Tough Topics

Parenting is a long journey with high highs and low lows. Learn how to navigate the lows with children in the picture.

This is a safe, judgement-free zone to discuss loss, miscarriage, divorce, disability and other tough stuff that affects parents, children and families.

I’m sorta trying a poll or looking for advice or input.

So my kids dad spent a period of his life in prison. He changed his life and we met and have three kids together. 1,2&5. Well he had a cell mate whose in for murder and he was convicted as a child like 17 or something and swears he didn’t do it. Anyways he’s being released per this new law they can’t give life to a minor etc. well he’s getting out and supposedly has special permission to be... More

  • Amanda
    Mar 21

    Growing up, some of my dad’s collegiate fraternity brothers developed some questionable habits (drugs, sex, etc) as they entered adulthood, but my dad still wanted to see them and introduce me & my siblings. Then compromise he struck with my mom was that we’d only meet his friends in very public places (having lunch at a popular restaurant, etc.) Sometimes my mom would come along just for e... More

How are you talking to kids about corona virus?

My niece was really disappointed because she was supposed to visit from out of state and her parents have decided to cancel the trip due to the coronavirus scares. Any tips for talking to kids about these things in a way that is easy to understand and isn't too scary?

  • Sara
    Mar 10

    It’s tough! My 4yo has had some of her events cancelled that she was looking forward to. We explained to her that a lot of people were sick so things are getting cancelled to allow people to get better and also we need to be more careful to wash hands now so we don’t get sick. We also talked about fun stuff we could do at home instead and made a few plans (like baking projects) she was excited ... More

Anonymous posted in Books & Reading Feb 24

Help! Monkey business

Hi everyone, my husband and I are white and our daughter is too (2 years old). We were at our local toy store and there was a lot of curious George stuff and she really wanted the stuffed George monkey. So I went ahead and got it for her while she wasn’t paying attention but plan to give it to her as an Easter gift. Besides George, my daughter loves all kinds of stuffed animals and fictional c... More

  • B
    Feb 24

    Liking monkeys isn’t racist. Comparing people to monkeys is racist.

  • Anonymous
    Feb 25

    It honestly feels a little racist saying that it’s racist to play with monkeys. That’s immediately associating African Americans with monkeys, which is pretty racist. Just my opinion.

Anonymous posted in Behavior Feb 01

Co Parenting with different mindsets

Ok so I am a step mama of 2 great kiddos. One is 7 and one will be 6 in September. The only problem is when they stay with their mom for long periods if time they come back with terrible behavior issues (hitting, yelling, lying, terrible attitude/back talking) and this does not happen when they spend extended periods of time with their dad and I, it only happens when they come back from a week ... More

Anonymous posted in Child Care Jan 23

This is not going to sound good.

This is so inappropriate, prejudicial, and likely sexist of me but I am having a really hard time. My daughters preschool (she’s 2.5) has hired a male teacher. They’ve done this before but the male teachers have always ended up in the older wing. They’ve hired one now for my daughters age group and I just don’t feel okay about it. I know, I know. I KNOW. but I’m still having a hard time. I gues... More

  • Anonymous
    Feb 10

    Hi all, thanks again for everyone’s kind words and support. I ended up not having to talk to anyone because the day after the teacher was hired he quit, citing familial issues. I hope everything is okay with him. My daughter is more verbal daily and I will trust the people I leave her with more once she transitions up to preschool. If before then a male teacher is hired for her room I’ll reques... More

  • Cheri Castleman
    Mar 10

    I feel the same way,it happen at the Day care I have been taking my daughter 2 now I'm looking for something different

Anonymous posted in Trauma & Grief Jan 20

Talk to 4 yr old about death

My father-in-law is on hospice and will pass any day now. My 4yr old son is relatively close. When the time comes, how do I tell him? I’ve told him his grandpa was sick already but how do I talk about death correctly?

  • Anne
    Jan 22

    I'm sorry for your loss :( My father passed suddenly when my kids were 3 and 4. They are surprisingly literal at that age, so we chose to not "sugar coat" it and use basic but true language. "Grandpa was very old. His body stopped working and that means he is dead. We won't see him again and that makes us feel sad." We're not religious, so my go-to comfort phra... More

  • Anonymous
    Jan 23

    My parents died 18 months apart. Since they were the youngest children in their families, many family members died when my boys were very tiny. I was very up-front with what had happened to their great-aunts and uncles; I thought they understood. The boys were in pre-school when one of my uncles, with whom they were very close, died after a 25 year battle with cancer. We were taking my Mom ... More

Anonymous posted in Divorce & Separation Jan 20

In-laws divorcing

I just found out that my in-laws are getting a divorce. No clue what is prompting this. They've been married for nearly 40 years, they are in their 60's and their kids are all in their 30's. They live across the country and we usually see them a couple times a year. We actually just saw them 3 weeks ago and they mentioned a vacation planned for Feb so part of me thinks they came to ... More

