Straight Talk Advice

Family Life - In General

Saying goodbye to kids following a parent-dating breakup

Dear Straight Talk: I’m 43 and was dating a man for six months who has an 11-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl. Our relationship moved quickly and I often stayed at his house during visitation weekends, thus spending quite a bit…

10 Comments

Sisters with new stepdad want security of a locked bedroom door

Dear Straight Talk: My sister and I want a lock for our bedroom door. We have a new stepfather and we feel uncomfortable not being able lock our door when we’re undressed. He’s good to us, rarely comes inside our room and always…

10 Comments

Christmas shopping frenzy “on steroids” far adrift from “O Silent Night”

Dear Straight Talk: The winter holidays seem to be a stressed-out “what am I getting” and ”what am I buying” nightmare and I wonder if these once-sacred holidays hold any meaning at all for young people. (Maybe the…

7 Comments

The Pesky Holiday Problem of Drunken Parents

Dear Straight Talk: My sister and I dread, rather than enjoy, family gatherings. Political and religious arguments ruin them, especially when the adults have too much to drink, as they usually do. My parents are as bad as the others. If…

7 Comments

Family gatherings an opportunity for inter-gen bonding and support

Dear Straight Talk: I'm hosting several sets of parents, grandparents, teenagers and college students for Thanksgiving. The young people tend to divide off, many staring into their devices, while some elders stare into the TV. What…

9 Comments

Dad feels rejected, wants place in daughter’s life

Dear Straight Talk: My 16-year-old daughter complains that I'm not "in her life" enough. I do work hard in a demanding career to support our family, but I buy her things, take a family vacation every year, and when I make attempts to…

5 Comments

Father Gets the ‘Straight Talk’ on School Shootings

Dear Straight Talk: To combat school shootings, our school district is considering arming teachers who undergo extensive training. All this is making my daughter (age 17) even more nervous about school shootings — while my son, 15,…

4 Comments

Being youngest can make it tough to feel smart

Dear Straight Talk: I'm the youngest of five siblings with 20 years between my oldest sibling and myself. Because I am considerably younger, I sometimes feel like I don't fit. I am fairly introverted while they are outspoken, so…

8 Comments

The importance of Father

Dear Readers: How much do fathers matter? Same as I said for mothers on Mother's Day: Worlds. Yet, a lot of people aren't "getting the memo". The U.S. leads the world in fatherless families. In 1960, only 12 percent of…

1 Comment

In praise of Mother

Dear Readers: How much do mothers matter? Worlds. To all mothers, stepmothers, and female caregivers, Happy Mother's Day! —Love, Lauren

5 Comments
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