@askadvicemama 

I'm Uncomfortable Letting My Daughter Have Sleepovers at a Certain Friend's House

Dear AdviceMama, I'm an old dad (late 50s). My 11-year-old daughter loves sleepovers, both at our house and her friends'. However, I have an issue with the mother of one of her friends. She is very sweet and a member of our church, but I question...Would you let your child spend the night at this mom's house?

When Relatives Give Your Child a Gift You Don't Allow, Things Can Get Awkward!

When my son was about 8 years old, one of his relatives gave him an Eminem CD. Having seen how intrigued my boy had been by the rapper's music when he had heard it at his house, Uncle X thought he'd found the perfect gift for his nephew. It was a...If you're confident that your relatives have given your child something entirely inappropriate, you have to take a stand.

Should I Punish My 13-Year-Old Son for Not Being Excited About the New Baby?

Dear AdviceMama, I am pregnant with my second child. My son is 13. His father and I are divorced; it was a bad marriage and my son was rejected by his father. Since the divorce, his father fades in and out of his life. My son is very angry about...You cannot force someone to be happy and excited. At best, you might convince your boy to hide his unhappiness, but that is a terrible idea.

How to Prepare for the Santa Moment of Truth

We dread it, but every parent knows that the day will eventually come when their child learns that there is no Santa. This discovery brings a double dose of shock to the little one. First, he has to come to terms with the fact that the jolly,...As hard as we may try to preserve our child's innocence, we all have to inevitably deal with the mournful moment when our youngster figures out the real deal about Santa.

My Niece Is Skipping School - and Her Mom Doesn't Care!

Dear AdviceMama, My 13-yr-old niece (my sister's daughter) is starting to skip school a lot and make up excuses not to go, or she will call home and complain about a headache, wanting to go home. There is a lot of negativity in my sister's home...While you may not be able to get through to your sister, you do have a chance to become a safe haven and confidante for your niece, which is the first step toward helping her avoid heading into bigger problems.

My Teenage Daughter Was My Best Friend, and Now She's a Terror!

Dear AdviceMama, It seems like overnight my only child and best friend can't stand me. How is it that my 16-year-old girl can treat me so poorly when I have done nothing to provoke her? She doesn't share anything about her life. She is very rude...First, let me say in big, bold letters: Your daughter cannot be your best friend.

My 4-Year-Old Granddaughter is Becoming a Bully ... Just Like Her Mom!

Dear AdviceMama, My 4-year-old granddaughter is the victim of my daughter's yelling, profanity and name-calling if she doesn't listen. They live in my home, so I am a constant witness. My granddaughter is now becoming the class bully in preschool....The number one most powerful influence on our children's behavior is how we ourselves behave. Gently offer to help your daughter find healthier ways to handle her child when she doesn't listen.

Laurie David, Susan Stiffelman on Helping Kids Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Does your family have an attitude of gratitude? Credit: Amazon
We think of Thanksgiving as an event that happens once a year: A meal, a football game, a family reunion. Some of us look forward to it, if only for the gravy and stuffing, and...
How are you and your family expressing your gratitude this Thanksgiving?

How Much Is Too Much When It Comes to Homework?

Dear AdviceMama, My grade schooler has one to two hours of homework a night. When is a child supposed to play with friends or just relax? The media reports that children are overweight and aren't getting enough exercise, but isn't playing a great...I don't think we'll get to a point where homework goes away, but I do think we need to get off this train, racing to nowhere.

How to Handle Family Gift Giving When Everyone Has Different Budgets

Once upon a time, the tradition of gift giving was about sharing tokens of affection that were meant to touch the heart of a loved one and express gratitude for their presence. There was -- at least in the way I imagine it -- a sweetness and...You gave your aunt a box of homemade soaps and she gave you a new iPad. What should you do when you and your relatives have wildly different budgets?

Coming Home - and Coming Out - at Holiday Gatherings

It's amazing how much can happen over a simple holiday meal. Heartfelt toasts can be offered, jokes shared and old stories delivered with gusto can all revitalize warm and loving familial feelings. Or, something else can happen. Subtle -- or...'Tis the season to introduce the family to your partner. Or is it?

Stepdaughter Disrespectful and Aggressive: What Can We Do?

Dear AdviceMama, My stepdaughter recently moved in with her mom because she disrespected everyone here, especially her dad. She hits him, curses at him and recently broke a picture frame over his arm. If you ask her not to act that way she becomes...Your stepdaughter needs help getting to the root of her anger, and your husband needs to learn how to help her safely vent her frustrations and sorrow.

How Can I Spice Up Life With My Newly-Retired Husband?

Dear AdviceMama, Since he retired, my husband plays a lot of golf, and thinks our social life should consist of taking his mother out for dinner once a week. Any suggestions? Signed, Ready for Romance Dear Ready, Thanks for your...

Do I Have to Babysit My Sister's Sniffly Kids?

Dear AdviceMama, My sister's kids seem to always have the sniffles. I feel awful turning her down when she wants me to watch them for her, but I worry that my kids will get sick if they come over. What should I do? Signed, Trying to Stay...It's hard to turn down a sister in need, but it's tough feeling like you're inviting an invasion of germs into your home to contaminate you and your own kids.

Grandson Won't Sleep in His Own Bed!

Dear AdviceMama, My 2-and-a-half-year-old grandson still sleeps in bed with his parents. My daughter and her husband have tried to put him in his own bed, but he still winds up in theirs. We are expecting another grandchild any day now and I think...The last thing you want is to fuel sibling rivalry by "kicking him out" of his parents' bed just when a new baby arrives, without giving him time to comfortably transition to his own room.

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