John's Articles

What Should Single Mom Do About Disrespectful Son?

Posted on 6/7/2022

Q: I’m a single mother with a 13-year-old son. His father, whom he sees infrequently, has PTSD from battle experiences. My son has anger toward his father, but I can’t get him to talk about it....

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Discipline Differences Between Divorced Parents

Posted on 5/10/2022

Q: We see my husband's 9-year-old son every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. He has major issues in school with both behavior and doing his work. He's well behaved when he's with us, but...

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On Chores, Discipline, Potty-Training

Posted on 3/29/2022

Q: When I give my 5-year-old daughter a chore, she does it, but all the while she is muttering under her breath, huffing and puffing, and so on. Do I discipline that behavior or just let her...

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Handle Split Custody Parenting Issues With Grace

Posted on 9/14/2020

Q: My 13-year-old son’s grades and overall respect for me and other adults – teachers, in particular – began going downhill last year (eighth grade), even before the shutdown. He began school this...

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Father's Visitation With Child Should Be Allowed

Posted on 1/15/2020

Q: Our ten-year-old granddaughter lives with us. We have custody of her but her father, our son, is now asking us for visitation privileges. I probably don’t need to tell you that both he and his...

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Playing War Games Not Unusual for Young Boys

Posted on 10/22/2019

Q: My normally happy 6-year-old son has recently started incorporating death and war-like games into his imaginative play. He isn't and has never been a mean-spirited child, but his dad and I just...

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One Reason Why Marriages Go Bad: Postnatal Marital Amnesia

Posted on 12/12/2018

Just about every marriage has its share of bad times; then again, some marriages simply go bad. The reasons for the latter include abuse, adultery, alcoholism (and other forms of chemical...

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Exchange Arrangements Stressful to Pre-Teen Daughter

Posted on 9/12/2018

Q: I am reading your book “The Well-Behaved Child” and have a question that it doesn’t address. I am a single mom with children from two different fathers. One of my ex-husbands (my son’s father)...

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Keep Facts About 'Donor Dad' Mum Until Child Is 15

Posted on 10/25/2017

Q: My son just turned 5 and is starting to ask various questions about parents including why some people have two parents and he only has one. About two months before he turned two, his "donor"...

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Custody Issue: Teen Acts Aggressively Towards Mother

Posted on 1/12/2016

Q: My ex-husband and I have pretty much fifty-fifty custody of our 15-year-old son, who has become infected with his father’s disrespect for me. When he’s with me, he makes it very clear that he...

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Not All Outcomes Are Equal

Posted on 2/17/2015

Copyright 2015, John K. Rosemond Equality under the law is a uniquely American principle, one that no freedom-loving person would oppose, but the manner in which said principle is...

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3-Year-Old Girl Missing Dad

Posted on 8/2/2011

Tot's distress isn't about missing dad Q. My daughter will be 3 years old soon. Her father was primary caretaker until she was around 20 months, then he left and she hasn't seen him since. I...

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Son From a Previous Marriage

Posted on 10/26/2010

Who should tell son of half-brother? Q: My ex-husband and I aren't friendly. Ours was his second marriage. His first marriage produced a child, but when he and his first wife divorced, he...

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Boys Need Fathers, Not Friends

Posted on 11/17/2009

TODAY'S MALES NEED FATHERS, NOT FRIENDS I recently spent some time with a friend who has three children. My buddy is a college-educated responsible guy who has never failed to do right by his...

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13-Year-Old Girl Obsessed with Boys Needs Male Role Model

Posted on 10/27/2009

GIRLS NEED POSITIVE MALE ATTENTION IN LIVES Q. My 13-year- old daughter seems obsessed with boys. She will talk to a boy on the phone one time and then tell me that he's her new boyfriend....

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Mom Disciplines 15-Year-Old Daughter, But Ex Does Not Follow Through

Posted on 10/13/2009

MOM DISCIPLINES DAUGHTER, THEN DIVORCED DAD IGNORES IT Q. My 15-year-old daughter's grades have dropped this year, and I have taken away most of her privileges. But she spends a few nights a...

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6-Year-Old Boy Interest in War-Like Games

Posted on 10/28/2008

INTEREST IN WAR-LIKE GAMES NOT UNUSUAL FOR BOYS Q: My happy 6-year-old son has started incorporating death and war-like games into his play. He has never been a mean-spirited child, but his dad...

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13-Year-Old Girl Disappointed with Dad

Posted on 8/12/2008

DAUGHTER'S DISAPPOINTED WITH DAD Q. My 13-year-old daughter's father is irresponsible. He frequently cancels visits and is often obviously lying about the reasons. Nonetheless, I've told her...

