Parenting

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ADHD and Lack of Focus in School

Should we be worried that our child is having trouble paying attention and sticking with her assignments in the classroom? We don't think this is ADHD because she can sit for hours in front of the computer or the television without being distracted. Is this kind of behavior common among kids in the elementary grades?

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Evaluating a Possible Diagnosis of ADHD

How can I tell if my child really has ADHD? She is struggling in school, and her teacher has told us that she exhibits some of the symptoms of ADHD. I have serious concerns about the over-diagnosis of this condition and the over-medication of many kids today. Do you think I should take the teacher's observations seriously?

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Dealing With a Defiant Child

How do I handle a kid whose behavior ranges from telling me to "shut up" to slamming a door on her younger sister to trying to steal money from my wallet? My daughter is the classic "defiant child." She hates school, has trouble getting along with friends, and frequently disobeys her teacher. I'm worried about her future. What should I do?

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Controlling Kids' Video Game Usage

Should I permit my child to play video games? If I do decide to let video games into my home, which games should I allow and how can I maintain control over the kind of gaming in which my child becomes involved?

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Keeping Valentine's Day Positive for Kids

Can you give me any ideas for helping children celebrate Valentine's Day in a healthy and uplifting way? I always loved February 14 when I was a kid, and I'd like my kids to have the same experience. But I don't want to reinforce our culture's misguided ideas about romance. Any suggestions?

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Parents Concerned About Son Joining a College Fraternity

Should a college freshman join a fraternity? Our son is in his first year at the university, and he wants to pledge to a fraternity on his campus. I don't know much about fraternities, and I'm not sure what to think. What is your perspective on this?

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Clinging Mom Afraid to Release College-Age Child

Can you help me "let go" of my son who is heading off to college? I'm worried about the challenges he'll be facing on his own – challenges to his faith and his moral values, not to mention the practical challenges of living on his own for the first time. We've always been a close-knit family, and sometimes the thought of seeing him go is almost too much for me. In fact, I've been lying awake nights thinking about this. How can I deal with this transition?

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Child Can't Sleep After Watching a Scary Movie

How can we help our preschooler overcome his fears and get to sleep at night after watching a disturbing "kids' movie" we got from the library? He's been hysterical at bedtime ever since viewing this film and keeps us up half the night because he won't go to sleep alone. What can we do about this?

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Non-Traditional Female Careers for Girls

If it's important to maintain clear distinctions between the sexes – and I agree that it is – should we encourage our school-age daughters to think in terms of pursuing non-traditional female career choices? One of our girls has been talking about becoming a firefighter when she grows up. I realize that most people in contemporary secular society wouldn't have any problem with this, but as a conservative Christian I can't help wondering: does a goal like this align with genuinely biblical womanhood? Should I try to steer my daughter in another direction?

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Teaching Children About Self-Denial

Should I teach my child about the importance of self-denial? We don't hear much about it in the modern American church, and contemporary secular culture doesn't value it at all. But I'm not sure how our kids will understand what it means to follow Jesus if we neglect this aspect of the disciple's calling.

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Preparing Kids for Back to School

I can't believe that the end of summer is already within sight! School will be starting again in a couple of weeks, and my children are dreading it. Is there anything I can do to help smooth the transition? What would you recommend?

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Anorexia and "Pro-Ana" Websites

Are "pro-ana" websites helpful for those with anorexia and other eating disorders? I recently discovered that my teenage daughter, who has struggled with an eating disorder (anorexia), has been visiting one of these sites on a regular basis. When I questioned her about it, she said that it's designed to provide girls in her situation with a "community of mutual support." She says it's all very positive and encouraging and that she can't imagine how she'd get by without it. Do you know anything about this? Should I encourage her to continue her participation?

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Stress and Parenting a Child With Special Needs

As parents of a child with special needs, how can my husband and I manage all of the difficult emotions and added stress that comes with our situation? There are times when the job seems like more than we can handle.

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Helping Teens Overcome Poor Body Image

Do you have any advice for parents trying to help a teenager who struggles with bad feelings about her figure and physical appearance? Our daughter has a poor body image and a distressingly negative view of herself, but she won't talk about it. How do we bring this up without smothering her, alienating her or otherwise hurting our relationship?

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Teaching Kids to Stick With It

How do we keep our child from becoming a "quitter"? Several months ago our 5-year-old son asked to be enrolled in a Tae Kwon Do program. He's enjoyed it and usually has a good time once he gets to class. But lately we've run into problems with him not wanting to go. We don't want to push him into an area where he doesn't have an interest, but we also don't want him to get the idea that he can quit something just because he doesn't feel like doing it. How do we find the right balance on this issue? And does it change according to age?

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Providing Enriching Childhood Experiences on a Tight Budget

How can I give my kids the chance to try different activities and programs when we don't have much money? I'm a stay-at-home mom and my husband works hard to support our family, but we're living on a shoestring budget. I don't want my children to miss out on life-enriching opportunities.

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Teenagers and Sleep

How important is it for adolescents to get enough sleep? And exactly how much is "enough"? My son is trying to convince me that he has enough energy to handle late nights. I tend to disagree. My feeling is that sleep is critical during the teen years, especially with all of the physical changes kids are experiencing at that age. What do you think?

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The Significance of a Father's Influence

Is there any real evidence that dads really have a uniquely important impact in the lives of their children? Our culture seems to place little value on the role of fathers. I see evidence of this everywhere, from pop culture and media to government policy. My own experience and belief system tell me that fatherhood is important, but I'd like to be able to explain exactly why this is the case. Can you help me?

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Helping a Family That Has a Child With Special Needs

What are some meaningful and practical ways we can ease the burden of a family who has a child with special needs? My husband and I have friends from church with a child who was recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We know this family is juggling a lot of things at once and we want to help them. Any good ideas on how we can do this?

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Avoiding Toddler-Care Burnout

How do I avoid toddler-care burnout? I'm a young stay-at-home mom with two children under the age of five. I love my kids, and I've willingly given up a career and other pursuits to devote myself to them full-time. Still, I have to admit that the stress, the strain, and the tedium all wear on me and get me down sometimes. What can I do to preserve my emotional equilibrium and prevent an all-out breakdown?

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Parenting a Teenager Who Doesn't Want to Move With Family

Should we force our teen to relocate to a new state with the rest of us? A job change is requiring our family to move, but our adolescent son, who is currently a student in high school, doesn't want to go with us. He'd rather move in with some friends and graduate from the school he's currently attending. Should we let him stay?

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Making a Major Move With Kids

How can parents help kids adjust to a cross-country move?

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Parenting Teens Through a Major Move

How can we help our adolescent daughter, who is depressed and angry as a result of our recent relocation to a new town and a new school? The move has taken a heavy toll on all of our kids, but our teenager is particularly upset. She won't talk about anything but our old home, and her grades are beginning to slide. What can we do?

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Parents Perplexed by Change in Teen's Personality

Can you help us understand and deal with the shift in personality and temperament that has come over our daughter since she entered puberty? She used to be a ball of sunshine – compliant, obedient, and pleasant – but she has changed significantly since hitting the teen years. She's irritated, moody, and secretive about insignificant things. What can we do?

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