Parenting

Answer

Having Babies After Forty

What should we expect with a pregnancy in later life? My wife is in her early forties and we just learned that she is expecting a child. We're happy but stunned (to say the least). We already have three children (all in their teens now), so we're familiar with the territory in a general sense. But is there anything special we need to know about pregnancy after forty?

Read more

Answer

Concerns About a Boy Developing Healthy Masculine Traits

How can we be sure that our young son will grow up to be a healthy, fully masculine man? He's only five years old, but his mother and I are already concerned about certain aspects of his behavior and temperament. He avoids loud, rough-and-tumble play, and so far he hasn't shown much interest in team sports and other typical boyhood activities. To make matters worse, I've occasionally noticed him playing "house" and "dress up" with his sisters. In that context, I've even seen him put on a dress! What do you think? Is he becoming effeminate? Do you think he might even grow up to be a homosexual?

Read more

Answer

Setting Boundaries With Neighborhood Kids

What can I do when I feel like our house is being overrun by neighbor children? It seems every kid on the block plays in our yard these days. We seem to have stricter rules than most parents on our street about where our grade-school children are allowed to go, so all the kids end up here. What should we do?

Read more

Answer

Changes That Occur During Puberty and Adolescence

Can you tell us what changes we should expect as our child goes through puberty and enters adolescence – and how we should deal with them? I realize that this is likely to be a challenging time in our son's life. I'm also assuming that my spouse and I will have to bear a large part of the burden of his insecurity and anxiety as he navigates this delicate transition. Do you have some tried-and-true strategies for weathering the storm?

Read more

Answer

Helping Missionary Kids Make the Transition From Field to Home

How can missionary parents ease the transition for their children when moving back home from the mission field? Our oldest son, who is eleven-and-a-half, has been struggling for several years here in our host country. After trying to help him adjust in a number of ways, we've decided to follow the recommendation of our leadership team and go home early. Our two other children love it here, but I have a feeling they'll be fine with our decision. Still, I'm wondering how we can help all of our kids make a positive beginning when we get back to the States?

Read more

Answer

Teaching Children to Be Respectful in a Coarsened Culture

How can I teach my children good manners? It seems etiquette has become a thing of the past, both for children and adults. This is something I'm determined to instill in my kids, but I can see that it won't be easy. How do I teach them to treat people respectfully when the rest of the culture seems to care less and less for the feelings, sensibilities, and rights of others?

Read more

Answer

Cell Phone Etiquette for Kids

How can I encourage my teens to combine cell phone use with a proper respect for others? In the beginning I was happy to provide my son and daughter with their own phones because I wanted to make sure that we could stay in touch at all times. More recently, however, I've become increasingly frustrated about the way their phones have begun to dominate their lives. The fascination of texting, calling, and accessing a thousand different phone apps seems to trump every other social interaction. We can be in the same room together, but when they're on their phones – which seems to be all the time – I feel as if I'm invisible. What can be done about this?

Read more

Answer

Parents Fear Child May Be Victim of Cyber-Bullying

How can I know for sure whether my child has become a target of intimidating text messages or cruel rumors on social media? Are there any tell-tale signs? If it turns out my child is being cyber-bullied, what can I do to help?

Read more

Answer

Mom Pumping Breast Milk in Order to Return to Work

Is there some way to work breastfeeding into my schedule once my maternity leave ends and I return to the office? I've heard that I might be able to manage it by pumping and saving my own milk, but this sounds like a lot of work and trouble. What would you suggest?

Read more

Answer

Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding

Would you or would you not recommend that a first-time mother consider nursing her newborn infant? What are the advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding? I'm anxious to do what's best for my baby, but I'm also a little worried about becoming "tied down" by nursing. What do you think?

Read more

Answer

Helping a Struggling Adult Child

Should we allow our struggling grown child to move back in with us? Our son recently got divorced. Then he lost his job and started drinking heavily again. He seems to have no sense of direction and now he wants to move back in with us. We're not sure if this would be the best thing for him. What should we do?

Read more

Answer

Dealing With Lazy Teenagers

How can I motivate my two lazy teenagers? They won't help me around the house, and they consistently wait until the last minute to do their homework. As a single parent, I usually don't have the energy to make them get down to work. Is there a way to break this negative pattern?

Read more

Answer

Parenting a "Boomerang" Child Together With Younger Kids

How should we parent a grown child when there are also two younger children in the home? We have three kids altogether: a boy and a girl who are still in high school, and an older son in his mid-20s. The oldest has had some tough luck recently and needs to move back home for a while. We realize that he's an adult and that we'll have to treat him differently in terms of rules and expectations, but we're concerned about the effect this might have on his younger brother and sister. Do you have any advice?