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Teen Wants to Live with Dad

Posted on 10/10/2006

TEENAGER WANTS TO GO LIVE WITH DAD Q: I have joint custody of my son who has threatened that when he turns 14 he is going to go live with his father, who's been encouraging this. My husband and...

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Mom Can't Control How Ex Handles 15-Year-Old's School Issues

Posted on 4/26/2005

MOM CAN'T CONTROL HOW EX-HUSBAND HANDLES SON Q: Two years ago, my husband and I separated after 25 years of marriage. We have a daughter who lives on her own and a 15-year-old son who chose...

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No Longer Husband and Wife, but Still Father and Mother

Posted on 9/16/2003

TEAMWORK OFTEN KEY IN DISCIPLINE Q: I am the single mother of a 9-year-old boy. I feel like I'm a fairly good disciplinarian, but I occasionally ask my ex-husband, from whom I've been divorced...

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Divorced Parents of 8-Year-Old Should "Tag Team" Discipline

Posted on 2/18/2003

TAG-TEAM DISCIPLINE WORKS - IF IT'S WELL-COORDINATED Q: My husband's 8-year-old son lives with his mother. We see him every other weekend and for two weeks in the summer. He has major problems...

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4-Year-Old is Indulged and Coddled

Posted on 11/26/2002

Q: I don't have children of my own yet, but I'm expecting soon. My lack of parenting experience is central to a discussion between my husband and me concerning what his 4-year-old son from his...

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8- and 10-Year-Old are Disrespectful to Dad and Step-Mom

Posted on 8/27/2002

VISITATIONS SHOULD END AT ONCE IF SONS DISOBEY Q: I am black and my husband is white. We have weekend visits with his sons, 10 and 8. The weekends are tortuous because in our home the children...

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Husband Slanders Ex-Wife When 5- and 8-Year-Old Come To Visit

Posted on 8/21/2001

JUST LET EX-SPOUSE'S SLANDER SLIDE AWAY Q. My two children, ages 8 and 5, visit my ex-husband every other weekend. Invariably, they come home with tales of nasty things he has said and lies he...

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14-Year-Old is Disrespectful and Hostile Toward Mom

Posted on 11/10/1998

DON'T LET YOUR HOSTILE SON TURN YOU INTO HIS TARGET Q. I'm a single mother with custody of my 14-year-old son. His father, whom he sees infrequently, has mental problems stemming from battle...

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Mother Rewards 8-Year-Old for Misbehavior

Posted on 5/5/1998

MOTHER IS REWARDING CHILD FOR DISOBEYING A good friend told me the following story. She called it a joke, although I'm not sure everyone would agree. This couple owned a large dog named...

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Single Mom of 4- and 7-Year-Old Considering Moving Away from Ex-Husband

Posted on 4/29/1997

IT MAY BE OK TO LET PARENT'S BEST INTEREST SWAY DECISION Q. I am a single mother with two children, ages 7 and 4. At present, we live in the same community as my ex-husband. The problem is,...

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Couple Wants to Know How to Tell 6- and 9-Year Old About Divorce

Posted on 4/22/1997

IF YOU'RE DIVORCING, BREAK NEWS TO KIDS GENTLY, CLEARLY, QUICKLY Q. My wife and I have decided to get a divorce. We haven't told our two children, ages 9 and 6, and want to do so in as...

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Hurdles of a Step-Family

Posted on 4/15/1997

STEP FAMILY SHOULD FOCUS ON MARRIAGE, AUTHORITY 1. I am a single mother with a 9-year-old son. Robbie's father sees him on a regular basis, and they have a good relationship. I've recently...

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Child Support Payments

Posted on 9/15/1995

DEADBEAT DAD CASE SHOWS CLEARLY THAT CURRENT LAW IS UNFAIR TO MEN Jeffrey Nichols, scream the headlines, is "America's Worst Deadbeat Dad.'' In 1985, after 16 years of marriage and three...

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Husband is Critical of Ex-Wife to their 7- and 9-Year-Old Children

Posted on 3/3/1995

IF THE EX CHOOSES TO BAD-MOUTH YOU TO THE KIDS, DO THIS Q. My ex-husband and I have been divorced now for nearly two years, but he doesn't seem to be able to let go of his bitterness. Almost...

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9-Year-Old Does Not Obey Step-Mom

Posted on 1/29/1993

MAN'S STEPDAUGHTER OBEYS HER MOM BETTER: WHY? Q. My 9-year-old stepdaughter, who lives primarily with us, does not obey me as well as she does her mother. How would you suggest I deal with...

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Ex Criticizes Spouse to 8- and 10-Year-Old Children

Posted on 11/27/1992

THERE'S A WAY TO DEAL WITH EX-HUSBAND (CALMLY) ABOUT TALES HE TELLS THE KIDS Q. My ex-husband sees our two children, ages 10 and 8, every other weekend. Ever since our bitter divorce, he has...

