Beloved pediatrician Dr. William Sears is taking your questions! Post questions here for the man who coined the terms “attachment parenting” and “babywearing,” and we might feature your question — and Dr. Sears’ answer to it – in an upcoming issue of Babytalk magazine.
I have a very serious issue and I am worried about my two children 9 and 11. I have been divorced now for 7 yrs. As a child of divorced parents myself, my mother always talked bad about my dad so I never wanted to do that to my kids, I figured they would discover things on their own. My ex husband and his wife are extreemly mentally abusive. He wants the kids to be raised as Jehovah's Witnesses, which would be fine if he was one himself, but he is not, neither is his wife. If I celebrate holidays with the kids he tells them that they will die, or Jehovah will be very angry with them. When they go back to their dad after celebrating a holiday they get drilled by their step mom, or grounded while their step siblings get special treatment. My oldest sons birthday was last weekend and his dad told him " I hope no one shows up to your party and if something bad happens to anyone that shows up it will be your fault ". My youngest son interups his brother and tries to change the subject when he starts to talk about their dad, so I usually speak with my oldest son in private when he wants to discuss these problems at his dad's. He has told me his dad says I am a lier and they shouldn't listen to me. The kids dad and I have joint custody due to his non-existing child support payments and me needing to work more to make ends meet. We have the kids the same amount of days, yet he still tries to get the kids to stay with him on my days. They tell the kids they have fun plans on the days I am supposed to have them. My oldest son told me he heard them talking about how they can use that agianst me in court saying they have the kids on my days as well as thier own. I know there is alot more that my son won't talk about because he starts to say something sometimes when we are talking and then he clams up and doesnt want to talk anymore. I don't know what to do. I suggested to him to talk to the school counceler, someone who is outside the situation that he can trust not to tell anyone what he says and maybe she can give him some guidance. Any suggestions would be great. Mental abuse leaves invisible scars and is almost impossible to prove.
My 4 year old step-daughter is getting out of control with her attitude and tantrums. She does not live with us full time (only comes over for the day on Tuesdays and then sleeps over every other weekend). In the past few months she has gotten extremely mouthy and talks back to both my husband and I constantly. The worst problem is bedtime. She refuses to go to sleep in her room and wakes up her baby brother, so we have her on the pull-out couch in our living room. She demands that my husband sleep with her and when we say "no", she continually gets out of bed and comes into our room kicking and screaming/crying. We have tried everything: closing our door, talking to her, holding her, taking away priveliges, and even threatening to call the police on her (not that we really would). She has kicked me in the face and kept the tantrum going for hours. We love her so much but we don't know what to do anymore.