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Parents who are sometimes overwhelmed by the weight and responsibility of parenting can submit their questions to:

“There is no friendship, no love, like that of the mother for the child”
Henry Ward Beecher


My son won’t listen to a word I say of late and is extremely temperamental. His moods remind me of how he was when he was in his terrible two’s and three’s. I watched a documentary on BBC2 about children getting into gun warfare within their community. Even though the children had English accents it still seemed as though it wasn’t happening in this country-maybe because it was on TV. Could it be possible that my son of fourteen is hooked up in this very
dangerous behaviour that is taking over our children’s innocence and becoming what seems to be a normal way of life for many?

I can understand why you are concerned about your son’s irrational behaviour. As explosive as it may be it could be for a many number of reasons. It is a parent’s worst nightmare that their children are getting up to the worst type of activity. I would suggest that you speak with your son and if you find that you need support then find someone that your son respects to have a quiet word. Most teenagers have a hard time trying to grow up, without the added pressure of a parent suspecting them of all sorts. Prepare your approach to ensure that it is seen as concern as most teenagers take offence to questioning by misconstruing concern for accusation.

“Parenting will eventually produce bizarre behaviour,and I’m not talking about the kids. Their behaviour is always normal”
Bill Cosby


My wife is the one that they run to and I’m the disciplinarian. A standard arrangement between two parents and that pattern is beginning to shift. I tell my wife that if she doesn’t want to see her children go to jail, remain in our house until they are sixty, constantly asking for money thus fleeting away our dream trip around the world, then I should be allowed to maintain structure with the rules I set around the house. The other day my daughter answered me back in a rude and feisty way, I went to slap her face but my wife stopped me. Now the power I once had over my daughter is fading rapidly. I am not a violent man and remember the beatings I once suffered at the hands of parents, so I rarely do the same to my own. But there comes a time when you have to hit, the time that called for a slap around the face is gone. Now my daughter is pushing her luck to a whole new level and I don’t know what to do.

Your wife has a right to protect her children and should also have an equal say in how her children are disciplined. I do not know how old your daughter is, as you have not mentioned her age. You want to put an end to her deviate behaviour before she influences your other children in a course in bad behaviour. To be disrespected by your own child is painful as you are the one that loves them most in the world, you are the one that puts a roof overt their head and food on the table. Hitting out on a child can be the most traumatizing and hurtful memory an adult can have, why would you want to pass this legacy onto your precious children. Surely there most be something that your daughter treasures as much as you treasure her. Talk with your wife and find out what that something may be and transform it into a punishment. A punishment will spell disappointment and a lack of enthusiasm for such behaviour. Your daughter will think twice to over step the mark and I’m certain that this method you will regain your power.

“Honesty needs no disguise nor ornament”


I am a single father of five children my partner died of cancer eight months ago. The children are still very upset and I’m trying to be strong for them, but sometimes feel I’m going to crumble in a big heap on the floor and cry my eyes out in front of them. This is something I fear doing but can’t help feeling weak inside. I get a lot of help from both sides of the family who have offered to take some of my children and raise them as their own. I desperately want to keep my children as one family growing up together in the same time and space. But the reality of that happening is disappearing everyday.

I am happy that you have taken the first step to open up and say what is truly in your heart. Being strong requires a lot of strength and the family you have is trying to lighten the load. Speak to someone who you feel comfortable with, cry, yell, let it out! You have had a great lose and you need to feel this lose without apologizing or making excuses for your hurt and anguish. Allowing the family to share the responsibility of the children is one thing but to do so on a permanent basis is going to far, which is the reason for your worry. May I suggest that you all get together and hire help for the children and during the holidays two children at a time can experience living with a close relative.Your family sound very loving and the reality of that love will carry you all through.