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Life With Children
Questions and answers appear in my weekly parenting column in the Hamilton Spectator newspaper. Yours may be next, but no guarantees...
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Please note: Reprinting of these articles require permission of the Publisher; The Hamilton Spectator, 44 Frid St., Hamilton, Ont., L8N 4G3
Below are Q&A's from my parenting column as well as other articles in which I am quoted.
Style | Nov 14, 2011 Toddlerís meltdowns require patience Q: I am concerned about my two-year-old grandsonís behaviour. I have never experienced a child so strong willed and stubborn at this early an age. He will scream, cry and fight if he does not want to do what is asked of him (such as put on his coat a
FamilyParenting | Nov 07, 2011 | 4 ☺ Day-care centre is no place for parentsí dispute Q: Our day-care centre is dealing with parents who have split up recently. Either parent may ask us when their child has arrived, how the child is dressed and when the child is picked up. They also may inquire about the childís mood and if the child
FamilyParenting | Oct 31, 2011 | 2 ☺ Boyís friendship with girl is healthy and not a cause for concern Q: My 10-year-old son has a good friend who is a girl. I think itís fine but my husband feels it isnít normal and he is worried.
FamilyParenting | Oct 24, 2011 | 1 ☺ Mother-in-law pushing for grandchildren Q: How do I know if I am ready to have a child? I have been married two years and my mother-in-law is pressuring me. My husband and I fight sometimes and I feel Iím being bullied into making a decision Iím not ready for.
FamilyParenting | Oct 17, 2011 | 1 ☺ Childís questions deserve thoughtful response Q: My daughter is just five years old and asking where we go when we die, if babies come from your tummy why canít one come from mine, why canít we see someone anymore (we are estranged), why someoneís parents are divorced and what would I do if Dadd
Style | Oct 11, 2011 The Huxtables may have been perfect parents Q: My husband and I grew up without good role models. Our parents were abusive. We know we shouldnít hit each other or our kids, ages three, five and nine. Sometimes we just donít know what to do and end up arguing. How do we find a good role model a
FamilyParenting | Oct 03, 2011 | 1 ☺ A school aide may be what aggressive child needs Q: Our son has considerable problems. He is in grade 8 and is developmentally delayed, has poor judgment and gets into physical fights at school. The other day he took about 10 Tylenol. He has never been suicidal and he still doesnít admit to being s
FamilyParenting | Sep 26, 2011 | 2 ☺ Toddler will learn to share toys Q: I have a four-year-old boy and a daughter, 2Ĺ. My son tries to play with his sister but she wonít have any of it. Iím worried she may be a brat. Should I force her to share and play with her brother?
FamilyParenting | Sep 19, 2011 | 5 ☺ Puberty presents teens with many challenges Q: Schoolís barely started and my daughter says she doesnít want to go. Her first few days in Grade 9 were OK but now itís all drama and she wonít speak to me.
News | Sep 13, 2011 | 62 comments | 8 ☺ Bullied students need to know there are options Students need to be aware of and seek out the support that is available to them
FamilyParenting | Sep 06, 2011 | 3 ☺ Separating parents need help managing conflict Q: My ex and I are fighting over immunizations, among other things. We separated about four months ago and we will be going to court soon.
FamilyParenting | Aug 22, 2011 | 2 ☺ Little girls donít need padded bathing suits Q: Our daughter told us she needed a new bathing suit. We went to the store and every one she picked out was padded in the top. Trouble is, our daughter is nine.
FamilyParenting | Jul 11, 2011 | 3 ☺ Donít handle teenager with aggression Q: My 16-year-old daughter defied me and spent an overnight with her 18-year-old boyfriend at his Grade 12 grad blast in Wasaga Beach. No adults were there, they slept together and there was alcohol.
Style | Jun 27, 2011 Daughter needs help at school Q: Our 19-year-old daughter is finishing Grade 12 for the second time and will be going to university about an hour from home and living in residence. She suffers from depression and is on medication.
FamilyParenting | Jun 13, 2011 | 3 ☺ Children must learn to grieve Q: Our dog, Max, is sick and will die soon. He is a loving golden retriever and our son adores him. We got him four years before our son was born.
FamilyParenting | May 08, 2011 | 2 ☺ Kids can make world a better place Q: Our 10-year-old daughter is really affected by news reports involving children. Weíve told her not to worry and that those terrible things wonít happen to her. She is not worried about herself but for others.
FamilyParenting | May 01, 2011 | 1 comments Constant praise isnít always helpful Q: Our 10-year-old son has tried out for every team at school and not made any of them. His friends are on all sorts of teams so he feels bad. We tell him how bright he is, but all he does is mope and say heís useless. How should we handle this?
FamilyParenting | Apr 25, 2011 Choose a day-care provider based on your needs Q: I am on maternity leave and returning to work in three months. I am terrified about finding a day-care provider. How do I choose?
FamilyParenting | Apr 03, 2011 | 1 ☺ Birthday parties donít need big budgets Q: Our son is turning six next month. My wife thinks we should throw him a big birthday party with his entire class. It seems thatís what all the parents in his school are doing.
