16-Year Old Refuses to See His Mother

My 16-year old son refuses to spend time with his mother (my ex-wife). What should I do? DR. RUTHERFORD:  Dealing with a child of this age has its own challenges. It isn’t like when children are toddlers or ... Continue reading

Power Struggles with a Toddler About Eating

My two-and-one-half year old holds his dinner in his cheeks for hours and refuses to swallow the food! DR. RUTHERFORD: I can see how this must be a very frustrating behavior for this parent to deal with. MOLLY: This was ... Continue reading

Raising Happier Kids: Update

We’re so grateful to all our readers and supporters for helping us reach 30 reviews on Amazon! We’re so happy you’re enjoying our passion project and thrilled that you’re sharing copies of Shaping A ... Continue reading

How to Prepare a Child to Travel Alone

Flying alone can be nerve-racking for both child and parent. Dr. Rutherford gives you easy steps to take before, during and after a flight to make the journey easier for your child. Click below to ... Continue reading

Son Scared to Make New Friends After Being Bullied

My 11-year old son refuses to socialize with any of the other children in his school. I am very concerned! DR. RUTHERFORD: I share her concern about this 11-year old boy. MOLLY: This question was Continue reading

The Most Important Thing You Never Knew About Your Baby

When my son was fifteen months old, my husband and I were invited to my best friend’s wedding in Jamaica. It would have been cost prohibitive to take my two kids along so I Continue reading

Is Being a “Disneyland Dad” Such A Terrible Thing?

I’m one of those “Disneyland Dads” who doesn’t get to see my kids very often. Why should I waste our precious time on homework or chores? DR. RUTHERFORD: I would suspect this may be a common feeling among Continue reading

When Your Ex- Is Not The Best Role Model For Your Kids

My kid desperately wants to be like his father (my ex-husband) but his father is not a good role model. What can I do? DR. RUTHERFORD (Molly’s mom): It’s important that a divorced parent is Continue reading

Do Your Kids Fight With Each Other? You’ll Never Guess What’s Behind It

Are your kids constantly bickering with each other and driving you crazy? Do they always seem to be picking on each other to get a reaction? Why won’t they stop? Dr. Susan Rutherford addresses Continue reading

Helping A Toddler Sleep Through The Night

My 22-month old hasn’t slept through the night for a year. What should I do? DR. RUTHERFORD: There are a couple of things this parent might consider. One is, can she go without a nap? Continue reading

My Kids Make It Hard for Me to Work From Home

I work from home and have a hard time separating my work-life from my home-life. DR. RUTHERFORD: I see this issue is becoming more and more prevalent as technology advances and more and more parents Continue reading

Stop the Complaining! How to Change Behavior With Rewards Not Consequences

It seems my 7-year old daughter complains a lot just for the sake of complaining. How can we stop it? DR. RUTHERFORD: Let’s talk about some positive behavior modification strategies that this parent can put Continue reading

The Surefire Way to Get Your Man to Help Out Around the House

Does your husband want more action in the bedroom? He’ll get more… if he helps out more! An essential lesson for husbands. Advice from Dr. Susan Rutherford about how to get more equal participation Continue reading

Fear of Spiders Is Keeping My Child Up At Night

My toddler is afraid to sleep alone in her bed after seeing a spider. DR. SUSAN RUTHERFORD: Let’s look at what’s going on here in order to solve the problem. A toddler had the traumatic, Continue reading

Depression Could Be the Cause of Lack of Motivation

I’m in high school and unmotivated to do well in school – I don’t know what to do DR. RUTHERFORD: This is a very interesting dilemma. Lack of motivation to do well can be Continue reading

Why Is My Teen Jealous Of My New Baby?

