55

Six years old is old enough to understand gender in a general sense, and it’s definitely old enough to have an intelligent conversation about the complexities of gender. So my answer is to be honest with them and tell them how you feel. If you know, then tell them. If you’re not sure, then say so- and explain why, and what is going on in your head. Say ...


52

First of all, the "how should I handle this" depends a lot on what your own concerns are. Is your concern the "cousin" part? or the "two 14 year olds" part? If the latter, is it specific aspect (are they mature enough to consistently use birth control?) or just general age-readiness for sex as a concept? Once you sort out your concerns, the main and best ...


50

Your options are limited. You're an outsider and very new to actually being in the family, doesn't matter how long you dated your wife previously. You've only been recently allowed to enter the inner-circle of the family via marriage. If you are asked for your opinion then give it gently and tactfully. Don't come out immediately as being overly-critical. ...


44

I would provide much less information to your children than you have listed here. It would go something like this. Uncle Joe has a problem in his head and he hurts people on purpose. Not just people, but children like you. I won't allow him near you in case he decides to hurt you. (Optionally: it's a very small chance, but even a small chance is too much.) ...


40

Our 10 year-old has obvious mental and physical symptoms of her cerebral palsy, so we've had this conversation many times. We've found that adults are the ones who have problems coming up with explanations. They try to overcomplicate it and be too politically correct. Kids are usually satisfied with something simple and direct. They ask out of honest ...


38

A decent approach may be to keep it simple: "I'm still figuring that out", which sounds like a decent summary of where you are at the moment. Most kids are pretty chill about adults admitting we don't know everything, and if they'd like more information, they generally have no problem asking follow-up questions. If that's the case, it might be worth ...


26

Currently you are guest in this home. You are being granted the courtesy to live there. It would not likely be advisable to offer any criticism of anything they do, as it has potential to really blow up into a serious issue. As a parent, unless what I see is a significant threat to someone's safety or similar, I would never say a thing. My motto is "not ...


24

This is interesting; it's only tangentially related to parenting, though. It has more to do with etiquette. Is it ever OK to demand a fixed time of arrival for a family with young children? Of course it is. The host/hostess can demand anything they like. You, however, don't have to give in to any demands made on you. You can simply - and you do have this ...


20

Leave your father-in-law alone. It's not your business to talk to him about these things, you would invade his space and, very likely, nothing good would come from it. If your question is motivated by concern for your brother-in-law, then just be a good brother-in-law to him. Befriend him, go out with him (maybe together with your wife, maybe not), be happy ...


16

To me, the most complicated part of this is explaining a) why you don't want to forgive, or trust (or both) your uncle, and b) why you don't trust your mother's judgement on the matter enough to allow her to see your son. (Not that I'm questioning either element - you know the situation - but explaining the above to your child.) Presumably your child has ...


15

Please forgive my posting anonymously, but I think I might be in a unique position to answer this. Without going into too many gory details about my family history, my mother found out she was married to A Very Bad Man and, immediately, left him, taking my sister, her three-year-old daughter, with her. I was born later, in her second marriage, and growing ...


15

I have not had this experience, so I have no first hand information. I have counselled one family in a similar situation -- the introduction of a birth mother to her child who was adopted by two loving parents. In this case, the child grew up knowing he was adopted. I would consider not being there for the delivery of this information, especially if your ...


14

Parents First I assume your sister is the mother. Why isn't she (or his father) talking to him about it? Not that you can't or shouldn't, just feels like it should come from the parents first. Plus the perspective of a girl would probably be good as well, as she could explain why this situation would make her feel bad if she were the girl being asked like ...


14

There are 2 (possible) issues here. Age You could be concerned about the age. This does raise a few concerns: What happens if they break up? Will she be able to cope? A number of people around my age have been in serious committed, sexual relationships and haven't worked out - for a number of reasons. It often seems to be that those boys who will enter ...


