Maybe you guys do have some answers for us.
"i have a 16yr old step-daughter & a 9yr old son,is it right, legally, for them to share a room?"
I think that probably varies by state or province law. But I don't know for sure. I do think that probably a 16-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy are going to be a better room-sharing match than two 16-year-old girls, or two 9-year-olds. But that has nothing to do with the legality. Anyone know? T, if you're reading this and want to update on what state/province you live in in the comments, that might be helpful.
"We have new neighbors with little boys the same ages as mine. They've been playing together outdoors and having a great time. Then yesterday I noticed a pile of toy guns joining the game. My boys have never been allowed to play with guns, even squirt guns. I've told them that I think its a bad idea for kids to play with a toy gun because they might see one that they think is a toy and then find out (the scary way) that it was real. But, in someone else's house, I'm not sure I have any control. Should I prohibit my boys from using them? I'm not even sure I can. My kids are 3.5 and 6.5."
I wish there was just one good answer for this question, which I think comes up every day all over the world.
I think squirt guns are fun. But I don't want my kids to think real guns are cool, so I don't want them to play with toy guns. But squirt guns are fun. And kids make toy guns out of anything (sticks, French fries, their fingers).
So, yeah. I don't know. I'd rather have my kids playing with brightly-colored, obviously toy squirt guns than ones that really look like real guns. So maybe that's the solution. But maybe not. Anyone else?
And last but not least, a barbaric yawp from a frequent commenter who I'm keeping anonymous:
"I just re-read your review of the Ames & Ilg 3 year old book. To give me moral support. Since I have been dealing with a bratty, rude, obnoxious and very verbal 3 year old (who seems to save her very worst behavior for me, and 2nd worst for my husband) for over 6 months now.
To have a girl who was a delight for the first 3 years of her life become like this is horribly depressing. And to hear her behaving so sweetly with the babysitter in the next room while I just struggled with her for 2 hours is almost more than I can take.
That's it. I guess at least I'm not the only one."
At least now you know the bad-with-mom-but-great-with-the-babysitter thing is normal. Seriously, that book is the only thing that made me think I wasn't a horrible parent at that age.
I certainly don't have any parenting answers. But I do want to say that it gets better. And that I think that in a lot of ways, this evil 3 stage is practice for the teenage years, so if you can think of a way to try not to take it personally, you'll help yourself not only now, but also when she's seized by whatever awfulness happens when she's 14.