Parenting

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Parent Disillusioned by "Train up a Child in the Way He Should Go"

Doesn't Proverbs 22:6 promise that kids who are raised properly by their parents will turn out alright? That's not been our experience at all. Our college-age son walked away from his faith a year ago and started engaging in some extremely destructive behaviors. Now his younger sister seems to be following in his footsteps. We're a Christian family, and we've always tried to raise our kids in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Where did we go wrong?

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Talking to Teen About Suicide of Friend or Acquaintance

How should I talk with my adolescent son about a friend of his who recently took his own life? The boy was hardly more than an acquaintance, but I know that this incident has impacted my teenager deeply. Can you help me figure out the best way to approach the subject with him?

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Parent Afraid to Express Concerns About Possible Teen Suicide

Could talking about suicide have the effect of pushing a teenager in the wrong direction? I have reasons to believe that my son may be struggling with self-destructive thoughts and tendencies. While I think it's generally important to confront this situation directly, I keep wondering what might happen if I bring up my concerns and he's not suicidal? Is it possible that discussing the issue could backfire by actually planting the idea in his head?

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Teen Suicide: Intervention Strategies

What should I do if I'm convinced that my adolescent child is seriously depressed and could be suicidal?

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Warning Signs of Teen Suicide

How can I know if my teenager is developing suicidal tendencies or a self-destructive mindset? I'm asking because I'm afraid that my teenager may be moving in this direction. Are there any warning signs to be aware of? Does depression always include a risk of suicide?

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Preventing Teen Suicide

Are there any fool-proof ways to help an adolescent steer clear of self-destructive thoughts and feelings? Don't misunderstand – I'm not asking because I sense any immediate danger. My daughter seems fine right now, but after hearing so much in the media about teen suicide I want to do whatever I can to promote positive mental health and emotional well-being. Any ideas?

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Adolescent Moodiness vs. Depression

How should I handle my adolescent's emotional instability? In particular, how can I tell the difference between 'normal' teenage moodiness and serious clinical depression? My teen seems to have more "downs" than "ups." Is this a normal part of adolescence, or should I be concerned?

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Child Mistreats Siblings and Animals

Should we be concerned about our oldest son's abusive behavior towards his siblings and our household pets? We're constantly getting on his case about hitting his younger siblings, and lately he's also been hurting the cat and dog. I used to think he was just aggressive or hyperactive, but now I'm not so sure. Is this behavior pathological?

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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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