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Parenting & Family Issues

Is Giving Chanukah Presents a Non-Jewish Custom?
I am having a very hard time, as the holidays approach, with teaching my children the beauty of Chanukah and not having them see it as a Jewish x‑mas. I know it has become somewhat of a tradition to give children gifts during Chanukah, but is this really a Jewish custom?
Keeping Up With the Cohens
We live in a very affluent area, one that is far above our means and economic level. The problem is that our children go to school with these other children, and expect to have the same clothing, gadgets and lifestyle that all of their friends have...
My Sister's Children are Out of Control
What do you do when you are in someone else's home where the kids are out of control? We are staying with my sister this summer but her kids are violent, disrespectful and basically, a terrible influence on my children. What can I do?
Badly Behaved Neighbors
I live next door to a woman whose children are terribly misbehaved and a horrible influence on my children. Worse yet, the parents don't seem to notice or care. Every time my kids see them they ask to play. How many times can I tell my children "no, not today"?
Inappropriate Purim Costumes
I was so excited when my teenage daughter told me she wanted to attend a Purim party. Being that she does not seem so interested in Judaism, I thought this was such a positive step, until I saw what she plans on wearing for her costume . . .
Sibling Rivalry
My children play beautifully together when I am not around. Yet as soon as I enter the scene, the ‘Who is going to win Mommy’s attention?’ game continues in full-swing. Their constant bickering is driving me crazy and is turning their winter break into a nightmare...
Learning Issues
My husband and I are highly educated with doctorate degrees. Our oldest son though is in 1st grade and isn't able to read yet and is falling behind. Not only isn't he the best, he is really the worst...
Halloween Tradition?
My husband keeps telling me that Halloween is American tradition and that there is nothing wrong with our six-year-old trick or treating, but something just doesn’t feel right. I think whole holiday is weird and I don’t want my child dressed up as a skeleton and going to strangers' homes? Am I overreacting?
My Daughter Says She Hates Me
I am a single mother of a teenage daughter who blames me for everything wrong in her life. I have always done everything I could for her but she doesn’t seem to appreciate any of it and recently left home to live with a friend. I am in so much pain and want her back home but can’t live with a daughter who hates me...
Terrible Two's
I recently gave birth to our second child and our first son, 2 1/2, is obviously in need of a lot more attention. He has also reached the depths of terrible two's...
Playgroup Dilemma
I love my two-year-old daughter dearly but find it hard to keep her entertained all day. I would like to send her to a playgroup, but feel guilty...
Public Tantrums
I am having an incredibly hard time with my preschooler and I am starting to think I have the worst-behaved child in the world. He screamed the whole time in the store and people began staring. What is wrong with my child?
Grandparents Are a Bad Influence
My husband and I feel it is very important that our children have a close relationship with their grandparents. The problem is that my parents are always fighting...
Teaching Children to Cope with Death
I just received news that my grandmother has very little time left to live. I am planning to fly to spend 10 days with her. I am nervous about being away from my kids, and about introducing the concept of death to their young, innocent lives...
Grandma Picks Favorites
I have three daughters, ages 16, 14, and 11. While I know their grandmother loves them, she seems to favor the eldest...
Teenage Daughter Alienation
My daughter and I have always been extremely close. However, now that she is 17 she has been trying to distance herself from me. Why is she pushing me out of her life?
Emotionally Distant Son
My married son is very distant emotionally from me. He very rarely calls, never e-mails me hardly ever invites me over...
Child Not Telling the Truth
My son has started a streak of lying. He tells me he does things and then I find out that he didn't. I want him to understand that lying is unacceptable...
My son recently remarried and his new wife has three children from her previous marriage. Her three children are close in age with my son's three children. In addition to us being a bit overwhelmed and trying to adapt to this new Brady Bunch situation, I am not sure how to really integrate my new grandchildren into our lives...
Widowed Mother
I was widowed two years ago and have been left to bring up my two beautiful daughters alone. One is 9 and one is 7. They are both doing well at school, the problem I have is...
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