14

Am I overreacting?? Possibly. Probably. To adults this act - showing a young person a beheading - is horrifying, because we know all that it means. But a child might not see it that way, especially if they are exposed to violence in games/TV shows, etc. It was probably sensational to your nephew and he wanted to impress someone else with his sensational ...


13

First, you are not withholding comfort. You are allowing them to express themselves in a way which requires them to handle the issue without forming a dependency. Being comforting is not the same thing for every child and every situation. For relatives, they likely have children. That being the case, I'd ask them if any 2 of the children were able to be ...


13

I can speak from personal experience with situations like that. We bring our child's meals with us. We prepare everything and have little containers always. So our child isn't involved in anyone's eating schedule. When dealing with scheduled events, if I experience what you just described with people getting angry at me and my wife because they don't ...


12

What a horrible dilemma! As I see it, your problem comprises three distinct elements: Your mother has little or no sense of what reasonable boundaries consist of. She also lies when it suits her purposes, and for some reason has prioritized her relationship with her son over the safety of her grandchildren Your uncle has even less sense of boundaries than ...


12

You are not expected to love your new graddaughter the same as your first one. But you are expected to love her for what she is: a beautiful loving child (your own words). That means she is an individual that has a right to be seen as such. She is not an incumberance or a distraction that comes between your first grandchild and you, but an addition. How ...


10

When my children were growing up we had several mantras, and one was "we don't hit". You really cannot teach a child not to hit by hitting them, nor not to scream by screaming at them etc. Dealing physically with a hitter is easier when you have been picking them up and holding them your whole life. A toddler can be very strong and squirmy, and you can't be ...


10

They live in another state and do not come to see me. While your son and his daughter have had time to bond with your new granddaughter, you have not. Of course your granddaughter is much (more) beloved by you. But you have an opportunity to show your son that you love him by loving and accepting the people he loves. Also, doing anything less will put a ...


10

Some kids are outgoing. Others, not so much. Some get scared by facial hair. Some get scared when it goes away. I can't say for sure why your niece is nervous around you, but I can take a guess. Most likely, she just isn't familiar with you. She sees grandma pretty often and isn't scared of her. She's seen grandma be nice and loving. I'd also wager ...


10

The answer is incredibly simple: You ask their parents. Period. You're not their parent, so you don't need to get into complex discussions or judge their ability to participate in those discussions. Besides, why stress-out about it. If you're worried the question will arise, simple ask their mum or dad how they want the question answered. And another ...


9

Should we say something to my SIL (who will, incidentally, burst into tears at virtually any criticism)? If it were me and if someone would have been bothering me like that, I would have spoken the truth, as follows: I request you not to tell our child to come to your house to see X because he gets excited and then he asks us to go to your house. ...


8

You mention that you are always available and willing to hang out with her and play with her when she's around; are the other adults putting forth the same effort? Kids are small humans, after all, and one thing most humans have in common is that we like to be with the people who like to be with us. For the jealous adults, try to pull them into the next ...


8

I'd suggest a few things. First let go of the city life. As they say, if you want a family, then "it is not about you anymore". Second, be there. Be at home, be available to, say, drive the girl (or the boy) to places where they do stuff (gym, ballet, their friends' house, the mall, etc). Then, things will come at their time, be patient here as the girl is ...


7

"Hypochondria" is a stigmatising judgemental term. Use Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (a narrow term that covers some health anxiety) or Anxiety Disorder (a broad term that covers OCD and health anxieties) or Health Anxiety (a perhaps too narrow term). You don't say how old the children are. For young children you use short sentences. You explain the ...


7

I'm late to this party, but the turn taken in comments is compelling me to speak up. I don't think political correctness is the goal here; humanity and humility are. If this were another illness - say molluscum contagiosum - would it be OK for a stranger to come up to your children and say "Your mother is a walking sexually transmitted disease, a pox of ...


7

As you have learned from your own reading, this is a common problem today, and probably results in part from the erroneous ways parents in the last few decades tried to give their children "self esteem". In the article I cite, the author discusses what they call "the inverse power of praise". A short excerpt (edited for brevity): Since Thomas could walk, ...


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