I just had a baby and my 17-year old daughter is very jealous of the baby. What can I do? DR. RUTHERFORD: It’s an interesting situation when a 17-year old suddenly exhibits this kind of Continue reading

When Baby Uses Breast As Pacifier

My 11-month old baby boy co-sleeps with us literately at my breast. I can’t move him out of my bed. DR. RUTHERFORD: She’s going to have to prepare to have a few nights of discomfort Continue reading

How To Stop My Child From Being So Bossy

My 10-year old son is an only child and very bossy. What can I do? DR. RUTHERFORD: It’s not uncommon to see only children or first-born children be bossy towards other children. Perhaps this Continue reading

How Can I Help My Toddler Sleep In His Own Bed?

My son has always slept in his crib in his own room. About two months ago he refused to sleep in his room or in his crib. Help! DR. RUTHERFORD: Sometimes children will go Continue reading

Should My Child See the School Counselor?

I recently divorced and my child is having some problems dealing with that. The school wants him to see the school counselor. DR. RUTHERFORD: I think that parents have to consider this very seriously Continue reading

My Child Wants What Her Wealthy Friend Has!

My six-year-old came home from a playdate and complained that “so-and-so has such a big closet, why don’t I get one too?” DR. RUTHERFORD: These words can certainly be tough for a parent to hear, Continue reading

What To Do When Your Child Refuses To Eat

What’s wrong with my four-year old that he doesn’t want to eat dinner? MOLLY: This question was submitted from a Mom in Roscommon, Ireland. She added that her son eats big breakfasts and lunches Continue reading

Wrap-Up : Toddler’s Separation Anxiety Can Make Preschool Challenging for Mom

The Wrap-Up is the place where we gather comments on Conversations With My Mother posts from different sources from all around the internet. We’ve received some really interesting and insightful comments from our recent Continue reading

Power Struggles During Potty Training

My two-and-a-half-year old won’t poop on the potty. It’s turning into a power struggle between us! Any suggestions? MOLLY: This came from a mom based in Vancouver,  British Columbia. She added that her daughter is Continue reading

Toddler’s Separation Anxiety Can Make Preschool Challenging for Mom

When I drop off my two-and-a-half-year old at school he suddenly complains of a belly ache and always cries when I leave. What can I do? MOLLY: I have to confess that this is Continue reading

How Can I Be A Different Parent Than My Parents Were?

I’m about to have my first child and I’m worried that I won’t be a “Fun” parent. MOLLY: This came from a reader based in Washington, DC, and she added that she wants to Continue reading

How Do I Help My Child Recover From a Traumatic Experience?

My child was hospitalized following a dog bite. Should we handle her differently when she comes home? MOLLY: This came from a reader based outside of Denver, Colorado. She added that she wasn’t sure Continue reading

How Should I Handle My Child’s Violent Outbursts Toward Her Parents?

My six-year old daughter behaves violently toward us when she is at home with family but not when she is outside of our home among strangers. MOLLY: This came from a reader based in Continue reading

Does Birth Order Determine My Child’s Future Success?

How much does birth order play a part of my kids’ characteristics? MOLLY: This came from a reader based in Los Angeles, California. She added that she has three children who are very different Continue reading

Mind Your Manners: Teaching Social Skills to Your Children

How do you help children who don’t naturally have social skills to develop them? MOLLY: This question came from a mom in Michigan. She added that her son is an introverted child, very smart Continue reading

How To Motivate a High School Student

Our high school-aged son is completely unmotivated to do his work. How can we motivate him? MOLLY: This came from a mom based in Maryland. She added that they’ve tried many strategies but he Continue reading

Things to Consider When You Hire a Nanny

What should I look for when hiring a nanny? MOLLY: This question came from a reader in upstate New York who has been frustrated by the process of finding the right nanny. We reached Continue reading

How Do I Get My Baby To Sleep In The Crib Rather Than In My Bed?

How do I reverse the mistake I made by bringing my baby into bed with me? MOLLY: This came from a reader in Putnam, Connecticut. She added that her baby is three-and-a-half months old and Continue reading

Will Night Terrors Do Lasting Damage To My Preschooler?

