"The ultimate goal of raising children is to help them out of our lives and into successful lives of their own. "

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Consult with your spouse first.

Posted on 9/5/2019

Hi, I am having trouble dealing with my step daughter that is 15. My husband and I have 5 children together. He has two and I have three. My husbands daughter has severe anger and behavioral...

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Jesus Loves the Little Children Through Grandparents

Posted on 4/14/2019

I am a step grandparent. We have a three year old grandson who is being raised in a progressive, liberal, agnostic environment. The household is run by the toddler and to say it is matriarch ruled...

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Life After College is Too Comfortable- Time to Adult

Posted on 3/11/2019

Hello, My stepson in 23 and a recent college graduate with a communication degree. His father and I have been married 2 years ago. His parents are concerned about his seemingly lack of...

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Blended family blues.

Posted on 1/21/2019

Just wondering if you feel that all children in a step family should be treated the same, as far as, rules, quality time etc? My husband feels that since his children only have visitation with us...

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Step IN TIME!

Posted on 12/22/2018

I am apart of a step family. I am having trouble with my step children not accepting me. I feel like this is highly due to how their mother feels about me even though she wanted the divorce she...

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What to do when households have different rules for teen stepson?

Posted on 10/19/2018

My husband and I follow your columns (my mother quoted you regularly growing up, sometimes to our dismay) but now as a stepmother and father to a teenage boy, we find ourselves in a tough spot. We...

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Strive

Posted on 9/26/2018

My step-daughter 14 has been telling her mom and dad on and off for years that she does not feel part of our household and wants to stay at her mom's house. This conversation usually starts up...

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Entitled, Self-Centered 14 YO Boy

Posted on 9/17/2018

I have a question re. how to handle my son's awful behavior. He is 14 years old. His Father and I switched custody 6 months ago through mediation, following a lawsuit that my son requested because...

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phone use for 23 yo

Posted on 9/10/2018

HI, My husband and I have been married 2 years. I have 2 boys, 15 and 17, who live with us half the time. He has 2 boys, 23 and 20, who are rarely at our house because they are in college. All 4...

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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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Husband and 19 yr old step son have no relationship

Posted on 6/4/2018

My husband and 19 year old son seem to have absolutely no relationship. (My husband adopted my kids) I’ve been urging them for years to go do stuff together, whatever. 2 weeks ago, our counselor...

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The Better Half

Posted on 4/19/2018

I have 2 step-daughters, ages 11 and 8, who spend half of their time with us and half with their mom. We don’t allow them to use any form of social media and have explained to them the dangers....

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Introducing Half Siblings

Posted on 4/13/2018

How do I introduce a half sister to a three year old child? He does not understand that Jj (father of both children) is even his Dad. Jj is not present in his life nor the sister's life. The...

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Adjusting to new family system

Posted on 3/21/2018

My son Carter is 13 and in 7th grade, he is suffering from anxiety and depression. I have recently gotten married, one year ago this month, and my husband has 3 other children (16 boy, 12 boy,...

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Reconciling Lost Relationship with Teen

Posted on 3/1/2018

My husbands 15 yo daughter has cut off all communication with him. She was living with us but moved to her moms full time for the past year and a half, he has been blocked from texting, messaging,...

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Angry daughter needs dose of reality.

Posted on 1/8/2018

Good day, we have tried lots of different things,this is the way she is now, alway angry, I dont know what to do except her bio dad to be with her now. What would be your recommendation for me, in...

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Objecting to a step-family.

Posted on 12/3/2017

I have been divorced almost 6 years and the only man I have ever dated has asked me to marry him. We have been dating 3.5 years and each have two children, ages 9 and 12. My 12 yo is really...

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13 yo daughter needs to leave 'The Garden"!

Posted on 11/9/2017

Should there be consequences if my 13 year old step-daughter refuses to do her chores (clean up her room and door her laundry), leaves notes on her door telling me/us to STFO, refuses to eat when...

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More two home problems

Posted on 10/19/2017

I have 8 & 10 year old stepsons and a 3 month old. When the baby was first born, the kids stayed with their mother for about a month before slowly resuming split custody. Before they returned to...

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Thriving at four - between two families.

Posted on 8/21/2017

Our soon to be 4 grandson now has a parenting contract between our son and the child's mother. They were never married. The contract was made by the biological mother and my son's new wife, who...

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Ahhh the joys of step-parenting.

Posted on 4/27/2017

I have 3 step daughters ages 10, 13, and 15. I never have had a sister but my nieces are close in age and the best of friends. My daughters won't share and are so mean to each other. Attitudes,...

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The 14 year old rules.

Posted on 4/25/2017

This is in reference to my last question regarding my 14 year old stepson. I couldn't agree more about the parents being on the same page. Plus I have read Johns" book Teen proofing. I have...

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Safety first.

Posted on 4/23/2017

On 4/19/17 I asked a question about my 18 year old step son saying he would hit me. I also said that my husband stated he would divorce me if I called the police on the boy if he does hit me. I...

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Step-family parenting challenges.

Posted on 4/19/2017

My husband and I have been married for nine years. We both had three children. My question is how to handle discipline when only half if the children have to follow the family rules. I love my...

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Troubled Young Teen?

Posted on 2/5/2017

This question is in reference to the October 2016 question regarding my 13 year old's act of vandalism. Fast forward 8 months later. He has completed his punishment, but not without having to...

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Two home problems.