FamilyParenting | Mar 28, 2011 Child should know he has learning disability Q: Our son has been diagnosed with a learning disability and we are trying to understand what that means. We are also trying to decide if we should tell him or not. What do you think?
FamilyParenting | Mar 14, 2011 | 4 ☺ Try redirection for Ďterrible 3sí Q: My three-year-old son does not listen. Heíll get a chair, drag it to the counter and climb up. Then heíll stand on the counter and open the cupboards. I am afraid he will fall one day.
Style | Feb 22, 2011 | 1 comments | 3 ☺ Where do babies come from? Q: My three-year-old keeps asking ďWhere do babies come from?Ē What do I tell her?
Style | Feb 13, 2011 | 1 comments | 3 ☺ Put child first in custody dispute Q: My former spouse and I are arguing about the amount of time our daughter lives with each of us. She is 10 and I think she should alternate a week with me then a week with him. Is this wrong?
FamilyParenting | Jan 16, 2011 | 4 comments | 1 ☺ Sonís a druggie,his dadís a drunk Q: Our 18-year-old son is running with a bad crowd. He lies, steals from us, wonít go to school and wonít work. We know he does drugs because we find drugs in his room but he says they arenít his.
FamilyParenting | Jan 09, 2011 | 1 ☺ Are allowances good? Q: Is it a good thing to give a child an allowance and if so, at what age should it start and how much should it be?
FamilyParenting | Jan 02, 2011 | 1 ☺ Positive feedback aids potty training Q.: Our 20-month-old daughter was toilet trained last month and now refuses to use the potty. I think we are getting into a battle of wills. What should we do?
FamilyParenting | Dec 26, 2010 | 3 comments | 2 ☺ Stepchildren need love from all parents Q: I have a son, 10, from my first marriage and a son, 5, from my second marriage. My husband says he has no feelings for my first son and doesnít spend any time with him because he isnít his. I think this hurts my son. Should my husband spend time w
FamilyParenting | Dec 19, 2010 | 1 ☺ Guide your teenager into the dating scene Q: Our son is 16 and wants to start dating. I am Christian and my husband isnít. I believe 16 is too young to start dating. What do you think?
Style | Dec 12, 2010 | 1 comments Lay down the law on drunkenness Q: Christmas is almost here and I am dreading seeing my parents with our children. My father is an alcoholic, and my mother does nothing to stop him drinking. When he drinks, he becomes belligerent and disrespectful to my mother. I grew up trying to
FamilyParenting | Nov 28, 2010 | 2 comments Call police over sonís drug use Q: I read about a study where parents said they didnít think their teens were was using drugs and they were. Thatís not my problem. I know our son is using ó and not just marijuana. Weíve caught him with marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy. We tell him dr
FamilyParenting | Nov 14, 2010 | 2 ☺ Donít buy spoiled sonís love Q: I think our seven-year-old son is spoiled because no matter what we do for him, he complains we donít love him. He is constantly begging for new video games and eventually my husband and I give in, thinking it will make him happy and start appreci
FamilyParenting | Nov 07, 2010 Divorce affects children of any age Q: My parents are in their 50s and divorcing. I am furious with my father who had an affair. My mother is depressed and my 16-year-old brother is failing at school.
FamilyParenting | Oct 31, 2010 Ordering child to lose weight wonít work Q: Our 10-year-old son is overweight. I think he is being teased at school because of his weight. We have tried to discuss it with him and get him to exercise but he just mopes around and watches TV. We are at a loss what to do and canít figure out w
FamilyParenting | Oct 24, 2010 Son will suffer from affections to mother Q: My friend is newly separated and lives with her 12-year-old son. We have been to a couple of gatherings at which her son puts his arm on her shoulder and his head on hers. They hug and kiss. This is awkward and I am unable to continue a conversati
FamilyParenting | Oct 17, 2010 At times like this, itís wonderful to be a parent From time to time, I receive inspiring stories of parents and children meeting challenges and finding joy in life. Here is one by the mother of an autistic child:
FamilyParenting | Oct 11, 2010 Rite of passage needs proper preparation Q: My husband and I are separated. Our daughter is 10 and it wonít be long before she has her first period. I am terrified of her being with him when that happens. He tells me not to worry, he can handle it. We havenít discussed this with our daughte
FamilyParenting | Oct 03, 2010 We want harmony without harm Q: Whatís the deal? On the one hand your column says not to spank. On the other hand another column said kids have too much self-esteem and come across as holier than thou.
Letters | Jan 09, 2010 Secular spanking (Jan 9, 2010) - Re: 'To spank or not to spank is the question; New U.S. study re-ignites age-old debate' (Jan. 7)
Local | Jan 07, 2010 To spank or not to spank is the question (Jan 7, 2010) - At what age is spanking the wrong way to discipline your child?
Living | Nov 09, 2009 Shy child may benefit from assessment (Nov 9, 2009) - Many readers have offered other points of view to a recent column in which I suggested a mom may inadvertently be reinforcing the shy behaviour of her son.
