My two daughters are always fighting! Last week they fought over who was sitting in the front seat of the car. They pulled each other's hair out! How do I handle all the fighting?
Jacqueline says: It's normal that sisters fight, right Kerry? But try not to intervene, unless there is physical violence. You need some ground rules: Absolutely no hitting, name-calling or tattling. It's important to talk to them separately and when they are calm. Allow them to fully communicate their issue with their sibling and come up with mutual solution.
Kerry says: Well said, Jack. And take note of what issues or events start a fight. If they are fighting over who walks the dog, then set a chore chart so it's clear whose chore is whose. Be sure that each child has personal space, and don't play favorites!
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My son is 24 years old. He still lives with me. Is there a right time to ask a 20-something child to move out of the family house?
Jacqueline says: At 20-something, your child is certainly mature enough to live on his own. The question is if he has the financial means to do so. If the answer is "yes," then bon voyage!
Kerry says: You are very vague. Are you at your wit's end because he refuses to get a job and live on his own -- or is he ready to go but afraid of leaving you alone? Does he have a good job? Get to the bottom of the real issue at hand. Then make your decision.
My child is far behind his peers in numbers and speech. I'm terribly worried. Should I be concerned that he's slow? How can I tell if my child has a learning disability?
Kerry says: Some signs of a possible learning disability include poor grades; reading, writing or math problems; communication problems; difficulty paying attention, inability to remember tasks; feelings of low self-esteem; being easily frustrated; or acting out. If you see some of these signs, contact your child's teacher, who will probably first suggest interventions, such as testing, special education instructors and speaking with the school psychologist or guidance counselor.
Jacqueline says: Children learn at different rates during early childhood. Learning disabilities are a category of disorders and affect how the child's brain processes the information, which makes some concepts very difficult to understand. That said, children with learning disabilities tend to actually have normal to above-normal intelligence, with the trouble being expressing their knowledge. Your child may know just what she wants to say or write, but simply takes a different path at getting there.
- Kerry and Jacqueline Donelli are twin sisters and the filmmakers of the comedy,
"Titillating Steven." They are pursuing a master's degree and then a doctorate in mental health counseling in NYC.