151 votes
Accepted

Should I be concerned about my 1-year-old and her mother moving in with a man I've never met?

I suggest you invite the guy out for a beer to get to know him. Make it clear that you are not jealous, that you wish them well, and that the only thing you care about his how he treats your daughter ...
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  • 6,220
129 votes

Should I try to long-distance parent or will I do more harm than good?

I don't think you can "parent" in the sense of applying discipline and strong guidance. But you can be in his life. My mother had a god-daughter on a different continent. From the time the god-...
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  • 1,229
90 votes

What's an appropriate age to involve kids in life changing decisions?

I have to challenge your entire premise, which may get this post deleted, but I hope you get a chance to read this before it is deleted. In simple terms this is a case of, Majoring in the minors and ...
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  • 3,346
51 votes

What's an appropriate age to involve kids in life changing decisions?

Whatever you and your spouse decide to do, please please do not ask your kids to decide who their primary guardian will be or what their living arrangements will be. I found this approach terrible ...
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  • 1,575
36 votes
Accepted

What's an appropriate age to involve kids in life changing decisions?

I will address only one issue: At roughly what age levels is it appropriate for the kids to have what levels of say in their upbringing? At every age, a child should have a voice about their ...
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31 votes

What's an appropriate age to involve kids in life changing decisions?

Children should be involved in, and have input on, life changing things - but while they get an opinion that should be considered they do not get a vote; that is why they are children not adults. You ...
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29 votes
Accepted

Divorce communications - How to deal with "you're unwilling to pay" tactic?

I want to tell my ex to stop using that kind of language when discussing these issues with me, but I don't know if this is a battle not worth fighting. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. I ...
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27 votes

Should I try to long-distance parent or will I do more harm than good?

I don't have any experience or background here, I'm just a guy with a couple kids, including a 3yr old son. But I would say you should hang in there. You are part of your son and as he grows older ...
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24 votes

Should I be concerned about my 1-year-old and her mother moving in with a man I've never met?

I don't think there's anything you can do about this. Imagine it was the other way around - would you let her tell you who you can live with? To 1: Just because he's a policeman doesn't mean he's ...
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19 votes

Should I be concerned about my 1-year-old and her mother moving in with a man I've never met?

I agree with those who have advocated communication. That's the only option open to you at this point. Are you being unreasonable? About your daughter living with a stranger, no, I don't think so. ...
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18 votes
Accepted

Co-Parenting with a Toxic Ex: How to Handle Poisoned Comments from Toddler?

What a difficult, painful and important issue. And congratulations on recognizing the long-term effects that the situation might have on your children. Divorce can affect a child's relationship with ...
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16 votes

Should I continue to allow my ex extra visits with his daughter when he is so unhelpful to me?

One rule of thumb (and it's a good one) is don't put your child in the middle of a dispute between your ex and yourself. You are contemplating using an innocent child, someone who asked for none of ...
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15 votes

Should I try to long-distance parent or will I do more harm than good?

Your child will only ever have one birth father. That is a fact. That he may develop relationships with other men in his life - step dad, uncles, teachers, coaches - is very likely as life if long and ...
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  • 196
14 votes

Divorce communications - How to deal with "you're unwilling to pay" tactic?

I would try not to read too much into it. Unwilling runs a pretty wide gamut, from "it's no problem but I just don't feel like it" all the way to "I could swing it, but it would be a pretty large ...
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12 votes

How to explain to my 2-year-old daughter that her biological father now wants to be called "daddy", after previously denying fatherhood?

Call them both daddy. Joe (Or whatever his name is.) is also your daddy. This should be all the explanation your two-year-old needs. She is not likely mature enough to understand the complexity, ...
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11 votes
Accepted

How to deal with my son calling me on the telephone when he is in a fight with his mother?

I'm not going to suggest a quick fix; this takes time. But it involves and imparts life skills. Things that are helpful in situations like these: Realize that it's not your job to fix other people'...
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11 votes
Accepted

An Adult Child and a Difficult Ex

The fact that your son will be graduating indicates that he's probably intelligent. I'm sure that he knows about his mother's feelings and past actions. At a graduation party, you are celebrating his ...
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11 votes

How to tell kids about divorce when only one parent still loves the other?

This is so hard, my heart goes out to you. BOTH parents loved each other to have kids. It's a good thing to remember that and to support your partner. That will show your children that even though ...
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11 votes
Accepted

How do I deal with the father of my child hating my parents?

Plainly and simply, at the present point in time Bob is using your fear of him not being in your daughter's life to control the situation. If Bob cannot keep his personal beef with your parents ...
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  • 965
11 votes

How do I tell my 9-year-old son that my now ex husband is not his biological dad?

This is a tough situation and a tough question. You have a lot to think about. The question I, in return, pose to you is what do you have to gain by either telling him or not telling him? When you ...
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11 votes

Shared custody father completely overwhelmed, doesn't accept help, what can I do?

You might have to treat the situation like one should for new parents - while they often get offered babysitting, it can go against their instincts of not letting the baby go. So offering relief from ...
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10 votes

Co-Parenting with a Toxic Ex: How to Handle Poisoned Comments from Toddler?

I have some good news and some bad news. Good news is, this behaviour probably isn't strictly related to the toxic relationship between you and your wife. For the bad news, re-read the good news. At ...
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10 votes

After divorce: alternating parents in the kids' home or alternating kids in parents' houses?

I think that as a practical matter it would be easier on the kids to stay in the same home, but I think it would be a strain on the parents and not necessarily effective in the long term. Sharing a ...
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10 votes

How do I explain to my 3-year-old the difference between biological dad and step-dad?

Bio-dad seems to be a control freak intent of damaging the relationship between your son and your partner who is acting as his stepdad. The word "sperm donor" is probably too difficult for your son, ...
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  • 1,401
9 votes

Should the father be in the picture?

It is obviously much better for a child to have two loving parents but as a child to a single Mother of two I can also say that I did just fine without a Father figure. We both did. The fact that he ...
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  • 2,079
9 votes
Accepted

Should I be concerned about my daughter's behavior (or my wife's)? Trying to co-parent

I do not want to call Child Protective Services (CPS) I think that's maybe a little more drastic than what the situation calls for and I am not trying to make my relationship any worse with the ex. I ...
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  • 66.7k
8 votes

How do I deal with my 12-year-old who is smoking?

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 ...
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8 votes

How to deal with a 3-year-old very high energy child as a single mom?

Oh @Kate do I feel your pain! I have that kid too; he's 4, and the other morning he was up at 4:30 playing with his trucks in his room. First thing I will suggest is that you take care of YOU. I ...
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8 votes

Visitation issue

If I understand your question correctly, you and your husband have not been picking up his daughter for his regular visitations - partly because of transportation issues, and partly because his ex was ...
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  • 13.2k
8 votes

How can I get my children to develop a half sibling relationship

Please put yourself in your daughter's position for a moment: You are 11. You are starting to discuss "cool" things with your girlfriends and can't wait to be a bit older. And with a bit of ...
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