In the seventh grade I was promoted by my peers from president of the class geek-nerd-brainiac society to, well, if not fully cool, then at least on the way. I had discovered two sports I excelled in-golf and baseball-and the girls had discovered that I was one of the best, if not the best, dancer in the class. My classmates began overlooking the fact that I was a straight-A student, always sported a few pimples, and wore thick glasses.
While working in my secret parenting laboratory, hidden deep beneath the earth's surface and accessible only by me and a small, select team of associates, I recently made what I believe is a huge and history-making breakthrough that promises to greatly improve parenting the world over.
Q: In our city, most of the high school seniors participate in "Senior Beach Week" during spring break. They rent beach houses and condos and party like there's no tomorrow. Alcohol, marijuana, and sex abound. Our friends justify allowing their kids to go by saying they have to be trusted sometime. In truth, we all have good kids who have never given us any trouble. They just want to go and be part of the scene. Our nephew's parents, however, refuse to let him go. They say it's irresponsible even if the child in question has been ...
Q: Our 18 month old is a table terror! While I'm preparing dinner, she walks around acting like she's starving, but as soon as we sit her in her highchair she takes a few bites and then wants down, screams, cries, and will sometimes throw food. Through all this, our 5- and 3-year-old try to talk to us but can't get a word in for all the chaos. We absolutely dread eating in a restaurant. How should we address her behavior?
Q: For the past several weeks, our just-turned 3-year-old has been waking up and coming into our room at all hours of the night with the usual excuses. He's scared, hungry, thirsty, lonely, can't sleep, has to use the bathroom, wants a kiss, and so on. He goes to bed at 7:30 if he takes an afternoon nap and 6:30 if he doesn't. We are a marriage-centered household, so evenings are for Mom and Dad. Neither of our kids has ever even napped in our bed. When we take him back to his room, we ...
Q: What should I do when my 9-year-old daughter loses all of her privileges because of her misbehavior but refuses to go to her room? I tried to physically force her, but she put up too much of a fight. I feel like she's in complete control of our family. I'd have never disobeyed or disrespected my parents. What have I done wrong?
Q: Our son is in Kindergarten at a small private school. Most of the children in his class are boys. From the beginning, he's been somewhat of a behavior problem. Each time we get a notice from his teacher, we punish him. Last week, he and a boy in his class were goofing around. The boy twisted my son's arm and my son hit him to get away. Both of them were laughing the entire time. Nonetheless, the school said they were fighting and expected us to discipline at home. Several days later, he punched another boy, again ...
Q: My 10-year-old daughter is having thoughts about other girls. She says she's worried because she notices and admires other girls' figures. I know this is normal, but I'm not really sure how to say to her. She seems to be obsessing about it. What's your advice?
Q: Our son started full-day kindergarten in September. For the first three months he had no problem with his behavior at school, but for the past few weeks he has gotten in trouble for talking, not listening, and he spit at a child at school today. Taking away privileges hasn't made a difference in his behavior. He was always such a well-behaved child so we are at our wits end as far as what to do. Any suggestions for punishment would be greatly appreciated.
Q: This past August, when our son was a mere 22 months of age, it took him two weeks to learn to use the potty successfully. He was dry even at night. We were thrilled! However, now that the weather has turned cold, he has started wetting the bed every night and even during afternoon naptime. We tell him it's wrong but he doesn't seem to care. We even put his little potty in his crib but he doesn't use it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
With the advent of a new school year, it seems appropriate to tackle the issue of homework: more specifically, the question of how involved parents should be and how parents can limit their involvement to only what is necessary.
Q: When I ask him to do something, my 2-year-old screams "No!" and then swings at me. When he hits me, I firmly reprimand him and try to put him in time-out, but that only makes matters worse. I've tried ignoring his screaming, but that doesn't work. What should I do?
For Matthew Scott Miller, of Castaic, the role of "Chatter" in Nickelodeon channel's "Fred 3: Camp Fred" was a chance to stretch his acting muscles.
Cary Quashen, CEO of ACTION Family Counseling, and life coach Alex Urbina have joined forces to found the new nonprofit ACTION Family.