My Husband Treats Our Son and Daughter Differently

My husband loves to wrestle with our twins, but he treats them so differently when they play rough. He’s very gentle with our daughter and much more physical with our son. I guess I’m wondering about two things: Is there any reason to be more gentle with girls than boys, and is there any chance that a lot of wrestling could make our son violent?

With all the talk about youth violence these days, parents are constantly on the lookout for anything that might be responsible for the problem. One common theory is the one you raise, that physical play and roughhousing-which is something dads spend a lot of time doing-teaches kids to be violent. The evidence, however, supports the exact opposite conclusion:
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A Single Dad’s Guide to His Daughter’s Puberty

I’m a single dad and my daughter is 11. I know I’m going to have some kind of discussion with her about puberty, but I don’t have a clue where to begin. I also don’t know what and how much I should say to my daughter about her body and about sexual feelings she is going to start to experience. Help!

Congratulations! You’re about to deal with something that most dads spend a lot of time worrying about. Luckily, though, it really isn’t all that bad.

Whether you’re a custodial dad or you share custody, it’s reasonably safe to assume that your ex will be having some discussions about puberty and menstruation with your daughter. But sometimes things don’t work out exactly the way you planned. Even if they do, it’s a good idea for you to prepare yourself to deal with these issues anyway. Women’s bodies have always been something of a mystery to most men and it’s perfectly normal to be confused, embarrassed, or even somewhat put off by your daughter’s physical changes.
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Helping Your Kids Cope with Your Divorce

My kids are having a terrible time coping with my divorce. As their father, I am trying to be there for them as much as I can. But nothing I say or do seems to help. What should I do?

Sometimes, despite all your efforts, your children will need more help than you’re capable of providing. This doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent, just that you know your limitations. Here’s what you should be looking for:
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Exercise this, Dad…

I’ve always been something of a jock and I’ve tried to instill a love of exercise in my daughters. The two oldest (21 and 18) were/are wonderfully athletic, but had absolutely no interest in sports. When they were tiny babies I’d put them in the Baby Bjorn and hop on the Nordic Track for an hour. Later, I took them running in the jog stroller. Signed them up for summer sports camps, regular team sports, individual sports (like karate and rock climbing) and on and on. But nothing stuck.

My youngest, almost 9, has the makings of a jock. But she hates to sweat. All that changed, though, when I set up the xbox kinect that I won at Dad2.0 a few weeks ago. I had a meeting the other day and told Z she could use the xbox. I heard her bouncing for the entire time I was in the meeting. When I finally finished up and went up stairs to start dinner, she was drenched in sweat–and smiling. I had to smile too.

Made me completely revise my thinking about what my goals are, sports wise. Doesn’t really matter whether she’s doing a real “sport.” If the goal is to get her off her duff and to work up a good sweat, who cares what she’s doing? Lesson learned.

There’s More to Being a Dad Than Pulling out Your Wallet

Dear Mr. Dad: I have a 13-year old daughter. I was never married to her mother. But recently the mom got married to someone else, had another child, and moved away, taking my daughter with her. Do I still have to pay child support even though she’s married and has full custody of my daughter?

A: There are a number of factors at play here. However, what surprises me most about your question is that you seem to be focusing on the finances rather than on the fact that your daughter is now living in another state and you don’t get to see her. Doesn’t that bother you? Most guys would be investigating whether the mother has violated a court order by moving the girl away without an agreement between the parents, or figuring out how to see their child more often. That said, you do raise some interesting financial questions.
But before we go on, it’s important that you hire a lawyer. This situation is quite complicated and you need someone in your corner who has a lot of expertise in custody matters. An experienced attorney will be able to tell you about the child support rules in your state.

Some states count a new spouse’s income when calculating support. Others don’t. Either way, in most states, there’s an inverse relationship between the amount of time the child is with the non-custodial parent and how much support is paid. Child support is supposed to be for the child’s benefit and is designed to help the custodial parent cover increased child-related expenses. Time your daughter spends with you would reduce her mother’s expenses because yours would be increased. Makes sense, right? Simply put, the less time you daughter is with you, the more you’ll owe. So if she’s with her mom 100 percent of the time, you’ll most likely be ordered to pay the max amount.

The big question is, Why don’t you want to pay? If you’re having financial troubles—and you certainly wouldn’t be alone in this—your attorney should be able to get your support order reduced, at least temporarily. If you’re concerned that the mother is pocketing your support checks or spending them on non-child-related things, again, your lawyer may be able to get the support order modified so that you can put the money into a college savings account or other savings vehicle for your daughter.

If you’re using financial leverage to punish or get back at your ex for something she did to you, stop right now. Whether you’re legally required to pay support or not, I think you have a moral obligation. Does it really matter where your daughter lives or whether her mother now has enough money to pay for everything she needs? She’s your daughter and you should be doing everything you can to support her. If that means sending money, so be it. The one who gets hurt the most by your ducking your responsibility is your daughter, not her mother.

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Probably the Understatement of the Year

People always talk about the British being understated. Well, the comment by a 9-year old Australian girl (okay, Australia got its start as a British penal colony) which originally appeared here, from pretty much rivals anything from Winston Churchill.

9-year-old Australian girl saves father from drowning
Melbourne, Feb 25 : A nine-year-old Australian girl has saved her father from dying in the pool.

Cary Peak and his daughter Maddison, who were at a resort in Cairns, were playing in a pool and doing somersaults when Peak hit his head and was knocked out, the Cairns Post reports.

Maddison saw her father floating face down and said she initially thought he was playing games, but then suddenly realised it was real and swam to his rescue, rolling him over.

“I just lifted him up and swam to the step. I dragged him by his shoulders, he was heavy,” News.com.au quoted Maddison as saying of helping her father, who weighs nearly 100kg.

“He just went white.”

Her father came to on the step and Maddison held his hand and led him out of the pool where he began vomiting water.

“I”m very proud, 10 more seconds and I reckon I would’ve been dead,” Peak said.

“That would’ve sucked,” Maddison replied.