Living | Nov 02, 2009 Family member ruins every get-together (Nov 2, 2009) - Q: How do we deal with a narcissistic family member who constantly spoils special family gatherings? She spoils every holiday with her constant negativity. She doesn't lift a finger to help but complains about everything.
Living | Oct 26, 2009 Mom told baby will have Down syndrome (Oct 26, 2009) - Q: I'm a little older and pregnant. I had amniocentesis and learned that my baby will have Down syndrome. I don't know if I can love this baby and I am afraid to tell anyone. What should I do?
WhatsOn | Oct 19, 2009 Mom may be reinforcing unwanted behaviour (Oct 19, 2009) - Q: My six-year-old son has always been somewhat sensitive but still outgoing and not shy. Since June he has become afraid of everything.
Living | Oct 13, 2009 Abusive home is no place to raise daughter (Oct 13, 2009) - Q: I am the mother of a delightful three-year-old girl. My husband has a textbook hostile personality; the world is out to get him, people don't appreciate him and somebody is always trying to slight him or rip him off.
Living | Oct 05, 2009 Don't let your kids take sips of beer (Oct 5, 2009) - Q: I do not agree with your answer to the question whether children should be allowed to have sips of their parents' beer.
Living | Sep 28, 2009 Don't let fear stop you from breastfeeding (Sep 28, 2009) - Q: I'm pregnant and worried about breastfeeding.
Living | Sep 22, 2009 Stepdad is the problem -- not his mother (Sep 22, 2009) - Q: My 12-year-old son fell ill three years ago just after his brother was born. My husband and I have been together since my oldest son was three, but he isn't my son's biological father.
Living | Sep 14, 2009 Setting limits shows teen you love her (Sep 14, 2009) - Q: My girl is 13. She was always so pleasant and obedient when she was younger. I was always very permissive and lenient with her. Now she is becoming out of control.
WhatsOn | Sep 08, 2009 Tell ex to stop sharing beer with your son (Sep 8, 2009) - Q: I have a question about exposing teens to alcohol. I am divorced with two children (son, age 13 and daughter, age 12). On a few occasions my son's father and his friends have let him have sips of their beer. What should I do? Is it
Living | Aug 31, 2009 Anger won't help with son's request (Aug 31, 2009) - Q: My ex and I share joint custody of our children. We have not been able to come to a final divorce settlement, despite going through mediation, family court, and exploring out of court settlement offers.
Living | Aug 17, 2009 Mature parents the best therapy for son (Aug 17, 2009) - Q: My son is four and he never really saw his father. We were married when my son was born but my husband had drug problems and left by the time my son was one. He has come back into my son's life, but my son doesn't want to see him.
Living | Aug 10, 2009 Why would a child say her dad is dead? (Aug 10, 2009) - Q; I have a question about my five-year-old granddaughter. She is bright and very precocious, which I believe is a result of being exposed mostly to adults and her two teenage sisters. We try to counteract this influence when she is
WhatsOn | Aug 04, 2009 Having fun or teaching bad behaviour? (Aug 4, 2009) - Q: My husband does something that really bothers me. He thinks it is harmless fun, but I feel it is counterproductive and could even be damaging. He uses reverse psychology in a joking way with our grandchildren and thinks it is funny
Living | Jul 27, 2009 Separate your love and anger (Jul 27, 2009) - Q. have been doing extensive research on Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). In reading about several Ontario court cases and reports from other respected mental health professionals, the behaviour causing thi
Living | Jul 20, 2009 Predators use web-page info to target kids (Jul 20, 2009) - Q: My ex allows our 14-year-old daughter to post her full name, address, cell-phone number, home phone number, and e-mail address on her social networking web page. Her profile is open and she has 194 "friends" who can view her infor
Living | Jul 13, 2009 Different parenting styles are OK after a separation (Jul 13, 2009) - Q: My husband and I are recently separated. Our kids are six, seven and nine. He doesn't hit the kids but we have different parenting styles. I try to talk things out with my kids and he would rather send them to their room. I am wor
Living | Jul 06, 2009 Nude photo request alarming online threat (Jul 6, 2009) - Q: Our 12-year-old daughter told us that a friend on Facebook, asked her to send a naked picture of herself to him. I am proud that she told us, but the situation still worries me. What should I do?
Living | Jun 29, 2009 Kids need time to get used to overnight visits (Jun 29, 2009) - Q: My daughter just turned three last week. My soon-to-be ex wants to take her for four nights to visit relatives (whom the baby does not know) and it is a 13-hour drive without stops. She has never been away from me overnight. There
Living | Jun 22, 2009 The kids need time to adjust (Jun 22, 2009) - Q: Three months ago my husband broke the news to me about his affair. Within a week he was out of the house and living with the other woman. We had been married 11 years. Within a month of his being out of the house he wants to intro
Living | Jun 15, 2009 Involve CAS in emotional abuse of girl (Jun 15, 2009) - Q: My granddaughter just turned three, and she is stressed to the max as far as I am concerned. Her parents are going to split up in two weeks.
