Stop here every day for a new question and answer, practical help for busy parents.
This might sound really shallow, but I am afraid that my children will be ugly.
I’m not so attractive, and my boyfriend is cute but nothing amazing. When I was a child, other kids made fun of me because of my appearance, and I don’t want them to go through what I did. Am I wrong to feel this way?
The question isn’t a shallow as it sounds, considering that you lived through some problems and want your children to avoid those same problems.
Unfortunately, how your children look is entirely up to God, and you have nothing to do with it, except indirectly. Fortunately, the gene pool is a wondrous thing, and you never know where your children will end up swimming.
I know of a black couple, both dark-skinned with black hair. Their first child had sandy blonde hair and green eyes, just like those of one of her great-grandmothers. Some children look like smaller versions of their parents. Some look nothing like their parents. Don’t make any assumptions about how your children will look – you simply won’t know until they start to grow up.
You should also remember that beauty is no guarantee of happiness. Beautiful people face the same self-esteem issues as everyone else. If you read popular magazines or just follow headlines on the Internet, you’ll see that Hollywood is full of examples of how beauty is no substitute for common sense, or even for a good attitude.
Remember that once you have children, they will also have you. And regardless of their personal appearance, the factor that will most influence their happiness and development is their parents. Be a good mother and try to raise your children well. Let your example and your love teach them to be happy, and let your experience teach them how to deal with the times when they are sad.
How long can I leave my baby in my car? I know it is illegal to leave a child in a parked car. But what are the stipulations? Is it still illegal if you crack the windows? What if it is a convertible?
You can leave a baby alone in a car for about as long as it takes you to exit the car, walk to the baby’s door, open it, and take the baby out. That will protect you in any jurisdiction.
There may be some place where it is legal to leave a baby alone in a car, but I am glad I do not live there. And even if it’s legal, it’s a stupid idea, for a variety of reasons, chief of which being babies’ inability to protect themselves from either extreme temperatures or people willing to smash a car window to grab them.
Several times a year, newspapers carry stories about people who leave babies in parked cars, not realizing how quickly those cars become deathly hot or cold. In many cases, those parents go to jail.
To learn what is legal in your community, ask your local police department. But regardless of what they say, understand that babies rely on us for protection. If you plan to go somewhere you can’t bring the baby, either leave the baby at home with a trusted caregiver or stay home yourself.
Thank you for reading today’s Q&A. Check back here tomorrow for another installment of the Ask The Dad advice column. If you’d like to submit an Ask The Dad question, send it to [email protected] If you liked today’s column, click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page to receive e-mail whenever a new column is posted. Don’t worry, it’s free.