My preschooler is having night terrors four or five times per week. Should I worry? MOLLY: This question came from a mom in Colorado. She added that she has read a lot online about Continue reading

Dealing with Separation Anxiety as a Single Parent

My 5-year old cries when I’m not home for dinner and my girlfriend and I don’t know what to do. MOLLY: This question came from a Dad in Michigan. He added that he has Continue reading

Potty-Training Dilemma: Why Won’t She Poop In the Potty?

I can’t get my 3-year old to poop in the potty and not in a pull-up diaper! MOLLY: This question came from a reader in England. She added that her “daughter has been peeing Continue reading

Help! My Child Is Disrespectful to Me

My daughter is almost 9 and is constantly disrespectful to me and to others. How should I deal with it? MOLLY: This is a question from a mom in Wisconsin and she added that Continue reading

What Parenting with Guilt Can Do To A Child

My step-daughter keeps telling her one year old daughter “that hurts my feelings” whenever the child doesn’t respond in the way she wants. MOLLY: This came from a reader in San Diego, CA. She Continue reading

Why Babies Like Routines

How can I keep a routine going for my kid when I can’t maintain one for myself? MOLLY: This came from a reader located in Washington D.C. She added that she is pregnant with Continue reading

How To Deal With A Defiant Teen

My normally cheerful daughter is approaching puberty and is becoming mean, grumpy and defiant. MOLLY: This question came from a reader based in Los Angeles. Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): This behavior is not uncommon Continue reading

Preparing Kids For A Divorce

It looks like my husband and I are going to get divorced. How should I explain it to my son? MOLLY: This was submitted from a reader in Denver, Colorado. She added that she wants Continue reading

How To Address Emotional Eating In Teens

How can I help my daughter stop emotional eating without making it worse? MOLLY: This came from a reader from California. She added that her daughter is a teenager and when she brings it Continue reading

Behavioral Modification Approaches To End Tantrum Cycles

When my 7-year old boy wants something (let’s say a cookie) he often continues asking for it until it turns into a full on tantrum. We become stuck in a vicious circle and I Continue reading

My Kid Whines to Get What She Wants

My daughter is 8-years old and when things don’t go her way she whines or starts to cry. MOLLY: This question came from a reader based in Los Angeles and she also mentioned that Continue reading

How To Help A 2-year Old With Sleep Issues

My 2 year old child continues to wake up during the night crying, what can I do? MOLLY: This question came from a reader in Boston. Dr. Susan Rutherford (Molly’s Mom): First, of course, Continue reading

Teenager Acting Out – What to Do?

How can I keep my 15-year old daughter from acting out and making bad choices? MOLLY: The reader (the teen’s mom) added that her daughter has been sneaking around with an 18 year old Continue reading

When Kids Prefer the Fun Parent In A Divorce

How Do I Compete When My Ex Is The “Fun” One? MOLLY: This question came from a reader in Michigan. She added that her girlfriend has her son all week and is “responsible for Continue reading

When You Don’t Like Your Kid’s Friend

Why do I dislike my daughter’s friend so much? MOLLY: This question came from Northern California and the reader elaborated by asking how she can learn to deal with her daughter’s friendships with kids Continue reading

Is Mom Ready For The First Day Of Kindergarten?

Why am I sad that my daughter is starting kindergarten when she’s been in preschool for years?   Dr. Susan Rutherford (Molly’s mom): You weren’t prepared for it. MOLLY: Usually we answer questions submitted by Continue reading

Is Getting Remarried Important For Our Blended Family?

I have a blended family with my partner. Is it important for our kids that we actually get married? We are excited to welcome our featured guest Lorriane Ladish. Lorraine is a 17-times published Continue reading

How Do I Teach My Child Not To Whine?

My daughter is 8 years old and when things don’t go her way she starts to whine and cry. MOLLY: This question came from a reader based in Southern California, and she also mentioned Continue reading

What To Do If A Child Comes To You For Help

My next door neighbor’s child came over because he was “running away.” What should I do? MOLLY: A reader from Colorado wrote us this question about her 10-year old neighbor. Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): Continue reading

Building Sibling Relationships

My daughters are 5 and 7 and I really want them to be close friends but they bicker all the time. Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): It’s not uncommon for children to bicker and it Continue reading

What To Do If Your Child Refuses To Go To School

My daughter is 9-years old and in the fourth grade, and she just doesnt want to go to school! MOLLY: The reader added that her daughter cries and howls and doesn’t want to go at Continue reading

How Much Should I Expect from My Ex?