Living | Jun 08, 2009 Toddlers' tantrums deserve time outs (Jun 8, 2009) - Q: I would like to know your opinion on time outs. I was a stay-at-home mom all my children's lives
Living | Jun 01, 2009 Separating parents must think of kids (Jun 1, 2009) - Q: How do parents tell two boys age seven and eight that they are separating? My daughter has made the decision to separate from her husband after many months of turmoil over his infidelity and drinking problem. Her greatest concern i
Living | May 25, 2009 Mom wishes there were fewer gifts (May 25, 2009) - Q: My three-year-old daughter's father and I are not able to communicate, so when he picks her up for her four-hour weekly visit, I send a book we call the communication journal, something his lawyer advised. In the first entry I had
Living | May 19, 2009 Nap may be all boy needs (May 19, 2009) - Q: Our son was born with spina bifida, which has been mostly surgically corrected. He wears leg braces and is in a regular classroom. He likes being treated like one of the boys and he tries his best to keep up with the other kids. H
Living | May 04, 2009 Not too early to settle summer visitation (May 4, 2009) - Q: Summer isn't even here yet and my ex is already fighting over summer holiday access. Our kids are 10 and 12.
Living | Apr 28, 2009 Young kids are naturally curious about bodies (Apr 28, 2009) - Q: My neighbour's four-year-old boy was over last week playing with our daughter, the same age. They were playing quietly and when I went to check on them, they both had their pants down and were staring at each other. I was so terri
Living | Apr 20, 2009 Hitting is no way to correct aggression (Apr 20, 2009) - Q: My son has trouble with aggression. He is eight and gets into fights at school. I have hit him to see if he likes it, and I have told him a million times not to hit, but it doesn't seem to stop him. I am thinking of putting him in
News | Apr 13, 2009 Daughter who lies and steals needs firm limits Q: My daughter will be 14 soon. She is a perfect child around other adults and children but very different at home.
Living | Apr 06, 2009 This stressed child and parents must talk (Apr 6, 2009) - Q: I am 14 years old. My dad just lost his job and my parents are always fighting.
Living | Mar 30, 2009 Even a little alcohol can affect loved one (Mar 30, 2009) - Q: My husband drinks a lot, but mostly after the kids are in bed. I tell him it's not good to drink, and he says that as long as the kids don't see it, it's OK. Will his drinking hurt the kids?
Living | Mar 24, 2009 Don't act with spite over access to children (Mar 24, 2009) - Q: Parents and families need to work together to make access stress free for children and adults.
Living | Mar 16, 2009 Golfer son must learn some respect (Mar 16, 2009) - Q: My 10-year-old son plays competitive golf in Scotland. He has tremendous ability but whenever he hits a bad shot it is my fault. He swore at me following a bad shot in a competition.
Living | Mar 09, 2009 How to give your child healthy self-esteem (Mar 9, 2009) - Q: I'm about to become a first-time mother and I'm nervous. My parents were never around and I have low self-esteem. I don't want my child to suffer like I did. What should I do?
Living | Mar 02, 2009 Learning to use potty a struggle (Mar 2, 2009) - Q: I am having a challenging time potty training my three-year-old son. For a few months, he was letting us know when he needed to go, but he would only do it in a diaper. He had a favourite spot in the living room (behind the curtain
Living | Feb 23, 2009 Second assessment not advised (Feb 23, 2009) - Q: My ex and I have had a custody and access assessment done through the court, and I think the assessor got it wrong. I want to hire my own assessor, but when I phoned one, he wouldn't give me the time of day.
Living | Feb 17, 2009 Getting a teen off drugs Three-part plan helps tackle a serious problem (Feb 17, 2009) - Q: Our 16-year-old daughter's marks have been slipping. We know she has been smoking pot, and we think she is doing other drugs now. She recently came home drunk, not for the first time. What should we do?
Living | Feb 09, 2009 Teen fears she's losing connection with Dad (Feb 9, 2009) - Q: Our granddaughter lives with her parents on a week about basis. They separated years ago and her father has since remarried a woman with a child who irritates my granddaughter at times. Her father seems to favour this other child.
Living | Feb 02, 2009 Refusing the potty (Feb 2, 2009) - Q: My three-year old refuses to use the potty. She has been using it since age two and is well aware of when she needs to go. I have tried encouragement, praise, ignoring, bribes, rewards and timeouts -- all unsuccessfully. If I inter
Living | Jan 26, 2009 Simple terms are best when telling kids mom has cancer (Jan 26, 2009) - Q: Our children are six, eight and 10. I have been recently diagnosed with cancer and don't know what to tell then. My husband is having a hard time dealing with this too. What should we do?
Living | Jan 19, 2009 If 'no' doesn't work, try redirection instead (Jan 19, 2009) - Q: I am afraid to tell our two-year-old "no." Every time I do, she runs around in circles, screaming. What should I do?
Living | Jan 12, 2009 Separation is sharing (Jan 12, 2009) - Q. My husband and I recently separated, and Christmas with the kids was a disaster. I know we ruined their Christmas because we fought about which parent they should be with. How do we sort this out for next year and for Easter?
Living | Jan 05, 2009 Pool safety should be a top priority (Jan 5, 2009) - Q: I am a grandmother. I have a hard time accepting how many younger people today are not, in my mind, protective enough when it comes to watching out for their children, especially around pools.
