Parenting

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Children's Nervous Habits

Are ongoing nervous habits potentially harmful to children? My child has one, and I've done everything I can think of to put a stop to it, but so far nothing has worked. It's driving me crazy. What should I do?

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Thumbsucking

Should I be concerned that my son is still sucking his thumb? It's an embarrassing habit in a boy his age. I've done everything I can think of to get him to stop, but nothing seems to work. Can you help?

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Parent-Child Separation for Short Time

Should I feel uneasy about leaving my little one with a babysitter or dropping him off at the church nursery for an hour or so? I'm a new parent, and I don't know if it's healthy for my child to be separated from me, even for relatively short periods of time. What's your perspective on this?

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Talking to Kids About Child Suicide

How do I talk to my elementary grade children about a young boy in our community – grade-school age himself – who recently took his own life? I have a hard time understanding how a child that age has the maturity level to contemplate suicide. I'm not sure how to explain this to my own kids.

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Parent Concerned About Child's Stuttering

How can I tell whether my toddler has a serious case of stuttering or stammering, or whether it's just a normal part of speech development when he has difficulty getting his words out?

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Violent Toys and TV Programs

Should I be concerned that my young son has been spending a lot of time watching violent cartoons and playing with the "spin-off" action figures marketed by the shows' producers? How do you think these programs and products affect the attitudes and behavior of children?

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Single Mom, Dad Is in Prison

How should I respond to my son's questions about his dad, a convicted felon who is serving a long prison sentence? We're living with my parents until I can raise enough money to move out. He has some great role models in my father and my brothers, but I'm worried that he will somehow end up identifying with his dad's example.

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Child Is Overly Cautious

Should we be concerned about a child who doesn't like to take risks? By way of example, he consistently avoids scary roller coasters. My husband thinks he should be pushed harder and forced to face his fears. I feel we should give him time to develop confidence at his own pace. What's your perspective?

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Child of Interracial Marriage Struggles With Issues of "Color"

How can I help my granddaughter who is struggling with her racial identity? She's the child of an interracial marriage - her mother is white, her father black. Her parents have now divorced and her dad is no longer in the picture. On top of the many other problems that go along with being a child of divorce, she often struggles with issues of her "color." I'm not sure how to help.

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Preschooler Walked in on Parents Having Sex

Is there any reason to fear that our little boy will experience any negative long-term effects as a result of walking in on us while we were having sex? I panicked and tried to cover up as best I could, but I could tell he was upset. I'm feeling very guilty about this. What should I do?

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Preschooler Terrified of Bugs

How can I help my small child deal with his overwhelming fear of insects? He's always been a little scared of bugs, but recently he was bitten by something at school during snack time, and now he gets hysterical every time the class is supposed to go outside. What's the solution?

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Learning Disabilities and Difficulties in Math

Could my child's struggles in math be linked to some kind of learning disability? She gets straight A's in every other subject, but when it comes to working with numbers she really has problems keeping her head above water. We're having a hard time understanding why this is the case.

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Helping Teens Prepare for a Career

How can I help my adolescent son settle on a vocation and make wise plans for the future? He seems to be thinking more seriously about career choices and wondering what God wants him to do with his life.

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Adolescent Child Attempted Suicide

How do we come alongside our daughter now that she's in the hospital after trying to take her own life? We're wrestling with feelings of guilt, shame, confusion, and fear. We can't understand how something like this could have happened to one of our own children. Do you have any advice for us?

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Teenage Depression and Suicide

Does a pattern of persistent depression indicate that my adolescent son may be in danger of taking his own life? I've been hearing a great deal about the rising problem of teenage suicide, and I'm wondering whether my son might be at risk. What exactly is the connection between depression and suicide? Where can I go to get my son the help he needs?

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Drug-Proofing Your Kids

Why do kids start (and continue) using drugs and other intoxicants? What steps can I take to protect my children against the dangers of substance abuse?

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Helping a Child Victim of Sexual Assault

How can we comfort and support a young girl who has just been through the trauma of rape? We just learned that one of our children was recently the victim of a sexual assault. We are absolutely devastated. How can we help our daughter heal from this traumatic experience? What first steps should we take to come alongside her?

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Grandparent Eager to Help

How can I play an active and positive role in my grandchild's life while still respecting appropriate boundaries with my son and daughter-in-law? I'm excited to help, but I realize how easy it can be for new grandparents to wear out their welcome. Any tips or advice?

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Teenage Drivers

Now that my adolescent son has his learner's permit, how can I adequately prepare him to drive? I have to admit that I'm more than a little apprehensive about him becoming a driver at such a young age. Can you offer any pointers or advice?

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Parenting Teens: Choosing Your Battles Wisely

Can you help us figure out how to eliminate as much fighting with our teenager as possible? We've argued over pretty much every subject under the sun: grades, tattoos, music, movies, hairstyles, pants-length, study habits, politics. If only for the sake of our own peace of mind we'd like to when it's okay to back off and when we really need to stand our ground.

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Opposite-Sex Parent-Child Relationships

Can you help me understand the dynamics of father-daughter and mother-son relationships? Does a child's interaction with the parent of the opposite sex take on a greater significance as he or she enters the teenage years? If so, how?

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Coping With the Challenge of Parenting Adolescents

Do you have any advice for parents about how to survive the teen years? I'm really getting worn down by the constant conflicts, mood swings and challenges to my authority. What should I do?

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Teen Feels "Sick" on School Day Mornings

How can I tell if our teenager is faking an illness to get out of school? He often complains of not feeling well on school day mornings, but, interestingly enough, his symptoms usually disappear by mid-afternoon and rarely surface at all on weekends. Is it wrong of me to distrust him?

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Marital Conflict and Its Impact on Children

If my spouse and I argue and disagree a lot, will this have a negative effect on our kids? Though our relationship is still intact (for the most part), we have what I can only describe as a "high-conflict marriage." Is this likely to hurt our children?

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