Freedom from Fear and Worry + No Mind Left Behind + Feeling Like An Outsider

[amazon asin=1583334955&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Anne Marie Albano, author of You and Your Anxious Child
Topic:
Free your child from fears and worries
Issues: What causes anxiety? What’s normal–and what’s not; Annihilating anxiety; when and how to get help; treatment options, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication


[amazon asin=0399534555&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Adam Cox, author of No Mind Left Behind.
Topic:
Understanding and fostering executive control–the eight essential brain skills every child needs to thrive
Issues: How do children develop coordination, handedness, depth perception and other important skills; skills to emphasize during the magical windows of learning in kids, from birth through age six; what if your child has no interests in sports at all?


[amazon asin=1402748841&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Leonard Felder, author of Fitting in is Overrated.
Topic:
The survival guide for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.
Issues: The importance of being unique and different; giving children the strength to be individuals and, at the same time, to navigate the subtleties of belonging and making good friendships.

Unexpected benefits of daycare

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are expecting our first and we’re on the fence about whether to hire a nanny or find a childcare center for our son. It would be great to have someone at home to take care of household chores, but our friends say that there are some great advantages—for us as parents—to having our child in daycare too. Is there any truth to this?

A: In a word, yes. While it’s every parent’s dream to come home to a sparkling clean house where the laundry and the toys have been put away and as healthy dinner’s on the table, having a child in daycare offers some definite benefits to parents as well as to kids. In fact, the same day as I got your email, I received a copy of a new book by Mario Small, a Professor in Sociology at the University of Chicago, who has extensively studied a number of these benefits.

[Read more...]

Who’s Your Daddy?

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband is 42 but often hangs out with our 13-year-old son and his friends, acting like a kid himself. Am I wrong to want my husband to act his age instead of trying to be our boy’s buddy?

A: There’s nothing wrong with expecting your husband to be a good role model–a mature, responsible, and trustworthy individual your son can look up to, respect, and admire.

But the fact that your husband spends time with your son and his friends doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not good role model material or that he’s shirking his responsibilities. There are a lot of factors to consider here. For example, what is he doing with the boys? If they’re occasionally hanging out in the garage and building a train set, or playing ball in the backyard, those are perfectly good bonding activities and your son can only benefit from this quality time he’s spending with his dad (and Dad will benefit too).

[Read more...]

How being a new dad changes friendships

Dear Mr. Dad: My best friend just became the father. I used to spend three or four nights a week with them and he constantly called, texted, or e-mailed as well. Since the baby has been born it seems like he has begun systematically cutting me out of his life. Hardly any e-mails or texts, and I am only invited over once a week or so now. I have not talked to him about how I’m feeling but when we talk on the phone he acts like nothing has changed. I feel like I’m being very selfish but I really miss my buddy a lot. Is there anything I can do to get him back?

A: What you’re describing is pretty typical behavior for new parents, so don’t take his behavior personally. Chances are he’s not deliberately trying to cut you out and I’m sure he misses you too. There are a number of things going on. First of all, his primary focus is (as it should be) on taking care of his baby and his wife. Any spare time he’s got left he’d just as soon spend trying to catch up on the sleep he’s missing. Second, his natural inclination is going to be to spend more time with people who understand what he’s going through—and, since it sounds like you’re single with no children, you’re not on the short list. Sad but true. At least for now. Third, his wife may be jealous. If he spends time hanging with you, she deserves a break too, right? But with all the pressures of new motherhood, that’s not going to happen for a while. Bottom line: be patient. Your relationship with your buddy has changed—and may never be the same. But with time, you can use the foundation of the old one to start building a new one.