Big Kids

Older children may be gaining more independence, strength and maturity every day, but they still need the love and support of their parents.

Ask questions and get advice on building a strong relationship with your growing child and helping them navigate the elementary, middle and high school years.

What do I do when my teenager is caught cheating in school?

  • Megan

    My mom always made me clean the car by hand anytime I got in trouble. Bucket, water, rag. And to “vacuum “ a hand broom lmao


My stepdaughter has Encopresis and the doctor had us do a full clean out and follow up with bowel training accompanied by Senna and Miralax regiments. It's been a month and a half and we dont see much improvement. She still doesn't just go unless we make her sit there and actually tell her to push out poop. Anyone else ever dealt with this and at what point did you see improvement if an... More

Anonymous posted in Adoption May 13

HELP! 8-yr-old stealing habits

Hi! My 8-year-old adopted son (adopted a year ago) have recently been stealing: money from home, random small things from grocery stores, small items from his classmates. I have no idea how long this has been going on and only started randomly finding out and catching. We tried talking, explaining that it's illegal, punishing.. nothing is working. It is certainly not kleptomania either beca... More

  • Anonymous

    ^^Ashleys idea is great!!!! In high school, when I turned 15 I announced to my parents that in one year I’d get my license and couldn’t wait to drive my car around!!! My parents reply? “Oh you have a car!? Cool! Where is it??” Lolol. They maybe were t the sweetest about it but they made it clear to me that just because my older friends parents gave them whatever they wanted and just becau... More

  • Kara

    Maybe someone has mentioned it but, have you considered the possibility that he is testing you? Pushing your limits to see if you will give up on him? He's eight so he knows stealing is wrong but he probably doesn't grasp the full scope of what will happen if he keeps doing it. Persistent bad behavior from an adopted kid though, it might be time to seek a therapist and try to head off s... More

Anonymous posted in Blended Families May 07

My son is resentful of his siblings and his stepdad

My 12 year old son is resentful of his stepdad and his younger siblings. We have been together for 7 years and have 2 children together (3 & 1). Before that, it was just my older son and daughter (who are now 12 & 15). He feels that his stepdad and younger siblings have taken me away because they require much more attention. Any advise on how to get him through this?

  • Brian
    May 07

    As a dad and step dad, I’m just honest with the kids. I don’t know how this is suppose to work, but I have enough love for all of them and I try to make time for one on one with them individually. Sometimes it’s helping with homework and other times it’s ice cream or just cuddling and watching their favorite shows. Good luck.

  • Sam
    May 10

    I could have wrote this. Good luck mama! ❤️❤️

Morning everyone! This is my first post, really hoping I get helpful feedback 🙏🏼

So my 9 year old has been sleep walking since he was probably 6 or so, but just recently he’s been sleep walking but acting scared and trembles a bit as if he was scared of something around him. Last night he did it and i just hugged him and said I loved him as I prayed with him as well. I tried talking to him this morning to try and find out if he was stressing about something or to see if so... More

  • Stacey
    May 09

    Definitely should get a sleep study done and maybe see a psychologist who uses hypnosis. They can help get to the root of the terrors.

  • Morgan
    May 10

    You should ask his pediatrician about doing a sleep study


My SS will be 6 in a few weeks. He is bright, sweet, and loving, but also argumentative and defiant. All of this seems to be on point with his age. But when I moved in with him and his dad about a year ago, he was still throwing fits and his behavior was very much like a toddler, instead of an almost five year old. We have made major progress with his behavior, but a couple things are worrying ... More

  • Joanna
    May 04

    I don't think these behaviors are alarming. But if you think that his behaviors are delayed, his school should have resources to evaluate it. Trust your gut.

  • Elissa
    May 04

    He has been seeing a counselor for several months. This just occurred to me yesterday and wanted to ask. I did email his counselor as well

V posted in Big Kids Apr 26

7yo STILL drinks formula milk??

