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Dr. Michelle Advice
 
Every Tuesday, Dr. Michelle K. Murray, CEO of Nexus Family Healing, answers a question about family relations or mental health from one of our readers. Submit Your Question.

 

Couple arguing in front of children.

My Girlfriend Wants Her Kids to Call Me Dad

My girlfriend and I just moved in together after dating for about 2 years. She has a 13-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter who live with us full time. They are great kids and we get along really well, but my girlfriend is pressuring the kids to call me dad and I don’t think that’s a good idea. She also expects me to discipline them when she gets upset and I don’t think that’s my role. Am I wrong about this?
Sad Adult

I'm Always Upset and Not Sure What To Do

I feel upset all of time. It has been like this for several years. Nothing seems to go right, and nothing makes me feel better. I don't know what to do.
Teen Anger

Is Teen Anger Connected to Childhood Trauma?

I was wondering if you could help me to better understand how early childhood trauma would affect a person’s behavior. Have you seen any correlations of certain forms of trauma and anger in early adolescence?
friends online

My 13-Year-Old Says Making Friends Is Easier Online

My 13-year-old son (soon to be 14) is having a hard time maintaining friendships. As a result, he tells his dad and me that he is lonely and then moves to “online friends,” which are really people he doesn’t know. He says that when he goes online, he can be who he wants and can just tell them the good stuff. Any suggestions on how to cultivate friendships with kids he has actually met through baseball, school, etc.?
impulsive son

My Son Is Impulsive and Has Trouble Making Friends

My 8-year-old son struggles with impulsivity and has little to no friends that initiate contact with him. He can participate and engage with them but there doesn’t seem to be any bond. How can I help him with his impulse control and fostering friendships?
unusual question

My Son Asked an Unusual Question

We are worried about our 12-year-old son's questions and what it could mean. Is this a phase or something for concern?
Baby Sleeping

Should Our Baby Sleep in Our Bed?

I am getting ready to have my first child and I want the baby to sleep with us in our bed. My husband says he does not care either way, but other family members and friends tell me this is a bad idea because it will cause my child to have future adjustment problems. Is this true?
daughter leaving child

My Daughter Won't Leave Our Grandchild with Us

We have a grandchild that is 2 years old. We get together for family events and occasional family dinners, but my daughter will not let us babysit or allow our grandchild to spend the night. When we ask her why she just says that she is not ready. It really hurts our feelings and we are not sure what to do about this. How can you help?
Anxiety

What If My Daughter's Treated Differently Because of Anxiety?

There is still so much stigma around mental health and my daughter has been diagnosed with anxiety. How can I help support her and protect her from teachers, friends and family members treating her differently?
school uncertainty

How Do We Manage the Uncertainty of the New School Year?

Our family and other parents in our circle are growing more and more concerned about the ongoing changes with the upcoming school year. Can you provide tips on managing the unknown, like dealing with a lack of set schedules and how to know the right amount of daily structure to provide our children? How do we make up for their lack of social interaction opportunities while keeping their screen time at a minimum?