Stop here every day for a new question and answer, practical help for busy parents.
What should I do when the mother of my child brings an accused rapist near my daughter? He was never convicted, but she told me he raped and hit her. My daughter lives with her, and I’m in another state. I told her I didn’t want this man involved in my daughter’s life, and she said my opinion doesn’t matter. Legally, what I can do?
First of all, I recommend consulting a lawyer to determine your legal rights. However, if the man has not been convicted of a crime, you’d be hard pressed to convince a judge to force your ex to keep him away from the baby.
Moving past the legal issues, if you want to have more input in the raising of your child, you should move closer to the girl. The farther away you live and the less often you see your daughter, the less say you have in her care. This geographical truth applies regardless of the nature of your court-ordered custody arrangement.
Is it fair? Perhaps not. But when you father a child with a woman and split up, you run into issues that others may not face. If you want to be more involved with your daughter, then take the physical, legal, and financial steps needed to involve yourself.
What should I pay for child care? After 20 months at home looking after my little one, I must return to work. If I need day care nine hours a day, five days a week, how much should it cost?
The answer varies greatly depending on your region. If you live in an area with high home prices and high wages, you will probably pay more for day care than someone living in a lower-rent area.
The National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies publishes an annual fact sheet that provides cost and other data state by state. In 2010, the cost for full-time care of an infant at a day-care center ranged from $88 per week to $360 per week. For example, the average cost was $103 in Alabama, $218 in Illinois, and $263 in New York. Child care operated out of the home of a professional caregiver tends to be somewhat cheaper than a day-care center, and if you call around, you may be able to find even cheaper care at a center operated by a church or other nonprofit group.
If you are looking for a reputable day-care center, try consulting Child Care Aware for information about a child care resource & referral agency for your area.
Why do parents think kids’ bedrooms have to be clean? I’m on lockdown until it’s clean, and I don’t understand why parents care if it’s not their room.
It’s not their room, but it’s their house. As I have been known to tell my sons: “My house, my rules.”
Some parents feel better when the house is tidy because they never know when someone will come to the door. Some parents see a clean room as a sign that a child is organized and healthy. And some parents just want you to clean your room every once in awhile, before it gets so messy that they feel they will have to clean it. Regardless of their reasons – and you must realize that your parents are under no obligation to explain – your job is to clean the room.
I’ll close with a simple observation. Cleaning a bedroom is not difficult. It’s a common task, and one most children must perform periodically. If you don’t want to stay on lockdown, put in a few minutes and clean the room. So far, your efforts to dodge this simple job have caused you a lot of stress and made your parents angry. I suspect that cleaning the room would be less stressful, as well as more conducive to happiness in the home.
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