Hi all, I’m a SDC (special day class) teacher and i have a 2nd grader in my class who brought a baby bottle to school... when I was putting some paperwork in his backpack for his parents to sign I found the bottle. However, when I picked it up and looked at it you can instantly tell that it was formula milk. ** He is the only child in the family** Is this something I should discuss with pa... More

  • Laura
    Apr 26

    What do you mean you can instantly tell? Was it a bottle with the formula label on it? Is there a school nurse you could talk to?

  • Alexis
    Apr 27

    I think I'd be more concerned about the fact that it was in a bottle than whether or not it was formula. If it was toddler formula, theres not necessarily anything wrong with that since it does have good nutritional value (unless that's the only thing the child was getting...). But a 7 yo still using a bottle is not developmentally appropriate and can cause dental issues.

Hilary posted in Behavior Apr 25

4 yr old power struggle

Constantly battling him particularly at night but sometimes throughout the day. The other night he says he wants me to brush his teeth in his room. I try to give him options such as he may brush his teeth in his room but if he wants me to brush it has to be in the bathroom. This back and forth went on for about 40 minutes. He would yell and at one point woke his brother up, so I finally caved ... More

  • Alexis
    Apr 27

    Dont engage in the power struggle. Offer options you're comfortable with and then give them a chance to choose. Let them know that if they dont choose you will choose for them. And then just follow through. But also consider whether ots worth the fight and what your motivations are. In your example, why were you unwilling to brush his teeth in his bedroom vs the bathroom, but you were will... More

  • Hilary
    Apr 27

    No I get it. That was my way of giving him an option. The whole back and forth went on in the bathroom so I didn’t see a point in going to his room to brush when we were already in the bathroom.

Kitty's posted in Sleep Apr 16


My 5 year old won’t sleep in her own room, is there any suggestions that can help me to get her to sleep in her own bed

  • Elys
    Apr 18

    The only thing that worked for us was keep putting them back in their room, be strict and lay them down assure them everything is ok and try to make sure “all scary things” are “gone” - sometimes finding out what scares them in their room helps - for my son it was the nanny camera we had installed... they can make believe things are something else in the dark. It took us weeks/months to get my ... More

Anonymous posted in Behavior Apr 12

Almost 9 year old daughter

I am so lost with my daughter. For the past month or so she has had a horrible attitude, she is acting like a teenager. Anyone else have this experience with their daughter at this age? It seems so early.

  • Darnell
    Apr 15

    The 9 year old age is an interesting one. They’re coming into their own personalities. I would say practice patience and and maintain your stance as the parent. It’ll get better

  • Krystal
    May 13

    My 9 year old is the same way.. very mouthy. Has to be reminded constantly to not talk back, watch her tone, not be rude. Actually the last time she was grounded was for her mouth.. yelling at me and being mean to her siblings. It's scary sometimes.. because yeah, only 9.

Activity for introverted 5 y/o

I would really like to get my son involved in an activity. He does not like group sports due to the sensory overload. It is not a good fit for him right now. I think he would do well in music lessons or karate where it is a more individual experience... my main goal is to build his confidence. Anyone else have any activities their introverted child has done well in? Is 5 old enough ... More

  • E
    Apr 10

    Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts?

  • Laura
    Apr 10

    Harmony Road music (classes). They’re small group classes, and my son loves them! He’s 5, and I think there are 6 kids total in his class.

Anonymous posted in Behavior Apr 09

I’m struggling, I am the mother to an extremely bright 7 year old daughter and we are fighting

I am so blessed to have the daughter I have but it seems to me she is trying to anger me. She is doing the opposite of whatever I say and seems to want to test even the most basic requests I make of her ( brush your teeth for example) I know it’s not important for me to be her friend but I don’t like this path we’re heading down and was wondering if anyone had dealt with this and how did it al... More

  • Anonymous
    Apr 10

    I recommend reading the book how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk.

  • Anonymous
    Apr 19

    Thanks got the audio book and scream free parenting lol


My son is nine and doesn’t want to leave the house. Not only that but he doesn’t want to play with toys, hang out with friends and is a lot more withdrawn than usual. This is a very new thing going on with him but he also suffers from anxiety. I feel like he’s depressed, what do you think? Should I bring him to a doctor? Therapist?

