A Falling Hero and Perfect Profanity for 03/10/2018

A Falling Hero and Perfect Profanity for 03/10/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My son’s sports idol is a womanizing, arrogant jerk by most accounts. At only 10 years old, my son isn’t aware of most of his hero’s problems. Despite recent allegations of serial extramarital affairs, my son said he loves him anyway. As a woman, wife and mother, I’m troubled by this. But I don’t want to ruin his hero for him. What can I do? — Feminist Mom

Dear Feminist: It would be very hard for your son to truly comprehend what is so upsetting about an extramarital affair. He’s just a boy who probably can’t even envision dating, let alone marriage. So his need to brush off the allegations isn’t troubling per se. However, it does signify that it might be time to broaden your discussions in general about dating, marriage and heroes.

Updated: Sat Mar 10, 2018


A Falling Hero and Perfect Profanity for 03/10/2018

A Broken Promise and Nighttime Cellphone Rules for 03/03/2018

A Broken Promise and Nighttime Cellphone Rules for 03/03/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My daughter couldn’t find her glasses, so she offered to give her brother a crazy amount of money if he were to find them. He suggested that she check her backpack. When she did, she found her glasses. Now, my daughter refuses to pay my son the money she promised him. I feel she should have to pay up because, without her brother, she wouldn’t have found them. On the other hand, he didn’t exactly find them. They’ve been fighting about this ferociously. Whose side should I take? — In the Middle

Dear Middle: You should take no one’s side. Stay far out of it. This isn’t your battle to resolve, and any meddling you do will backfire almost immediately.

Updated: Sat Mar 03, 2018


A Broken Promise and Nighttime Cellphone Rules for 03/03/2018

Extreme Stranger Danger and Crazy Neighbors for 02/24/2018

Extreme Stranger Danger and Crazy Neighbors for 02/24/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My daughter, who is just 3, seems to have severe stranger danger and social anxiety. She struggles to use public bathrooms and attend fun activities like storytime. She won’t participate, shuts down, clings to me and cries. Everyone looks at me like I beat her. Today we couldn’t even coax her into looking at the dentist. I’m at my wits’ end. Is this a normal phase, or should I find us a good therapist? — Despondent Dad

Dear Despondent: Being shy isn’t necessarily a problem. Some kids just need more time to warm up to new people and situations. Given a period to do so and the right support, most kids can overcome their inhibitions. However, when shyness begins to interfere with the child’s daily living activities, it could be cause for concern.

Updated: Sat Feb 24, 2018


Extreme Stranger Danger and Crazy Neighbors for 02/24/2018

Eating Paper and Test Anxiety for 02/17/2018

Eating Paper and Test Anxiety for 02/17/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My 7-year-old son is always ripping the pages off of books and eating them. All the corners are gone and eaten. I have no idea what to do about this, or if I should even do anything about this. Is this normal or a problem? — Not So Sure

Dear Not So Sure: Well, it probably isn’t a problem, but it’s worth checking out. Eating nonfood items is a symptom of a disorder called Pica. One of the most common nonfood items ingested is paper. It’s so common is has a name: Xylophagia. There are a variety of reasons people do it. Your son may have obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Anxiety could be the culprit, as could simple boredom. It’s also possible that paper eating might be just tip of the iceberg. There are numerous serious medical concerns when people ingest paper, including intestinal obstruction, perforation and infections. So it’s important to double-check that this issue isn’t more serious.

Updated: Sat Feb 17, 2018


Eating Paper and Test Anxiety for 02/17/2018

Broken Cellphone and Therapy-Averse Dad for 02/10/2018

Broken Cellphone and Therapy-Averse Dad for 02/10/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: I know my son broke his cellphone on purpose so he could get a newer one. He denies it, but I have proof. He needs a phone. But I’m hesitant to get this for him, since it feels like I would be rewarding dishonesty. What should I do? —Mad

Dear Mad: You say he needs a phone. Well, maybe he doesn’t. Generations of children survived quite well without a phone in their back pocket. It would be even easier to be in touch nowadays, as nearly every other man, woman and child over the age of 12 has a phone he could borrow.

Updated: Sat Feb 10, 2018


Broken Cellphone and Therapy-Averse Dad for 02/10/2018

A Prying Parent and a Persuasive Son for 02/03/2018

A Prying Parent and a Persuasive Son for 02/03/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: I ask my fifth-grader obsessively about her day — who did she eat lunch with? Who did she hang with on the playground? Where was Girl X? Who did Girl Y hang out with? She has always talked openly with me about everything, but she is starting to keep things to herself. I know that is supposed to happen, but I really love details. How do I satiate my own need to know while still respecting the privacy I know she needs? — Nosey Parker

Dear Nosey: You are in for a long adolescence. Younger children tend to be more forthcoming about their day-to-day adventures. But as puberty ensues, they drift away from the home front and move closer to a private life.

Updated: Sat Feb 03, 2018


A Prying Parent and a Persuasive Son for 02/03/2018