Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Tween asks, “Who was that guy my mom was with??”

June 10, 2015

As part of my ongoing series of Q&A from my email, today I’m bringing you a question from a 7th grader. Even if the situation he’s in is not something your child is dealing with, it’s helpful to be reminded how sensitive kids are. They notice everything and when they’re too scared to let us in on their worries, they suffer in silence. On the other hand, when we sharpen our radar we’re better able to notice when they might be upset. That’s when we need to step up and encourage them to open up.

I don't know who to talk to about this.

I don’t know who to talk to about this.

Today’s question: I’m 12 and my parents are divorced. Me and my little sister live with my mom. Today when I got home I saw this guy with his arm around my mom. I felt annoyed. I didn’t know what to say. When they left together my mom said she was going to work. I felt like a nobody. I wont tell her I know but, I wanna feel better.

–Lost and Confused

Dear Lost and Confused,

This is a tough one. It can be really awkward when you see one of your parents with someone else. I don’t know how long your parents have been divorced or if either Mom or Dad has dated before, but this is probably something you are going to have to get used to. Your Mom loves you and your sister very much. That hasn’t changed. But she is not married and she has the right to date. Please reconsider talking to her about it. It would be a smart move on your part. You might say something like this: “Mom, the other day when I saw you with that guy, I felt uncomfortable. “ Then ask her whatever is on your mind. For example, “Who is he?” “How long do you know him?” “Where did you meet him?” “Is he your boyfriend?” “Are you going to marry him?” Whatever you want to ask… ASK her. You will feel better knowing what’s going on. That is the best way to stop feeling “like a nobody.” You are NOT a “nobody” you are your mom’s child. And as a 12 year old, you have the right to know certain things. So… ask.
You can do this. Good luck! And let me know how it goes.

In friendship,


Podcast: Single Mom Seeking Advice and a (Love) Life!

August 27, 2010

"The Complete Single Mother: Reassuring Answers to Your Most Challenging Concerns" by Dr. Leah Klungness, Ph.D.

Today, on this special two-part edition of Family Confidentialmy guests are Dr. Leah Klungness and Rachel Sarah co-founders of the popular website

Dr. Leah Klungness, aka “the Sanity Fairy”,  is a psychologist and recognized authority on single parenting and relationship issues. She is the coauthor of the award winning book The Complete Single Mother: Reassuring Answers to Your Most Challenging Concerns which is the only comprehensive and best selling self-help book ever written for single parents.

"Single Mom Seeking: Playdates, Blind dates, and Other Dispatches from the Dating World" by Rachel Sarah

Rachel Sarah, is an award-winning journalist and the author of the dating memoir Single Mom Seeking: Playdates, Blind Dates, and Other Dispatches from the Dating World. Rachel has written for Family Circle magazine, American Baby,, Huffington Post, and LifetimeTV. She’s also a contractor for

Whether you chose single motherhood or had it thrust upon you, these two powerhouse women have much wisdom and insight to share. Yep, Dr. Leah and Rachel Sarah are here to help. So while you have a rare moment to yourself, grab a cup of coffee, relax and have a listen to our conversation right here:

If you have iTunes, you can subscribe to this podcast in the iTunes Store.

Or, you can download an MP3 version here.

Upcoming guests include:

David McQueen, international speaker empowering adults and youth alike on subjects such as leadership, careers and communication skills.

Sean Buvala, author of DaddyTeller: How to be a Hero to Your Kids and Teach Them What’s Really Important By Telling Them One Simple Story at a Time

Dr. Karyn Purvis, co-author (with Dr. David Cross, Wendy Lyons Sunshine) of The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family

Judith Warner author of Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety and We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication


Guest Blogger: Fathers shape daughters

February 10, 2010

Her first sweetheart is Dad

Her first sweetheart is Dad

By Richard “RJ” Jaramillo

RJ Jaramillo is Founder and President of He is also a single father of three children. With over nine years of experience helping other Single Parents with advice, support, and resources, RJ is excited to share his company and personal mission on teaching others how to “Make Life Happen…Again!”

I was recently interviewed on a single parent radio show about my dating habits and how I choose the women I date. I was asked to make a “top 3 list” on things I look for in a woman.  While doing this, I became aware of a more powerful parenting topic: father and daughter relationships and how fathers shape their daughters’ future relationships with men. Here is my “Top 3 List on Single Parent Dating” and my personal opinions on the importance of having a good relationship with your daughter that will help shape her future relationships.

What I look for #1: What’s Her Relationship with Her Parents?

I always want to know the relationship that a woman has with her parents, especially with her father. I know this may sound strange, but when I ask this question I want to know their past and present relationship. Do they see or talk to each other often? Is there an absence? What is the frequency of contact?  Some of this information can really open up a can of worms and I have been caught off guard when I hear a painful story unfold. Now, in all fairness, I try to remain impartial and understand both sides. But in cases of stories where the father and daughter no longer have a relationship, what has surprised me the most is the lack of forgiveness from the fathers. They felt there was more value in punishing the other person with silence and absence, then forgiving someone of their mistakes, misunderstandings or miscommunication. I have dated women with poor relationships with their parents and I feel that these women, who have little or no understanding of offering or accepting an apology or practicing forgiveness, just shut down and move on when relationship issues arise.

Father and Daughter Tip #1: It’s never too late to apologize.

Make the time, be present and teach your daughter the power of an apology and the emotion behind forgiveness. I know I am not perfect. I have allowed too much time between poor behavior and apologies at times. I feel that most fathers don’t understand the importance of catching their faults early. What I see far too often in men is that they will just “play nice” the next day and allow their nice demeanor portray the apology. This is not the same as an apology. This pretend game is called the silent treatment and it is not good. You are allowing the hurt emotions of the relationship to become trapped and unresolved.  This is not teaching our daughters how to resolve conflict and they will take this behavior with them into their future relationships. My solution to this problem is simple. I promise myself not to let too much time go past, be present with my daughter, and address my actions and why I am asking for her forgiveness. This is a good way to teach our child humility, humanity and most importantly emotional connection. If we want a connection, there is no better way than to be human and create that emotion through an apology. Read more…

Find Annie Fox: Find Annie on Facebook Find Annie on Twitter Find Annie on Pinterest Find Annie on YouTube Find Annie on Google+ Find Annie on LinkedIn Find Annie on Goodreads Find Annie on Quora