Read more

Answer

Asking a Grown Child to Move Out of the House

How do I know when it's time to ask my adult child to leave? After graduating from high school, our oldest son elected not to attend college. In the beginning, he had a part-time job, but it ended over a year ago. That's when all the trouble started. Since then he's been sleeping till noon every day, lying around the house, and eating up all our food. He refuses to look for another job, won't help with chores, and defies our wishes by bringing tobacco and alcohol into the home. And he's constantly stirring up trouble with his younger siblings. We don't want to push him out into the street, but we can't allow this to go on much longer. What would you suggest?

Read more

Answer

Dad Frustrated Because Son Wants to "Do It Himself"

Why doesn't my son want me to teach him things? From the moment he was born I've been looking forward to the time when I could teach him how to do all kinds of fun "guy" stuff. But now that he's old enough, he doesn't want me to teach him anything. When I try, he just says, "Dad, I can do it myself!" This isn't how I envisioned fatherhood. Any advice?

Read more

Answer

Postpartum Depression

How can I deal with the "baby blues"? The birth of my child was one of the highlights of my life. However, in the weeks since that mountaintop experience I've found myself struggling through a dark valley of depression and emotional exhaustion. Is this normal? What can I do about it?

Read more

Answer

Parents Don't Like Son's Long Hair

Should we allow our son to have long hair? There's constant conflict in our household over this issue. My husband and I constantly have to tell him to go and get his hair cut. If we didn't, I think he'd let it grow down over his shoulders. He usually complies, but not without a lot of resistance and complaint. We've told him over and over again that the Bible specifically forbids men to wear long hair (1 Corinthians 11:14), but he doesn't seem overly impressed with that argument. What do you think we should do?

Read more

Answer

Parental Concerns About "Dungeons and Dragons"

Should I allow my teenage son to continue his involvement with the role-playing game "Dungeons and Dragons?" I don't know a great deal about it, but I do know that it's beginning to eat up more and more of his time, and that concerns me. Am I worrying too much?

Read more

Answer

Teens and Horror Stories

How can we steer our adolescent son away from media that portray gruesome violence and help him make better entertainment choices? He's fascinated with horror stories – both books and films. We're concerned that he's filling his mind with disturbing ideas and images, but he says it's all just harmless fun. What do you think?

Read more

Answer

Broadening Christian Homeschool Curriculum Beyond the Bible

Would you agree that homeschoolers need to branch out and study subjects other than the Bible? My spouse and I have decided to begin home schooling our children. In researching various curriculum options, we've encountered some groups who advocate teaching kids strictly from Scripture to the exclusion of other academic texts or disciplines. We are committed Christians who take our faith seriously, but I can't help feeling that this approach is misguided and inadequate. I believe that a well-rounded education involves a lot more than Bible study. I'm also convinced that Christians need to be familiar with the broader culture. How do you see it? Does Scripture have anything to say about this?

Read more

Answer

Parent Concerned About Cohabiting Grown Child

Are we right to be worried about our daughter's decision to move in with her boyfriend? When we found out she that she was living with him, we told her we felt it was immoral. She said our values were "old fashioned" and argued that living together is the best way to test a couple's marital compatibility. What do you think? Are we really that far out of touch?

Read more

Answer

Grandparent Concerned About Health Conditions in Grandchild's Home

Is it my place to get involved if I'm convinced that the physical environment in my son's house has become unsafe and unhealthful for my grandchild? I love my son and daughter-in-law, but I'm worried about their ten-month-old daughter's health. The house is piled with trash, the floors are filthy, there's month-old pizza stuck to the carpet and dirty diapers are left lying in every corner. To prevent my granddaughter from getting into these messes, they keep her in an infant seat most of the time - even though she's old enough to start crawling. Should I express my concerns over these troubling health conditions? If so, how can I help change the situation?

Read more

Answer

Friends Have an Aggressive Preschooler

How should we handle it when a friend's child kicks or whacks one of our kids? Our best friends have a habitually mean and aggressive preschooler about the same age as our children. We try to keep visits short and supervised, but one of our children always ends up getting hit. Is there a way to put a stop to this without offending our friends?

Read more

Answer

Little Girls and Fairy-Tale Princesses

Is it okay for a young Christian girl to look up to the "Disney Princesses" for example, Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, Belle, and Mulan? My daughter is so infatuated with these characters that she has covered the walls of her room with their pictures. This makes me nervous since I'm not sure how it all lines up with truly biblical ideas of femininity and godly womanhood. What's more, I don't think it's healthy for her to go through life waiting for "Prince Charming" to come along and sweep her off her feet. What do you think?

Read more