WhatsOn | Dec 22, 2008 Don't be a hostage to a teen (Dec 22, 2008) - Q: My daughter is turning 17 shortly. Her friends wanted to throw her a party at one of their houses (over an hour away) and I recommended at home instead.
Living | Dec 15, 2008 When it's wise to call a professional (Dec 15, 2008) - While I'd be the last to suggest people not consult a professional -- given my role -- I am disturbed that the answer to everyone's problem is a professional.
Living | Dec 08, 2008 'Take as prescribed' important for teens (Dec 8, 2008) - Q: I read your most recent column about anti-depressants for a teenaged girl. My daughter has also been prescribed anti-depressants, but I heard there is an increased risk of suicide and I don't know what to do. Should she still try t
Living | Nov 25, 2008 Antidepressants may help teenage daughter (Nov 25, 2008) - Q: The psychiatrist wants to put our daughter on antidepressants. She is 18 and just sits at home. My husband is against this and says if she just got off her butt, she would feel better.
Living | Nov 17, 2008 Take your teen's threats seriously (Nov 17, 2008) - Q: We are at our wits end with our 14-year-old son always playing video games. When we try to talk with him, he tells us off. When we threaten to take his Nintendo away, he threatens to kill himself. What do we do?
Canada | Nov 17, 2008 Teens risk their safety as bad guys eye iPods TORONTO (Nov 17, 2008) - To some they're a status symbol; to others they represent a temporary escape from the humdrum of life.
Living | Nov 10, 2008 Grounding teen boy leads to more grief (Nov 10, 2008) - Q: Our 14-year-old son is giving us constant grief. Right now he is on a grounding for three weeks. What more can I do with him so the punishment sinks in?
Living | Nov 03, 2008 Boy, 13, grieving for his brother (Nov 3, 2008) - LIFE WITH CHILDREN
Living | Oct 27, 2008 Video game addiction not mere child's play (Oct 27, 2008) - Q: The parents of Brandon Crisp, a 15-year-old who ran away from his Barrie home on Oct. 13, are convinced his obsession with online video game addiction to Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, is linked with his disappearance. What advic
Living | Oct 20, 2008 'Socially amputated' girl needs connection (Oct 20, 2008) - Q: I am having trouble with my 10-year-old daughter. She doesn't want to go to school and she doesn't listen to me. When she was five, her dad and I moved from out east to Calgary. I caught him fooling around, and we moved here four
Living | Oct 06, 2008 Despairing girl, nine, wants to shave her legs (Oct 6, 2008) - LIFE WITH CHILDREN
Living | Sep 29, 2008 Don't tell your teen you once smoked pot (Sep 29, 2008) - Q: My son is asking if I ever smoked pot. He's 14, and I am not sure what to tell him.
Living | Sep 15, 2008 Tantrums not just a child's problem (Sep 15, 2008) - Q: My four-year-old has tantrums whenever he doesn't get his way.
Living | Sep 08, 2008 Boy, 9, hits sour note after month on the sax (Sep 8, 2008) - Q: Our nine-year-old was after us for months to learn to play the saxophone. He had seen someone playing on TV and thought it was just the greatest thing.
Living | Sep 02, 2008 Son needs limits to Net gaming (Sep 2, 2008) - Q: My 16-year-old son would play online games 25 hours a day if he could. I've limited him to five hours a day. He doesn't seem interested in any other activity and tends to mope around and watch TV or play his old Game Boy when not o
Living | Aug 25, 2008 Four-year-old's soother holds a lot of power (Aug 25, 2008) - Q: I have a 4 1/2-year-old daughter who loves her soother so much we just cannot get her to give it up. Whenever we take the soother away, she will suck her thumb, shirt collar or anything. At 2 1/2 years, we began encouraging her to
Living | Aug 18, 2008 Our daughter's evasive -- is it normal for teens to keep secrets? (Aug 18, 2008) - Q: Our 15-year-old daughter has always been respectful of our limits and expectations, but recently she has begun keeping secrets from us, not wanting to tell us where she is going or who she is with.
Living | Aug 11, 2008 Negotiation better way to resolve conflict (Aug 11, 2008) - Q: Is there any way for a non-custodial parent to get a court order enforced when one no longer has the funds to obtain a lawyer and doesn't qualify for legal aid? What good is a justice system that delivers an order with a huge debt
Living | Aug 05, 2008 Child upset over change of schools (Aug 5, 2008) - Q: Our daughter is going to enter junior kindergarten in September. She is really anxious about leaving her friends and going to "big girl school." I keep trying to reassure her, but she only gets more upset. What's wrong with her?
Living | Jul 28, 2008 Young son's best friend is moving (Jul 28, 2008) - Q: My five-year-old son is showing ambiguous behaviour toward a friend he really values. He has been teasing the boy a lot ever since he found out, to his dismay, that his friend will be moving to another city in a few months.
