A Sunday Sleepover and Conflicting Stories for 04/21/2018

A Sunday Sleepover and Conflicting Stories for 04/21/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My 14-year-old daughter was invited to a birthday pool party at a local resort. It’s being held on a Sunday night. The girls are expected to sleep over and miss school on Monday. I told my daughter she could attend the party but I would be picking her up at 10:30 p.m. Of course, she threw a fit. Am I being unreasonable? — Party Pooper

Dear Pooper: First things first, who throws a sleepover party for ninth-graders on a school night? Sleepovers are some of my best childhood memories — up all night, all the chatter with the lights off, the late-night snacks, the secrets. It’s a special time. And I don’t necessarily disagree with kids missing school here and there for fun events. Life is short. But missing school to attend a birthday party doesn’t quite meet the bar.

Updated: Sat Apr 21, 2018


A Sunday Sleepover and Conflicting Stories for 04/21/2018

Fearing ADHD Meds and a Hair Catastrophe for 04/14/2018

Fearing ADHD Meds and a Hair Catastrophe for 04/14/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My daughter has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She showed the signs for several years. However, recently, she has had much more trouble in school, and even with her friends. Her doctor recommended she try medication to help control some of her behavior, but we are really against it. There are side effects, and we don’t want her to be dependent on drugs for the rest of her life. What do you think about it? — Concerned Parents

Dear Concerned: What if your daughter didn’t have ADHD but instead was born with a congenital heart condition that required her to be on medication for the rest of her life? Would you consider withholding the drugs? I highly doubt it. Yet when it comes to mental health conditions, people often consider medical management a non-necessity. While there are other treatments, studies show that medication, especially when combined with other therapies, is highly effective in treating ADHD.

Updated: Sat Apr 14, 2018


Fearing ADHD Meds and a Hair Catastrophe for 04/14/2018

Visible Tattoos and a Sugary Breakfast Habit for 04/07/2018

Visible Tattoos and a Sugary Breakfast Habit for 04/07/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My son will be 18 in a few months. He has been accepted into college and will be moving to a big city in the fall. He says that once at college, he’s going to get a tattoo on his hand or wrist. I don’t mind a tattoo, but I’m concerned about him losing job possibilities because of his tattoo being too visible. But he will be 18, and the only thing I could do is threaten to take away his college money. Would that be a mistake, or is this decision too big to allow a young man to make? — Purse Strings

Dear Strings: I am never a fan of using the purse strings to keep young adults in line. If your son is wasting your money, blowing off classes and failing semester after semester, then it’s time to pull the plug, or at least change the deal. Otherwise it’s time to let your son grow up and make his own decisions.

Updated: Sat Apr 07, 2018


Visible Tattoos and a Sugary Breakfast Habit for 04/07/2018

Lonely Mom and Dealing With Miscarriage for 03/31/2018

Lonely Mom and Dealing With Miscarriage for 03/31/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: I have two kids. When my oldest was born, I had lots of friends to meet for play dates. Those friends provided me with a lot of social and emotional support. I never realized how much until I had my second son. My youngest has a severe form of autism. He is difficult to be around, and thus, I have pretty much lost all of my friends. I am lonely and exhausted, and I feel abandoned. How can I help my friends see how much I need their friendship? — Alone

Dear Alone: It can feel exceptionally lonely to be the parent of a child with special needs. I am sorry your friends didn’t rise to the occasion.

Updated: Sat Mar 31, 2018


Lonely Mom and Dealing With Miscarriage for 03/31/2018

Snooping Mistakes and a Pesky Pacifier for 03/24/2018

Snooping Mistakes and a Pesky Pacifier for 03/24/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My 16-year-old daughter tells us nothing about her life. So when she goes to bed, I sometimes browse through her cellphone. At first I just noticed typical teenage girl gossip. But then I read about a boy she likes and is trying to attract by wearing tight clothing and sending him racy Snapchats. How can I address this with her without telling her that I’ve been on her phone? — Snooper

Dear Snooper: Stop snooping right now. Your daughter chooses not to share her life with you. It would be helpful to figure out why. Is she just private, or is she worried about the potential lectures she will get if she tells you anything? Either way, I can guarantee she will be even less likely to share her life details once she finds out you’ve been snooping. Furthermore, once you read or see something upsetting, you can’t unknow it. That’s the danger. You don’t know what you will find, or even how to handle it.

Updated: Sat Mar 24, 2018


Snooping Mistakes and a Pesky Pacifier for 03/24/2018

Potty-Training Resistance and a Nickname for 03/17/2018

Potty-Training Resistance and a Nickname for 03/17/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My nearly 4-year-old daughter is not potty trained. At preschool she is prompted to use to toilet every hour or so, and she successfully tinkles. But at home she refuses to tell us when she needs to go and has a tantrum when we suggest she sit on the potty. She has never pooped on the potty at school or at home. She just goes in her pullup. We’ve tried everything. Should we continue to push her or just put her in underwear and hope for the best? — Daddy

Dear Daddy: Pump the breaks. Potty training comes easily to some, looking almost as if the kid trained herself. But for others it’s a struggle. The worst path parents can take with a resistant trainer is to push and prod. Little kids control almost nothing in their lives. Where they pee and poop is in their control. When children see how desperately important the toilet seems to their parents, they often decide to resist just because they can.

Updated: Sat Mar 17, 2018


Potty-Training Resistance and a Nickname for 03/17/2018