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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Carolyn Hax: Readers give sound advice on parenting

Washington Post

While I’m away, readers give the advice.

On having a child with a short- tempered partner:

Having a child will increase stress, which in turn is likely to make any poor behavior far worse. How often will a child not do what this parent wants, and how far will he or she go when a display of temper still doesn’t get results?

I was married to someone with an explosive temper. After much soul-searching, we adopted a child together. As our daughter grew older, my spouse’s explosive behavior became emotional and physical abuse – first toward me, then toward our daughter. I filed for divorce and had to fight for full custody.

It has now been seven years, and I have raised my daughter as a full-time single parent. We were fortunate to have a strong support network, an excellent attorney, a clearheaded judge and local police who acted to protect the child. Being able to find this combination is not something parents want to bet their children’s safety on. – Single Dad to an Amazing Young Lady

On being the parent whose kid is a judgy-stare- attracting handful:

I have a kid who seems to push all the boundaries. Teachers had lots of comments, but no one had answers.

We got him tested at a young age. We had him sleep tested at 4. He had sleep apnea. We removed his tonsils, and that helped.

Then we had him tested for ADHD at 6. Yup, he was off the charts. Medication helped a ton! We keep him in sports year-round. It’s been a lot of silver BBs and no silver bullet. Every test, every evaluation, every teacher conference brings new information.

I got all the “advice” from family, friends and near-total strangers. I did a lot of nodding, smiling and replying “interesting,” while I really wanted to say “drop dead.”

Hang in there. Find some parents who are in a similar predicament. As with everything, trust your instincts. You know him best.

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