Parenting

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

Preventing Teens From Running Away

What should we do if we suspect that our adolescent son is making plans to run away? Is there something we can do to prevent this from happening?

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

Answer

Confronting a Rebellious and Promiscuous Teen Daughter

Do you have any advice for dealing with a teenage daughter who's recently gotten involved in premarital sex and other destructive activities? While hunting for an extra set of car keys in my daughter's purse I came across a condom and a cigarette lighter. Needless to say, I was devastated. Should I confront her about my discovery?

Read more

Answer

How to Handle Working Mom Guilt

How can I stop feeling guilty and resist the temptation to be "Superwoman"? I'm a working mother with a preschooler and a couple of school-age kids who are also involved in lots of extra-curricular activities. I have to admit that I feel bad whenever I'm not doing something "productive." My family's schedule is so tight, and there's so much to be done, that I feel compelled to "work" and sometimes that involves multi-tasking all the time. If I don't, I quickly become gripped by the fear that things won't get done.

Read more

Answer

Toddlers and Media

As parents of a 2- to 3-year-old, how do we begin placing healthy limits on our child's exposure to television, video games, and the Internet? We've heard a lot about the negative impact of electronic media on adolescents and pre-teens, and we want to start encouraging good habits in this area as early as we can. What can we do?

Read more

Answer

Advice on Teens and Online Chat Rooms

What's your opinion on teens getting involved in social networking and online chat rooms? I've read some of the teen conversations on the sites my daughter wants to visit, and they seem relatively harmless. But I'm still afraid of losing control over my child's interactions with her peers. Should I be concerned?

Read more

Answer

Cell Phone Guidelines for Kids

Should children be allowed to have smart phones or mobile devices? Our oldest has started driving and all of our kids are constantly on the move. My spouse thinks they need phones in order to stay better connected with us. Do you think this is a good idea?

Read more

Answer

Child Exposed to Violent and Sexual Movies at Friend's House

Can a one-time viewing of a violent or sexually explicit film or TV show have negative long-term effects on children? I just learned my grade-schooler saw an inappropriate cable movie while spending the day at a friend's house. What should I do and how can I prevent this happening in the future?

Read more

Answer

Helping Kids Develop Good Eating Habits

Do you have any tips for parents who want to inspire their children to maintain a healthy diet? Our two children are still very small, but we want to start training them early to develop good eating habits.

Read more

Answer

Recognizing and Confronting Adolescent Eating Disorders

How can I know if my daughter is anorexic or bulimic? She's lost a great deal of weight over the past few months, and she's become extremely thin. What should I do if I find out she has a serious eating disorder?

Read more

Answer

Christians and Concerns About Halloween

Should Christians participate in Halloween by allowing their kids to attend costume parties and go trick-or-treating? We have serious problems with this, but all the other families in our neighborhood go all out in celebrating the holiday. Our kids feel left out if we don't allow them to join in. What do you think we should do?

Read more

Answer

Husband Won't Help With the Kids

How can I encourage my husband to take the responsibilities of parenthood more seriously and get involved more directly with our children? He likes the "fun" part of raising kids – for instance, he's great at getting down on the floor and "wrestling" with our toddler. But when it comes to the practical side of being a dad, I don't think he's pulling his weight.

Read more

Answer

Teenage Child Is Questioning Faith

Can you help us with our adolescent daughter who is having doubts about God? She has been raised in a solid Christian home, and her faith has always been very important to her. But recently she seems to be struggling with doubt. Last week she asked me how Christians can be sure they're right when there are so many other religions in the world. I answered by quoting Hebrews 11:6 – "Without faith it is impossible to please God" – and Proverbs 3:5 – "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." This didn't seem to satisfy her. Can you help?

Read more

Answer

Parents Concerned About Young Kids Interacting With Gay Neighbors

A lesbian couple with young children recently moved in a couple of houses down the block. Our kids have struck up a friendship with their kids, and I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to handle the situation. I want to teach my kids to be loving and accepting of the children. At the same time, I'd like to be able to explain the moral issues surrounding the parents' relationship. How can I protect my children while also engaging this family for the sake of Christ?

Read more

Answer

Talking With Kids About Abortion and Homosexuality

At what age should I start discussing topics like abortion and homosexuality with my children? They're still in elementary school, and I have no wish to violate their innocence any earlier than I have to. At the same time, I'm also aware that they've probably already encountered talk about these subjects. As I'm sure you can understand, I'd rather that they get their information from me than from the kids down the block or some other source. When should that begin?

Read more

Answer

When and How to Intervene in the Life of Your Teenager

As a parent of teenagers, I understand the importance of distinguishing between what I can and can't control and granting my kids the freedom they need in order to make their own choices and learn by their own mistakes. Unfortunately, I have reason to believe that my teens are in serious danger of choosing wrong and messing up their lives. As a matter of fact, my 17-year-old daughter has already gotten into some serious trouble with her boyfriend. What's worse, her defiant attitude is making it increasingly difficult for me to keep her on the right path. What would you recommend?

Read more

Answer

Kids and Entertainment: Teaching Discernment

How can I help my kids make wise media choices? I'm extremely frustrated with the growing toxicity of so-called "entertainment," but short of moving to the Amazon jungle or the middle of the Sahara desert, I can't completely shield my children from all of it. It seems the only answer is to equip them to analyze standard media fare in a thoughtful, Christian way. Can you help me do that?

Read more

Answer

Teens, Tattoos, and the Bible

Should we allow our adolescent to get a tattoo? Doesn't the Bible forbid them? Our 16-year-old wants to get one, but we've held off on any serious discussion of the matter, in part because we're so shocked that we don't know what to say. How should we, as responsible Christian parents, react to this request?

Read more

Answer

Connection Between Fatherlessness and Violence Among Boys

What's the relationship between fatherlessness and violent behavior among adolescent boys? I'm wondering about this because statistics show that an increasing number of children are growing up in homes where no father is present.

Read more

Answer

Boarding School for Missionary Children

What is your opinion of boarding school for children? I've always thought that they were destructive to families. But recently my spouse and I have received a call to serve as missionaries overseas, and apparently this arrangement is part of the deal. I'm not sure this is best for our children and our family, but we don't want to forsake our responsibility to share the Gospel either. Any advice?

Read more

Answer

Three-Year-Old Boy Plays Dress-Up With Sisters

Should I allow my three-year-old son to play dress-up with his older sisters? He not only enjoys putting on the same frilly dresses they wear, but the costume jewelry as well. This doesn't seem like healthy behavior to me. What can I do to stop it?

Read more

Answer

Sleeping Arrangements on a Family Vacation

Do you think it's appropriate for a fourteen-year-old boy to sleep in the same bed with his eleven-year-old sister? Here's why I ask. Our family is taking a two-week vacation before school starts. At each of our planned stops, my wife and I and our two kids will be sharing a single room with two queen-sized beds. To be honest with you, I don't like the idea of sleeping apart from my wife for two whole weeks. Is it okay to let the kids sleep together?

Read more

Answer

Tips for Teething Babies

What should I expect when my child starts teething? Can you help me recognize the signs that this process is about to begin? How about suggesting some simple strategies for making it as easy and as painless as possible?

Read more