  • Sara
    Jan 23

    Depends on the relationship I think between your in-laws and husband to know if this is going to create more work or emotional involvement for him. If he has siblings it’s possible they could be the ones to shoulder that if it happens instead. As far as positives, I have a different situation but my father in law passed away a couple years ago leaving my mother in law alone. It has allowed my m... More

  • Teddy
    Jan 23

    Ugh. Buckle up. It will be trying. It hurts and it makes things “awkward” and tough to always know what the right thing to do is. My husbands parents separated right before we got pregnant with our first child. They were married for 25 years and together nearly 30. It’s been... 6 or so years. New partners on both sides has been... less than fun at times (setting boundaries about not letting our... More

Anonymous posted in Pets Jan 19

Scared of cats!

My 4yr old daughter has always loved cats. She was chased by a large growling cat at a friends house. I was in the same room when it happened. All my daughter was doing was sitting on the living room floor watching tv. Then the cat came running straight at her growling. She got up ran to the couch while this cat continued to chase her until I ended it. Now she is terrified of all cats. Any i... More

  • Amanda
    Jan 19

    This happened to me as a child, but with a dog. I was attacked & bitten by a neighbor’s dog as a toddler and subsequently developed an intense fear of dogs through early elementary school. As I recall, my mother spoke to my pediatrician and was given some exercises to do with me at home to help me understand the trauma of being attacked and how to overcome it. I can’t speak to your daughter... More

  • Anonymous
    Jan 19

    Thank you Amanda

Anonymous posted in Divorce & Separation Jan 16

Would you live in an area you don’t like to stay close to co-parent (Ex)

I am missing my hometown and am looking to move back. Currently my ex lives only 20 mins away and is able to see our son every week. If I move, it would be an hour at least and he would have to take him every other weekend. I’m not sure whether I should base where I live on where my ex lives, especially when my whole family lives in my hoMe town and my son could see family more. But the idea of... More

  • Amanda
    Jan 16

    Specifically: my mom lived in North Carolina, where my siblings and I attended school, and my dad moved to Maryland. After my dad moved, he would make the six-hour drive every Friday, rent a hotel room for two nights, and then drive six hours back to Maryland on Sunday. My siblings and I had the option of staying with our dad in the hotel or staying at home with our mom during the weekends, but... More

  • Anonymous
    Jan 16

    That sounds like a good dad for doing all of that!

Toddler Emotions

Parents that were raised in an abusive home, how have you learned to cope with your emotions while also teaching your child to cope with theirs? What techniques do you use? I am failing my child and DESPERATELY need some advice. Parents that were not raised in a hostile environment are also welcome to give advice on how they are teaching their children to cope with their emotions.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 09

    I was raised in an emotionally abusive home. I’m in a similar situation. I want to give my kids better than the upbringing I had, but despite common sense, books, and advice, it’s just difficult to raise them better when you aren’t familiar with better. I attend parent-child interaction classes so that I get hands-on training as well as unlearning of my upbringing. It’s basically what the titl... More

  • Ashleigh
    Jan 12

    Overcoming intergenerational abuse is incredibly hard and a very big deal, so I want to point out you are already an awesome parent for wanting this and taking steps to do so! Something that has helped me: having a great relationship with your kids doesn't mean you have to be flawless. It means you make a point to take responsibility and reconnect when you do mess up (like after losing you... More

Getting back with my child’s father

I have been thinking about trying again with my ex, with whom I share a 3-yr-old son. We broke up 3 years ago, so our son has never really seen us together, kissing, etc. He has been wanting to try again pretty much since we broke up, and I feel like we both have changed as people and certain things aren’t factors anymore (like, for instance, his ex, who did a lot of meddling in our relationshi... More

7 weeks possible miscarriage advice

hello I just found out I am pregnant with my second child and was getting really excited. I know that my periods are longer around 36 days and I ovulated around CD 24. We had our first u/s done two weeks ago and there was a gestational sac and a yolk sac. We had another done last week and same thing but no embryo the doctor told us she was 99% sure it is a miscarriage but wants to check my hcg ... More

  • Anonymous
    Nov 20, 2019

    I am so sorry you are going through this . I am in a similar situation my sac size is small but there is heartbeat and they told me I may miscarry . Hcg levels should double . I would do a follow up ultrasound . Also refer to New England journal of medicine by Peter doubilet article for criteria for diagnosing pregnancy failure .

Anonymous posted in Child & Pregnancy Loss Nov 19, 2019

Possible impending miscarriage

Hi I have a small gestational sac but the fetal pole had a heartbeat and a normal yolk sac. They told me I may miscarry . Has this happened to anybody and what outcomes did you have ?

  • Anonymous
    Nov 25, 2019

    I just lost baby baby’s heart stopped on it’s own

  • Anonymous
    Nov 28, 2019

    I’m so sorry to hear that. 😣 I hope your able to find some people in your community who have gone through similar things that you could talk to . Try to take the best care of yourself ❤️

Tips on dealing with miscarriage...

So, I lost my pregnancy with baby #2... My body hasn't started to get rid of it yet, and dr. wants me to have one last ultrasound before I make a decision on how I want to clean it out... Basically only the sac was created, but I'm still struggling emotionally... Everyone keeps saying, "Well, at least there wasn't a baby", but it's still really upsetting...

  • Sammie
    Feb 08

    Talk to your doctor. I honestly couldn't tell you. I just know what I had to do because I had to have like 3 ultrasounds before they could actually diagnose me with a blighted ovum.

  • Aishaa
    Feb 08

    Should i wait till 8 weeks??

Death of a grandparent

I just lost my mom 2 weeks ago and she was the main care giver for my son since he was born. The past few months I was off from work taking my mom to her radiation and chemo treatments. So he was used to me being home. He already had separation anxiety from me before. We unfortunately lost her to a different medical condition and it was sudden. I haven't gone back to work yet but will be s... More

  • Luiz Cruz
    Nov 23, 2019

    Sorry about your loss Amanda, I hope your boy should be doing better now?

  • Amanda
    Nov 23, 2019

    Thank you, it is getting better.

Why does my 5 year old start sobbing as soon as we sit down to dinner every night?

Is she just trying to avoid eating her vegetables? I’m a divorced father who has custody 50/50. Most days we have a lot of fun, but she starts saying ‘I miss my Mom’ and crying as soon as I set the plate in front of her. Some nights she says she misses her cousin and Nanna (my mother, who lives out of state). I’m also aware that she eats take out every night at her moms house, whereas I tend t... More

  • Ivy
    Oct 26, 2019

    I’m sorry, that sounds rough. Does she like routine? Sometimes my kids will be upset for a certain event if their dad is not there because they associate the scene with him. What helps is having a sort of “huddle” throughout the day. I tell my kids briefly what we’ll being doing for the day: Good morning, it’s Monday! Lets brush our teeth and eat breakfast. Then we’ll play, ride out bikes and... More

  • Dillon
    Oct 31, 2019

    Great suggestions, thanks! She does love her stuffed animal friends, we might start having dinner with one of them, see how that goes

Separation with dad

We decided not to stay together and even if I think that’s the right decision I am having a really hard time to processing everything. We have a 2 YO and I am really worried about her.

Anonymous posted in Child & Pregnancy Loss Oct 19, 2019

Daycare worries

So I’m currently pregnant with my rainbow baby (after losing two this will be my first). Since I have had a stillbirth I am extra nervous about this one. Both me and my fiancé will have to work ASAP but I know I will be terrified to leave the baby alone with even people I know. I have heard so many horror stories and it just freaks me out to think about losing another baby especially worrying t... More

  • Vicki
    Oct 21, 2019

    If you are having someone watching baby in your home, they can start coming over while you’re still home and you can watch them with the baby and get comfortable with them and letting them know how you prefer things done. You can have cameras set up as well so you can check in when you are feeling anxious. If it’s going to be care outside the home, do a lot of research, have several meetings... More

  • Momof2
    Oct 23, 2019

    I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all that!!!Not sure what state you live in but if you’re in California the disability laws are great. Even if you live somewhere that doesn’t allow for extended baby bonding time I would shop around for an OB/GYN who would be willing to work with you after your baby is born. I know a mom who had severe anxiety about leaving her baby for multiple reasons so her... More

Anonymous posted in Divorce & Separation Oct 14, 2019

Separation with my husband

My husband decided to leave me over the summer, he still lives at home and we didn’t tell our 2 year old yet. I am in complete denial and trying to think that hopefully he will change his mind. However he seems set in his decision. What would you do? I am completely lost ...

Anonymous posted in Marriage & Partnership Oct 01, 2019

What should I do?

Hi everyone, I recently had a disagreement with my husband. He yelled at me for spending to much money on groceries and complaining that I’m not working. He made it sound like I’m not working so I should not spend money. He works then he can spend it. I feel hurts really hurt. I’m at home with a 2 months old, 2 years old, and a 5 years old. I am tired very tired, he doesn’t help me with chores ... More

  • Jade
    Oct 02, 2019

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I can imagine how lonely and exhausting it would be having to take care of home life all on your own. It sounds like your husband is quite controlling and exhibiting some really unhealthy behaviors. This isn’t normal and you don’t have to put up with it. I would encourage you to reach out and give this number a call. They can help you figure out next s... More

  • Morgan
    Oct 03, 2019

    I would consider counseling

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