Mouthy Teens Ups the Vitriol

A teenager uses her tongue to lash out at her parents, and mom has had enough. Should she bring down the hammer or uncork the love? Q: We have quite a situation with our 16-year-old, very iron-willed daughter. Her attitude and level of disrespect—and how it is expressed with her mouth—is getting worse and worse. This issue seems to be...[ read more ]

Why I’m not worrying about my children’s academics

Yes, this is an unprecedented time of school closures but I'm not going to sweat it if my kids don't learn much the rest of the year.  

Ending the Food Battle

Do you constantly have fights about food with your kids? This mom asks how to end the daily battles over food with her three little ones. The solution is surprisingly simple—and effective. Q: We are having many battles over food in our house. We have boys ages five, three and one. The older boys go to preschool and are usually...[ read more ]

Staying Calm in Middle of Coronavirus Anxiety

With schools closed, social distancing the new normal, and uncertainty about when all this will end, it can be difficult for us grownups to keep calm and carry on. This mom asks how to handle her five-year-old’s increasing anxiety about all the changes. Q: I'd like some advice on how to handle my 5-year-old daughter's worry/nerves at night since this...[ read more ]

Helping Your Child Get Over Disappointments

With the coronavirus triggering school closures, travel bans and church cancellations, and health officials stressing social distancing, our kids have a lot of disappointments to process. In this video, I offer several ways for parents to assist their kids in working through the many disappointments life has thrown at them all of a sudden.

When Should Kids Get Smartphones?

Do middle schoolers need cell phones to connect with their peers? The short answer is no, but it’s usually not that simple. I have three teenagers in my house right now, including two teenage daughters in high school (one a sophomore and one a junior). None of my teens have cellphones. Q: Our 12-year-old entered junior high this year and...[ read more ]

A Boy and His Tongue

Sometimes kids do weird things, most of which are yucky to adult ears and eyes. While parents shouldn’t overreact to such things, they can put parameters around the weird impulse. Here’s what I advised one mom whose son constantly licked things. Kids don't listen when we launch into lecture mode, and who can blame them? Their brains aren't developed enough...[ read more ]

Church Expectations

Should older children be expected to sit quietly with mom and dad during the entire church service? This mom wants to know if her behavior expectations are on cue—and if so, how to reign in her rowdy bunch during church. You need to implement a church bootcamp in which you begin training your kids with how to behave in church....[ read more ]

Instilling a Christian Worldview

It can be difficult to know how to navigate a world of differences, but for the sake of family, we should try. This mom asks how to handle interactions with her adopted son’s older brother, who’s being fostered by a gay couple. You instill your values in your kids by teaching them right from wrong, how to be kind to...[ read more ]

Curing the School Blues

When a child expresses hatred of school or a teacher, we often go into overdrive to ferret out the problem. But all too often, there generally isn’t something sinister going on. Here’s how you can figure out how to react when a kid says she “hates” school. Q: My second grader claims she hates school and her teacher. What can...[ read more ]

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