"If you think childrearing is difficult, it will be. "

Single Parents

John's Most Recent Articles

Adults, Children Must Maintain Relationship Boundaries

Posted on 6/20/2018

A column of mine that originally appeared in January of 2017 has been circulating on the Internet ever since, accumulating over a million hits to date. In a nutshell, its message is simply that...

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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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Single Parent with Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Posted on 7/5/2011

Single parent with a boyfriend: Drama is silly "When is the right time to introduce my girlfriend/boyfriend to my kids?" is a question single parents frequently ask. "Why is this even an...

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15 Resolutions For Parents

Posted on 1/4/2011

15 resolutions for parents Given that this is the first column of a new year, I'm proposing a number of parenting New Year's Resolutions for my readers to consider. The list is by no means...

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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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Children Adapt to Differing Discipline Styles

Posted on 11/3/2009

CHILDREN ADAPT TO DIFFERING RULES Q. I am a full-time nanny living with a single dad and his four young sons. The dad has given me free rein to deal with the kids and discipline them as I see...

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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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A Family is a Family

Posted on 3/20/2007

FORGET ADJECTIVES; ANY CHILD IS A CHILD, ANY FAMILY IS A FAMILY Parents frequently ask if I have written books on adjective-children (e.g. adopted children) or adjective-families (e.g. blended...

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Single Parenting

Posted on 12/14/2004

"So what about single parents, John?" asks a single mom. She was responding to last week's column in which I proposed (I will dare to say proved) that it is in a child's best interest for his...

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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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Recent Questions

Premature Worry

Posted 3 weeks ago

Hello. I adopted my son, now 5 1/2, at birth, and I am a single working (teacher) mother. He is close to my brothers and my dad and has never expressed a desire for a dad and when asked, will...

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Going With Your Gut

Posted on 6/5/2019

I have a 17 yo daughter. I foolishly gave in to giving her an iPhone when she was 13. My husband died 4 years ago. Because of a rebellious attitude of her older sister, I realized these iPhones...

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child sends mixed message

Posted on 5/5/2019

I have a personal friend that went through a bitter divorce approximately 6 years ago. She has 4 children ages 14, 13, 10.5 and 9.5. The three older ones are girls and the youngest a boy. The...

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Let Go or No?

Posted on 3/16/2019

My 16 year old son wants to live with his dad in another state for his junior and senior years of high school. I’m reluctantly willing to let him go. How do I navigate this transition?

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Prevailing not Travailing

Posted on 3/9/2019

My 14 year old daughter was mad at me about a consequence I gave her after clearly telling her what the expectations were. She knew what the rules were and broke them so I gave her the...

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The Defiant Young Adult

Posted on 1/31/2019

My son turns 18 tomorrow. He seems to think this means he can do whatever he wants, including not doing what I ask. He is picking his girlfriend up at the airport this evening and I told him he...

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The High School Experiment

Posted on 10/22/2018

I feel like I ask the same questions all the time. My 12th grader is stressing me out, he is barely making his grades in school coming in at B, C, D's and E's. He's a good kid but I suspect...

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Grandma custody of 4yro

Posted on 8/3/2018

My 4 year old Grandson who has always lived with me seems to be having some new concerns regarding his Mom. His Mom, has not seen him since Christmas Day, and has not contacted me to do so. Yes,...

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Two out of Three

Posted on 3/5/2018

My 9+ year old talks back to teachers and classmates, calls other students names, won't follow directions of teachers and refuses to do what he's been told (one teacher captured it perfectly...

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9 YO Girl Resistant To Visits With Dad

Posted on 2/18/2018

I have a 9 year old daughter. Her mom and I split when she was 3-1/2 years old. We have a court ordered shared parenting plan. I have visitation 1 day/night each week and every other weekend...

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