Posted on 12/16/2016

I recently married my husband and became the stepmom of 7 & 9 year old boys. My husband was full time military and deployed/stationed in another state most of their lives and returned to 50%...

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Should I get remarried...

Posted on 12/9/2016

I have been dating my boyfriend for almost 2 years. His kids have been really accepting of me but they also have issues with their mother being a "good mother". My son hasn't been so...

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Parenting the Terminally Ill

Posted on 12/8/2016

Do parenting rules change when parenting a young adult (19) with a chronic/terminal illness. My husband's son (and 16 yr old daughter) have cystic fibrosis. While their health is generally good...

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Problems with live-in adult stepdaughter

Posted on 11/26/2016

My stepdaughter, Mary, and her 7 1/2 year old granddaughter, Ann, moved in with us in NY since her husband is an alcoholic and in rehab in CA. She finally landed a good job here in her...

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13 yo Doesn't Like Divorced Mom Dating

Posted on 11/14/2016

Divorced about 3 years. Dating my boyfriend for 1 1/2years. I haven't push the relationship Ive given my 13 year old boy space. He doesn't like my boyfriends daughters. My moms bd was last...

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How to Like Stepparents

Posted on 11/9/2016

Hi! We are a blended family. My husband and I both have custody of our children. What can parents do to encourage a good relationship between their children and their spouse (the children's...

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The marriage came second.

Posted on 11/5/2016

We are retirement age. I already have and my husband plans to soon. It is a blended family. My husband's daughter continues to make poor choices and knows her dad will pay for everything. He...

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Step-Parenting Teenagers

Posted on 8/12/2016

I read your response titled "Stepfathers Must Have Complete Disciplinary Discretion." Do you feel that stepparents must have disciplinary authority where the stepparent joins the family when the...

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Communication is essential.

Posted on 8/1/2016

My husband has two boys, ages 12 and 4. The oldest lives only with his father and I, the youngest goes back and forth between us and his mother. My husband is a wonderful husband and a good...

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No Game

Posted on 4/12/2016

Recently, 3 of my 4 children participated in a "game" with their 18-year-old soon-to-be step-brother. The "game" consisted of binding the hands of the children, 1-male (8) and 2-females (6 & 5),...

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Parenting in Step Families

Posted on 4/5/2016

We are a struggling blended family. My husband has 3 children (ages 7, 12, 17) from a previous marriage. They would most likely still be married if they saw eye to eye on how life/children...

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5 year old Limiting Gifts

Posted on 12/17/2015

I have a 5 year old stepson. My husband and I really try to limit the number of new toys he gets. Including gifts from family, he gets a handful of new toys at the holidays and for his birthday....

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14 Year Old Disrepect

Posted on 11/17/2015

My 14 year old step-daughter is incredibly rude and disrespectful of her father and I. She comes to our house every other week after a week of being indulged by her mother, and demands that we...

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11 Year Old Disrespectful

Posted on 10/24/2015

My 11 year old son has a terrible temper and disrespects me and my husband (his step-dad). He calls others names when he gets mad and says hurtful things. His own dad is more permissive (and where...

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15 yo Disrespect--Should Parent Apologize?

Posted on 7/23/2015

My husband and stepdaughter (15) had an argument. She lives with us full time but violated a rule, was called out on it and she escalated with (what she thought) were hurtful statements. One of...

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Step son in the middle

Posted on 7/7/2015

My youngest stepson informed me that his mother & stepfather told him that the child support they pay us is to go into the boys savings accounts, that "we are taking it from them by keeping it...

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7 yo Tattling Revisited

Posted on 7/2/2015

As to your answer to my previous question, it isn't relevant since we never get to have our grandson at our home for a visit. He tattles on us right in front of us at his home. Any indiscretion is...

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7 yo Tattling

Posted on 6/16/2015

I have a very bright 7-year old step-grandson, "Jake," whose parents have been divorced since he was 2. After every visitation with his dad, his mom grills him to determine whether her ex has done...

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12 yo Make-Up, Revisited

Posted on 5/12/2015

To Dinah - Replying to your response: my daughter is 12!! While 14 and 16 are fine ages to enhance their faces, a 12 year old who is immature and encouraged by biomom to look sexy isn't the...

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Blending Family

Posted on 5/7/2015

We are blending a family with three children ages 9,11, and 12. The 9 and 11 year old are siblings (a boy and a girl). The 11 and 12 year olds are boys. The boys often do not get along and we...

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12 yo Make Up

Posted on 5/4/2015

Our 12 yr. old daughter (soon to be 13) wants to wear make up. She has bad acne and, although I have showed her how to clean her face and bought the treatments and creams, she is lazy about doing...

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No Soda Pop?

Posted on 4/20/2015

On the way to & from the bus for school, my 13 yr old stepson has been stopping by my mother's home (she lives beside us) & going into her garage & taking soda for himself & his brother. The...

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Still No Soda...

Posted on 4/20/2015

To Melinda S.Norris, who just answered my question, which you titled "No Soda Pop?" My mother did not leave her garage door open, he quietly went in to get the soda, without permission. And...

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Sticky Situation

Posted on 2/2/2015

My significant other of 13 years is still "loaning" money to his 28 yo college graduate son with a $30K+ job who still lives with his Mother. The son texts or calls him almost weekly to put $ into...

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19 yo Keeping Secrets

Posted on 12/28/2014

My stepdaughter is 19 and I have been raising her alongside her dad, since we were married when she was 12. Her bio mother passed when she was 10. She has many serious problems which my husband...

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