My Ex doesn’t want to do any family dinners anymore. His problem is with me but his actions are hurtful to our daughter. MOLLY: The reader explained that she and her ex have been Continue reading

Mother’s Guilt: When Mom Works Full-Time

I’m so tired of people feeling sorry for me that I work full-time. How can I explain that it works for me? MOLLY: This came from a reader based in Los Angeles, California. She also Continue reading

Is My Child Manipulating Me?

I feel like my child pushes the boundaries to get what he wants. Am I being manipulated? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): That is an interesting question, and I don’t have a definitive answer, but even Continue reading

How Can I Get My Husband to Help Out More?

I’m a working Mom, how can I get my partner to be more engaged in our household? MOLLY: The reader added that she and her husband both work outside the house, but she feels Continue reading

How to Stop My 6-Year Old Boy’s Aggressive Behavior?

My 6-year old will suddenly lash out and hit his mother or sister.  What can I do? MOLLY: This came from a reader based in Michigan. The father added that unlike the rest of Continue reading

Helping Your Preschooler Cope with School Anxiety

We are so excited to introduce today’s guest questioner Brian Gresko, editor of the anthology When I First Held You: 22 Critically Acclaimed Writers on Fatherhood, forthcoming from Berkley Books/Penguin in spring 2014. He has Continue reading

Potty-Training the Child Who Won’t Poop on the Potty

My Child is trained for peeing but will only poop in the diaper (not on the potty)! Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): It’s not unusual at all for children to train for peeing on the Continue reading

What To Do When Your Child is Controlling the Dinner Table

My 6-year old daughter is controlling the family dinner table. What can I do? MOLLY: The reader elaborated that instead of eating dinner, her daughter is constantly getting up from the table to play Continue reading

Why You Should Raise an Independent Child

My Child is needy and doesn’t want to do anything for himself.  MOLLY: This came from a reader based in Wisconsin. Dr. Susan Rutherford (Molly’s Mom): Often when that happens it’s because the kid Continue reading

How to Help Stop Thumb Sucking

What can I do to encourage my child to stop sucking his thumb? MOLLY: The reader added that her son is 5-years old and in preschool. Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): There are a couple Continue reading

Using Positive Incentives to Change Kids’ Behavior

I feel like I’m always saying “No,” and becoming such a nag. Aren’t there other ways of changing behavior? MOLLY: This came from a reader based in Boston. I think one thing that you Continue reading

How Can I Help My Kid Feel Okay After a Hospital Visit?

My 5 year old had an accident and hurt her head. After coming home from the hospital, she refused to talk about what happened. What should we do? MOLLY: The reader added that her Continue reading

Weekly Wrap-Up : What do you do when your child says “I hate you”?

The weekly Wrap-Up is the place where we gather comments on Conversations With My Mother posts from different sources from all around the internet. We’ve received some really interesting and insightful comments from our Continue reading

How Should I Respond When My Kid Says “I Hate You”?

We are so excited to introduce our guest questioner Amber Dusick, writer and illustrator of the highly successful blog Parenting. Illustrated with Crappy Pictures. Her first book, “Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures,” was recently Continue reading

Preparing Your Toddler for a New Baby

How to best prepare a needy two year old for the arrival of a new baby? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): No matter what you do in advance as a parent, adjusting to a new Continue reading

My Child is Being Bullied at School. What Can I Do?

My first grader is being bullied at school. How do I address this and with whom? MOLLY: The reader also asked if she should be talking with the teacher or the principal, or even Continue reading

Afraid of the Dark and Clingy Behavior

My 6-year old has a new fear of the dark and wants me to lie in bed with her. How can I stop this before it becomes a habit? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): The Continue reading

Advice for Grandparents – How to Help!

