My mother-in-law is dating a new guy and my husband and I can't stand him. He's constantly making heinous remarks and using foul language. My MIL occasionally brings my daughter, Kayla, to his house. How can I tell her I don't want my child around him without causing a huge fight? -Lost for Words
Dear Lost, There's no "good" or easy way to say it, but try broaching the subject this way: "I'm happy that you've met someone who makes you happy. But I'm really concerned that he says inappropriate things in front of Kayla. For now I'd prefer it if you didn't bring her around him." If you start on a positive note, she should be more likely to abide by your request. If she balks, stand firm-your kid comes first.
My 3-year-old loves to dress himself-in pj's. Should I let him go out like that, as long as he's dressed appropriately for the weather? -24/7 Pajama Party
Dear PP, I have the same problem with my 4-year-old! I see the pajama battle this way: Part of being a parent is teaching children boundaries. One of them is we all have to get up for the day and get dressed (in regular, daytime attire). That said, can you really blame your kid? If I could wear flannels all day, I would! So in our home, we have a compromise: After church on Sundays, the whole family gets back into pj's. Pick a time that's right for your family and try it!
btw... For those of you who've been on the fence about having a third, here's a funny thing I discovered after I had my daughter, Vivienne: No one asks me that nosy question anymore, "Are you going to have another?" Call it one of the surprise benefits of having three!
Originally published in the January 2013 issue of Parents magazine.