  • Rebecca
    Apr 07

    Hi. I am a LCSW. Definitely would check with your pediatrician first. When these are signs of depression, it usually presents a bit different in children with more behavior and irritability. Lots of possibilities could be considered. I would try just talking with him seeing what he may say about the difference in his behavior and also would definitely check with dr and maybe also set up a th... More

  • Rachel
    Apr 11

    I’m a clinical psychologist and an expert in child and adolescent depression. These are certainly signs of depression, and I would recommend making an appointment with a child psychologist to have him evaluated. I do not recommend play therapy as there is no empirical evidence of its effectiveness. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a better option for a 9-year-old. There are a ton of great resour... More

Interesting video on the benefits of risky play!

Thoughts? Would you let your kids play with tools?

  • Anne
    Apr 05

    Wonderful!!!!!! There is so much evidence that giving kids more credit for learning risk management pays off. The example I think describes it best is the old fashioned porcelain tea sets. When they were popular, how many girls were reckless with them?

Ali posted in Behavior Apr 02

My son asks the same question before bedtime

Every night before bed my son says, “I’m hungry.” Even when I am 100% sure he isn’t. This question is literally part of our bedtime routine! Tonight he probably said this 5 times. Each time he has a specific response he expects. Does anyone else’s 4 (almost 5 y/o) do this? I am starting to get a little concerned 😆

  • Jess
    Apr 04

    My 6 year old does this so he can stay up longer. If I know he ate dinner and had a snack, I don’t give in.

  • Darnell
    Apr 15

    My 8 year old does it as well, it’s a tactic he’s discovered to stay up later. So we actually allow him to get up and make himself a bowl of cereal or leftovers from dinner but no tv, no iPad, nobthing he has to eat in silence and typically this results in “I’m not hungry anymore” and he goes off to bed

Ashly posted in Education Mar 31

Middle school

Has anyone dealt with the big jump from elementary to middle school? In elementary school teachers were so open with communication and involved parents with everything but with middle school it’s crickets, I get no communication expect what my daughter tells me which is not much! I know they are trying to teach independence and etc etc but I feel some things should still be communicated like gr... More

  • Elli
    Apr 04

    Hi! I hear you. We are from California and same thing here. Schools most likely have a line of communication and parents to check the kids school progress and reports. They use this system here for kids of middle schools and high schools. Everything is pretty much through emails. Ask your school if they have a communication system.

What’s the best way to teach your 5yr old how to add and subtract?

  • Joanna
    Mar 27

    Games! Like Chutes and Ladders, making sure you pause to rephrase it: I spun a 6. I'm on 24. 24 + 6 is what? Hmm. 30! My 4 yo loves to keep score when we play Uno. He does the math and then asks Alexa to check it for him.

Rye posted in Family Life Mar 26

Dogs that are good with active kids? Is getting a dog a good option for kids?

My son is 7 years old. Only child. I’m thinking about getting him a dog but I want to here other peoples opinions about having a dog (pros & cons).

  • Anne
    Apr 16

    We have a Black Russian Terrier. By far one of the greatest breeds. He is huge, plays fetch endlessly, doesn’t shed (unless he really needs a bath), and has the best temperament. Pros of having a dog: teaches your kid responsibility; protection Cons: do you have the time, space, energy?

Chris posted in Child Care Mar 24

Best options for childcare for 6 year old-first summer break after kindergarten.

Hey all, just want to see what people have done. I am a divorcee with partial amicable relationship with their mom. I am looking for option for the first summer coming up for child care that doesn't cost too much. We have our 6 year old boy in camps for a few weeks but can't do this all summer and nanny is expensive. Thoughts?

  • Anne
    Mar 25

    Some daycares provide summer care at reasonable weekly rates. I’d definitely look into that as a more affordable option.

  • Jennifer
    Apr 25

    Look into your local parks, they have summer camps that are affordable. My son goes to the Hacienda Heights park, the last 2 yrs was $80/week. This year it is $100/week. Still cheaper than regular summer camps that cost $220/week. They do arts & crafts, and weekly there is one day that they on field trips to Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland, Raging Water, Laser tag, Santa Monica Pier, The ... More

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