Living | Jul 14, 2008 Don't order out, let the kids cook (Jul 14, 2008) - LIFE WITH CHILDREN
Living | Jul 07, 2008 Freedom from diaper a good training reward (Jul 7, 2008) - Q: After the summer, our son will be going to day care, but he needs to be potty trained. He is 30 months old now. What can I do to get him trained in time for September?
Living | Jun 23, 2008 Boy, 10, should be kept active during summer (Jun 23, 2008) - Q: I am a single parent and my 10-year-old is arguing with me about what he is going to do this summer. He just wants to hang around the house. I want him to go to day camp. I have to work and can't keep on eye on him. What should I
Living | Jun 16, 2008 Walking the walk will influence kids (Jun 16, 2008) - Parents must understand that, when dealing with kids' behaviour, the parent must not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.
Living | Jun 09, 2008 Teens and cellphones pose new set of risks (Jun 9, 2008) - Q: My teen is begging me for a cellphone. She says all her friends have one and she feels left out. Should I get her one?
Living | Jun 02, 2008 Be balanced in your style of parenting (Jun 2, 2008) - Q: We use positive reinforcement raising our two-year-old. It has been working very well, praising good behaviour and ignoring her during tantrums after explaining her limits and our reasons. We don't believe in spanking. Other member
Living | May 26, 2008 A gay child needs support (May 26, 2008) - Q: Our 17-year-old son has just told us he is gay. I find this hard to believe, and his father is refusing to speak with him. What should we do?
May 14, 2008 Part 11: "I needed this kick in the butt' BY KIRSTEN ULRICH, AS TOLD TO CARMELINA PRETE It was hell at first. It was really, really hard ómuch more difficult than I expected it to be. What made it easier was that my daughter, Megan, and I really wanted to change. Itís still hard to deal with
Living | May 05, 2008 Help child deal with baby (May 5, 2008) - LIFE WITH CHILDREN
Living | May 01, 2008 TONIGHT: Free Open Forum for The Way We Eat Bring your nutrition questions. We have answers. (May 1, 2008) - What: The Hamilton Spectator's Open Forum for The Way We Eat, hosted by series writer Carmelina Prete. Learn about portion distortion, body image, decoding labels and more. Experts on hand to answer questions include Randy Calvert of
Local | May 01, 2008 Spec forum offers tips on healthy eating (May 1, 2008) - Bring your nutrition questions to The Hamilton Spectator's open forum tonight for The Way We Eat, hosted by Carmelina Prete, writer of The Spectator series by the same name.
Living | Apr 28, 2008 Wary of long-distance calls (Apr 28, 2008) - Q: My 16-year-old son has an ongoing relationship (since July) with a girl whom he met for only four days.
Living | Apr 21, 2008 No strict rules about weaning (Apr 21, 2008) - Q: My three-and-a-half-year-old son is still breastfeeding, mostly just for the occasional nap he takes or for bedtime. I get a lot of flack for it from family members. I'm wondering how common are breastfeeding toddlers? And how in
Living | Apr 14, 2008 Stepdaughter wants to see us apart: dad (Apr 14, 2008) - Q: My wife and I are living separately now and the major cause is my 12-year-old stepdaughter who has told us to our faces many times she will do whatever she can to see us apart. What do I, the stepdad, do to work toward bringing my
Living | Apr 07, 2008 On blended families (Apr 7, 2008) - Q: My new husband and I argue about how well I get along with my ex. He doesn't get along well with his ex-wife and barely sees his kids. My son sees his father regularly. I think this is good. What should I do? Coming together as a b
Living | Apr 03, 2008 The Way We Eat Makeover (Apr 3, 2008) - The Way We Eat is a 12-part multimedia series about the challenges and successes of three local families who made over their eating habits for three months.
Living | Mar 31, 2008 Whining for snacks has parent fed up (Mar 31, 2008) - Q: My four-year-old keeps whining for snacks before supper. Sometimes it can even be just a few minutes before I serve dinner. When I try to make him wait, he flops on the floor until I give in. What am I doing wrong?
Living | Mar 24, 2008 Three reasons why his son may be timid (Mar 24, 2008) - Q: My five-year-old son would give up any of his toys if another kid is interested -- even if the kid is two or three years old. He does not try to get his toys back.
Education | Mar 17, 2008 Is your teen ready for the car? (Mar 17, 2008) - Q: Our son is begging for the keys to the car. He is still just 16 and recently got his G2. Should I let him use the car?
Mar 12, 2008 Whatís stopping you? BY CARMELINA PRETE Kirsten Ulrich knows what readers are likely thinking about her ó a nurse eating fast food every day. Isnít that like a doctor smoking? Or a personal trainer being overweight? If anyone knows better, shouldnít it be someone who mak
Living | Mar 10, 2008 Son's problem needs answer, not arguments (Mar 10, 2008) - Q: Our six-year-old son keeps getting into trouble at school. My husband and I keep arguing as to what the problem is. At what point should we seek professional help?
