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0

Is it better to make decisions for him, like I did with the clothes above, or to let him muddle around for a while? My wife and I are both not great 'deciders', so we'd like to give him the best shot at learning how to be decisive. I wouldn't worry at this stage about whether he's going to turn out indecisive as an adult. Consider that giving him the ...


0

Find a good family therapist, if possible before he arrives. Pick your battles -- pick three rules that matter the most to you, and stick to them. Discipline works best when it is built on a strong relationship. That will take time. You don't have to pretend you're happy about all these self-destructive habits he's gotten into, but on the other hand, you ...


2

This is a guess. I'm wondering if it might be a situation where he made the following two, distinct cognitive steps: (1) A while back, he developed the understanding that he could choose things. Make decisions. Affect the outcome. Make his will known, and have it followed. This is a big, important thing to understand, and it gives him control over his ...


4

I think Karl Bielefeldt's answer is excellent, but I wanted to address you food/nap issues. I would simply not make them issues. Address the other, more important issues first - don't make it seem like he has no control, and no say. First off, I know very few 5 year olds who still needs naps. He will not be able to have one in school, will he? I would ...


6

Kids mess up. A lot. If it were possible to do something for a month that would make them stop messing up, they wouldn't need to live with you anymore. Kids messing up isn't a sign that you're doing something wrong. It's a sign that you're dealing with a normal human kid. Parenting is raising a successful 35 year-old. It's a job with a very long view. ...


0

The specifics for dealing with the smoking habit are, I think, pretty obvious and covered elsewhere. That will be relatively easy. The hard part will be in asserting your authority when he returns. Presumably he can always go back to live with Dad and he will use this against you. He'll know you don't want that and you've gone out of your way to woo him ...


2

You really have two questions there... What is causing his behavior and how to deal with his behavior. My daughter (who is the younger) is the willful one in my family. Some punishments are more effective than others but the key is to keep going until you find one that works, though what works may change over time. Here's an example from when my daughter ...


6

Set the ground rules that you won't tolerate it under your roof and why. Give clear set levels of consequences should they be caught. Don't make overly broad consequences and don't make them so inconsequential that your child won't care. Above all make the consequences enforceable. Have them written down and have your child sign to them as an ...


0

All children experience some degree of separation anxiety. It can come in different shapes, forms and intensities at different times. What can help: play peekaboo, hide and seek, etc. prepare the child for the separations. pick a day (once a week or once a month) for a special father - son outing or project. model a better way of expressing the feelings, ...


-2

I definitely agree with your basic principle: I didn't want my children to grow up to be mindless, subservient robots. I wanted them to learn to make decisions for themselves. BUT, you have to apply this principle taking the child's age and maturity into mind. I did not allow my children to "decide for themselves" whether to play in the middle of a busy ...


2

The reason people submit to authority is because it's a condition of associating with a group, to keep things harmonious and efficient. The main difference with children is they have a lot less choice over who they associate with. In other words, they usually don't have the choice to end an association with a group in lieu of submitting to its authority. ...


1

Morality of good and bad are entirely subjective and opinionated. That's what you'll need to work on reflecting outwards. Regardless of where you are in life, undesirable situations - involving "bad" people will arise and the array of actions which can be taken are circumstantial, and the consequences even more circumstantial. To take your example, wherein ...


1

I can't claim to have all the answers, having never raised a teenager (yet!). However, a pattern I have found effective is to actively seek out win-win situations. At first it won't be as helpful as one wishes for dealing with bullies like that. It will mostly show in relationships with friends (where it is easier to find cooperative solutions). My ...


3

While I agree that you are giving very few details, from my point of view, there is a clear cut answer. No, it's not fair. Detention is a punishment in itself, given by the school. Ergo, you are punishing him for being punished, and that's absolutely not fair in my book. If your child has trouble at school, then you should try to help him overcome this ...


3

(a) Looking away when someone is scolding you is normal, for both children and adults. When someone is saying something that is embarrassing to us, we tend to look at the floor, etc. (b) Personally, I think it is unnecessarily cruel to force a child to assist in his own punishment, and teaches subservience rather than good morals and ethics. From the ...


2

Praise one child for his good behaviour and ignore the other. I think he will soon realise that showing positive behaviour is the only way to achieve some attention. I have the same situation with my daughter. Its difficult as she is an only child and that makes it difficult as her behaviour is always under the microscope. One thing I have learnt is, it's ...


1

DD, could he be trying to express a feeling that you don't have a parent's right to discipline him? That would explain the apparent resentment he's showing. It seems like you and his mum might - consciously or subconsciously - share that feeling, as you say that it's almost always his mum that disciplines him. I'd suggest that you and his mum sit down ...


3

Both of my two daughters preferred their mother during their first few years. My oldest daughter (now 7) was scarred of all men until she was 2, including me and my father. It was very hurtful but it passed. Now she is really, really close to me, much more than with my wife. My youngest daughter (now 3) is just getting from being mommys girl to being closer ...


1

If he's breaking a toy by doing something on the wild side, he's probably out of control at that point, I'm guessing. Out of control emotionally, that is. This isn't particularly surprising for a seven year old; it's more common in my kids' age (2 and 3) but seven year olds still sometimes get out of control. When you're out of control, and then something ...


