timing – when do you think I should begin disciplining my child? As a new mom I could use some guidance and advice in this area.

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Disciplining the Elementary School Child

Can you provide me with some general principles and guidelines for responding to behavioral problems in a school-age child? What are some effective methods for disciplining kids at this stage of development?

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Disciplining the Strong-Willed Adolescent

Do you have any advice for disciplining and training strong-willed teenagers? I hear a lot about dealing with strong-willed toddlers, but if you think it's tough managing a defiant two-year-old, imagine what it's like when the kid is seventeen and six feet tall! I need help.

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Disciplining the Strong-Willed Elementary Child

Do you have any advice for disciplining and training uncooperative school-age children? I hear a lot about dealing with strong-willed toddlers, but not so much about older kids. My child is now in the elementary grades and life in our household is still an ongoing battle. Can you help us?

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Teaching Toddlers to Obey

How do I get my toddler to listen to me and do what I say? He's right in the middle of the "terrible two's," and his favorite word is no. It seems he knows exactly what it takes to drive me up the wall. How should I handle this?

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Discipline for Babies

Can you suggest some disciplinary methods that might be effective in dealing with a fussy baby? My child cries a great deal of the time, and I'm finding it difficult to get anything else done. What can I do to change this behavior?

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Perspectives on Surrogate Motherhood

What, in your opinion, are the theological and ethical implications of a woman carrying a preborn child for another woman? Is surrogacy a good idea? I've been thinking about doing this for an infertile couple I know. I'm a Christian, and I'm wondering if there are any biblical issues I should be considering. What do you think?

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Parents Disapprove of Young Adult's Romantic Relationships

How can we help our grown son choose better girlfriends? He's still living with us, and we're anxious to see him "grow up," move out on his own and get married. He's brought several girls home to meet us over the past few years, but so far he's shown very poor judgment and we haven't approved of any of them. What can we do to get things moving in the right direction?

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Wife Quitting Job to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom

Do you have any advice for a woman who is about to leave a high-profile career in order to devote all her time to parenting and homemaking? My wife is on the verge of taking this momentous step. How can we make it a smooth transition? We've reached this decision together after hours and hours of prayer and discussion, but I still have questions and doubts. For one thing, how can I be sure that we'll be able to make it financially?

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Parent Wonders If Child Should Defend Themselves When Bullied

Should children be taught to fight back or to "turn the other cheek"? As Christian parents, we've drummed it into our kids' heads from day one that physical violence is unacceptable. Unfortunately, the school playground has turned out to be a pretty rough place for one of our sons, and the non-violent policy hasn't worked out very well for him. Should we try another tack?

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Vaccination and Immunization

What's your perspective on the safety and advisability of child immunization? Several of our friends, who are also new parents, have very strong feelings against vaccinating children. I want to do what's best for our baby. Can you give me some guidance in this area?

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Toddler Attachment to Pacifier or Blanket

At what age do you think a child is too old for a pacifier? We've tried several times to take it away, but it's like pulling teeth. I've also been wondering about my son's attachment to his blanket. Is it a problem if we let him keep it? At this point the thing is nothing but a dirty old rag, but he still won't give it up. What should we do?

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