Saving Sex Ed and an Overloaded Parent for 05/26/2018

Saving Sex Ed and an Overloaded Parent for 05/26/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My school district has a sex education program that I don’t care for. Parents have the option of signing their children out of the class. I opted out for my two older children. However, this year all of my younger child’s friends are taking the class, and I’m receiving a lot of pressure for her to attend. I’m not sure I want my eighth-grader forced to endure several weeks of content on sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and even a childbirth video. Am I wrong to want to shield her from the information in this class? — Sex-Can-Wait Mom

Dear Mom: I think you are asking the wrong question. You may not be wrong to want to shield your daughter from information you deem inappropriate for her age. However, the real question is: Is it even possible to shield your daughter at this point? And the answer to that question, whether or not you allow her to attend the class, is a resounding no. The kids are going to talk the second they exit the classroom. Your daughter will miss out on the information from the teacher and only get the highlights from her friends. She will likely then Google the information secretly to learn what you are working so hard avoid.

Updated: Sat May 26, 2018


Saving Sex Ed and an Overloaded Parent for 05/26/2018

Creating Good Readers and Brushing a Toddler's Teeth for 05/19/2018

Creating Good Readers and Brushing a Toddler’s Teeth for 05/19/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: I want my kids to be good readers and read as much as possible. What’s the best way to make this happen? — Literary Dad

Dear Dad: Being a good reader and enjoying reading are two totally different things. It is possible to be a proficient reader who understands nuances, subtext and complex vocabulary but not passionate about sitting down with a book. It is also possible to adore reading but perhaps not score high on standardized tests. Focusing all energy on ability instead of satisfaction can suck the joy right out of reading.

Updated: Sat May 19, 2018


Creating Good Readers and Brushing a Toddler’s Teeth for 05/19/2018

Letting Kids Handle Their Money and a Tattler for 05/18/2018

Letting Kids Handle Their Money and a Tattler for 05/18/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My children often receive holiday cards with money inside in the mail from their grandparents. They usually spend the money on stupid stuff they don’t need. One time my son gave a $50 bill to the American Heart Association, which is noble but I also thought a bit excessive. Should we let the kids spend their money on anything they want (even if it’s a waste of money) or try to show them the value of saving? — Frugal Dad

Dear Frugal: Define a waste of money. My guess is your definition will be vastly different from that of your children. In the eyes of a 7-year-old, a $50 bill is not much different from a $5 bill. Children don’t know what money can buy or why it might be worth it to save a bit.

Updated: Fri May 18, 2018


Letting Kids Handle Their Money and a Tattler for 05/18/2018

An Uncooperative Bar Mitzvah Boy and a Budding Rapper for 05/12/2018

An Uncooperative Bar Mitzvah Boy and a Budding Rapper for 05/12/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My son is scheduled to have his bar mitzvah next year, and it’s a very important event for our family. Unfortunately, he doesn’t see it that way. He never practices; he drags his feet to Hebrew school; and he has said repeatedly that he doesn’t care about Judaism. What can I do to change his attitude? — Kosher Pickle

Dear Kosher: This is a tough one because it involves faith and family and so many things you clearly hold dear. However, you’re pretty limited in what can be done. I’m guessing you’ve explained why his bar mitzvah is an important event. He likely knows the significance of the ritual and the history of the Jewish people. And yet, none of that has swayed him. At this point, you have two choices. You can continue to beg and bribe him until he finally makes it to the event. But you can’t complain if he doesn’t wow the crowd. The other option is to do absolutely nothing.

Updated: Sat May 12, 2018


An Uncooperative Bar Mitzvah Boy and a Budding Rapper for 05/12/2018

Promiscuous Neighbors and Occasional Formula Feeding for 05/05/2018

Promiscuous Neighbors and Occasional Formula Feeding for 05/05/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My next-door neighbor is a single mom who works long hours. Her 13- and 15-year-old daughters are often alone. They are good kids. But I see random boys coming and going a lot, and I’m worried the girls are making bad choices. I’d like to tell the mom she needs to work less so she doesn’t leave them alone as much. How can I say this gently? — Concerned Neighbor

Dear Neighbor: I have to assume this mom is working long hours because she has no other choice. She might not be getting child support from the children’s father. She may have medical bills or extensive debt that must be paid. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that Mom is working her tail off and raising two girls on her own.

Updated: Sat May 05, 2018


Promiscuous Neighbors and Occasional Formula Feeding for 05/05/2018

Sexy Songs and a Son's Diary for 04/28/2018

Sexy Songs and a Son’s Diary for 04/28/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My 8-year-old kid loves Katy Perry songs, which are seemingly all about sex. However, we’ve been innocently singing along in the car and having a blast. Well, that is until recently, when I heard her singing about a menage a trois in public. My husband and I were mortified. Do I have to put an end to this, and if so, how? — Katy Fan’s Mom

Dear Mom: On a scale of inappropriate, your daughter belting out potentially racy lyrics rates about a four on a 10-point scale. Sure, it would likely make some older folks uncomfortable to hear your little lady squealing sexual innuendos and sex talk. But that’s more about them than your daughter. She doesn’t know what she is saying.

Updated: Sat Apr 28, 2018


Sexy Songs and a Son’s Diary for 04/28/2018