When my parents come to visit, they don’t understand how hard it is. How can I get them to help more? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): I think this is a real problem that a Continue reading

When a Parent Needs a Time-Out

I’m alone with my kids a lot and find myself losing my temper over small stuff. What can I do? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): Well, that happens a lot, especially when parents are cooped Continue reading

Weekly Wrap-Up : Helping Your Child Feel Empathy

The weekly Wrap-Up is the place where we gather comments on Conversations With My Mother posts from different sources from all around the internet. We’ve received some really interesting and insightful comments from our Continue reading

How to Encourage your Kid to Read

How can I inspire a love of reading in my second grader? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): I think it’s helpful to have a regular time in your schedule when you talk about and read Continue reading

Easing the Transition from Elementary to Middle School for Girls

How do I support My 10-year old daughter during the transition from elementary to middle school? MOLLY: The reader added that there’s a lot of drama between her 10 year old daughter and her Continue reading

My Child Doesn’t Seem to Have Empathy

How can I help my child to learn to care for others? MOLLY: This came from a reader based in Florida. Dr. Susan Rutherford (Molly’s Mom): One of the ways you can help a child Continue reading

What To Do When Others Push Religious Views On Your Kids

How can I explain religion to my 5 year-old son when his 8 year old cousin preaches it when she comes over to play? MOLLY: We received this question from a reader who also Continue reading

Weekly Wrap-Up

Introducing our first Wrap-Up! The weekly Wrap-Up will be a place where we gather comments on Conversations With My Mother posts from different sources from all around the internet. Last week started off with Continue reading

How Do I Teach My Kid Social Skills?

I have a 6-year old who doesn’t want to be friendly to other kids. How can I help her? MOLLY: We received this question from a reader who also mentioned that as her daughter Continue reading

Helping Twins Each Establish Their Own Identity

I have a pair of twins and am wondering how can I help them each have their own identity? MOLLY: We received this question from a reader whose twins are in different classrooms at Continue reading

How to Motivate Kids to Do Their Schoolwork

My 10 year-old puts more effort into sports than into school.  What can I do to help? MOLLY: We received this question from a reader whose 10 year-old son puts in a lot of Continue reading

Help! My Child is Afraid to Go to Sleep at Night

My Child is afraid to go to sleep at night. What can I do to help him? MOLLY: We received this question from a parent whose 3-year-old son became frightened during a recent thunderstorm. He Continue reading

Surviving the Terrible Twos

My 2-year old always says “No!” to whatever I suggest. And all of the tantrums! What’s the best approach to use? DR. RUTHERFORD: We’ve written some on tantrums before and that might be helpful Continue reading

My Child Hates School – What Should I Do?

My kid was humiliated by a teacher when he was 6 and now he doesn’t enjoy school. What can I do to help him like school again? MOM: The first thing you have to Continue reading

The Dinner Table Battle: When Kids Won’t Eat What Mom Cooks

How do I get my whole family to eat what I serve for dinner? MOLLY: The reader added that she has five kids and whatever it is she makes, one of them complains and Continue reading

Parenting Like Your Parents?

Question: I had a lot of difficulties with my parents when I was growing up and never wanted to be that kind of parent. So why do I now find myself parenting like they Continue reading

My Kid Is Cranky All The Time – Help!

My kid is cranky so much of the day and it’s really hard to live with – what should I do? MOM: You can start by asking questions that you’re not going to get Continue reading

Helping Children Cope with a Tragedy Like Newtown

How do you talk to your kids about a public tragedy? MOM: I think this is a very very hard question to answer. It’s so difficult and a lot depends on the age of Continue reading

Easing Transitions Between Homes for Children of Divorce

Holidays can be really hard on children of separated or divorced parents. Many friends comment on how anxious their children get before leaving home to spend the holidays with the other parent. How can Continue reading

My Child Is a Late Talker: Should I Worry?

