Sperm Stories, Part I

No one is quite sure why, but over the past few decades, there has been a major decline in the quality of men’s semen (the fluid that contains the sperm) and fertility rates throughout the industrialized world. As you might expect, there’s no shortage of theories, explanations, and proposed solutions. In this article, we’ll look [...]

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful…

Dear Mr. Dad: We can’t afford to send our two kids, 5 and 7, to Winter camp, so it’s going to be just me and them for the next two weeks. What are some activities I can plan with the kids so we can stay warm but not spend the whole day in front of the TV?

A: Keeping kids from turning into TV-loving zombies isn’t always easy—especially when it’s cold out. Fortunately, there are plenty of activities that can keep kids of all ages busy during the cold winter months.

If you have a sand or water table that’s collecting puddles of rain in the backyard, bring it inside, fill it up with dried beans, rice, or moon sand (check the Web for inexpensive recipes), and let the kids start sifting. It’s a little messy, but the hours of fun will make it worthwhile. If you don’t have a table, use a hard plastic baby pool.
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Hang in There, (Single) Dad + Winners of the 2009 Holiday Seal of Approval!

Dear Mr. Dad: My child’s mother and I never married and we split before the baby was born. Nevertheless, she and I used to share parenting equally. We compromised, worked out schedules, and we both spent lots of time with our daughter. But about a year ago, I got married. And immediately, the mother cut me back to seeing my daughter only every other weekend. Two months later, she moved in with a man. Since then, she barely lets me see my daughter at all. My wife and my little girl (who’s now three) have a very strong relationship. The mom and I have been fighting for over a year and I finally got her to agree to go to mediation with me to come up with a parenting plan. What can I reasonably ask for? How can I get anything when she has all the power just for being mom?

A: You put your finger on the problem perfectly–your child’s mother has all the power simply because she’s the mother. Well, nearly all the power.

Every time I address the issue of single fathers in this column, I hear from lawyers insisting that unmarried parents have the same rights as married ones. Well, that may be true on paper, but it’s rarely the way things play out in real life.

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