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Different Expectations at Homes of Divorced Couple

Posted on 11/20/1992

CHILDREN WHO LIVE IN MORE THAN ONE HOUSEHOLD CAN ADAPT JUST FINE Q. My husband's two young children live with us every other weekend, during certain holidays and for a month in the summer....

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Forgiveness is the Best Healing in a Divorce Situation

Posted on 10/18/1991

DIVORCE' MY PARENTS? I HEAL MY CHILDHOOD ANOTHER WAY I was brought up in what surely qualifies as a dysfunctional family. Three of them, in fact. My parents' marriage was hardly a marriage,...

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Mom of 7- and 9-Year-Old is Angry Toward Ex

Posted on 9/6/1991

EX-WIFE TRIES TO MANIPULATE KIDS, DAD SAYS Q. I am a divorced father of two boys, ages 9 and 7. They look forward to our every-other-weekend visits. Their mother has remarried, and their new...

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4-Year-Old Clingy and Whiny after Parent Separation

Posted on 10/21/1990

PARENTS' SPLIT CREATES A CLINGING, WHINY CHILD Q: My husband and I separated several months ago. Ever since then, our usually outgoing, happy, 4-year-old daughter has been clinging and whiny....

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Divorced Mother of 6- and 8-Year-Old is Ready to Date

Posted on 7/1/1990

WHEN A SINGLE PARENT DATES, KIDS CAN ADJUST Q: I am a single parent with two children, ages 8 and 6. I've been divorced for about six months and am ready to start dating but do not have any...

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Impact of Divorce and not to Divorce on Children

Posted on 4/29/1990

DIVORCE: IF BEST FOR YOU, IT'S BEST FOR KIDS Q. After 12 years of marriage, we have decided to get a divorce. We recently read an article that said that children from broken homes are at...

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Impact of Divorce on Children

Posted on 1/15/1989

STRIFE BETWEEN PARENTS HURTS KIDS MOST IN DIVORCE Even though America's rate of divorce has slowed within recent years, it's estimated that nearly 40 percent of all children born in the 1980s...

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7-Year-Old Panics When Parents Argue

Posted on 1/1/1989

HEARING PARENTS ARGUE STRIKES FEAR INTO 7-YEAR-OLD Q. Beginning a few months ago, any argument between my husband and me sends our 7-year-old daughter into a panic. When she calms down, she...

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8-Year-Old Depressed Over Parents' Separation

Posted on 10/9/1988

IS 8-YEAR-OLD DEPRESSED OVER PARENTS' SEPARATION? Q. My husband and I separated about three months ago, but have remained on fairly good terms. The oldest of out two children, ages 8 and 4,...

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4- and 6-Year-Old Do Not Like Mom's Boyfriend

Posted on 6/5/1988

TELL CHILDREN IT'S NORMAL TO RESENT BOYFRIEND Q: I'm a single mother with two children, ages 6 and 4. Their father and I have been divorced for over a year, and I've been involved in a serious...

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Custody Fights are Hard on Kids

Posted on 8/8/1987

Custody battles are no fun. They're almost always vicious, ugly little affairs that rarely fail to bring out the worst in people. As a psychologist frequently involved in custody...

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9-Year-Old Complains About Visiting Dad

Posted on 2/1/1987

9-YEAR-OLD MAY WANT MORE TIME WITH HIS FRIENDS Q: I am a divorced, single mother with one child - an active, well- adjusted 9-year-old son. With few exceptions, he spends every weekend,...

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Rebellious 13-Year-Old Wants to Go Live with Dad

Posted on 12/7/1986

DIVORCE INFLUENCES TWEEN' YEARS Q. I have two children by my previous marriage - an almost 13-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl. I am remarried, but have no children, nor plans for any,...

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Parents Work Together in Parenting Even Though Divorced

Posted on 10/12/1986

DISCIPLINE SHOULD INVOLVE BOTH PARENTS Q: I am a divorced, single mother. My daughter is 14 years old. Occasionally things come up with which I feel I need my ex-husband's support. In the...

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Lay Down The Law When Son Doesn't Want To Visit Dad

Posted on 1/5/1986

LAY DOWN THE LAW WHEN SON DOESN'T WANT TO VISIT DAD Q. I am the divorced and remarried mother of a 5-year-old boy who spends every other weekend with his father. Until recently, Billy has...

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Joint Custody, Split Custody Differ

Posted on 12/22/1985

ALL AGES CUSTODY JOINT CUSTODY, SPLIT CUSTODY DIFFER I've received several letters and phone calls from readers upset by a column of several weeks past on split custody. Their concerns...

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