Parenting

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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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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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