Mar 04, 2008 About the series About the series The Way We Eat is a 12-part series chronicling the challenges and successes of three local families who makeover their eating habits. Appearing every Thursday until May 22, the series grew out of The Hamilton Spectatorís family nutri
Living | Mar 03, 2008 'I don't love you' is child's tactic (Mar 3, 2008) - Q: My daughter is almost five years old. When I ask her to do something, we get into an argument and she tells me she doesn't love me. Then we argue about whether she loves me; I tell her it's mean to say that she doesn't, and she say
Local | Feb 16, 2008 It's 6:21 a.m. F-Day. Do you know where your children are? (Feb 16, 2008) - You know what today is, don't you? F-Day, minus 2. Two days to go. OK, boot camp. Are you ready? I said, Are you ready, grunt?!!
Living | Feb 11, 2008 Solve custody issues with care (Feb 11, 2008) - Q: We just had a custody and access assessment, and I don't agree with the recommendations. What will happen?
Living | Feb 04, 2008 Redirect toddlers' play away from guns (Feb 4, 2008) - Q: I work in a day-care centre. The boys, who are mainly three-year-olds, appear obsessed with guns. We have attempted to change their interest in guns into more appropriate play. We have talked about how the use of guns can be very d
Living | Jan 28, 2008 Talk of suicide demands immediate action (Jan 28, 2008) - Q: Why would a teenage girl think of killing herself? Her father thinks she might be lying just to get attention. I do not think that is the reason. Her 15-year-old sister is always fighting with me and, yes, at times I do fight with
Living | Jan 21, 2008 Life With Children (Jan 21, 2008) - Q: Our 15-year-old daughter has been upset recently. I finally got her to talk with me, and she says her boyfriend has forced her to have sex. My husband believes she may have had sex, but doesn't believe she was forced. What should
Letters | Jan 16, 2008 Preteens should see true-to-life Juno (Jan 16, 2008) - Re: 'Teen pregnancy: It's not like in the movies' (Jan. 14)
Living | Jan 14, 2008 Teen pregnancy: It's not like in the movies (Jan 14, 2008) - Q: My 12-year-old daughter is begging me to see Juno. Should I let her?
Living | Jan 07, 2008 Variables dictate foster placement (Jan 7, 2008) - Please send your parenting question to email@example.com. Ask me
Living | Dec 31, 2007 Be reasonable, not physical (Dec 31, 2007) - Q: I have a 9 1/2-year-old son who is becoming defiant. Recently when he misbehaved, I told him to go to his room. He just looked at me and said "no." I repeated my request several times and each time he replied no. At a loss for wha
Living | Dec 17, 2007 Santa can be scary for some children (Dec 17, 2007) - Q: My five year old is terrified of mascots. She has never seen Santa and becomes afraid when mascots, characters or actors in costumes are nearby. She physically shakes and cries even before the event or seeing these characters. We
Living | Dec 03, 2007 Divorced parents: don't fight over Xmas (Dec 3, 2007) - LIFE WITH CHILDREN
WhatsOn | Nov 26, 2007 Daughter is bullied at school (Nov 26, 2007) - Q: My seven-year-old daughter is an outgoing, happy child who is well-liked. An older girl in her school always does and says cruel things to my daughter that make her cry. I have decided it's best that my daughter not see the girl a
Living | Nov 19, 2007 Catch your child being good (Nov 19, 2007) - Q: I have heard so many people talk about "time out" versus "time in." What is the difference or are they the same thing?
Living | Nov 05, 2007 Parents' roles differ in blended families (Nov 5, 2007) - Q: In a blended family, what is the role of step-parent, and is it appropriate for the step-parent to insist that the separated parent schedule access to the children?
Living | Oct 29, 2007 Bad behaviour in sports may be ADHD (Oct 29, 2007) - Q: My six-year-old seems to always have his own agenda at school, at home and in sports. For example, he takes powerskating lessons with about 30 kids on the ice who range from six to 10 years old. All the other kids stop and listen
Living | Oct 22, 2007 There's no 'normal' for child's playtime (Oct 22, 2007) - Q: Our five-year-old has never played much with toys. We try to demonstrate and encourage independent play, but he still has a hard time entertaining himself. He just wants to talk. He mostly likes to explore and occasionally builds
WhatsOn | Oct 15, 2007 Child suffers in parents' prickly conflicts (Oct 15, 2007) - Q: How do I tactfully, in writing, remind my ex to abide by the court order requirements for paperwork and access return times without him becoming aggressive? Should I contact the children's aid society about his conduct in front of
WhatsOn | Oct 15, 2007 Too Good to Miss (Oct 15, 2007) - For nonprofit, charity or fundraising events in Hamilton and area, submit items in writing to Too Good To Miss, The Hamilton Spectator, 44 Frid St., Hamilton, L8N 3G3, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org only (no other e-mail addresses
WhatsOn | Sep 24, 2007 Protect child from abusive grandparents (Sep 24, 2007) - Q: My parents are alcoholic and used to hit me when I was a child. They fight all the time, too. They are asking to have our five-year-old daughter sleep over. What should I do? I have trouble saying no
Living | Sep 18, 2007 | 1 ☺ Teen drinking is a concern (Sep 18, 2007) - Life with children
Living | Sep 11, 2007 Teen needs united parents (Sep 11, 2007) - Q: My 15-year-old daughter doesn't listen to me. She swears at me and sneaks out of the house. When her father tells her not to do that, she says she can't promise not to do it again. They talk in private whenever she is mad at me. S
Living | Sep 04, 2007 How Do I Find Out if My Child Has Learning Disabilities? (Sep 4, 2007) - Q: Our 11-year-old is about to enter Grade 6. He has a history of school problems. He gets into trouble but his grades are Cs and Bs, so the school won't test him. What should I do?
