175 votes

Son was sent home from sleepover for behavior

It is a learning opportunity, but for more than one person, especially your child and you. First, you need to get the whole story, and you can't get it all from your son; he may well not understand ...
  • 67.3k
145 votes

Why don't children know why they do things?

"I don't know why" could mean a number of things: The answer is something that will make my parent annoyed if I'm honest. It's not an outright lie to say "I don't know", but it's a dodge to avoid ...
  • 22.6k
139 votes

How to answer my 5 year old why I can tell her what she has to do, and why she can't tell me what to do

Try to go along this line: There are rules that exist for everyone. I have to go to work. You have to go to school. I tell you about the rules because I know them; I don't just make them up to ...
  • 1,882
128 votes
Accepted

18-month-old kicked out of church nursery

Since you're talking about church, I take it religious beliefs should be on topic here. There are two commandments that supersede (and contain) all the others. One of them is You shall love your ...
  • 67.3k
109 votes

How to tell my 4-year-old son not to get hyper with his uncle or anyone except parents?

Kids are going to be kids. There is a lot of social etiquette and nuance that they will learn as they gain experience. Four years old is not the time. You should not place this burden on your child at ...
108 votes
Accepted

My 4-year-old refers to himself as me

Kids that age learn a lot by imaginative play. It's how they make sense of the world and experiment with different responses to events. Pretending to be an adult is very common. Playing along is a ...
102 votes

How can I reach out to my 16-year-old son who has voiced he's depressed every day and doesn't love himself?

Five years ago I was practically in your son's shoes. I am not a parent, nor do I intend to be, largely because of this style of parenting. That said, I feel I might be able to give you a view from ...
  • 911
101 votes
Accepted

Grandparents want our three year old daughter to throw tantrums like her cousin did

What a pickle you're in! I find it hard to imagine an adult who demands proof of love from a 3 year old by her being distressed (begging and crying). But there you have it. Your parents delight in ...
  • 67.3k
98 votes

How to deal with my 12 year old son being allegedly caught cheating at school

First, I would (as Becuzz mentioned) sit down with him and hear his side of the story. It may be that he was cheating, and in this case, if he seems properly repentant and embarrassed, you might work ...
82 votes
Accepted

My 2-year-old son supervises me after asking me to do something for him, does this suggest lack of trust?

Children learn how to do things by imitating, so much of this is simple curiosity. ("How does the milk go in the bottle? Does it happen the same way every time? WOW.") But toddlers also start to ...
  • 22.6k
77 votes

Why is trying to talk children out of how they feel a bad idea?

The definition you've likely found was the definition of talking something out. "to settle something by discussion: Let's not get mad. Let's just talk it out. Please, let's talk out this matter calmly....
  • 965
74 votes
Accepted

How should I inform parents if their children are bothering me?

Is it acceptable for me to tell a parent that the noises their children make are bothering me? Sure, just as acceptable as it would be for you to ask a fellow passenger to get off their phone or ...
  • 6,553
70 votes
Accepted

How to handle my little brother's addiction to videogames?

This is anecdotal but... Throughout highschool my life was: wake-up, go to school, come home, game, go to bed, repeat. As I developed other hobbies, I did those instead of gaming. As money to buy ...
  • 2,140
67 votes
Accepted

Should endless "but what if" questions be encouraged or discouraged?

In my opinion (as a parent, not a psychologist or educator), curiosity is not something that should ever be discouraged... except that everything has limits rooted in practicality. What the child is ...
  • 59.1k
66 votes

How to get my 4yo daughter's fixation on my belly button under control?

I would try appealing to her sense of empathy. She is young, but should be able to understand that you don't like/feel comfortable with her poking your navel, and if prompted she may be able to ...
66 votes

Why my kids don't get excited to see me

This is pretty normal with parents everywhere - we're not interesting or different, we're just ... there. Go on a trip without your kids for a few weeks, and you'll see some very excited kids when ...
  • 59.1k
57 votes

12 year old boy is totally out of control

You have my sympathy, and a lot of it. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Part of this is the age.* TL;DR: You're not alone. Many have walked this path and come through on the other side with a ...
  • 67.3k
57 votes

How to answer my 5 year old why I can tell her what she has to do, and why she can't tell me what to do

Seems to me this is something where the truth is a good answer. You are responsible for her, because of her lack of experience and lack of maturity. The more she can show maturity, the less you need ...
  • 59.1k
57 votes

Get around peer's mind games gracefully

I think the first thing is to take a step back and consider that they are both acting normally for their age. It's normal at age 2 and 3 to have limited social skills, limited empathy for others, and ...
  • 7,534
57 votes
Accepted

8 year old is breaking the rules, and not understanding consequences

Your relationship with your oldest child appears to be in a downward spiral. You seem to describe a power contest, where the only resort you have is to continuously up the punishments. This is never ...
  • 11.2k
56 votes

Why don't children know why they do things?

I think it's not surprising a seven year old doesn't know exactly why he does what he does. I often don't know why I do things that I know I shouldn't, not really - at least, until I spend a lot of ...
  • 59.1k
52 votes

Does toddler keep hands around private parts?

Although it is always wise to be cautious about the safety of your young child, in general it is developmentally normal and natural (and not at all sexual in the adult sense) for a three year old to ...
  • 7,534
51 votes

8 year old is breaking the rules, and not understanding consequences

First: do not, under any circumstances, try to "trigger" them. That's a great way to end up in a reddit thread a decade or so down the line complaining about the child's mentally abusive ...
  • 59.1k
51 votes
Accepted

How to get my younger sister to listen?

You're in a complicated position, but if it helps, so are most of us parents! What works will likely be the same sort of thing that works for me with my eight year old. Treat her like an adult, for ...
  • 59.1k
50 votes
Accepted

Do parents get punishment too?

As parents we start by modelling behaviour for our children. Show by your good example what you as a family do and how you act and react when a wilful or unwillful mistake is made. Discipline should ...
  • 17.4k
49 votes

How can I reach out to my 16-year-old son who has voiced he's depressed every day and doesn't love himself?

Have you "walked a mile in his shoes?" Unless you can see the world through his eyes, how can you begin to help him? So, based on the incomplete details you've provided, let's check out ...
49 votes

To what extent should an (almost) two year old be able to lie still on command?

I am a physician, starting as a Family Practitioner and switching to Emergency Medicine. I can safely say that over the decades, I've examined and done procedures of some kind, including suturing ...
  • 67.3k
48 votes

Is it possible to spoil a child, but still teach them not to behave spoiled?

I don't believe you can spoil a child without having them act spoiled. You can't jump in a pool without getting wet, just like you can't spoil a child without having it affect them. Spoiling a child ...
  • 13.3k
48 votes

Why do I have negative feelings about my mother?

I don't think you hate your Mother as strongly as you think you do. We always get angry with those that are near us. It seems to be the easiest way to vent. I remember being 16 and the reason why is ...
  • 2,090
47 votes

How to answer my 5 year old why I can tell her what she has to do, and why she can't tell me what to do

I think you have a perfect opportunity to wow her. She should be able to tell you what to do. In the morning we need to brush our teeth. If I forget, you will tell me to brush my teeth. If you want,...
  • 640

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