Parenting

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Deciding If Your Family Is Complete

How do my husband and I know when it's time to stop having children? We're expecting baby number five in a few weeks. That will make a total of five kids within the space of five years! I've seen a lot of Christian literature on the subject of starting a family, but how can we tell when enough is enough and our family has reached the ideal size? Other moms have told me, "You'll just know when it's your last one," and I guess they're probably right. Still, I can't help wondering if there are other factors I should bear in mind. Any advice?

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Corporal Punishment and Violent Behavior in Children

Does spanking teach kids to be violent? I have some serious reservations about the appropriateness and effectiveness of this type of discipline. If we spank our child, will this lead her to assume that violence is acceptable, or that it's okay to hit others or even to hit us back?

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Toddler Bedtime Battles

How do we deal with a toddler who resists bedtime? Our 2-year-old recently went from being a great sleeper to suddenly fighting bedtime in an insane way – screaming, hitting, and running around his room. We've done nothing to change his schedule – nap from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., and bedtime at 7:00 p.m. – and we have no idea what brought this on. What should we do? We're desperate!

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Children and Sleep

How can we implement a more consistent bedtime schedule for our children, ages 8, 6, and 4? We haven't been very successful in this area. How many hours do kids this age need to sleep? Do you have any tips for ways to improve bedtime and make it more pleasant?

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Handling Conflicts With Neighbor Kids

How can we stop our son, age six, from fighting with the boy next door? The neighbor kid gets mad if our son won't play with him. If he does agree to play, the neighbor and his friends often reject him and drive him away. This boy has been extremely aggressive towards my son, pushing him off the bus, hitting him with a plastic bat, and then lying about it. To make matters worse, when the fighting starts, the kid's father blames my child! We're trying to keep our kids out of their yard, but the troublemaker isn't staying away from ours. Any suggestions?

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Developing Effective Communication Patterns With Kids

How can we teach our children good listening skills? They seem to have trouble paying attention to instructions and following directions. In my daughter's case, I think she's just defiant most of the time. As for my son, he's very intense and tends to get so locked into television, a book, a videogame, or whatever he's doing that it's almost impossible to pull him away. I find that I'm repeating myself over and over again. Do you have any advice?

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Sibling Conflicts and Rivalry

How do we stop our two daughters, ages thirteen and seven, from fighting and bickering all the time. I'm concerned that the effects of all this conflict may be potentially harmful. We're a Christian family, so we've talked many times about what it means to be kind, loving, and forgiving. After one of these discussions they always promise to do better next time, but nothing ever changes. When should we begin to worry that their sibling rivalry is getting out of hand?

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Persuading Toddlers to Take Medicine

How can I get my three-year-old son to take his medicine? He's prone to get the coughs, ear infections and fevers that are so common among kids his age, but he doesn't like swallowing the medications our doctor recommends. It's an ongoing battle for me to force it down. Is this normal? Can you suggest anything to solve the problem?

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Preparing Boys for the Prom

How can we help our son have a successful prom night? He's excited about this event, but I'm afraid he may also be a bit naive, both about the cost and the potential moral pitfalls. Any suggestions for some helpful tips and basic ground rules?

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Effects of Sarcasm on Kids

Will my sarcastic style of humor hurt my children? I've always tended to express myself in a wry, ironic way. It's all a joke, and I don't mean any harm by it. But now my spouse is telling me that this is going to be damaging to our kids, especially as they move into the teen years. What do you think?

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Helping Children Cope With Divorce

How can I help my teens deal with the fallout of my divorce? It's been painful for everyone, but I'm especially concerned about my oldest son. Ever since my ex-husband left a year and a half ago, he seems to be putting himself under a lot of pressure to assume the role of the "man of the house." This is especially difficult for him since he was looking forward to going away to college in the fall. Now he feels obligated to stay at home and help the family. What can I do for him and the rest of the kids?

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Family Planning for Young Married Couples

Should we put off having kids and starting a family until we're more mature and established? My wife and I are in our late twenties. She's in grad school and I'm working to get my new business off the ground. We're extremely busy, and to be honest, I'm not sure I'm ready to be a father at this point. Do you have any thoughts on starting a family later in life?

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Family Planning for Older Couples

Do you have any advice for older couples who are thinking about having children? My husband and I are both in our early forties and are newly married. It's a second marriage for both of us, but neither one of us have children. We'd like to start a family of our own and we're giving serious thought to getting pregnant.

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When Not to Discipline a Child

Are there times, occasions, and situations when I should simply "chill out" and refrain from "getting tough" with a kid who misbehaves? I'm fairly new at the parenting game, and I need all the help and advice I can get in this area. When should I not discipline my child?

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Kids and Healthy Friendships

How can I help my child develop healthy friendships? I know how easy it can be for kids to make the wrong kinds of friends or to establish connections with others for the wrong reasons. What can I do to provide some helpful guidance in this area?

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How do I parent in the midst of tragedy?

No Value

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What are some of the traits seen in people with ADHD?

What are some of the traits seen in children and adults with ADHD?

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Take me to Focus' reviews of video and/or computer games.

No Value

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Parenting Adopted Children From Hard Backgrounds

Do you have any practical help for the adoptive parents of a child who comes from very difficult circumstances? We recently brought into our family a 7-year-old girl who’s been in and out of five different foster homes over the past three years. She was abused emotionally and physically by her birth parents, both of whom are currently serving sentences for drug-related offenses. She’s been with us about a month now, and we haven't been able to get past the emotional and relational barriers she’s put up against us. When she isn’t acting out violently, she’s sullen, withdrawn, and silent. Is there anything we can do to reverse this pattern?

            

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