127

You are clearly very loving and supportive of your step-child. This is a great gift you are giving to her. However, it doesn't sound like you have that kind of a relationship with your girlfriend. Your girlfriend's child only came out to her 5 days ago. For 14 years, her child has been her son. She has imagined a life far into the future with and for her ...


61

How do I best protect Emily ... from the bullying she's experiencing from [her mother]? You are in a tricky situation. It's very likely that you will lose your girlfriend and Emily over this issue if you do not somehow figure out how to support both parent and child. Given that you are not Emily's father, nor her mother's husband, you have absolutely no ...


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 ...


40

This is a fantastic question. You are wonderful for your level of consideration given a perplexing situation here. The Problem: I used to be Emily. It's over 25 years later, and this thing just doesn't really go away. At 14 you already knew at 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13, every day. Yes, Emily thinks about this at least as often as any teenage ...


35

There isn't a cut and dry answer to this. Both are important. And part of parenting is striking the right balance there. Given your situations above: Baby wants to be held to sleep: well, keeping the baby happy here is important, both for her to be able to sleep (which will help her be healthy) and for your sanity. But at the same time, if you never ...


32

Warning harsh answer, not because I don't support transgender people, but because of your position in the family and how you act in this situation step-daughter ... my girlfriend I assume you mean your girlfriends child, over whom you have no legal guardian status. 14 year old ... it ended with Emily going to her room and refusing to come out The child ...


21

Losing your temper and yelling at a child, whether it was appropriate or not, should always be apologized for. As a parent it's our job to keep our cool and handle whatever our children throw at us. Sometimes that's easier than others; and sometimes we will fail to keep calm. Regardless of what the child did, a parent should apologize for losing his/her ...


18

Kids need to be shown how to apologize and who better to learn than their parents. Consider the alternative: you never apologize to your kids even though there are numerous times where you should have. Yes you will control your kids to an environment where it will be easier for you to live in, kids will fear you, they will perform, but they will not grow ...


17

Sometimes this site can be very liberal. It makes me afraid to post an answer like this, but here we go anyway. You have two serious problems. None of which are your step-son/daughter. The first is you. You accept this behavior, your allow for it. You're supportive of it. Now that doesn't normally sound like a bad thing, but it can be. Especially when the ...


15

Most of what you should be doing is talking the mother down. Help her realize that while this is a shock and unexpected, it's far from the worst-case a parent can go through (her child is healthy and has a long life expectancy still). Look into PFLAG or other organizations in your area that are set up for parents of LBGT kids (http://www.hrc.org/resources/...


14

Your daughter is in pain and is expressing that pain the best she can, but usually that's not enough. Sexual assault has psychological repercussions that can last much, much longer than the physical repercussions. Help her contact RAINN or her local rape crisis center, a psychotherapist who specializes in trauma issues, or both. And do it FAST. Do not ...


12

A simple answer for "bullies outside the house" which applies for all bullied children: get them to a martial arts class. Personally I'd favour jiu jitsu, but pretty much anything will do the trick. There's nothing bullies like more than someone who can't fight back. There are two elements to fighting back - one is mental, and the other is physical. ...


12

Official Recommendations The American Academy of Pediatrics publishes policy statements on this topic. The most recent recommendations for the age range in question (school-aged children: 5-18yo) are from Oct 2016. Their recommendations for school-aged children don't included a max recommended number of hours of screen time per day. Instead, they ...


12

One of the most valuable pieces of information I've picked up from parenting books comes during the introductory chapters of "The Whole-Brain Child" by Dan Siegel and Tina Bryson. In it, they tell the story of a small child who witnessed his caregiver have a medical emergency in the car, which resulted in a minor accident which resulted in the caregiver ...


12

I'm at total loss of what to do, how to punish her, and what to believe. I'm desperate to find answers. If I were in your situation, I would be dumbfounded as to how my daughter managed to handle that condition/practice for so long, I really would. And I would be worried for her. But you've known about it for years. Why suddenly panic? But manage it she ...


11

Hold the child unless there is a problem. The child cannot be spoiled at this age, and will still sleep unattended later. The only limitations are physical needs of the parent. Is the parent too tired and needs sleep? The child can be both happy and healthy. Do not give the child coke in this amount. The phosphates will erode bone density and make the ...


10

While you could have damaged your child you also have to remember that crack addicts who continue to abuse drugs while pregnant ultimately manage to produce healthy babies more frequently than you'd expect. It's likely that chemical or other imbalances that exist in your body may be transferred to your child, but you did not choose them - you were born with ...


10

Your question doesn't really touch it, but the title does, so I'll first point out I'm not qualified to give advice on suicide prevention. I would also call that off topic for this site. I will try to focus on the parenting angle of how to parent him in this crisis, as opposed to how to be his psychologist. On that note, your already doing something right ...


9

If you are teaching the child to yell when they're frustrated by modeling that behavior, then it's a good idea to teach them more valuable lessons like admitting when they were wrong and making for actions done out of frustration. The benefit of learning contrition outweighs the loss of a pretense of infallibility that you could attempt to maintain by ...


9

My best suggestion is that it's time to see a good adolescent counselor. Nightmares are normally more common (or at least, more memorable and reported) than "pleasant" dreams, and vivid dreams often have a recurring theme. But if this were happening to my child, there's nothing on this green earth that would keep me from giving her the opportunity to ...


9

Imaginative play is both normal and healthy for children (read "The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development", posted on Psychology Today, as just one of many sources that support this theory). Young children regularly cuddle, talk to, and animate their toys. A handful of anecdotes: My son will sometimes have his favorite stuffed cat tell me that there ...


8

Whatever else you may do, find a good trans-friendly therapist for your daughter to help her acquire tools to cope with the stressors in her life, being mindful that all therapy is family therapy and that there is no one who cannot benefit from therapy, especially in this case your GF and yourself. You likely have to foot the bill, GF may well be resistant ...


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

Having worked in a nursery for several years, I can say that it is very common for parents to have their child or children come "full-time"- that is 7-8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Sometimes from as young as 3 months. Mostly, this was not the parents' ideal plan, but bills need to be paid, so sometimes circumstances must dictate. In my experience, what ...


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 was a peer crisis counselor in high school. I would suggest talking to a crisis counselor or psychologist and getting feedback from them on how to help. She should see a counselor herself because of the cutting, but you will want to be careful in how you approach it to make sure it is clear you are supportive and not judging the behavior. (This is where ...


7

My kids have been in and out of daycares at various ages throughout their lives. My son started daycare when he was 6 weeks old and continued there until he was almost 2 1/2 years old when I resigned from my teaching job and became a SAHM when my daughter was born. Shortly after my daughter was born, I enrolled my son in a mothers-day-out program which met ...


7

There's quite a difference between your two examples and I would give a different answer in both situations. A 5 month old is too young to understand why you don't hold them when they cry. Generally, strict sleep training is not recommended until 6 months old. In this situation, I would encourage good sleep habits where possible but if the baby cries too ...


7

There is very little you can do. Until someone accepts they have mental health challenges that need to be addressed you can't force them into treatment. As a parent this can be devastating to watch. Having a serious mental illness myself I have a simple rule, if you want to be in my life and have mental health issues then you have to be active in your ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible