mom2momdfw
DFW Moms

A friend of a friend returned from vacation, gushing about a place she and her husband had gone out of their way to visit. She rated the experience as one of the highlights of their trip, but, for the life of me, I can't figure out why.

Q: My new partner loves my children, but has a real problem with my ex. He doesn't approve of his parenting and looks for excuses for the kids to not see their father. My ex is a little inconsistent, but not that bad, and my boyfriend's attitude is really concerning me. I love him and looking forward to a future together. I'm hoping this will all just fall into place in time. What do you think?

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife is due with our first in about four months, so I though now would be a good time to talk to my employer about taking time off under the Family Leave Act and possibly making some more permanent changes to my schedule so I can be a more hands-on dad. I mentioned this to a friend who used to work with me, and he warned me to be very careful. He said that after he took paternity leave, he was passed over for a promotion and got a smaller bonus. He eventually quit. I find that hard to believe, but he insists it's true. Are companies really allowed to do that?

We all say things that can be misunderstood. Children are still learning to navigate the social matrix of expression and often they comment rudely on something they shouldn't. If what they have said is not untrue just inappropriate; or something taboo and not to be commented on, this can be hard for a child to understand. Explaining situations to them through their dominant sense will enable them to understand more fully the implications of verbal comments and how best to edit them.For visual children what they see and how they are seen is extremely important. My visual brother to this day will comment on my weight, not meaning to be critical, but because he equates something being emotionally wrong with me if I'm too thin or fat. Asking about my weight is his way of asking is everything OK in my life. Visual children will comment, sometimes inappropriately about what they see especially if something is visually off or new. If you are aware of their motivations for their comments, like "you're too fat," "you're bald," or even odd things like "people with blue eyes are scary," you will know how to show them a better way, by commenting on visual similarities.Auditory children remember every word spoken to them and often repeat things said on the quiet at home, to the person in question. As these children respond to logic and have a keen sense of meaning, teaching them how something is said and appropriateness of when to say it will go a long way to their development of empathy. Changing one word in a sentence can be the difference between hurt feelings and gratitude. By teaching your auditory child these tools, they will be able to express themselves freely, but with sensitivity.When my tactile son was 3, he was very upset about a boy a year or so older than him who was in a wheelchair. The thought of not being able to run, jump and wrestle equated to non-expression. He was adamant that this child was dying and expressed loudly this viewpoint. Once I explained that actually, he could move a lot, and that he just had wheels for legs, he immediately was relived, ran over to the boy, to race him, and they have been steady friends ever since. Alleviating my son's fears by explaining a tactile value worked 100 times better than if I was to say, "Don't say that, it's not nice."Taste and smell children of course are very conscious of the emotions surrounding comments, and can end up being more upset at offending someone than the offended person. Teaching these sensory children how to make amends is very important. They need to know the world doesn't end because of hurt feelings and that there are ways to "take back" insensitive comments. This will also teach them not to be so sensitive to others' insensitivity, because everybody sometimes says things thoughtlessly.Learning to edit our thoughts or phrase them in a more positive light is a skill that takes years to master, however with patience and positive reinforcement we can teach our children empathy, appropriateness and also forgiveness. All skills needed to have a happy life.

School's about to start back. And it's always good to go down the checklist of things to do to get ready for that first week. The more prep you've done, the better the year is sure to go, so I always jump on it early ...

The decades-long push to boost the number of math and science classes high-school students must take to graduate has raised a question: Will students who already are struggling to meet the current requirements drop out if the bar is even higher?

Anyone who sets foot in a school has seen them - the kids everyone picks on. They are the ones with poor hygiene, who throw tantrums or chairs; the children who seem like too much trouble.

Summertime is filled with memory making opportunities. Time spent at the beach, picnics in the mountains, and traveling to visit out-of-town family and friends can cause us to forget the responsibilities and routines that await us in the fall. Summer ends all too soon and getting families ready for the school year is an essential part to the end of summer.

E!'s "Fabulist" co-host Kristin Cavallari covers the fall fashion issue of "Michigan Avenue" and opens up about family life with husband, football star Jay Cutler, and their two sons: Camden, 2, and Jaxon, 3 months.

When it comes to picking a place name for your child, you could consider a continent like Asia, a country like India, a city like Vienna or Verona ... or one of the select group of U.S. states that lend themselves to babies' birth certificates. Here are the Nameberry picks of the best state names and how they came to be - with their mix of Native American, British and French origins.

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