Parenting

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Talking to Children About the Death of a Relative

What's the best way to help a child work through the passing of a relative or close family member? My father died this year, and our grade-school-aged son has been asking questions. For example, he wants to know where grandpa has gone and whether he has become a "guardian angel." How do I respond without confusing him?

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Taking Children to Visit Terminally Ill Relatives

Is it a good idea to expose children to the reality of death, disease, and mortality by taking them to visit terminally ill relatives? My grandmother is in the final stages of cancer and her illness has dramatically altered her physical appearance. Recently she expressed a desire to see my two young children. Should I allow the kids to visit her? Would they find the experience too upsetting?

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Worried That Son-in-Law Isn't Caring for His Family

As a parent and grandparent, should I step in to help if I feel that my son-in-law is not caring properly for my daughter and my grandchildren? What makes this especially difficult is that his actions (or lack thereof) could put his family's safety at risk. For example, he constantly forgets to put oil in their car which leaks like a sieve so I end up doing it. Basically, I end up doing almost everything that needs to be done in order to make sure that my daughter and her kids are safe and cared for. Am I overstepping my bounds?

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Divorced Parent Concerned That Grown Child Is Skeptical About Marriage

How can I convince my adult son that matrimony is valuable and worthwhile when his own parents couldn't make it work? My ex-spouse and I split up when my children were still small, and I thought it was all water under the bridge. Now I find that my son blames me and his dad for his negative view of marriage. He doesn't intend to marry his live-in girlfriend, since, in his words, "marriage is a valueless, old-fashioned institution," and "divorce is inevitable anyway." What should I tell him?

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Parent Fears That Child May Be a Victim of Human Trafficking

What should we do if it turns out that our child has actually fallen under the control of criminals who market vulnerable teens to customers in the "sex trade?" Without going into details, I can tell you that we have good reason to believe our daughter has become a victim of human trafficking. As you can imagine, this discovery has turned our world upside down. We realize that this is an extremely dangerous situation, and we have no idea where to turn for help.

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Dietary Treatment of Autism

Is a gluten-free/casein-free diet helpful in treating autism? Our son was diagnosed as autistic several years ago. We've been using behavioral therapies with him, but a friend suggested that this kind of diet might also be helpful.

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Recognizing Autism in Toddlers

How can I know if my child might be in danger of developing autism? He's one year old and starting to walk, but he hasn't begun talking yet – no "mama," "dada," or anything else. If he wants something, he just points and screeches. I've also noticed that he often stares off into the distance and seems to slip into his own little world for a moment or two several times a day. He usually snaps out of it eventually, but if he doesn't we really have to work hard to get his attention. Is this normal?

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Help for an Overly Critical Parent

How can I undo the damage I've caused by being too harsh with my children? I realize that I've been overly critical in my attitude toward them, and the results are now beginning to surface. How do we turn this around?

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Preschool Kleptomaniac

How can we stop our four-year-old from stealing? It seems like everywhere we go – church, stores, museums, friends' houses – he walks out with something that doesn't belong to him. I have a feeling that he's just being irresponsible-that he puts things in his pocket and then forgets about them. My husband and I have talked to him several times about why this behavior is wrong. We've told him what the Bible has to say about stealing. We've even tried punishing him. But he keeps doing it. What should we do now?

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Teenage Son's Girlfriend Is Pregnant, Wants to Raise Baby

How can we persuade our son and his girlfriend to think more seriously about what they're going to do with the baby they've conceived? They're both 18, and neither one of them wants to give up the child for adoption. What should we do about this? My son just graduated from high school and is leaving for college. Most of my friends and mentors have recommended adoption as the solution to this dilemma, but he doesn't like that idea. Meanwhile, I'm providing all of his financial support, and neither one of us knows how he's going to support a baby. Do you have any suggestions?

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Son's Girlfriend Is Pregnant: Marriage As a Possible Solution

Should our son be encouraged to marry his pregnant girlfriend? It's a regrettable situation, but at least she's planning to keep and raise the baby. Both of them are emotionally immature, financially dependent, and basically ill-equipped to establish themselves as a family. In spite of this, some of our Christian friends have suggested that he marry the girl and "make an honest woman of her." What advice can you offer?

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Parenting a Son Whose Girlfriend Is Pregnant

How should we respond to our teenage son who has gotten his girlfriend pregnant? He's seventeen and she's sixteen. It's difficult to admit this to anyone. What does he most need to hear from us?

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Daughter Pregnant, Boyfriend Wants Abortion

What should I say to my daughter whose boyfriend is pressuring her to have an abortion after getting her pregnant? She's looking to me for support and guidance, but this situation has me so upset that I don't know what to tell her. Can you offer any advice?

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Exploring Options for an Unwed Pregnant Teen

Can you help me advise my unwed pregnant daughter? She's too young to care for a baby. What's more, her whole life is still ahead of her, and I feel strongly that we should do everything in our power to help her salvage her hopes and dreams for the future. What do you think she should do: put the baby up for adoption, parent the child herself, or have an abortion?

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Parenting a Pregnant Teen

How should we respond to our teenage daughter who has no desire to be a part of our family after becoming pregnant?

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Maintaining Relationships With Children After a Divorce

Now that I'm divorced, how can I stay involved with my kids? One of the most difficult outcomes of the settlement is that it limits my contact with them. Legally, I'm only allowed to have them a few days out of each month. I'd like to be more involved, but my ex-wife is very strict in her interpretation of the court order. How, under these circumstances, can I continue to have a godly influence in my children's lives?

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Home School vs. Private School: Financial Considerations

Should money play a role in our decision on where to send our kids to school? We don't feel that the public schools are an option for our children's education, so we're left with a choice between home schooling and a private Christian school. Can you help us find our way?

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Choosing a Preschool

What should we look for in selecting a suitable preschool or playgroup for our child? We're thinking about putting our daughter in a facility of this kind two or three days a week. There are so many options to choose from, and it's hard to know whom we can trust.

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Schooling Options

Can you help us decide on a strategy for giving our child the best possible education? Our daughter is ready to start school, and we want her to get her moving in the right direction. What kind of options and alternatives are available to us?

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Educating a Gifted Preschooler on a Limited Budget

How can we encourage and promote our young child's love for learning when we don't have the money for preschool? She already knows how to read and she's curious about everything. I'm not sure that I'm equipped to homeschool a child of her ability. What do you suggest we do?

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Delayed Speech Development in Preschooler

How can I find a trustworthy source to diagnose and treat my young child's deficient speech and language skills? He's way behind his peers in this area, and I'm especially concerned because he's supposed to start school next fall. How do I talk to him about this without making him feel abnormal?

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Home Schooling a Child With Learning Disabilities

Is it a good idea to try to educate a child with a developmental or potential learning disability at home? I want my son to have every possible advantage and to progress as he should, but I'm not sure I'm qualified to help him with his special needs.

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Coping With Infertility

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for couples who are having difficulty conceiving a child? My spouse and I are both in our mid-thirties. We waited to have children until our careers were established. We've been trying for nearly a year to get pregnant, still without result. Are we doing something wrong? Is God punishing us?

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Medical Options for Infertility

Do you think that couples who are having difficulty conceiving should see a doctor who specializes in treating infertility? After trying unsuccessfully for over a year to get pregnant, my spouse and I are wondering if it would be worth seeing a physician to help us conceive a child.

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