Living | Aug 28, 2007 Learning to leave home (Aug 28, 2007) - Q: Our 17-year-old son is off to university in September. He is a quiet boy, and in the past week or so he has been asking if we will miss him. I think he is having doubts about going away. What should we do?
Living | Aug 21, 2007 Tragedies show value of social investment (Aug 21, 2007) - Q: I read last week about three young Manitoba boys stripping a six-year-old before throwing him in the lake where he drowned. Can that happen here? What went wrong?
Living | Aug 14, 2007 Parents must unite to solve school issues (Aug 14, 2007) - Q: I have a nine-year-old who's been having problems in school for quite some time. I see her on the weekends, but I know that's not enough time to really instil confidence in her learning ability. Her mom and I haven't been together
Living | Aug 07, 2007 Assertiveness in action (Aug 7, 2007) - Q: My youngest son, 14, was playing a video game today at our house with a friend. In the game, there was a young woman tied up, blindfolded and two men with guns. They proceeded to shoot her. I told my son that I had no idea this gam
Living | Jul 31, 2007 Spoiled child showing behaviour problems (Jul 31, 2007) - Q: I am concerned about my eight-year-old granddaughter who is having trouble getting along at school. She is bright, but her mother is dyslexic. There is a new baby in the house and the other grandparents live with them and always g
Living | Jul 24, 2007 Toilet training can be a challenge (Jul 24, 2007) - Q: My son will be three years old next month. He is intelligent and has no difficulty in letting us know what he wants and when. Except for toilet training. He will go on the toilet whenever we regularly put him there, but he does no
Living | Jul 17, 2007 'Making strange' is quite normal (Jul 17, 2007) - Q: Our daughter is two. She is very outgoing and friendly with adults and children. In the past few months, she has become shy at greeting people or groups of people, even family members, who want to pick her up and become affectiona
Living | Jul 10, 2007 Expanding awareness makes house seem scary (Jul 10, 2007) - Q: My four-year-old son is going through a period where he's afraid of doing things on his own. When we're playing in the back yard, he's afraid of going in the house on his own to use the bathroom. When we're inside and he wants to
Living | Jul 03, 2007 Liar, liar! (Jul 3, 2007) - Q: I need advice on how to stop my seven-year-old daughter from constantly telling nonsense lies.
Living | Jun 26, 2007 Taking the big leap into kindergarten (Jun 26, 2007) - Q: My four-year-old son is registered to start JK in September. When we talk about the move from preschool to big school, he is extremely worried and scared, and will start to cry just talking about it.
Living | Jun 18, 2007 What could be wrong with my moody child? (Jun 18, 2007) - Q: During the past few months, our nine-year-old daughter has become sullen, moody and withdrawn. We've spoken with her about this -- and even her teacher. Our daughter just says nothing is wrong and goes to her room. What should we
Living | Jun 11, 2007 If your child smoked pot, wouldn't you want to be told? (Jun 11, 2007) - Q: My daughter swore me to secrecy before telling me her girlfriend is still smoking pot even though her parents think otherwise. Her parents knew she used to smoke pot. My daughter thinks she can handle it better now. Should I te
Living | May 28, 2007 Contrary child is seeking more autonomy (May 28, 2007) - Q: My son is almost four years old and generally well-behaved though a bit strong-willed. What wears me down is his contrariness. He says no often as a knee-jerk reaction to things he normally really likes. And he often takes a contr
Living | May 22, 2007 There's no teaching in spanking (May 22, 2007) - Q: I read a story about a teen who misbehaved and who was made to wear a sandwich board by his parents, which read: "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food." Is
Living | May 14, 2007 What is the 'right' number of kids? (May 14, 2007) - Q: My husband and I have chosen to have only one child. Friends and strangers often ask, "Why aren't you going to have any more?" Can you offer advice on how to handle this probing, bothersome question?
Living | May 07, 2007 Collaborative family law eases the tension (May 7, 2007) - Q: I am getting a divorce and we are fighting over the kids. I have heard about collaborative law.
Living | Apr 30, 2007 Splish-splash, dad's in the bath (Apr 30, 2007) - Q: My five-year-old grandson spends some evenings with his separated father. The father would bathe with the child as a toddler, and the two would relax in bed in the nude, watching TV. His mom has asked him not to bathe with the boy
Living | Apr 02, 2007 Parents are a toddler's entertainment (Apr 2, 2007) - Q: When we're eating dinner, our 27-month-old son will eat very well for a little bit but suddenly pick up his plate and dump it. Why does he do this, and how can we stop it?
Living | Mar 26, 2007 'Victory lap' year carries no stigma (Mar 26, 2007) - Q: My son seemed excited at the prospect of finishing high school and attending university.
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