9

It's fairly simple why he does it: kids don't like getting into trouble, and his avoidance method works because it delays his consequence and there is no additional consequence for running away. Kids will adjust their behavior to fit the permissiveness of the adult in charge. Do you remember in school there would be some classes where the students would ...


0

I adopted a cat that had been shuffled around from house to house several times in his early kittenhood. One of the people at his last residence was a woman who would pick him up and force him to sit in her lap. "Love me! Love me!" she would say. The cat would just get more and more tense over time. It would have this miserable, trapped expression on its ...


0

Does he even deserve an email from her saying that they've grown apart as friends before she blocks him? I don't think it's the right question to ask in this circumstance. People's decisions of what to give to others aren't supposed to be based on rational considerations of what the recipients "deserve". And I don't think a "termination of relations" ...


-1

This is very long. I apologize, but the subject is complex and I don't want to leave necessary details out. Before you mentioned being his step-father, I knew why he was running away: He feels provoked. (I just didn't know what he was being provoked by.) The emotional stress of being told what to do by you is so offensive to him that he has no choice but to ...


1

In situations like this I tend to let it go and focus on something else. Disciplining is easier when he accepts it, while he is seemingly running away from. Disciplining comes easier when he has more respect for you, then he will accept it more. Respect must be deserved in a personal relationship. I would try showing interest in what he is doing before a ...


2

This guy's bad news. The idea "to block his number, email address and social media profiles" is absolutely the right thing to do. "Considerate" is a good attribute to have, but not at all times and all places. You and your daughter are being very generous to send the young man one last email, and give him one last chance. The odds that he'll take it appear ...


1

One of my daughters was like this. Still is, in new situations. My other daughter very carefully calculates her risks before taking them, but then proceeds fearlessly, and sometimes doesn't realize she has miscalculated. Usually kids just grow out of it with experience. This might sound strange, but the most effective way I've found for them to learn to ...


5

I think your daughter is pretty similar to my two guys. They're both somewhat limited in their 'fear' reflex, at least for most things (my older one is pretty clingy when he thinks we're going to leave him somewhere). There are basically two sides of this. On the one hand, being willing to try new things and do all sorts of physical activities is great. ...


2

My teenager is unfortunately much less interested in Mama's opinions about such things than yours is! So, since I don't get to give much advice at home to anyone, here goes! It can be hurtful to cut someone off completely without any warning. This could be especially painful and awkward given the proximity of your houses. If your daughter hasn't already ...


-1

The goal is to discover a napping pattern that works for your baby, or perhaps I should say, to gently coax your baby into a napping pattern. Obviously, in the early weeks, the pattern is no pattern! But as your baby gets a little bit older, patterning starts to become possible. This is a first step in a little one's maturation process, the process of ...


2

The cheek biting can be a transient tic. With tics, the more you try to legislate, the more entrenched it can get. When you get involved in a fairly pointless tug-of-war, it can be very effective to gently let go of the rope. There are a couple of ways you can turn this so that your son gets some aspects of maturation while still satisfying his sensory ...


2

In my un-professional opinion, every baby is very different, and sleeps different. I have 2 kids, and what it took to make them sleep as an infant was different, and how much they want to sleep is different. Always remember those milestones, behaviors and so forth are averages, not about specific babies.


2

It sounds like he's had some stressful changes in his life. He has been using a method of self-soothing that's working for him, but working less well for you. Putting it into perspective a little bit, he can continue to bite the inside of his cheek, which not only predisposes him to canker sores, but can actually cause cancer (in a few decades, if he ...


1

We took my daughter's pacifier away when she was almost 3 (my son never got attached to one). We told her weeks in advance that we'd hang it on the Christmas Tree and Santa would leave an extra present in exchange. We reminded her frequently so it wouldn't be a surprise and she could mentally prepare for it. She cried a bit on Christmas Eve and missed it ...


1

We can't possibly comment on the boy's mental fitness. We don't know him; you do. I don't think you need to concentrate on his diagnosis or speculate about what psychoactive substances he may be using; you don't need help to label his behavior (which is at least insensitive and in one case crass); you only need to decide how you want to proceed. Plenty of ...


-1

I say speak to his parents and wash your hands of it. If this is atypical behavior something maybe wrong. Someone said the only predictable thing about addicts is they're unpredictable. If he's mental or on drugs his parents can probably help. He's not your responsibility. He upset your daughter and she can stop talking to someone who keeps hurting her. It ...


1

Well, when my 4 yr old was playing hide and seek, (I play that with her to learn to count) she hid under a table and peed her pants. She hadn't done that in forever... I figured out that she was heading to the potty, but was to late... I cut back on her drinks, make her go potty anyways, and if she refuses, cut back privileges as watching tv, playing my ...


2

This is a difficult situation and a lot of what you do depends on what you're willing to put up with. I'm going to assume the yelling and fighting is really negatively affecting your life in an unacceptable manner. It would mine. My personal belief is that you should never give your child anything because they frighten you into it or will make you miserable ...



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