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Parents' Q&A: Call to Action for Issues Big and Small

From sharing the bed with kids to the quest for better grades, we provide topics to help parents everywhere.

Every parent needs a little help. So check out these questions and answers. But don't stop there! Then share your stories in our "comments" section —tell us what you have experienced, what you've tried, what worked and what didn't. We're all in this together, so your support helps other parents everywhere. And if you have any other topics you'd like to see covered, let us know! We want to cover everything that matters in your kid-friendly worlds.

Happy parenting!

 

My husband and I try to keep our bedroom just for us, but the kids — and the dog — often join us in the middle of the night. What should we do?

This is a tricky balance. On one hand, you want to be there to provide comfort after a nightmare or a bout of the sniffles wakes up your little one, or your middle one — and sometimes even your older one. But we all know that, like that pooch at the foot of the bed, they will seize on every moment of weakness and jump over the covers any time they can. Set rules and be as firm as you can. If you don't get a good night's sleep, you're of no benefit to anyone the next day, so kick them out of your bed and make sure they stay comfortable in theirs.

My child is in her first year of middle school. She is well-adjusted socially and has had no trouble with many aspects of middle-school life. But she'll have occasional bursts of subpar grades. When is it time to panic?

Most importantly, it's never time to panic. The first year of middle school is filled with "firsts" and with plenty of challenges. Teachers are more demanding than they are in elementary school, especially as we head into the final marking period, but that doesn't mean that teachers aren't there to help. Most teachers, and their schools, have sites dedicated to the workload and the expectations for students. Bookmark those sites on your computer and check them daily so that you can create a homework/study checklist for your middle-schooler. Keeping your student focused every day will alleviate surprises and allow them to handle the increased workload.

 

I live in a houseful of boys, big (husband) and little (kids). A few of these beasts are having some issues with aim — and with a simple request to lift the lid. I need help fighting this battle!

We were very lucky to have a supportive husband deal with this issue swiftly. Well, okay, not really swiftly, but he did get the message after much hollering on a Wednesday... This husband didn't say anything for three days. But at 6:45 a.m. Saturday morning, the boys' weekend slumber was interrupted by dad getting the boys to handle 'latrine duty." They scrubbed toilets and every inch of the bathroom. It seemed to work; they were much more careful during the week. Just to drive home the point, they had duty the next Saturday morning. This week has been cleaner than the week before. Check back with us next week to see if they had to scrub on Week 3!

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