Parenting

Answer

Parental Guidelines for Teen Dating

What rules and guidelines should we set for our teenager who wants to start dating?

Read more

Answer

Considerations for Working Mothers

Do you have any encouragement for moms who are employed outside the home? I'm aware that Focus on the Family spends a lot of time affirming stay-at-home moms in their role, but I'm wondering if you can offer any support to those of us who have to leave home every day simply in order to help pay the bills.

Read more

Answer

Co-Parenting With an Uncooperative Ex-Spouse

How do I handle conflicts with my ex-spouse over different parenting styles? Our divorce settlement stipulated that we would share responsibility for the children. The arrangement sounded fine on paper, but it's a disaster in practice. I'm a firm believer in structure and discipline. Unfortunately, that goes out the window every time the kids spend a weekend in the home of my ex-spouse, who cares nothing for rules or guidelines. What can I do about this?

Read more

Answer

Remarried Dad Having Trouble Connecting With Spouse's Child

How can I have a better relationship with my stepchild? She resists my attempts at friendship and even screams, "You're not my dad! Leave me alone!" Have I done something wrong? How do I get past this barrier?

Read more

Answer

Child of Divorce Doesn't Want to See Dad

How should I handle my daughter's aversion to seeing my ex-husband? The court has granted him visitation rights, but she's very angry with him for leaving the family and doesn't want anything to do with him. She needs to know that I understand her feelings. At the same time, I don't want to keep her from developing a relationship with her father. How do I walk this tightrope?

Read more

Answer

Teaching Kids to Be Grateful

How do I instill an attitude of gratitude in my young daughter? I'm concerned about her selfish outlook on life. She recently had a birthday, and as soon as she was finished unwrapping her gifts she started looking around for more! What can I do to correct this?

Read more

Answer

Surviving Your Kids' Extra-Curricular Activities

Is it a good idea for children to get involved in sports, dance classes, music lessons, and other commitments outside of their school work and household chores? How much of this kind of thing is too much? Can you suggest any practical guidelines?

Read more

Answer

Teenage Son Wants to Smoke Electronic Cigarettes

Should I allow my 14-year-old son to smoke electronic cigarettes? He's been hounding me about it and claims that they are medically safe and that there is no reason I should not let him engage in and enjoy this activity. I've been telling him "no" even though I know nothing about e-cigarettes and have no basis for my decision. It just doesn't "feel" right to me. Do you have any advice?

Read more

Answer

Changing Relationship With Teen

Is it normal for a parent's relationship with a child to take on a different tone during the teen years? I was always close to my daughter in the past, but things aren't the same since she became a teenager. I can't connect with her anymore – she's always texting or talking to friends on her cell phone. I feel as if I've lost something precious. What should I do?

Read more

Answer

"Dirty" Teenage Dancing

Can you help us deal with the with the issue of sexually suggestive teenage dancing? My teens have been asking to attend parties and school dances, but when my wife and I got a glimpse of some of the lewd activity that goes under the name of "dancing" nowadays we told them "no." Are we being unreasonable?

Read more

Answer

Single Mom Seeks Male Role Models for Kids

How can a single mom find a man (or several men) capable of providing the masculine influence and guidance her children need as they approach puberty? I feel it's important for them to have good male role models to look up to and learn from. Any ideas on how I should go about finding one?

Read more

Answer

Young Child Has Never Known Dad

How do I answer my preschooler's questions about his father who left the family when I was three months pregnant and hasn't been in touch since? Lately my son has been asking why his dad doesn't live with us. What should I tell him?

Read more

Answer

Christian Parents Uncomfortable With School's "Diversity Training"

How should we respond to pro-gay curriculum in the public schools? The administrators of our child's elementary school have announced that they will soon be implementing a course of study in "tolerance" and "diversity training" for students in the lower grades. While we expect and have always encouraged our children to respect everyoneincluding gay and lesbian individualswe resent the school's attempt to undermine the biblical values we teach at home. This is difficult because our family is deeply involved in school sports, student council, PTA, and other extra-curricular programs. We don't want to make waves or to be labeled as "bigoted" or "hateful." What should we do?

Read more

Answer

Concerns About Daycare

As a working mother, should I be worried about placing my child in a daycare facility? Personally, I have some serious misgivings about this option, but my husband thinks it's fine. Are you aware of any research on this subject or other choices we might consider?

Read more

Answer

What to Look for in Daycare Options

What factors do we need to consider – what should we look for and what should we avoid – when selecting a daycare facility for our child? Some of our friends and family have had bad experiences in this area. Naturally, we'd like to avoid that if at all possible. Do you have any suggestions?

Read more

Answer

Ideas for an Inexpensive Spring Break

Do you have any suggestions for things families can do together while the kids are out of school on Spring Break? We don't have a lot of money to spend, but we would like to take advantage of the time off to strengthen our relationships and have some good old fashioned fun. Any ideas?

Read more

Answer

How Dads Teach Daughters About Modesty

How can fathers help their girls learn about modesty? I want my daughter to get a handle on this concept before she becomes a teen, but I feel awkward about raising this subject with her. I realize that as a dad I can either be a big asset to her in this area or embarrass her and make her feel uncomfortable. What's the right role for a father here?

Read more

Answer

Parent Concerned About Teenage Prom

What's your perspective on high school proms? They sure have changed since my day, and I'm a little nervous about allowing my teenager to go. Can you offer me any practical guidance?

Read more

Answer

Dad Concerned About Preteen Girl's Interest in Boys

Is twelve years old too young for a girl to be expressing a keen interest in boys? My husband and I have a difference of opinion on this point. Our daughter and her best friend like to talk about "cute" boys and often tease each other about who has a crush on whom. To me this seems like normal preteen behavior. My husband, on the other hand, feels that she is too young and that such activity will lead to worse behavior when she is older. I respect my husband very much and want to maintain solidarity with him. At the same time, I can't help wondering whether he's being too strict. What do you think?

Read more

Answer

Child Angry About Dad's Out-of-Town Job

How can we help our daughter adjust to the stress and strain associated with my husband's new job in another city? We only see him on weekends, which makes her very angry and depressed. Despite our reassurances, she insists that her Daddy doesn't love her anymore. What should we do?

Read more

Answer

Santa Claus and Other Christmas Traditions

What's your perspective on the celebration of Christmas? How do you understand the meaning of the holiday, and what are your feelings about some of the more "fanciful" symbols and traditions, including Santa Claus, that have become such a big part of it?

Read more

Answer

Making Family Memories

How can we be more intentional about doing things together that will strengthen relational bonds and family ties in the future? I know it's important to make good memories, but it's tough to find time for it with so much going on in day-to-day life. Do you have any suggestions or advice?

Read more

Answer

Talking to Young Kids About Santa Claus

How should I talk to my elementary-grade child about Santa Claus? She's been asking a lot of questions about him. I am ready to tell her the truth, but I'm hesitant because I don't want her to think that we've been "lying" to her all these years.

Read more

Answer

Adolescent Son Is Shy and Awkward Around Girls

How can I help my 15-year-old son feel more confident around girls his age? He's still very shy and nervous in mixed company, and I'm looking for ways to give him a boost in this area. Any suggestions?

Read more