What is a playdate, anyway? Is it a social occasion where parents hang out together while their kids play together in close proximity? And how did this pattern emerge? do people in other countries do this or is it mainly an American thing? [more inside]
I'm stuck in the town where I just finished university, because I'm engaged to Jake, who has a child here, Finn. Jake had Finn with Kaitlyn when she was 16 and he was 18. Finn is now 4. I could move anywhere I want and make a living. I'm happy with Jake, but I'm unhappy with life as a whole, depressed, have low self-esteem. Jake has only limited contact rights to his son and a whole lot of trouble with Kaitlyn, who hates me. We live together and I am the sole-earner in this household, in the awful UK economy. I haven't left the house all year, I've just been working yet I'm still in debt and I want to get away. On the other hand I love Jake, we have so much in common and we never even argue, even though the year that we've been together life has been very difficult. We really love and respect each other. I have great hope in him, I'm excited to meet his son and I think we could make a life together. Except it would all take years. And I'm at the end of my tether and want to leave now. [more inside]
Asking for a specifically male perspective here: what do you wish you'd known before having kids that would have made your relationship better? [more inside]
Mr. SPA told me last night that he thinks about suicide. Knowing Mr. SPA and based on the surrounding facts and circumstances, I think he's referencing suicide in a bid to talk about escaping from the stress in his life. In other words, I think he's asking for my help. I don't know if I can help him. What do I do? [more inside]
I really feel my 13 year old son pulling away from me. He text msgs a ton with his friends and just the time we spend together now is minimal. I know this is totally normal adolescent development but it still hurts me inside. Can you suggest things we might do together now to connect? Watching a movie with me is even hard to get him to do. He is a normal well adjusted kid---no problems in school. We usually eat dinner together as a family and I am here when he gets home from school and usually fix his breakfast and see him in the morning for 15 mins til he is out the door. He is my youngest child and it feels sad to not have things we do in common anymore. I used to walk him to school in 6th grade under the guise of giving our dog her daily walk but this year that ended. Help!
My dad was an insecure, unlikeable jerk (to me at least) who clearly did not like his children. I have become an insecure, unlikeable jerk (to me at least). Am I doomed to have the same, terrible relationship with my future kids as well? [more inside]
A co-worker and friend of mine is a single mother of three (girls of 6 and 11, son of 14). The boy is becoming more and more hostile and defiant by the day, and even ran away for several hours this past weekend. He's bright and creative, but seems to reserve his anger for the home. I'm fairly certain drugs/alcohol are not involved. Mom is at wit's end. I don't have kids myself so I feel unqualified giving advice. Anyone here who's been in the same situation? Any recommendations on how to go about beginning to try working this out? Counseling?