News: Family Fundamentals

  1. little girl looking pensive

    Family Fundamentals: No parent is perfect, but guidelines can help

    Now that our daughter is almost 4, she often doesn’t pay attention no matter what my wife and I say. We can’t tell if this is just a phase or if she will soon get completely out of control. What’s the best way to handle things?  
  2. tax return

    Family Fundamentals: Use your tax refund to pay off debt and save

    Normally when we get our tax refund, we end up spending most or all of it on something we’ve wanted for a long time but couldn’t afford. But over the past year, we’ve had some major unanticipated expenses. This year, should we use the refund to pay down our credit cards, or would it be better to build up our emergency fund?  
  3. Stay involved to help children with school

    Our oldest child started middle school last fall. She was struggling early in the year but didn’t want help, and we hoped she would get used to the new schedule and classes. She still seems unorganized and isn’t doing as well as she did in grade school. What can we do to help her over this bump?  
  4. piggy bank wrapped in Christmas lights

    Family Fundamentals: Be smart about holiday spending this season

    Every year, despite our best efforts, we end up spending way too much money during the holidays. Any ideas to rein it in this year?
  5. concerned child being pulled between parents

    Family Fundamentals: Things for divorcing parents to keep in mind

    Several of our children’s friends’ parents are divorced. Some of them seem to work through parenting issues easily, but others seem to have a lot of conflict. What’s the most important thing for parents to focus on as they separate and divorce?
  6. older adult in front of laptop feeling anxious

    Family Fundamentals: Program helps protect older adults from scams

    As my parents get older, I’m beginning to worry that they may be taken advantage of financially. What can we do to help protect them?
  7. children standing in line

    Family Fundamentals: Blended families need time, patience (August 2015)

    My husband and I married this summer. It’s a second marriage for both of us, and we each brought children into the family. Everything seemed fine until we combined households and school started — now, the kids are not getting along at all. What’s the best way to handle this?
  8. student with checkbook

    Family Fundamentals: Help student heading to college set a budget

    My son is starting college this year. I want to sit him down to help him learn how to set a budget, but he is resisting. How much should I press him?
  9. image of kids using mobile device with parents in the background

    Family Fundamentals: Too much screen time? A word on setting limits

    My 12-year-old daughter is using our family’s mobile device quite a bit this summer, primarily playing games, watching videos and chatting with friends. My wife and I agree that she’s getting too much screen time, but we disagree on setting limits. Do you have any recommendations? You are not alone. A point of contention in many families these days is limiting children’s time in front of screens — whether they’re televisions, computers, tablets, games or smartphones. In late 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics set some guidelines based on research saying that the average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly 8 hours and teens spend more than 11 hours a day in front of a screen. In addition, the academy reported that about 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds own cell phones, but two-thirds of...
  10. coins and graduation cap

    Family Fundamentals: Investigate options to repay student loans

    I am about to graduate from college and, so far, I don’t have a job. I’m worried about paying back my student loans when the time comes. What happens if I can’t afford the payment?

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