Joe Rich

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Oh, Behave: What age should a child be assigned small household chores?

Question: At what age should a child be assigned small household chores? I think my two-year-old can learn to pick up her toys and put them in the toy box. My mother thinks I’m asking too much. Can you give a practical and fair timetable of what tasks and what age is appropriate to...

Oh, Behave: I don’t feel ready to let my 12-year old babysit

Question: Our 12-year-old daughter is anxious to babysit her three-year-old brother. I think she has dollar signs dancing in her eyes! On the other hand, she sees us handing over big dollars to a neighbour’s 15-year-old. How do you judge the appropriate time? Will you also comment on the possibility of her maybe being...

Oh, Behave: Get a second opinion before putting your child on ritalin

Question: I’m concerned that schools are too quick to decide that a difficult child has attention deficit disorder. The school has suggested we look into Ritalin so our son’s behaviour can be regulated. I want them to arrange for an independent assessment. Have you an opinion about this? Answer: If the school...

Oh, Behave: 9-year old rolls her eyes at me

Q: If my nine-year-old doesn’t stop rolling her eyes at me, I think I’ll go crazy. How can I stop this annoying habit? BARB D, BARRIE, ON Try ignoring it; sometimes it goes away because it’s just for attention. If that doesn’t work, then use it as one of many examples to...

Oh, Behave: Time-outs are not working

Q: I don’t think time-outs work, but my wife insists they do. She sends our son, 11, and our daughter, six, to their rooms. I think they just enjoy themselves in there and it’s not working. I suggested making them sit on our staircase for a while but she thinks that’s cruel. All...

Oh Behave: 5-year old has bad table manners

Q: My husband is not known for his table manners. My five-year-old is picking up some of his less-desirable habits (eating with his mouth full, burping). I have addressed this with my husband and he says I’m being too uptight and he’s sick of my nagging. How can I...

Oh, Behave: scared of the dentist

My son is scared to death of the dentist. I’ve started getting anxious, too, before he goes. He’s had no major work, he just screams and cries when he’s there. I had to hold him on my lap the last time. He’s seven and this is getting too hard....

Oh, Behave: making strange with grandma

My daughter is three. Recently, she’s started making strange whenever my mother-in-law comes over. She told me that nanny smells funny and her smile is scary. I try to reassure her that it’s just a different perfume and that her smile is the same. I don’t want to offend...

Oh, Behave: 4-year old son is urinating everywhere

My four-year-old son has started urinating in and on the oddest things. He didn’t like a particular DVD we owned so he peed on it! Then we found that he was urinating in his closet whenever we were about to show our house (it’s for sale). I don’t know...

Oh, Behave: How can I help my 9-year old be more social?

Q: My nine-year-old daughter’s best friend is moving away. My child has a hard time making friends. How can I help her be more social? – SHERI V, HALIFAX, NS Allow a weekend or two for your daughter to be on her own before asking her to meet the challenges ahead. Her...