I notice that my 2 1/2-year old child is very physically active but doesn’t have many words yet. Should I be worried? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): You can certainly ask your pediatrician about it, Continue reading

Sibling Jealousy: My Older Child Hogs All the Attention

My older son is six years old and always wants to be first and grab all the attention away from his little brother. What should I do? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): Whenever there are Continue reading

How Can I Help My Child Learn to Share on Play-dates?

How do I help my 3-year child learn to share with playmates when he doesn’t want to share any of his toys when we’re at our own house? MOM: I remember that one thing Continue reading

Why Does My Kid Seem to Have Regularly Scheduled Tantrums?

I noticed that my seven-year old son seems to have tantrums when he comes home from school. What can I do and is there a pattern here? What might it mean? Dr. Susan Rutherford Continue reading

Understanding An Introverted Child

I have a 4-year old child who seems quite introverted. She’s having a really hard time on playdates. How can I help her? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): It’s important to understand the difference between Continue reading

My Child Picks Up Other Kids and Makes Them Uncomfortable

My kindergarten-age daughter is larger for her age than other kids. She’s very physical with other kids and likes to pick them up a lot. It’s becoming a big problem at school and her Continue reading

How Can Parents Instill Confidence in Young Girls?

I have three girls and I would love some advice on how to instill confidence in them at an early age. MOLLY: This question came from a reader based in Southern California. She added Continue reading

My Child Is Scared to Go to Sleep. How Can I Help?

My kid is 4 years old and keeps waking up scared that there are monsters under the bed. What can I do? MOM: Now one of the things that I see sometimes is that Continue reading

How Do I Teach My Kids To Share With Each Other

My four year old is having difficulty sharing her toys with her younger sibling, and worse, she takes his toys from him. What can I do? MOM: I would say that this is a Continue reading

How Can I Help My Shy and Fearful Child Become More Confident?

Reader Question: I have the sweetest 4 year-old who is very good with people and quite intuitive and sensitive as well. The problem is that he is beginning to not want to do anything Continue reading

6-year old Still Cries When Parents Leave

I run a day care and one of my clients wants me to watch her kids while they are out of town. Problem is the 6 year old still cries when Mom is not Continue reading

Helping an Older Child Adjust to a New Baby

I’m having a baby; how can I help my older child adjust when the new baby comes? MOM: Well, you start very early, before the baby’s born. Especially when the mother begins to really Continue reading

Teaching a Young Child to Care About Others and Develop Empathy

I noticed that my 3 year-old child doesn’t seem very sympathetic when someone gets hurt. MOLLY: This came from a reader based in Chicago, Illinois. She wondered what she could do to help her Continue reading

Creating a Successful Sticker Chart to Reinforce Behavior in Children

How do you create a successful discipline program using positive reinforcement? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): You’ll want to gear this to the age of the kid. Children catch on to this very rapidly. If Continue reading

Is it Damaging to Call Your Kid “Bad”?

When one of my friends is upset with her child she say’s “You’re such a bad girl” or “That was a shameful thing you did”.  Is this an effective way to discipline your kid? Continue reading

School Anxiety: What to Do if Your Kid Doesn’t Want to Go

©iStockphoto.com/sergiyN My child is 10-years old and is refusing to go to school and complaining of physical aliments that have not been based in reality. What should I do? MOM: The first thing that people Continue reading

How to Deal with Tantrums In Children

I have a verbal 4-year old who has begun throwing tantrums constantly. What should I do? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM): So I can assume that all that basic stuff has been done. MOLLY: The Continue reading

Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

My child is 4 months old and I’m going back to work. How can I help myself adjust? MOLLY: This came from a reader based in San Francisco. She added that she’s really worried Continue reading

Divorced Parents Disciplining Children

My ex-husband and I are not on the same page in terms of disciplining our 5 year old. What can I do? Dr. Susan Rutherford (MOM):  One of the basic understandings that takes a Continue reading

Is it Okay to Leave My Baby for a Weekend?

My baby is 9 weeks old and I have a high-school reunion in another state. Can I leave the baby and for how long? MOLLY: This question was submitted a reader based in New Jersey Continue reading